Story Makers and Story Chasers – a theory

This came up because I was reading a book by Stephanie Feldman titled The Angel of Losses.  I really liked it, in spite of the fact that it was kind of a mess, structure-wise, meandering and digressing at every turn, and I could feel at times the frustration of the writer trying to contain thisContinue reading “Story Makers and Story Chasers – a theory”

I Teach People To Feel — That’s What Writers Do

For years since I first made the leap from adjunct teaching mostly comp classes to teaching only creative writing as a tenure track professor, I felt guilty for all the privileges I had suddenly acquired: not for the reduced workload, because the hours gained were quickly replaced by more challenging service and community work, endless administrativeContinue reading “I Teach People To Feel — That’s What Writers Do”

A Valentine for My Muse

Dearest Muse, It’s been twenty or so years since we’ve met, fifteen or more since we decided to commit to each other, and what do I bring to you, if not this sorry apology? Again, today, I was grading. Again, today, instead of wooing you with chocolate and champagne, I ran off with Teaching, leavingContinue reading “A Valentine for My Muse”

Want A Dream? Do Your Homework

I was recently at a conference. It was a relatively new conference and it looked like the organizers were still trying to figure it out: self-published writers are together with trade publishers, young adult merges into adult fiction, into Christian romance, into children’s book, all thrown together without thought.  Still, it’s nice and informal. There’sContinue reading “Want A Dream? Do Your Homework”

A Question of Sex: Sexy Novels Without Sex?

I’ve been doing some thinking about revamping a novel I wrote a while back, rethinking the plot, etc.  But here is a question at large:  would you, as a reader, get angry reading a novel that has a lot of sexual tension in it between the main characters if it turned out that the twoContinue reading “A Question of Sex: Sexy Novels Without Sex?”

Why Do I Write?

This is a question I ask my students to pose themselves when they take my creative writing class.  I want them to be clear about why they do what they want to do right at the start of the semester because so many people have this idea that creative writing is so much fun andContinue reading “Why Do I Write?”

Why Creative Writing Is Necessary to Our Collective Future

We’re at the start of the semester.  Class bells ring merrily, the halls are filled with purposeful chatter and with the shuffling of feet. This is the time when we look to the new faces on campus and think, Could you be the one? For professors, that question is not one of romantic entanglement.  WeContinue reading “Why Creative Writing Is Necessary to Our Collective Future”

The Biology of Writing (Or Not Writing) Creatively

I love brain science. Ever since I was a child and I heard that human beings use only 10% of their brain’s capacity (since proven to be a myth) I wanted to have a job where I would get to study the brain all day long. I didn’t become a neuroscientist — in part becauseContinue reading “The Biology of Writing (Or Not Writing) Creatively”

An Alternative To Shitty First Drafts?

To be straight: I revise. I revise and revise and revise and revise and revise and revise… You get the drift. And if you’re mathematically inclined, just add an exponent and use the alef. When do I stop revising? When I look at the thing and feel like vomiting.  Seriously. But I have had theContinue reading “An Alternative To Shitty First Drafts?”

Fake Reviews and blah, blah, blah

One of my favorite students said, “That’s the problem with Amazon Reviews: they should not call them Reviews; they should call them Opinions.” If you’re the soundbite kind of person, a Twitter type loving the 25 words or less kind of thing, this post is about this: I don’t like a star rating on aContinue reading “Fake Reviews and blah, blah, blah”