Keeping to short forms these days. Flash fiction, poetry, something in between. I got busy during the summer moving to another apartment. This was followed by a two-week stay in New York City where I had planned to luxuriate in daily writing sessions. Writing I did, but it wasn’t as productive as planned. Something about tight spaces, places to be explored, heat and humidity. Thought I could rally the necessary discipline to power through and produce a first draft by the end of 2018. No dice. I’m not a trained poet, but here I am trying.  Lessons might be in … Continue reading Shorts

New and Old

New: Novel-in-progress. I smile as I write this because there isn’t a word of it written down. It’s all in the head at the moment. I’m taking a breezier approach with this one, not planning the chapters in advance, letting characters take shape and decide the course of things. I know their faces, their jobs. I feel their emptiness, know how to break their hearts. Someday I’ll give them life in pages. Old: Short story about a boy with a questionable gift. A beast, this one. It’s a story I truly want to tell, but why, oh why, is it … Continue reading New and Old

Lightness of a Beginning

What a year! Finished the novel–took me five years. It’s out there, looking for a home away from its fussy creator. Whether it gets published or not, it’s finished and I’m happy with what I accomplished. Writing it has definitely taught me a lot. Ideas for the next novel swim in my head. It’s just a matter of spotting the one that moves slower than the rest, the one fat with questions and worthy to be dissected for the next couple of years or so. Writing life aside, older sister got married last month. We were so busy with the … Continue reading Lightness of a Beginning


  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