The right story for the right time: context of reception and what it means for writers

It is hard for me to just not finish a book. I hem and haw, delay. I grudgingly slog another page. There are so many books I want to read, after all--why agonize, insist on finishing one I'm not enjoying? Is it the uncertainty of how to mark it on my Goodreads account, or something... Continue Reading →

How to run a Slam Poetry workshop

This last week at school was a different theme: no classes, the first years busy with a first-aid course and Model United Nations, for which they dressed their best and debated the future of our world. The second-years, meanwhile, had project week, and my husband and I led a small group in a three-day journey... Continue Reading →

Sponging away patriarchy

My students and I these past two weeks have been exploring language and gender. We have considered how women and men might use language differently (conclusion: any differences there are are slight), and how language represents gender (see this fascinating though unsurprising, and ultimately disturbing look at the words books have most frequently used to... Continue Reading →

Conflict a copout?

I've been working on a short story recently. Unlike most of what I've been writing the last few years, it's solid realism. I didn't expect this to make it a particular challenge for me, but as I have been slogging my way through outlines, a first draft of one-and-a-quarter scenes, doubt has besieged me of... Continue Reading →

Reflections at a project’s end

In January of 2016, a dear friend gave me the gift of a little Daruma doll. Growing out of Japanese Zen Buddhist tradition, the idea with these figurines [and the one I received is very minimalist compared to many of them] is to encourage perseverance and working towards a goal. When one sets a goal,... Continue Reading →

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