Month: February 2011

  • Ending Virginia Woolf

    This writing thing is an interesting process–learning to do it, learning to do it better, figuring out what to say. A lot of times it takes hearing the same thing from dozens of sources before it sinks in, before the learning writer internalizes the lesson. Part of the reason I’m working on this blog is […]

  • Writers, Virginia Woolf, and Suicide

    We can’t talk about Woolf without talking about her final act in the world: leaving it. Here’s what happened: In March 1941, with WWII having gone on for two years for England, she went to a river about three or four miles from her home, filled her pockets with stones, went in, and never came […]

  • Believing the "Truth" of Your Own Words: The Enemy of Revision

    “I love tremendous and sonorous words. But his words are too hearty to be true. Yet he is by this time convinced of their truth.” ~V.W. The Waves; the character of Bernard describing the Headmaster and his speeches Have you ever found yourself, whether verbally or silently, responding to a critique/workshop/mentor in a manner similar […]

  • The Transition Between Periods

    In her exploration of Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf made this observation: “Let us take Persuasion, the last completed novel, and look by its light at the books she might have written had she lived. There is a peculiar beauty and a peculiar dullness in Persuasion. The dullness is that which so often marks the transition […]

  • Love Letters: Inner Critic Trickery

    A buddy of mine was recently having issues with the Inner Critic. The beast has hunted writers throughout history. I’ve heard various bits of advice in handling this creature–writing letters to the Critic (Heckler, as my friend Deb calls him/her), writing fast (outpace him/her), etc. But, in the end, how a writer handles this demon […]

  • Recurring Themes and You

    We like to think that we’re saying something unique and original Every Single Time We Write…or at least, I do. Such is not always the case. Our lives are limited to, well, our lives. Our passions are limited to (you guessed it) our passions. In general, these things don’t radically change. Patterns emerge and repeat. […]

  • Why I Hate Weather

    Because it stops my critique group from meeting! Again! (This is the third–count it! 1-2-3!–time since December.) The whole reason all these blizzards are going on around the country has nothing at all to do with high or low fronts, jet streams, or whatever else might cause weather to go around. Nope. It’s all because […]

  • The Place on the Shelf

    For the last ten years, I worked for Barnes and Noble. Recently, I had the opportunity to finish school and go after my own writing career, which I’m happily pursuing at the moment–and that meant that I had to leave this wonderful place of business. A business that, I’m sure you won’t be surprised, works […]

  • We All Need a Lytton

    Keeping in the line of writers groups and mentors and honest critiquers, I’d like to point out a conversation that Woolf recorded in her diary between herself and Lytton Strachey (author of Eminent Victorians and fellow member of the Bloomsbury Group). First off, Lytton says to Virginia that he doesn’t like Mrs. Dalloway — he […]