Hand-sewn dining chair slipcovers—two sets of four pieces. Beef borsch (traditional recipe). Cleaned the gunk off the window ridges. Banana-chocolate chip bread, cottage cheese cake, and other baked experiments. Framed V’s oil painting and found a place for it alongside other photos and wall decorations. These are things I finished in the course of finishing a novel. They distract but they don’t derail. If anything, they are necessary (imagine looking past your laptop and noticing mud lacing your windowpanes). They are chores and passing whims; I am not built for devoting life to domestic perfection. Believe me when I … Continue reading Completion

Writing Weary…Again

Still revising the same story I mentioned last March. A piece drafted two years ago. Short stories are sly and merciless like that, quick to consume but take forever to create. Come on, tell me something new, I beg the lines as I do yet another reread. Our relationship is akin to that of a frustrated mother and her difficult child (I guess the adjectives could be flipped). I believe so much in this story, it’s something that is meant to be told; I won’t let it languish in the drawer of aborted drafts. There was a time when I … Continue reading Writing Weary…Again

Writer / Wanderer

…to me, a written piece is already “performing” once I’ve put it on paper. It’s already working for an audience (reader), even if it’s safely tucked away in my notebook (or saved in a drive). Drafts on paper make me pay more attention to the technical aspects of a written piece. Grammar, punctuation, and paragraph breaks are all important causes. But for me things that have more to do with the story’s soul—characters and setting, tone and theme, conflicts and resolutions—are more easily resolved when I’m not yet burdened by a hard copy. Continue reading Writer / Wanderer