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A few weeks ago, Girls Write Now held its first-ever annual benefit and awards. It was a perfect evening--as authentic, inspirational and moving as the organization, and worthy of the girls and the wonderful professional women writers who serve as their mentors (like Alice Canick, pictured with her mentee, Paldon Dolma, here). As the board chair, I was asked to say a few words. But how could I convey the critical importance of this organization to the people in the room in just a few words? I decided to do it by asking two questions. First, "Who in this room has had a mentor who changed his or her life?" There was a show of hands, but by no means the majority of the attendees had been so lucky.…Continue
A few weeks ago, my friend and former jogging partner Ellen Sweet sent me this snapshot that she had just discovered while scanning old photographs into her computer. I remembered the picture, and I may even have a copy of it somewhere, but it was something of a shock to see it illuminated on my computer screen. The shot probably dates from the early 1980s when I had first started running along with half of Manhattan. From the beginning Ellen and I challenged ourselves by entering races in Central Park– races for women only, which this image seems to memorialize. (I should say for the record that Ellen, thinner and lighter, always ran faster than I did.) I think my personal best was a 10 and one half minute mile. A person could well walk faster than that! Still, we were quite faithful…Continue
In a couple of weeks, Hedgebrook’s second Vortext Salon for women writers will take place on Whidbey Island: three extraordinary days of workshops and conversation, in a beautiful setting, led by six renowned writers and teachers: Dorothy Allison, Karen Joy Fowler, Elizabeth George, Jane Hamilton, Ruth Ozeki and Gail Tsukiyama.
Vortext was just a gleam in Karen Joy Fowler’s eye a year ago, when she came to us with the idea of convening her compadres at Hedgebrook for a reunion and Salon. They taught together many moons ago (in the now defunct Maui Writer’s Conference), where they were the renegade literary women. Over the years, their friendships have deepened through raucous reunions in their homes: wine, good food and laughter flow abundantly as they share fresh work, critique early drafts of each other’s novels, commiserate about the business of being a woman writer, and cheer each other on.
In my last post (sorry for missing a week- I was on vacation!), I asked some author friends where they like to write. This week I asked them when they prefer to write. While I tend to be the most productive in the middle of the day and late afternoon/early evening, their answers were quite different:
You've just typed, "The End." Your first draft is completed. Perhaps you've been creating this masterpiece for several years, one scene at a time in between your day job and family obligations. Or perhaps you've just banged out this entire novel during the month of November. Now what? Here I offer a…
to live in this place,
walk down to see fish,
waterboat men, dimpling
rest amongst bird
song, tapping the wood.
know you have
a piece of mind,
Today's Wednesday Wonder is Mother Nature herself, who never fails to surprise and awe. Brown researchers have been studying a bat whose tongue uses blood flow to improve ability to feed. I've included a video showing the bat with the "hemodynamic nectar mop"; truly a wonder, this "nectar mop" has implications for medical technology design.…
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There are several serviceable biographies about child psychoanalyst Anna Freud, who lived from 1895 to 1982. But as a fictional memoir, Hysterical…Continue
A record of O’Barr’s personal and professional journey—one that paralleled…Continue