Short Stories in Naples

On Thursday morning, at the patisserie Poppella, I wrote this in my journal: I'm so overwhelmed by Naples. It's so busy. I feel like I'll be trampled when I walk on the street. Everything is dirty. Garbage is all over the streets. I'm afraid to take out my computer. I'm afraid someone will take it.... Continue Reading →

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Literature and political commentary: how far from reality can we stray?

The other night, I finished reading Ariel Dorfman's play Death and the Maiden, a haunting examination of Chile's reckoning with the aftermath of dictatorship. The play itself was emotionally powerful, concentrated in its characters and ideas (somewhat in the way poetry has a density of meaning, like the brief but all-consuming burst from a candy... Continue Reading →

Worldbuilding #1: setting fits the story

The worlds we construct inside our stories, especially in speculative genres, carry our readers to new possibilities, new ways of thinking about life and what is set and normal. Worldbuilding is one of the great excitements of the writing process, as our minds, omnipotent in the world of the story, trace out societies and structures... Continue Reading →

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