Short Story and Novel: Key Differences in Form–#AuthorToolboxBlogHop

This week's post is part of the monthly Author Toolbox Blog Hop. Check out others' great posts about the craft and business of writing! I first encountered Haruki Murakami through his short story collection The Elephant Vanishes. These stories of middle-class life in Japan were bizarre, esoteric, often difficult to get my mind around. The... Continue Reading →

Spending Time in the Mess: Writing as Inquiry

Last week, I wrote about reading Shakespeare with my second-year literature students who, no longer bound by the IB exams, are exploring new terrain. My English-language students too have been exploring. We've had some marvelous philosophical discussions, and students have brought in articles, poems, and videos they would like to discuss. Although not many students... Continue Reading →

How Much Should I Research?

In the story I have been drafting these last weeks, I've hit up against real edges in my knowledge. I have dived on into research, poring over academic articles, newspapers, and of course Wikipedia. I have taken awful volumes down of notes. I have learned much, and I've asked questions. I am generally not a... Continue Reading →

Anatomy of a Metaphor

An update Three days after my last post, it was announced the school would close. We are sending students home. Last week's heartbreak is compounded. On Wednesday, we celebrated an early Graduation for the second-years. Each day since then, our numbers have been whittling. There are some students who cannot go home. Borders open up... Continue Reading →

Every-colored flowers

In the eastern parts of Umbria, the land lofts up from fertile valleys into rich-forested mountains. These are the Apennines, a range I'd heard mentioned before but knew nothing of, a string of low mountains stretching the full length of the Italian peninsula. Yesterday, on a recommendation from our Italian language teacher, we drove out... Continue Reading →

Authenticity–what is it really?

My husband's and my goal for this summer was to settle: to root ourselves in a place for a length of time, to get to know it well, to accustom ourselves to some new surroundings, to avoid the pellmell back and forth of place-to-place travel, to focus, to breathe, to find some deeper sense of... Continue Reading →

Foraging for stories

I spent a bit of time researching MFA programs yesterday. Just a bit. It's still a ways in the future for me, but I began with a survey of the pros and cons of formally studying creative writing at all. Jennifer Ellis has assembled a helpful list of cons, and the first item she included... Continue Reading →

Worldbuilding #2: into the story we go

This post is part two of two in a series on worldbuilding. To read part one, click here. Last week, we explored how to plan and develop a speculative world, how we must situate ourselves along a continuum between the real and the absurd, how we can tie into existing cultural concepts while still making... Continue Reading →

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