Who is Steven Millhauser? I was first introduced to his fiction when I was 22 and in graduate school; the book was Martin Dressler, the city New York, and if you write a dreamy, magical-realist take of Manhattan a century ago, you've got me at the first page, even way back then. Then, years later, … Continue reading Who Is . . . ?
I don't know how many posts I've deleted instead of publishing them this week. I'm in the part of the downward spiral where you try to explain it to yourself, to others, and then you see there's no real reason for what you're feeling, any excuse pathetic, but you've got all this motion going and … Continue reading The Downer Post
So I wonder if I should include a little disclaimer on my cover note when I send out my next batch of story submissions: If you've already seen a version of this story—or, worse, have it in your slush pile and haven't gotten around to rejecting it yet—please forgive me. My hard-drive died and I … Continue reading Submitting Stories While Blindfolded
Here are my Tried-and-True Tips for How to Wake Yourself Up When It's Saturday Morning and You're Drifting on the Couch and the Clock is Ticking and You Have Just Two Days to Write and Sleep Is Not an Option: Keep a lamp on, shining down directly in your face; it's extremely uncomfortable, and hot … Continue reading Don’t Wanna Get Up?
I spent two hours in another life yesterday. I had a long lunch with my editor in the middle of my workday, as if I were a real author. At the restaurant, for a short time, it felt like I was. We talked about what the head of the imprint had to say about my … Continue reading One Day, Two Lives
I am plotting out my book in great detail, scene by scene by scene, a method I've only really used for work-for-hire novels (because I had to, under the contract), but I guess for my own stuff it could be helpful, too. I don't have to stick to it exactly when I'm writing... But as … Continue reading My Painfully Slow Progress
I was walking east toward Broadway—a light wind, a rising sun, just minding both my own business and the occasional garden hose washing the beer off the sidewalks—when I turned the corner and had this uplifting moment of clarity. It was about writing, and not. About life, and more. A perfect moment, really, in which … Continue reading Bug in Your Eye
In honor of Friday the 13th, here's one of mine: If I don't get up early every single morning, if I don't write every single day, if I spend a night hanging out with a friend, if I skip a day because I'm tired, if I watch too much TV, if I can't get up … Continue reading Writing Superstition
I keep getting pulled in new directions. I'll be sitting at my desk doing whatever it is I do all day and I'll look up and think, Wow, I've really got to get rid of all my old clothes and books and papers and rearrange the bedroom and maybe I should get to that tomorrow. … Continue reading Maybe Tomorrow
On a lighter note, so innocent pre-rejection, I had to return some clothes yesterday. One item was a black dress that looked like I was wearing a sack. The other a pair of work-shorts. Who wears work shorts? People much taller than me, obviously. So I went to the store to make the returns and, … Continue reading Shopping Excursion