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”

High School Kid Surveys Famous Novelists

I read something really funny on Mental Floss and I just had to repost some of it here. This 16 year old high school student got tired of arguing with his English teachers that the symbolisms they saw in the novels they read in class were mostly just the teacher’s mumbo jumbo. Rather than wastingContinue reading “High School Kid Surveys Famous Novelists”

Oh, No, A Blog Tour About The Writing Process!

Well, I’m actually flattered that I was tagged for this blog tour about my writing process and my work in process by the lovely, talented, and incredibly lyrical Emma Bolden, whose own responses to this four question blog tour you can find on her blog here. I’ve been very lucky that since I decided that IContinue reading “Oh, No, A Blog Tour About The Writing Process!”

Mermaids Who Create Retreat Night 2, Day 2

The Shrimp Cottage Circa 1962 is a bouquet of pastels, greens, blues, pinks, oranges, all tastefully matched to one another to create the kind of happiness I haven’t felt since playground time in elementary school.  I read in the guestbook that a mother with daughters and a grandmother stayed at this cottage in August andContinue reading “Mermaids Who Create Retreat Night 2, Day 2”

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?”

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”

The Stories I Teach and Why I Teach Them: #1 “A Good Man Is Hard To FInd”

I teach an undergraduate class in fiction at Georgia Southern University.  I often have to think which stories I can select from the amazingly large arsenal of great literature.  This is no easy feat.  I’ve decided to post a series of blogs on the selections I make, explaining why they lend themselves as good examplesContinue reading “The Stories I Teach and Why I Teach Them: #1 “A Good Man Is Hard To FInd””

Characters’ Hauntings

I’m one of those writers who believes that her characters are alive in a parallel Universe, living out different possibilities in exponentially larger options than my limited human mind can invent. But on some level I also know that I am my character’s god and that some of them are very much aware of me,Continue reading “Characters’ Hauntings”

The Writing Hour

I’ve heard of writers having all sorts of curious habits ever since I was in high school, but I have never really been obsessed with rituals and habits until recently, though I was always around plenty of other writers who had them. My roommate in college, for example, wouldn’t sit down to write a singleContinue reading “The Writing Hour”

Best Books For Teaching and Learning Story

What are the best books for students of fiction? I’ve been a student of fiction for the last twenty years. I’ve read a lot of books, interviews and essays about the craft of fiction, some as ancient as Aristotle’s Poetics, which still features on the top list of all the recommended readings for aspiring writers,Continue reading “Best Books For Teaching and Learning Story”