On teenage rebellion, thwarted: “Nothing had changed. I was still the same person with the same stupid clothes and the same baby toys. The house was still library quiet and Richard Marx was still my favorite singer.”
Know Your Audience
“I became aware of this phenomenon—people believing fiction is true—some years before this mass delusion about a popular novel swept the nation.” At The Mendocino Humanist, Todd Walton recounts his experiences with audiences who assume his stories are autobiographical.
Proximity “is a quarterly collection of true stories exploring place, space, and connections in the modern age,” featuring solid writing and a weekly blog post to help ease the wait between issues.
Tin House offers an artful and irreverent array of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and interviews and covers both established authors and undiscovered writers.
Draft by Draft: The Narrowing Lens of “Stranded”
At Brevity, Jill Talbot, author of the memoir The Way We Weren’t, gives us a masterclass in revising our writing after rejection: “So many times, we have to get out of our essay’s way.”
The Normal School
“We’re just sort of the lit mag equivalent of the kid who always has bottle caps, cat’s eye marbles, dead animal skulls, little blue men and other treasures in his pockets.” The Normal School is a biannual publication for people who love to read.
Betsy Lerner is a literary agent and author of Bridge Ladies, The Forest for the Trees, and Food and Loathing. On her personal blog, you’ll find thoughts on writing, publishing, and more.
cleaning the house, tending the weeds.
On the accretion of stuff: “And so, without siblings in whose faces we might see our pasts, and without children who reflect back to us ourselves and our future, we cling to the representational, the inanimate, the stuff to which we attach memory and meaning.”
Dementia took the mind of Bruce Jenkins’ mother, but it could not erase their shared love of words. “Take a book, and read to her just as she read to you.”
The Old Green Singers
Angie recalls her family’s beat-up truck, “Old Green,” which became a concert hall on wheels as she, her mom, and her brothers sang their way through good times and bad.
When there was nothing else for Kevin Richard White, there was writing: “I want them to know we’re given a voice at birth. We’re given a chance to use it. All you need is paper and time.”
Dear Summertime Rolls
“The summertime world is languid. It is the snick-snick-snick of sprinklers. It is Perry Ferrell crooning ‘Tag. You are the one.’” Jen writes a thank you note to a pivotal album for her 13-year-old self.
“These snippets of a lifetime make me ponder on how vital stories are. How we keep people, traditions, habits, alive through words. I’ve heard you die twice. First your physical death. And then again, when there’s no one left to tell your story.”
A Rainbow for Moonbeam
“I got to thinking:
Say something that will let her close that door and move on.
I got to thinking:
Say something that will let you close that door and move on.”
Musings from Terah van Dusen on her mother.
Write Along with Me
In preparation for a writing conference, writer and ex-nurse Lois Roelofs reads and shares what she’s learned from Phillip Lopate’s Writing Personal Essays: On the Necessity of Turning Oneself into a Character.