Every year we have the stunning Japanese maple in our back yard trimmed by a gifted gardener. Each time, I’m astonished to see the graceful structure of the tree’s inner limbs, their beauty revealed after excess branches have been cut away.
One of the great joys of writing, for me, lies in revision, especially cutting words, sentences, even paragraphs, from my own breathless prose. Though there’s satisfaction in that first draft, where I face the blank page and let ideas fly,…Continue
I’ve been sitting at my computer wondering if it’s selfish to be staring at the screen, searching for the perfect word, when our democracy is under threat? What is my role in times like these; what can writers do?
Searching for writers’ impacts in previous eras I think first of the long, difficult sojourn of African Americans, for whom every decade of their four hundred years on this soil has been perilous. But part of the resilience they built came from inspirational…Continue
Recently I was outraged after I finished the last pages of a novel I’d loved. “What?” I railed. “How could the author abandon one of the two main characters, let her disappear so completely I’ve no idea of her fate. Give me a hint. One sentence, please!” We do get a scene of her husband after the family’s deportation, as he approaches the ancestral village, anticipating the luxury their U.S. dollars will afford.…Continue
“It is always a thrilling risk to say exactly what you mean, to express exactly what you see,” wrote the marvelous author Patricia Hampl. Each sentence we write boldly asserts, This is my viewpoint and I believe it worthy of utterance.
That takes courage, especially for women constantly defined as “other,” with its…Continue