Category: Process

  • White Paper – Wilt Thou Be My Confident?: Grief and Creation

    On July 8, 1822, poet Percy Bysshe Shelley died in a boating accident. Months later, Mary Shelley wrote the following in her journal: If you ever get the chance to read the whole entry, it will break your heart. (If you’re not a cold-hearted bastard, that is.) She continues to explain how the only comfort […]

  • Lightning, the Lightning Bug, and the Price of Some of Kerouac’s Revisions

    **Be forewarned, adult language/content** Mark Twain once said something like (I don’t have the direct quote in front of me): “the difference between the right word and the almost-right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.” Agree or disagree, Twain has a point. To illustrate, I give you two passages from On the Road […]

  • Charactouac? or Kerouacter?

    “New Criticism locates meaning in the internal qualities of literary works, specifically the unity of their multiple verbal structures. as much as it values unity and convergence, New Criticism eschews authorial intent and historical context as bases for interpretation, although it allows that they might supplement understanding.” ~Joshua Kupetz, “The Straight Line Will Take You […]

  • Kerouac’s Collaborative Circle: Indirect Collaboration

    You may think that all you need to write good books is will-power, a stellar idea, and a cave. You may think that hiding in a cubby hole with a full-battery-power laptop is all there is to turning out a tale worth telling. Perhaps you’re a poet who thinks that a lonely hill, some loose […]

  • Kerouac, Burroughs, and Direct Collaboration

    Kerouac, Burroughs, and Direct Collaboration Direct collaboration, as opposed to indirect collaboration (which we’ll talk about next week) is where a writer works directly with one or more people on a specific piece. Jess Weaver and I developing the Christmas play for Springs Ensemble Theatre’s winter show is an example. Shameless self-promotion moment: Writers working with […]

  • The Kerouac-Ginsberg Letters: You Have to Write More than You Think

    Jack Kerouac attended Columbia University for a while. It was there he met and started hanging around with some other names you may know – most notable fellow novelist William S. Burroughs and the poet Allen Ginsberg. Because we can’t talk Kerouac without talking about his crew, we get a two-for-one mentorship deal! Starting in […]

  • Pace Yourself: Using Nora Roberts’ Insane Productivity to Inspire Your Own

    Writing math is the only kind of math that I do. (I’m a writer, I do words. Numbers are another beast.) I’m constantly figuring and re-figuring how many words I need per day to complete my novel by X date. The date keeps moving because, inevitably, I’ll miss a day or three in my allotted […]

  • Good Omens/Collaboration

    *This week’s Monday post is brought to you early by Really-Busy-Tomorrow Cereal! In a post the other day, Jenny asked me what I thought of our new collaborative adventures. To Jenny, I say, Good Omens. Oh my, how I love when things sync up like that. The book in question is a delightful collaboration between […]