Vida

The novel I'm working on takes its inspiration from a book of Marge Piercy's that I read when I was still a teenager. Vida tells the story of a fugitive radical, still living underground, still committed to her activist principles. Vida's story has stayed with me all these years like a kind of beacon and …

And… reboot

Two weeks ago, I had a fall at work and broke my wrist.  There's all sorts of things to say about being injured, or being injured at work, or being in pain and living one-handed -- all of it. For now, I'll just say this:  I'm trying to make the most of it. I have …

Redux

"The country no longer wanted leaders, evil or otherwise. In this new era, a performance and scripted words would do just fine." The novel I'm working on first situates itself in 1980. The line quoted above is a reflection from one of the characters, on Election Eve, as he watches the results come in. I've …

First you make a map

Long ago, I had a writing teacher who explained that when faced with dilemma of plot and story, her solution was, "First, you make a map."  I've returned to some version of this advice often over the years, liberally conjuring up maps of various shapes and sizes. Sometimes they are literal and hand drawn and …

If only

You could knit your way to a revision, making a book new with a set of needles and a skein of yarn. If only it were that easy, and life gave you this: instead of this: I've been struggling hard with the first 20 pages of this book, trying in this draft to get the …

How life changes

Was the title of an old, drafty blog I once kept, in which I tried to work through the forces that swept me along in my transition from professor of creative writing (how could you give that up? so many people asked) to critical care nurse (that sounds hard, what made you want to do …