A Writer’s Notebook: first lines for essays

My creative nonfiction class is working on an exercise this weekend. I’ve got them doing the map-making exercise from Bill Roorbach’s Writing Life Stories, but I’ve done that one here on the blog before. It’s worth doing again (and again, and again), but I promised them I’d share my writing from the exercise we didContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: first lines for essays”

A Writer’s Notebook: some kind of revision

The time-travel entry! (The date says Friday, but we all know it’s Saturday and I’m late in posting this. But I did write it yesterday, while sitting in my chiropractor’s waiting room.) Original: “The people made such a fuss because they are worried,” Bobby continued for her. “Nothing like this has ever happened, Nessie. Nobody hasContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: some kind of revision”

A Writer’s Notebook: someone else’s writing exercise

I posted a blank page two weeks ago and, still exhausted from national events and from finishing a school year, I missed last week’s entry entirely. And with a whole new year just days away, I had thought about skipping this week’s entry, too, and starting fresh in January. But then this happened. A yearContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: someone else’s writing exercise”

A Writer’s Notebook: a blank page

Today, dozens of very young children and at least a handful of adults are dead in Newport, Connecticut after a singe shooter opened fire in the elementary school there. And I cannot write anything here today. I have a lot of things to say today, actually. And I’ve written a lot of them down. I’veContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: a blank page”

A Writer’s Notebook: NaNoWriMo 2012, dead and gone

Those of you who actually follow may have been wondering where I’ve been. What’s more, you’re probably wondering what happened to NaNoWriMo and the Writer’s Notebook. As for the latter, the short answer is that I didn’t finish, for the first time since I started. The longer answer I hinted at in my last PhotoContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: NaNoWriMo 2012, dead and gone”

A Writer’s Notebook: NaNoWriMo 2012, week 3

Man, I cannot believe I have only a week left. And you know what? This might be the year I don’t make it. It’s not for lack of trying. I’ve just been busy with schoolwork and, somewhat unexpectedly, moving. Because, you see, my wife and I have just bought a house. Or will have whenContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: NaNoWriMo 2012, week 3”

A Writer’s Notebook: NaNoWriMo 2012, week 2

Is it week 2 already? I’m all over the place in the stories and characters I’m playing with, and the writing is coming in fits and starts — some days I manage fewer than 1,000 words, some days I knock out twice that many; sometimes I hammer out all the words at night after work,Continue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: NaNoWriMo 2012, week 2”

A Writer’s Notebook: NaNoWriMo 2012, week 1

It’s only the second day of National Novel Writing Month, but I’m off to a running start. As of 2 pm, I’m sitting on just over 5,500 words. Some of my fellow WriMo buddies have been congratulating me on the output, but I keep reminding them that I have a LOT of work to do thisContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: NaNoWriMo 2012, week 1”

A Writer’s Notebook: NaNoWriMo prep and notecards

Yes, once again, National Novel Writing Month is just around the corner. Yet I wasn’t entirely sure I was going to participate this year. I had a great idea for a novel, but I’m not yet into it enough to plow through a rapid-fire month of 1,700 words a day. Plus, I’m teaching more this year andContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: NaNoWriMo prep and notecards”

A Writer’s Notebook: haiku at moonrise

A few weeks ago, I attended the O-Tsukimi moonviewing festival at the Portland Japanese Garden. Among the various activities at the festival, the organizers had laid out small handmade notebooks and pens for us to write haiku about the moon. These are my haiku. Weathered paper moon floats, a child’s folded boat — unsinkable light.Continue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: haiku at moonrise”