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Goodwill, The Story Needs It

There are all sorts of promises a storyteller can make to her audience, but one of the cardinal ones is, I think, “I won’t come between you and the entertainment.”  By which I mean, during a dramatic moment I won’t break the tension with silliness; I won’t ask you to believe six impossible things before you know who the characters are; I won’t present my story as intelligent and undercut it with dumb; I won’t drag you through fascinating-to-me-alone arcana and forget where I was going in telling the tale.… Read more Goodwill, The Story Needs It

Cats and Boyfriends

I have been derelict, for which I apologize.  And I really ought to write a post for SarahTolerance.com first, but I’m mulling something over there, after several posts about Regency sewing (!) and here I can talk about less, um, historical things.  Like cats.  And old boyfriends. I no longer have cats because we’re all allergic to them.  While it was just me, and I was acclimated to my late cat Alexis, this didn’t matter.  Then I got married and had a kid and, sixteen months into the kid’s life,… Read more Cats and Boyfriends

Oscar Wilde said “a poet can survive everything but a missprint.”  I suspect that that’s a slight overstatement.  And yet, there’s no denying that a typo can really mess with… Read more

600 Miles Through Rough Country

Some days I swear that, writing-wise, I’m like Bart Simpson* muttering “can’t sleep clowns will eat me.”  Except, of course, I substitute write for sleep.  Why will the clowns eat me?  The temptation to be really really glib here is almost overpowering, but I’m going to try to play this one straight. I’m trying to finish three short stories and start a new book.  I know what all four works are about; what I don’t exactly have a handle on is some of the events in those stories. This is… Read more 600 Miles Through Rough Country

Ur Doing it Rite

My friend Janni Simner wrote a great piece last week on finding the writing process that works for you.  Go read it.  No, really.  It’s terrific.  I’ll just wait here. I am one of those neurotic folks who thinks that everyone else was issued a full set of instructions at birth. For everything–friendship, clothes, housekeeping, parenting, business.   Mostly I’ve learned to background that assumption, or even forget it for long periods of time.  (I am always convinced that people I think are cool must have homes that are tidier… Read more Ur Doing it Rite

Obscenity

I missed last week’s post (I really am trying to post weekly) because I was in Massachusetts for my father’s memorial party.  Yes, I said party.  My father was a big believer in parties, and he left very specific instructions about this one: the Dixieland band that was to play us down to the river where his ashes were to be scattered (by plane) and then triumphantly back again afterward, a real New Orleans funeral; the specific locale; and no “memorial service” or religious overtones whatsoever.  Oh, and the party… Read more Obscenity