A Writer’s Notebook: (more) haiku

So, as promised, a few haiku: children laughing on swings dress heels clacking on cut stone — the grass grows unnoticed stone bench hard and cold exhaust fumes burn through the hot wind — sunlight in my hair like dark chocolate so bitter and sharp — so smooth smoke drifts in the breeze I’ve mentionedContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: (more) haiku”

A Writer’s Notebook: sonnet

Good grief, was it really March when I last posted one of these? I have REALLY let myself go! (Someday I’ll fill you in on my week-long Oreo binge.) In my defense, I was dealing with a dying cat (she’s feeling better now, by the way), a healthy dose of fiction rejection, and, well, that’sContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: sonnet”

Final words: students reflecting on 10 weeks of writing

A lot of my colleagues don’t bother with final exams in a writing class. The essays are the important thing, they argue, and the idea of a “test” seems out of place — there isn’t any knowledge a student can gain in a writing class that they haven’t already demonstrated in their essays, so thereContinue reading “Final words: students reflecting on 10 weeks of writing”

A Writer’s Notebook: not really a notebook, just a passed note in class

Maybe you’re young enough that every note you’ve ever passed in class was in the form of a text message. But not me. I remember when all passed notes were on intricately folded sheets of notebook paper, often torn out of spirals, and handed cupped palm to cupped palm below desk-level or handed off inContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: not really a notebook, just a passed note in class”

A Writer’s Notebook: Texas and a chapbook introduction

I just spent all morning working on a chapbook I can’t submit because I misread the guidelines — the press was asking for more than half the stories be unpublished. My chapbook contains mostly published stories. I’m a victim of my own success, I guess? Anyway, I was just beginning to revise the introduction forContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: Texas and a chapbook introduction”

A Writer’s Notebook: travel fiction

This isn’t all new writing, but some of it is. This is, though, a response to an exercise, which I’ll explain below. When Name was a child, his mother would tell him stories while his father and and older brother worked and the infant children slept. Some of the stories were local tales of theContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: travel fiction”

A Writer’s Notebook: prose poem as personal essay

I have my students writing personal essays this week, but I’m a bit too busy right now to write an essay alongside them. I can, however, toss a prose poem your way. New Orleans, 1996 When I wandered the shoreline near Jackson Square the saxophonist called me, lured me to him like a rat toContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: prose poem as personal essay”

A Writer’s Notebook: story opening from an old notebook (Retro #3)

It’s been busy this week, what with the website relaunch and all. So I’m back to old notebooks (ridiculous misspellings and all). When Samson — for he only went by his stage name now — heard from the hospital staff that all the vomiting and bloody¬†diariah¬†was from a rupture ulcer, that his pallor and frailtyContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: story opening from an old notebook (Retro #3)”

A Writer’s Notebook: “This I Believe”

This week I’ve been introducing the writing process to my college writing students through a multi-draft assignment based on NPR’s “This I Believe” project. In class on Wednesday, I had them begin a quick 250-word “credo” to get the ball rolling on the series of drafts, and, like a good teacher, I sat down andContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: “This I Believe””

A Writer’s Notebook: observations from an old notebook (Retro #2)

I’ve been busy this week. I just began my winter term teaching college writing, I’ve started finalizing the layout and the cover design for the February issue of Jersey Devil Press, and I’m working on a major redesign of this website. (Stay tuned for more news on that front!) So, I’m breaking out the oldContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: observations from an old notebook (Retro #2)”