A Writer’s Notebook: NaNoWriMo update #4

So, as promised, I’ve been tinkering a bit with the book since I returned from vacation, even adding some new scenes, but I haven’t updated the word count because most of the new text is still in my voice recorder and most of the changes have been internal, meaning that part of the word countContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: NaNoWriMo update #4”

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”

A Writer’s Notebook: NaNoWriMo update #2

This week I’m just posting one long section from my NaNoWrimo novel.  I’ve been writing all over the place this week, but I’ve finally gotten into the meat (or the blood?) of the story concept, and this passage–a bit expository, I know–sort of encapsulates that concept.  (Plus it’s a nice glimpse of how fringe-nutty myContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: NaNoWriMo update #2”

A Writer’s Notebook: NaNoWriMo update #1

Today, I am five days into NaNoWriMo.  My current official word count (not counting the writing I’ve already done today) is 13,666 words, with an average of 3,416.5 words per day.  This is a pretty frenetic pace, really, and I don’t expect to keep it up throughout the month (yesterday, for example, I actually wroteContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: NaNoWriMo update #1”

A Writer’s Notebook: Found poem (from Nizar Qabbani)

I’m in Dubai this weekend, visiting friends.  Yesterday, I spent part of my day on the Dubai campus of Zayed University, where, in a hallway leading to the campus library, I found a row of large, framed prints, each bearing–in Arabic and in English–lines of poetry. The lines all come from existing poetry, but theyContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: Found poem (from Nizar Qabbani)”

A Writer’s Notebook: Photo story

My wife turned our laptop around the other day and showed me this photo and said, “You should write about this.”  So, first, the photo, and then the writing.  And then, the exercise. People think I do this for money.  I put out a box and I don’t object when people drop money in it. Continue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: Photo story”

A Writer’s Notebook: Our Band Could Be Your Lit

This week the writer’s notebook will get delayed.  That’s not because I’m not working, but because I’m working toward something.  I’ve agreed to write a guest-blog story for Our Band Could Be Your Lit, so I’m using this week’s Notebook to work on that.  But the story won’t get posted until Sunday (and probably won’tContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: Our Band Could Be Your Lit”

A Writer’s Notebook: Revision checklist

Today’s exercise is going to be short and relatively uncreative. I’m polishing up a story collection I recently finished, and while most of the stories are published, finished, or well on their way, one is still very much an ugly draft, so I’ve decided to go over that weakest story and do some broad revision.Continue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: Revision checklist”

A Writer’s Notebook: “Casting a Wide Net”

This week, another exercise from Scott McCloud’s Making Comics. In this exercise, McCloud asks us to create a cast of characters that share one trait (from a list of traits–see below) but are different in at least four other ways. These academics are my four characters (in the order I wrote them). Sandra: 45, aContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: “Casting a Wide Net””

A Writer’s Notebook: Magnet poetry

Caveat emptor:  This is not good poetry. Blame the magnets. My velvet yesterday surrounds today in translucent smoke, you in corduroy angling for another cut of tea, steam a prisoner behind your glasses, the naked smile that tugs one side of your lips, the memory of the porcelain morning light over the ocean. We neverContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: Magnet poetry”