Avoid the Easy Resolution

When we write, if we tape our feelings down to the page, if we do it with any thoroughness and honesty, they become rapidly an artifact. Later, we return to them like reading history. Those were the things in my mind that day. We can see the way seas of our thoughts change, and yet... Continue Reading →

Minneapolis, George Floyd–#GeorgeFloyd #BlackLivesMatter

How much I have written for this post and discarded. Feelings swell, crests of thought in one direction, then the next, another. I believe in nonviolence. I believe in taking the lead from people of color, whose experiences in these matters are the important ones to hear and to uplift. Ordinarily, these two beliefs I... 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 →

Fiction & Climate Change

This month of school has galvanized my awareness of global heating like nothing before. It began with a presentation by an Australian member of staff about the bushfires still blazing, an impassioned plea that this is the world we are in. Changes are happening now, and not in a distant future. Changes are necessary and... Continue Reading →

Photos from Montana

America has been troubling. The consumer push is thicker than I ever remember, the pressure to buy big and often and right now. Things are far larger than they need to be. It's a difficult relationship, I think, that I've got to my home country. For moments I wish I had been born somewhere else.... Continue Reading →

Dialogue #3: Dialect

This post comes third in our series on dialogue. To read the first post about the dialogue's three basic forms or last week's discussion of realistic dialogue, click these links. This week, we'll look at how characters' spoken dialects might be rendered in fiction, the effects these different portrayals might have on readers, and the... 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 →

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