What is an Adirondack Writer?

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?

Why writers are public intellectuals.

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.

NOT DEPRESSED for Memorial Day Weekend.

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.

Stories and the World #3: Oxford.

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.

Stories and the World #1: Egypt.

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.

How to write a novel. Part 2.

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.