I’m out of here. In fact, I’m offline until Winter Solstice (Dec. 22). There will not be any updates to the blog, my Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. This letter will be it from now until the holidays to focus completely on writing the final draft of the Emerson Novel and submitting fiction.Talk to you after the holidays.
Writers are habit beasts. We stick to what we know. When I was teaching creative writing at Paul Smith’s College, I asked this question: what does it mean to be an Adirondack Writer? You know Daniel Woodrell is identified as an Ozarks writer. Louise Penny—all of her work takes place in Ontario. Benjamin Percy writes… Continue reading What is an Adirondack Writer?
Warren Ellis writes about Umberto Eco as public intellectual, and compares Italy under Berlusconi to what sounds like the America we’re in right now. Ellis writes: “Pure reportage [is] conscious people telling you where they think we are and what they think it looks like.”Like Ta-Nehisi Coates, etc. Lots of great writers. Doing a highly… Continue reading Why writers are public intellectuals.
If you’ve read Mason Currey’s Daily Rituals or Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings you’ve probably seen the charts and data that shows the rituals of writers and when they are at their literary best. Most people tend towards either being a night owl writer, or a morning person. Haruki Murakami is a morning person; Barack Obama… Continue reading I’m a morning writer.
I’m still reeling about Anthony Bourdain’s death. I’m horribly sad about it. He was my generation’s Hunter S. Thompson and he wrote so fiercely and passionately with such vigor that he got me to give a shit about food and travel writing when I did not care. As someone struggling with depression what I’m learning… Continue reading On Anthony Bourdain.
From my last newsletter: I just finished reading Appreciative Advising by Jennifer Bloom, Bryan Hutson, and Ye He. I’ve had it for a few months now, ever since going to the Bloomington Academic Advisors Council Spring Conference because I’m very interested in taking my education career in this direction. That said, this week has been super-interesting… Continue reading NOT DEPRESSED for Memorial Day Weekend.
When we arrived at Somerville in July, a close friend said, “My life is a movie.” That’s when this storytelling bug clicked. The week long trips to the Lake District, hikes up the Louhrigg Fell at sunset, croquet on the lawn listening to Radiohead’s The Bends on repeat. [Me at Abby Road, London, July 2002]I came… Continue reading Stories and the World #3: Oxford.
When I think about stories what I try to do is make sure I pay attention to where I am, and reveal a little of myself to you. Get you a little drunk with ideas and dramatize the world we live in. We tell stories to reveal something to ourselves. These stories come in all shapes… Continue reading Stories and the World #2: Oxford.
After graduating from St. Bonaventure University, my father took me to Egypt as a graduation present. We saw the museum, the pyramids, and had many meetings at factories where my dad has done twenty-years of business. This was 2003, years before the Arab Spring. Jet lag hit me like a truck–at one point I fell asleep… Continue reading Stories and the World #1: Egypt.
This is continued from last week’s post.[Image from the edit of the first draft of Human Library]6. Structure each exercise as a separate exercise: within each exercise you’re working on a different element of telling a story. Each one will show you how your brain comes up with ideas. Think of it as stretching–you’re limbering… Continue reading How to write a novel. Part 2.