My Words Fly Up

Thirty Days

Further on the subject of practice. It may not necessarily make perfect (although a cat practicing the art of sleeping does appear to reach perfection), but practice does make better. And more practice makes better faster. That was, more or less, my daughter’s conclusion after completing an assignment for her high-school sociology class, which required

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Back to Beginnings

As I wrote earlier, I sometimes begin a new session of classes with a lesson I call Beginnings. And so I did again with the new winter class in Newburyport. Rather than going to the local bookstore to look for terrific openings, I checked books that either I, my son, or my daughter own. I

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As the Crow Flies

Patting Myself on the Back

Yesterday I sent down to my agent the complete, revised manuscript of As the Crow Flies. I am sure Paige will make revision suggestions–and she is usually right on the mark with her suggestions–but I am pleased with this version. Now I can move on to my next book idea and get the characters that

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A friend of mine took this photograph, one of about twenty he snapped of this grasshopper on a summer day. And one of the thousands and thousands and thousands of pictures he took over his lifetime. Just a visual example of that old joke: How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice.

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Know Thy Characters

As an editor, teacher, and writer, I always read with an eye toward learning about the writing craft. My books on writing could take flight in a strong wind, so many scraps of paper stick out of them, marking important points that I want to teach or use in my own work. The most easily

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Be Social


In which I blog about the days I write and the days I don’t write; about teaching about writing; about reading (which is never enough); and occasionally about music, because sometimes a three-minute song can tell as good a story as a novel.

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