Category: Writing

  • Scared Kid Writes Horror

    Scared Kid Writes Horror

    The dark hides me. It’s safer here, hidden. My mother tells me this story later: she heard crying, a child, outside. She thought “That sounds like Jenny.” She goes outside and finds two-year-old me, outside, in the middle of the night, when I’m supposed to be in bed. This is the first recorded time of […]

  • The 5 Books on My Desk

    The 5 Books on My Desk

    I don’t know about you guys, but sometimes…writing is hard. Today I struggled. And I did not accomplish much. (The kitchen is clean. There’s that. It counts.) To help combat the doldrums I keep five writing books within reach of my desk. I thought that if anyone else was struggling — especially in the middle […]

  • Playlists

    At the keyboard, waiting for words to come, I often flip over to Spotify, looking for new playlists. Always hunting for some melody, some tangible experience I haven’t heard before. Triggering some thought I haven’t thought before. I ask friends on Facebook for songs and create new playlists. I browse playlists already created in genres […]

  • 3 Writing Tricks To Steal From Fleur Bradley’s MIDNIGHT AT THE BARCLAY HOTEL

    A couple weeks ago, I was the lucky duck who received an advanced reading copy of my dear friend’s (hi, Fleur!) newest novel for middle grade readers: Midnight at the Barclay Hotel. My review of the story is up at Criminal Element which you can check out here. But I thought it’d be useful for […]

  • Edith Wharton on Writing a War Story…or a Love Story…or a Comedic Story…or a Story Story

    In September 1919, Woman’s Home Companion published a lovely little nugget of story by Edith Wharton. “Writing a War Story” is the tale of Ivy Spang, a poetess-turned-short-story-writer. Working as a nurse in France during WWI, Miss Spang is commissioned by an editor at the magazine “The Man-at-Arms.” He tells her that he wishes her to […]

  • Write Expecting to be Read: Mary Shelley’s Journals

    When I was younger – maybe eleven or twelve – my mother told me never to write down anything I didn’t want someone else to read. If I kept a diary or a journal, I needed to make sure I meant what I said. And I should never write down anything I would not say […]

  • Objects and Force

  • Kerouac’s Genius/Interpreter Theory vs. Jenny’s Genius/Genius Theory

    We’re going to finish up our exploration of Kerouac with a couple of differing opinions on the form “genius” takes. “Let’s examine the word ‘genius.’ It doesn’t mean screwiness or eccentricity or excessive ‘talent.’ It is derived from the Latin word gignere (to beget) and a genius is simply a person who originates something never […]

  • Writing the Windblown, Schizophrenic World

    I came across this fascinating book called Windblown World: The Journals of Jack Kerouac 1947-1954 — which covers the period of time when he wrote his first novel The Town and the City and his second On the Road. Basically, it’s a log of his word counts, which are insanely high (but we talked before about […]

  • 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 […]