• Creative Writing,  first draft,  novel writing,  writing fiction

    At the Beginning – Again

    Walking through fog. With the headlamp on. Low. Paraphrasing a quote from E.L. Doctorow. This is what it’s like to write a novel. I keep telling myself that as I move forward, ever so slowly. These first infantile steps, as if I’ve never taken them before. “It’s like driving a car at night: you never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” from E. L. Doctorow, The Art of Fiction No. 94, interviewed by George Plimpton in The Paris Review. But I have. Three times. I have conceived and birthed three whole, healthy novels. (Well, two healthy ones anyway. My first was ill-formed…

  • Creative Writing,  Great Writers,  literary genres,  power of words,  writers support,  Writing Events

    Grace in Few Words

    The Writers Circle has been graced with the voices of several poets this session, some who declared themselves as such and others who have, unintentionally or out of sheer desperation, stumbled into this most challenging realm of brevity, nuance and meaning. It’s a miraculous thing to be able to distill words to their most compact and powerful. I’ve toyed with poetry for years and have rarely succeeded. I seem to prefer to wallow in the luxury of prose, all those words with which to play, expound, expand, express. See, I use far too many! But poetry’s spareness packs a wallop. In a few magnificently chosen phrases, the entire sweep of…

  • Creative Writing,  Great Writers

    The Freedom to Dream

    In Michael Chabon’s Manhood for Amateurs: The Wilderness of Childhood, he writes “Childhood is a branch of cartography.” Chabon muses about the long passages of time when, as a child, he was able to roam free, inventing his own reality as much as exploring it, creating an emotional map of the places where things happened. This emotional map is largely absent today in a time when children’s lives are circumscribed by schedules and “playdates”. For all our honest concern for our children’s safety and enrichment, we have largely removed that necessary freedom to explore, create and imagine from our children’s lives. But children are resilient. And they are natural explorers.…