The Best First Line of a Short Story… Ever?

Responding to my post about how much I love first lines, Adam told me that his high school English teacher used to say that the best opening line for a short story, ever, was this: “None of them knew the color of the sky.” —from “Open Boat” by Stephen Crane Now, no matter what IContinue reading “The Best First Line of a Short Story… Ever?”

Physical Memory

I have a physical memory when it comes to rejection. Reading a writer friend’s post on her own recent rejection sent my memory soaring back to the lobby of the Loew’s Village VII movie theater, the one with the narrow staircases between floors, and of standing in a distinct spot near the water fountain onContinue reading “Physical Memory”

MFA Nostalgia

Last night I visited my old campus. It’s a city campus, walled in, where I spent two-and-a-half years in MFA courses (I took an extra semester for thesis workshop) and then two-and-a-half more years “writing” the thesis (more like keeping my cheap & cushy couples housing that I won by lottery) and more years haveContinue reading “MFA Nostalgia”

Failed Fellowship Essays

1. Dear Fellowship Committee: Please, please, please let me in. I’ll owe you forever. Plus, I’ll bring chocolate. Kisses, Nova 2. I’ve had stories published here, here, here, here, and here. I was a fellow here. I have an MFA from here. I had a residency at this writers colony. I edited this literary journal.Continue reading “Failed Fellowship Essays”

My Writing Process on Display

Now that I’ve just completed (yes, completed!, for now…) the revision to my short story and sent it in to the editor—two days ahead of deadline—I’ve come to recognize the patterns in my writing process. Each time it seems new, the struggle. But I need to get myself used to it because it always willContinue reading “My Writing Process on Display”