Here Is My Ruin / Here Is My Treasure

The title of my new chapbook, from Red Bird Chapbooks, is Where There Is Ruin. It’s a title I borrowed from a line by Sufi poet Mevlana*: “Where there is ruin, there is hope of treasure.” When I told my mother the title, she thought it sounded awfully bleak, and indeed the stories in this collectionContinue reading “Here Is My Ruin / Here Is My Treasure”

My literary tshirts

Earlier this week, my teenage nephew sent me a tshirt that has become — immediately upon its removal from the padded envelope — one of my favorite tshirts: Metaphors I mean seriously, how amazing is that? (It’s available from JC Penny if you want one of your own.) But it got me thinking about some of my otherContinue reading “My literary tshirts”

Sewanee memories

I have so many wonderful, wonderful memories of my nearly two weeks up “on The Mountain” at Sewanee Writers’ Conference. If I were a more disciplined memoirist, I could get a whole book out of those twelve days. But here, I have time only for these too-brief blog posts, so I’ll save my amazing workshop groupContinue reading “Sewanee memories”

Things I’ve done in Texas

Things I’ve heard most often while on book tour in Texas (in no particular order): So, no quotation marks. What’s up with that? I always knew you had it in you! Wait — you’re a vegetarian now? Really? Please tell your lovely wife hello! How much research did you do for this thing!? I want to getContinue reading “Things I’ve done in Texas”

Louisiana research trip: the photos

What follows is a series of photos — just some of the photos I took — from my trip to southwest Louisiana to research the final details of my Civil War novel, Hagridden. While my book isn’t strictly, solely historical, it is set in a certain historical and regional reality, and what details echo historyContinue reading “Louisiana research trip: the photos”

Photo blog 96

As I said last week, I’m in Texas. I’m still running around taking photos, but I’m also on vacation so I haven’t bothering uploading and culling them yet. But I do still have some photos from my last trip, which is what these are. They’re related to a scene in my story “A Few MayContinue reading “Photo blog 96”

A Writer’s Notebook: Kevin Sampsell and Chloe Caldwell’s nonfiction workshop

So, as I promised yesterday, here are (some of) my notes from Kevin Sampsell and Chloe Caldwell‘s excellent nonfiction workshop at Crow Arts Manor today. I’ll include a couple of quick headings in the notes so you know what you’re reading, but I’ll write more about some of the things we talked about afterward. For now,Continue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: Kevin Sampsell and Chloe Caldwell’s nonfiction workshop”

A Writer’s Notebook: NaNoWriMo update #3

Well, it’s (un)official:  Last Saturday, after two marathon writing sessions and just one day after last week’s update, I passed the 50,000-word goal.  That’s seventeen days early, and two days earlier than I crossed the finish line last year.  It feels epic. And it happened right on time, too, because I spent the day afterContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: NaNoWriMo update #3”

Photo blog 29

Translated from the German:  “The soul lives on.”  In the Cemetery of the Nameless, Vienna, Austria, 30 November 2009. This image isn’t directly related to my NaNoWriMo novel, but I am getting to a place in my novel where I might start writing about cemeteries, and the Friedhof der Namenlosen has become for me aContinue reading “Photo blog 29”