Tag Archives: writing fiction

In Another Life

My next post will appear Friday, September 7.  If you’re in the neighborhood, mark your calendar for Sept. 13, 7 p.m.:  Why There Are Words, 333 Caledonia, Sausalito.  I’d love to see some of you there! A few months ago, I stumbled upon Penelope Lively’s novel The Photograph.  I loved its sharp psychological portraits, its elegant and economic sentences, its going on for pages and pages in the minds of its characters (something I’m always trying to do without making my readers scream, “Action, please!”). When I returned to the library to pick up another Lively novel, I chose—from the … Continue reading

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It’s Only A Dream

When I was in third grade, my class took a field trip to Kirby Cove, a small rocky beach just west of the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge.  To get there, we had to walk—or in my case, slide—down a steep dirt trail. I don’t remember it as a trail at all, but a horrifying sheer, wide fall of hill, brown-red and slippery with pebbles.  I was a klutzy girl, all arms and legs, with my center of gravity somewhere, as my younger and more agile brother once put it, above my forehead.  I was rather in shock … Continue reading

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All You Need Is Love

I’ve been thinking in terms of grand, declarative statements:  Writing fiction is an act of love.  Fiction depends upon empathy.  Writing fiction is a moral act.  Fiction is amoral.  Fiction is true.  Fiction depends on lies.  Beauty is truth, and truth, beauty. Etc. I’ve been thinking of short stories with clear, dramatized change: “Araby” by James Joyce; “How Far She Went” (Mary Hood); “Roman Fever” (Edith Wharton); “Barn Burning” by William Faulkner.  I’ve been remembering, and re-reading, stories with unsympathetic main characters and /or situations of rape, drug abuse, murder:  Denis Johnson’s “Work” and Grace Paley’s “The Little Girl”; Flannery … Continue reading

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It’s been a good couple weeks on the fiction front. First, though, a confession:  I haven’t written in months – written written, that is.  My work has taken a backseat to wedding planning, helping organize two major moves (fiancé in; nephew out), teaching.  Posting to this blog, as well as to “Good Letters,” helps me from feeling like a writer fake. But still.  Turning out 700 relatively coherent words in an hour or two isn’t the same as immersing myself in a world of my own creation.  In Rincon. That’s the name of the fictionalized town in my novel.  It’s … Continue reading

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