So today at 4:30, I finished reading out loud. Here’s a look inside my mind: Saturday: 9 pages in 1 hour Tuesday: 9 pages in 1/2 an hour Wednesday: 16 pages in 1 1/2 hours Thursday: 52 pages in 6 … Continue reading
I’m in Provincetown doing what I do best–shutting out everything except for the essential in order to complete a project–a hopefully final read-thru on my novel. When I got here on Wednesday, I went to the grocery, and since then, I’ve … Continue reading
I can’t possibly be this old and yet I am. Resisting the truth doesn’t make me any more comfortable in my ever more freckled skin. So for the second year in a row, I’m greeting my age and giving it a great … Continue reading
During the holidays, at a cocktail party, someone asked me how my novel was coming. Can I buy it yet? Another Christmas, I thought, another year where nothing had changed on the outside. I dreaded annual events and these questions to which I had no … Continue reading
In January of 2013, I started a new novel, working on it for eighteen months like a woman possessed. In September of last year, when I said it was ready, my agent sent it to just a few editors. While it was out, … Continue reading
When I sat down at my desk this morning, I realized I had forgotten to add a link to yesterday’s post on the 365-days page, and when I went to do that, it took me a minute to come up with … Continue reading
My own particular brand of weirdness. I used that phrase in yesterday’s post, which I just reread, and it stuck out to me. It sounded so sure of it self. It sounded like progress. I don’t often reread my posts, … Continue reading
The summer issue of Contrary Magazine is out, and I’m excited to have a story in there, “Hidden Tracks”–the strangest story I’ve ever written actually–right beside “Blue Moon,” a wonderful story by my friend Jodi Paloni. Here’s the beginning of “Hidden … Continue reading
Since I started Catching Days back in 2008, it’s been my policy (also my personality) not to do the group blog things. Which made it easy to decline the first time someone asked me to join the my-writing-process blog tour. … Continue reading
Those of you who know me in real life know I have issues with aging—as in I couldn’t possibly be this old; this is my mother’s age. Resisting the truth is not making me any more comfortable in my crinkling … Continue reading
All my physical therapist, who is from the Netherlands, has to do is lay his hands on my neck or back and I’m all better. He’s a wonderful painter, as well as a reader, and so we spend the rest … Continue reading
Contrary celebrates 10 Years! And my story, “The Empty Armchair,” (the first story I ever wrote, based on my first novel), made their Top Ten in Fiction from their first decade of publications! Here’s the link for new readers: The Empty Armchair. … Continue reading
Thrilled to have a craft essay in the new issue of Brevity, which includes fifteen brief wonderful essays by Sven Birkerts, Brian Doyle, Robin Hemley, David Jauss, Thomas Larson, and more. Plus other craft essays by Philip Graham and Mary Clearman … Continue reading
Several readers have asked if I had any other photos of Ragdale, especially of my room or of the prairie. So on the last day of the month in which I spent two amazing weeks in residency at Ragdale, I … Continue reading
For the last two weeks I’ve been an artist in residence at Ragdale in Lake Forest, Illinois. If you haven’t applied, apply now. The most wonderful people are here to make sure your work comes first and that you don’t … Continue reading
I’ve been doing too much, or trying to do too much. Contrary, Hunger Mountain, Catching Days, writing group, writing, family, life, read… Wait a minute. I haven’t been reading all that much. I used to read every evening–from after supper … Continue reading
Gargoyle 57 is now out with lots of new work, including a flash fiction story of mine. Here’s the opening of “Mackenzie”:
“I waited ‘til you got home,” Rim said, as I came into the den. He was standing by the open front door. I had just come in through the back, Mia in my arms. At the sound of his soft voice, I stopped where I was.
“Why?” I asked, wondering if the waiting was for him or for me.
Just a quick update: the rearranging of my study is temporarily on hold (things still sit in laundry baskets and all around me is still a HUGE mess) as I work on the revision of my novel like someone who has no other life. My third to last packet is due Friday, and I want to make it count.
What prompted me to stop in the middle of a page to check in here was that in the last few days of revising, more than once and again just now, I’ve deleted parts of the story that I really liked because a new opportunity has arisen. Each time, as I hesitated before changing, one of the five orange sticky notes on the front of the notebook containing my manuscript has popped into my head like one of those conversation bubbles. I don’t know where the words came from, but here they are:
Back to work…
Summer Contrary is online with new fiction, essays, and poetry, as well as reviews of these books :
Poetry: Northerners by Seth Abramson
Essays: Otherwise Known as the Human Condition by Geoff Dyer and A Journey with Two Maps by Eaven Boland
Fiction: And Yet They Were Happy by Helen Phillips, You Know When the Men Are Gone by Siobhan Fallon, and The Bird Sisters by Rebecca Rasmussen
Here’s the beginning of my review of The Bird Sisters:
When they were teenagers, Milly hoped to marry and have children, while Twiss hoped to stand on the Continental Divide and “to be the world’s most interesting spinster.” Rebecca Rasmussen’s debut novel, The Bird Sisters, opens at least half a century later with Milly and Twiss living together in the house where they grew up. Perhaps, as Twiss concludes, they just didn’t want those other things enough.