Adding Paper to My Diet

“You’re nearing fifty and haven’t published a book,” one voice had been saying.

“But you’ve published plenty, lots of good stuff all over the world, and had fun doing it,” replied another. And it was forever correct on that point.

Yet something else was true: more and more of my published work was being lost, disappearing more by the day.

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New novel drafted

I’m very happy to say I’ve finished the first draft of a new novel.

It’s about a wedding, a poisoning, a child revolt, and an alternate world. At least, that’s what it’s about for now. Some elements could change as I continue to read through and revise the book.

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The breath and the way


Credit: M. Jakubowski

As for this site, I have the urge to get back into the habit of posting regularly. (I’ve decided for better or worse not to edit too much.) Maybe a change is needed, would be fun, we’ll see, in my writing approach/approaches—this thought after reading some of Duras’s essays and articles and fragments that roil and startle with enough ego to power a new sun.

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Microinterview with Nell Zink

Photo credit: Fred Filkorn

I interviewed Nell Zink, author of The Wallcreeper, for The Paris Review’s blog. It’s one short question from me, one long lovely answer from her. (That’s not the whole story, of course, but it makes for a good one.)

What kind of jobs have you had? Do you write full-time now, “living the dream”?

I was always a bit concerned about purity of essence. I never wanted a job that might affect the way I wrote or thought. I remember how in college I was very proud of having finagled a job in the English department, where I spent most of my time collating and stapling. I didn’t major in English, obviously, because I preferred being challenged in courses where I might get bad grades. Once, Gordon Lish came to speak there and warned us explicitly against going to work in publishing, because it forces wallcreeperyou to read bad prose all day every day and spoils your style. After his talk, all the other student writers jumped up to beg him for jobs in publishing while I wandered off strengthened in my resolve to do manual labor.

Read the whole thing at The Paris Review: Purity of Essence: One Question for Nell Zink.