one theme, (at least) thirty variations (from 1971 Women’s Day magazine)
Here’s a piece of too-clever-wordy-nerdy-play-that-doesn’t-fit, torn from an essay I’m writing under the shadow of the toxic patriarchy.
The fragment won’t go back in.
Wanted to put it somewhere, thank it for its service:
Forget/forgive, unfortunate, those words with similar opening: we link them as if they are sisters, but they have so little in common. F-O-R. Three letters. A pile of bones.
Where I worked today. (Head cup by Beth Holyoke)
I finished typing up the Bewildering Whatever-it-is begun at Omega with Nick Flynn (and mentioned here). I don’t know what it is or will be. I keep thinking of it as a coil of DNA for a memoir. It’s about 13,000 words. There will be more words as I uncoil and discover itself.
Last night, I dreamt an agent said there’s a lack of confident storytelling in my novel. (When I woke, and did today’s letter to the inner critic, I asked the critic what she does while I sleep.) I don’t think it’s true that there’s a lack of confident storytelling in my novel. Laughed it off.
Within a few hours, I got a kind rejection from an agent who has some very big name clients. (Another agent at her agency, whom I had approached to represent me, had been complimentary about the novel, and on her own initiative, forwarded the manuscript to this big-name agent thinking it might be more her style.) The big-name agent got back to me quickly, and was also complimentary about the novel, said, “It’s full of mystery and atmosphere, poetry, even.” But said she doesn’t think she could sell it. I understand it’s a business. I’m grateful for the kind words about my writing. I trust someday I will find an agent or press who will say YES, and take a risk on my work.
May it be sooner than later.
Maybe we’ll write about garlic. Who knows?
Dive Into Your Story!
I’m thrilled to be teaching at the Antioch Writers’ Workshop one-day “Dive into your story” workshop. We’ll play!
When: Saturday, March 24, 2018, 9am-4:30pm
Where: University of Dayton
To register, go here.
Fall cleaning and (finally, again) rifling through piles of paper so I can some day love my office…I found evidence that my new project is actually quite old. Turns out I’ve been writing it for years.
It’s hard to articulate how comforting this is. Like finding out you are who you always thought & hoped you were. Soon I’ll have the luxury of going to a week-long workshop where I can dive into that mess.
(SFA socks from my dear friend Sally)
WRITER’S PLAY TIME
Rediscover and liberate your sense of play! Unleash your creative spark! Demystify and disarm the inner critical voice that’s holding you back! Nourish any creative process. Inspired by the work of Lynda Barry (Artist and author of WHAT IT IS and SYLLABUS) we will write and draw and move. Please wear comfortable clothing. Must be 13 years or older.
WHERE: Yellow Springs Library
WHEN: Sunday, September 10, 2017 from 2-4 PM
I just found a great piece of advice (with an exercise!) from Lynda Barry on the Omega website.
“I’m worried about our relationship to our hands, and the kind of intuition they make possible. One of the things I love to do is help people find ways to reestablish that relationship. People long for creative activity without realizing it really is right at their fingertips.” –Lynda Barry
Visit this link to find more, and do the exercise.
(Photo: Venice, Italy, June 2017. Activity: anywhere, anytime.)
I’m thrilled to offer WRITER’S PLAY TIME, a FREE (!) WORKSHOP AT YELLOW SPRINGS LIBRARY, Sunday, September 10, 2017. In other words:
Rediscover and liberate your sense of play! Unleash your creative spark! Demystify and disarm the inner critical voice that’s holding you back! Nourish any creative process. Inspired by the work of Lynda Barry (Artist and author of WHAT IT IS and SYLLABUS) we will write and draw and move. Please wear comfortable clothing. 13 yrs and older.
Limited space—Registration opens on August 20. For more information, please visit the library event page.
Today, I feel like I gave birth to a 13- or 16-year-old (depending on when you consider the moment of literary conception) because I finished my novel. Finished as in finished; it’s packed and ready to go out into the world for the first time…evicted from living merely in my mind, where it had loving and helpful visitors, including a marvelous muse, editor, and doula (my husband, Robert Wexler) but where the novel has lived too long.
(fragment from the original idea, 2001)
My original note for the concept (a tornado girl loses her memory and can see the memories of others) is dated 2001. The first page of the handwritten draft is dated 2004.
So however you count, it’s been a long time.
I’m grateful to the novel’s loving and helpful visitors. I’m exhausted and pleased and a little shocked to be vacated by its presence.
I’m thrilled to again offer a healing writing practice as part of the Winter Wellness series at the Greene County Library. This event is free and open to the public (21 years and older), but the librarians are asking people to register. (And we need to honor the librarians, for they are part of saving the world.) Last year, we had a great turnout—25 people or so!
Join me as we practice writing together using helpful prompts to discover and know ourselves. We’ll unmask and disarm the inner critic, and I might sneak in some drawing, too. It’s great way to start the new year!
When: Sunday, January 15, 2-4pm
Where: Greene County Public Library, 415 Xenia Ave, Yellow Springs, OH 45387
To registration, go here, or call the library at 937-352-4003.
I’m thrilled to announce that my short story “Curb Day” was accepted for Shadows and Tall Trees 7, forthcoming from Undertow Publications. It’s particularly exciting to me because, as I blogged here, in writing this piece, I adapted a process from Lynda Barry‘s process…and it was such fun to dig through compost from last spring’s embryonic essay about junk week and turn it into a story. I’m grateful to Michael Kelly at Undertow for accepting the results. Shadows and Tall Trees 7 will be available in March 2017.