November 29, 2019
Fiction, Memory, and Family
I reread books, often because a story or scene moved me and I want to know how the writer engineered it. It’s exciting to flip back to the first page and say, “of course! Of course the story ends ...
November 26, 2019
1. Desk: the desk belongs to my partner, Bradford Werner. He covered it in plastic during his university years. I poke fun of him for it, but the wood is pristine. I cleaned for this photo, but if you ...
November 23, 2019
Getting Over Getting Stuck
That Tiny Life, the title story of my collection, is about family—about distance that grows between families over time. I can tell you that now because the story is written. Writing it, I didn’t know ...
November 19, 2019
Revision Part Two, Long Projects
Short stories, essays, or poems are wonderful to revise—I say this while I’m revising a longer project, but story length does make a difference. You can reading through a short draft in an afternoon, ...
November 15, 2019
Revision Part One
Revision, where the piled fragments of a draft shift and reassemble, is my favourite part of writing. It’s where the most substantial changes happen, and a story is overhauled in ways that are surprising ...
November 12, 2019
After the initial idea for a story is grounded, but before there’s enough material for real revisions and edits, writers are somehow expected to get words on the page. This is intimidating! Here a couple ...
November 07, 2019
Where Ideas Begin
Questions every writer is familiar with: “Where did you get the idea?” or “How did you decide what to write about?”How did Denis Johnson decide to make a character obsessed with Elvis Presley’s ...
November 04, 2019
Music, Writing, and the Practice of Art
Like many people in the arts, I have a number of jobs. For me, that includes writing, teaching writing, transcribing music notation, and teaching music.Teaching music came first. For the last fifteen ...