“…Memory doesn’t work directly…You might stub your toe one morning and your mind tumbles back to an old friend, who wrote poems, and introduced you one May to peonies. The buds secreted a sticky sweet juice that attracted ants. The ants crawled in and opened the big petals. The flowers couldn’t do it on their own, he said. With the sharp ache of your big toe, you remember everything about him. He died too young. You cry from the bottom of a dark well you didn’t know you had. “You can’t will a memory. Sure, you can doggedly recall details, but the true moment when the details merge with feeling—when the scene is alive—cannot be artificially born. It’s like combing the ocean, calling up an abyss—you don’t know what you will receive.” --Natalie Goldberg, [Continue Reading]
"Nothing can happen to you that is worse than living in fear that something could happen to you." --Unknown
What are you afraid of? Begin with the words, “I’m afraid…” Complete the rest of the sentence as many ways as you can, without thinking, without stopping.... [Continue Reading]
“I think setting is, curiously, almost always underrated by the beginner or the amateur, and almost always of intense importance to the accomplished writer. Why is that? We only have space and time. I suppose that time happens of its own accord in a story: this happened and then that happened. Whereas place must be achieved in words, it’s part of sleight-of-hand, finding the images and atmosphere to transport the reader to that far away.” --Janet Burroway, as interviewed by Elizabeth Stuckey-French
Make a list of ten-twenty places you no longer have access to (the crawl space under your grandmother’s front porch, your dorm room at the University of Colorado, your sixth floor walk-up New York apartment the summer you were 19).
Choose one and ... [Continue Reading]
"If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "Thank you," that would suffice." --Meister Eckhart