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Mapping Unreal Places


Map of Wharfton and the Enclave

A summer ago, in Minnesota, I sat in my Aunt Rosemary’s lodge overlooking Island Lake and prepared to draw the map of Wharfton and the Enclave.  My son Michael and niece Maura offered to help.  I had the places all in my head, visually, but it was harder to set them down than I expected.  Logistics intruded.  It was important, for instance, that Gaia would be unlikely to stumble upon Mace’s bakery on her first trip to the prison, but… Continue reading

Learning Revising from Picasso

Postcards of Guernica

Postcards of Guernica

In the Reina Sofia Museum of Madrid, in the white-walled gallery that showcases Picasso’s Guernica, across from the masterpiece is a series of six photos Dora Maar took of the painting while it was in progress.  If you have the stubborn tenacity to thwart the crowd, you can stand in front of each photo and examine it closely, then go on to the next to see what Picasso changed and what he kept the same.  The horse rises.  The eyeball light emerges from… Continue reading

Leon at Eleven, Continued

(This is the continuation of the story that began September 17th, one post below.)

The cook was frowning at him now.  “How’d you get that?”

“It was an accident,” Leon said.  “Come on, Fiona.  We should go.”

“No, have a seat,” said the cook.  “I could use some help, actually.”

“What with?” Fiona asked.

The cook held up a strange tool with a handle and a curved, dull blade that circled around on itself in a wheel.  He passed it to Fiona.  “See… Continue reading

Leon at Eleven

(Here’s a bit story about a character from Birthmarked when he was a kid.)

He felt the moment she crawled onto the end of his bed.

“Leon?” Fiona whispered.  “Can I sleep with
you?”

Leon rubbed his face before he remembered his sore lip, and the pain brought him fully awake.  He squinted through the darkness at his stepsister and pulled his feet up to make more room for her.

“Did you have a nightmare or something?” Leon asked.

She nodded.  “Your real father… Continue reading

Where I’m Writing From

When asked to write a bio, I feel like I’m impersonating someone important and probably dead.  The truth is, I’m a lucky girl who grew up in a loving home, made it through school, married someone great and started my own family.  All the stuff about nuns, sandbox spiders, Alateen, my dog dying, volleyball and squash, the bakery, capsizing on Lake Nipigon, physics, singing in Ferrara, childbirth, teaching, my first kiss, and scuba diving slides into the deep background when I sit on my couch, imagining.  These… Continue reading

Caragh's Latest Favorite Reads

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Every Day
The Dog Stars
The Reinvention of Edison Thomas
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
The Fault in Our Stars
Two of a Kind
Until It Hurts to Stop


Caragh's books »

Audio Books

The audio books of BIRTHMARKED, PRIZED, PROMISED, and THE VAULT OF DREAMERS have been released by Tantor Audio. They're available through Tantor, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Audible.com.

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