Way back in 2008, I attended AWP in NYC, returning home as always with a head full of new ideas about publishing and writing. But one thing, above all else, lingers with me about that trip. Earlier in the week, I'd met two of my best writer pals, Karen and Susan, at the airport in … Continue reading AWP and The Faith of a Writer
Listen to Raymond Carver read "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love" . Who are some of your favorite writers? . . .
If my students remember anything about me, it will probably be how much I love Flannery O’Connor, Robert Olen Butler, Pinckney Benedict, Charles Baxter and other literary heroes. If they remember anything I’ve said, it will probably have something to do with conflict, the accumulation of detail, change, meaning, or desire. Yearning, I remind them, … Continue reading On Desire
Faulkner warns that we should "kill our darlings," but I have a slightly different take on that natty piece of advice. Throwing out what feels like our best work is never easy, and in truth, I never actually throw mine away. Rather, I toss it into a virtual junk drawer where I can go back later and … Continue reading Cannibalize Your Darlings
The best source I've found for explaining how to write flash is this article by David Gaffney in the Guardian. When I discuss flash with my students, I follow this flash-fiction PowerPoint, which I built almost solely around Gaffney's advice. Then I share several of my favorite flash stories that can be found around the web. The … Continue reading How to Write Flash Fiction
Here's an old post from my previous blog 50 shimmering pages. March 13, 2013 Yesterday, I spent the afternoon talking to 169 fifth graders. I was joined by a singer/songwriter, a policeman/karate instructor, a marine, and a nurse. The program was sponsored by a local nonprofit with a mission to help women and children explore … Continue reading Career Day
In order to understand meaning in short fiction, you may also want to look back at "What is a Story, as Opposed to a Vignette?" whereby I attempt to define a short story, and "The Intersection of Pity & Fear: A Look at Endings in Short Fiction" where part of what I attempt to unravel … Continue reading What We Mean When We Talk About Meaning in Short Fiction