Writing vs. The To-Do List
Writing is at the top of my to-do list. It’s listed there in large, blue type so I see it first thing whenever I open the file. It comes before completing a project for my granddaughters, ordering a flag, sending a condolence note, sending bookplates to a couple of readers, writing a thank you note, returning emails, and making a photo album for 2021. The other things matter to me, some a great deal, and some are so timely they get moved high on the list. But if I start… Continue reading
The Plot of Lies
Sometimes, when I take a break from a novel to write a short story, I end up with a piece that is unlike anything else I’ve ever known. Such is the case with “The Plot of Lies,” a story about writing stories, also known as metafiction. To my delight, the story was picked up by the quirky Canadian online magazine Fleas on the Dog, which is the perfect home for it. Issue 11 is up now, and free, for anyone who wants to pop by and take a look… Continue reading
April Fool’s Day 2022
There’s a spider on your back.
That’s what we always told each
other on April Fool’s Day
when I was a kid. I had
a tiny inchworm in my
hair for real this Tuesday night,
and even after a friend
removed it for me, I kept
expecting to feel the bug
dropping down my neck.
Living With the Difficulty of a Novel
Measuring progress can be tricky, especially for a writer who doesn’t have pages adding up, let alone when a writer is deleting them. Over the past month, I’ve hardly written any words in the main document of my novel. I’ve detoured instead into research, character studies, and questioning the shape of the entire project.
For a while, I was worried enough that I searched for the basics of novel writing and rediscovered the stuff about honing a one-sentence concept, building on that for an outline, expanding next to chapter paragraphs,… Continue reading
Beaches lend themselves to pondering eternity, and often, in Januarys, I’ve visited Florida and contemplated the past and the future. If you ask me, the continuum of time is fleeting, almost immaterial. We can see ahead and behind in the families playing at the edge of the waves, the generations spelled out for us when a toddler tests the wet sand with his toes while grasping his grandmother’s hand. The two are interchangeable, in a way, different spokes on the same spinning wheel.
Now that I’m home, I’m back on… Continue reading
Iterations of a Writer
At the top of my Journal document, where I’ll see it every morning, is a blue message that reads:
The only failing is not trying at all. That’s the loss, the mistake, the cowardice. Be brave, Caragh. Be brave. Face this book you started. It was a good start. You wanted to finish a draft by the end of this year, so do it. Get on it. Go slowly if you must, but go. The rest can all wait, all of it, until later.
It’s a message from my past… Continue reading