Whether you’re worried about your daughter-in-law who treats Covid-19 patients in a NYC hospital (like I am), trying to double as a home-school teacher while tele-working, or scrambling to find health insurance when you’re newly unemployed, you’re probably dealing with a lot more stress today than you were a month ago. Even people in fairly stable situations are more anxious and isolated than normal.
In such times, it’s tempting to turn to books for a different perspective. Here are suggestions in case you want to double down and immerse yourself… Continue reading
Limned in the undersea glow
of the choice, fish-tank table
at the DLC, we meet
to swap news or secrets or
maybe truths. We dispel our
mothers, invoke our children,
compare mittens. What do I
want in a real friend, really?
Someone less heartless than I.
One clear-sighted and pensive,
who wields both hammer and pen,
who calms her anxious student,
who breathes French toute seule, and paints
cabinets blue. For me’s the friend
who respects hibernation
and stealth, who nudges me toward
my black fears and… Continue reading
I’m in a good place.
When I spoke to my agent a couple weeks ago, Kirby told me my latest draft has transformed my novel. The characters, he said, now leap off the page, and everything about the novel—the pacing, the world, and the plot—are all working. Certain scenes moved him deeply. In short, he loved it, and he wanted to know how I’d done what I’d done. As we talked and I explained how I’d rewritten the entire thing, taking out certain plot constraints so… Continue reading
In the last two weeks, I’ve started seven stories. Some are just a few paragraphs. Others have a few scenes. Each one starts me imagining a different world with new characters, and beyond what shows up on the page, all kinds of acrobatics spin in my mind. Will I finish all of these stories? No. I may not finish any of them, which is fine. These are explorations and dabbles, not assignments. These are about writing when I don’t know what I’m writing and trusting that time spent… Continue reading
I’ve finished the next draft of my novel—the eighth—and sent it off to my agent. I began this one in August and it was basically a complete rewrite, so this is a hard-won milestone. It’s time to catch up on my reading, tend to some Christmas prep, and daydream.
I expect I’ll do a little writing, too. It feels strange if I don’t.
When the sky darkens and the sun
goes down, I wonder if this is
the last time I’ll see daylight, if
the world will founder in the night
and take us all down with it, like
a doomed Titanic, like Pompeii
daring its friend Vesuvius.
But they are only rogue children
at the door, disguised and eager,
satisfied for the instant by
another candy bar, a spare,
clinking coin in the dragon hoard.