Maximum Capacity for the Writer

As I prepare to teach my first, full-length college-level fiction writing class, I think back on the writing advice that resonated with me over the years. I remember Mary Oliver’s advice: “Writing is like a date. Nothing happens if you don’t show up.” I remember the Willamette Writers Conference session where I grasped the subtleties […]

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On Writing the Serial Novel

I would never be so reductive as to say there were two kinds of writers. But there are two kinds of writers. Every agent website warms against the first kind. “Don’t,” they plead, “scribble out 50,000 words during NaNoWriMo, type ‘the end’ and send us your work without editing.” Today, however, I am interested in […]

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sweetbitter

Recently, my reading shelf has almost entirely included books that comment upon the duality of love and pain. The morning after my boyfriend left from visiting me in New York to return to Portland, I read this passage from Anne Carson’s Eros the Bittersweet on my morning commute at the very moment my train crested […]

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Bad Writing is Bad

Like just about every other artsy-fartsy, Millennial-generation dweeb in America, I’m currently participating in National Novel Writing Month – or NaNoWriMo.  For those unfamiliar with the concept, it’s pretty simple: participants spend the month of November writing a 50,000-word novel (which averages out to about 1,667 words per day).  The novel can be about whatever […]

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