My Words Fly Up

dreams of a writing career

While Working for a Publishing Company…

I grew up with the New York Times. Even though we lived in Philadelphia, my parents both read the Sunday Times. Naturally, when I lived in New York after college, the Sunday Times was sacrosanct. When I moved to New Hampshire, I would stroll up to the local corner store early Sunday mornings to buy

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The Essential and Fun Task of Research

A few years ago, I started the novel that became As the Crow Flies. Two basic things I knew were that much of the novel would be set in a fictional town I had created in my previous book, and that part would be set in Edinburgh in the late 1990s. I also knew that

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What to Read?

Late last Wednesday night, I finished the book I was currently reading: A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler. I read it quickly, mesmerized as I always am with how she presents the largely ordinary lives of largely ordinary people (they do have their quirks, their exaggerations, as all good fictional characters do) in

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Keeping a Process Journal

I recently read The Art of Slow Writing by Louise DeSalvo. The author is a professor at Hunter College, where she began the college’s MFA in Memoir program, and has also published numerous books. In this particular book she assures writers that it’s perfectly all right to take a long time to complete a writing

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What You Know When You Revise

A student in my writing workshop has been working on a novel for the past year. When Vicki first presented the just-begun novel to class, she read a beautifully written prologue that followed a middle-aged man as he drove through the countryside outside of Memphis, back to where his father once had a farm. In

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Bribing Myself with Coffee

There may be a book about writing out there that doesn’t recommend writing every day, but I haven’t read it. Anne Lamott even recommends writing at the same time every day. I recommend it myself, as I wrote here. Do I practice it? No. Not since my oldest child was three or four, and that

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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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