Monday, November 1, 2010

great advice

In his preface to In The Heart Of The Heart Of The Country, William Gass writes about the creative process, and how he makes lists. Here’s one of his lists. I love this list. It’s dead-on.
1. Continue work . . .
2. Study the masters . . .
3. Do deliberate exercises . . .
4. Regularly enter notes . . . sharpen that peculiar and forgetful eye . . .
5. Take to sketching . . . details . . . exactitude . . .
6. Be steeped in history . . .
7. . . . the better word . . . the better word . . . the better word . . .
8. Figure it will be five years before any . . .
9. Wait . . .

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Magnet Words

Love sometimes slips.
I nestle it back,
check on you and I.
Still there, snuggled in verbs.
It's not the nouns
that hold us together,
it's the doing.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


I am the sum of all my characters.
In Japanese
I would be more
than you could bear.
I have killed mothers.

Don't ask me for more.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I'm going to write an essay about how readers get jealous of fictional characters. Do you ever become so jealous of a fictional character that you dislike them because they have what you don't? And, if you could be any fictional character, who would you choose? I'm reading The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, for the Loganberry Book Club, and both narrators are way more intelligent than I am. They're so smart, and offer deep, compelling thoughts and epiphanies on every page. I lust for a mind that can make those kinds of connections. I'm not sure if I like either one of them yet, but I do feel jealousy creeping in, shaping my emotional connection. I wouldn't want to be them, I don't think-- I'm not sure what fictional character I would want to be, but I'm going to think about it, and hope you do to, and pass me on your thoughts.