Blog

Writing Trauma

Flannery O’Connor in Mystery and Manners said: “The longer you look at one object, the more of the world you see in it; and it’s well to remember that the serious fiction writer always writes about the whole world, no matter how limited his particular scene.” A symptom list of PTSD will give a reader…

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Survival: Dreams

Annie Dillard, the Pulitzer Prize winning essayist, in answer to a question from the audience about what is needed to become a writer, gave an answer, obvious, yet profound. It surprised me. She replied that the writer has to do more than live out in the world. In a firm voice she declared, “Our minds…

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Writer’s Block

I’ve been thinking about writer’s block. Grateful I don’t have it now, yet in the early writing days I was plagued by my harsh critic. My own expectations were sky high, the need to sound writerly came out sounding stilted. A too tight pair of designer jeans. When our clothes are too tight we don’t…

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Intentional Orphans

Writers often create from childhood experience. Deep, vivid memories, often recalled again and again as we age. They serve as an underlay and comparison to our current lives. My first post called “An Orphan Story” is a first grade memory. In third grade our teacher read the class The Boxcar Children and the fictional world…

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How My Book Began

My father painted watercolors, wrote poetry and carved large sculptures from logs. Often I watched him work in his studio. When I was five he started taking me to museums and art galleries. We discussed the work. His answer to my incessant questions was: Use your imagination. While riding in the car I turned the…

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An Orphan Story

Halfway through scrambled eggs and grits, my quiet morning broke apart. Out front, kids spilled over the sidewalks into the street, yelling and punching each other. Drivers slammed on brakes and hit their horns. The kids ignored them. “Who are they?” I couldn’t take my eyes off the front window. “Orphans, from the Children’s Home…

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