On Saying No
I receive a lot of writing-related requests. Within the past week, for example, two authors have asked me to blurb their novels. Someone else asked me to recommend a Yiddish translator in a certain part of the country. Another person wrote to request that I check out his website and maybe recommend it to all of you. And an author asked me to recommend where to submit his just-published book for reviews (and also, for post-publication prizes).
Here’s how I responded to those requests. Continue reading ›
Vive la France!
Before I earned my MFA, I earned a PhD. In history. In French history.
In fact, ever since my first middle-school French class, France and its language, literature, culture, and history have been a significant part of my life. So last week was hard. It was hard on Wednesday. And as a Francophile Jew who—to be completely honest—has been a little frightened of traveling in France as reports of anti-Semitic incidents have filtered back here (mainly in the Jewish press) over the past year or two, I found Friday very hard, too.
Rather than write anything “new” on last week’s events, I’d like to highlight a few of my past France and French-related writings. (A few, at any rate, that have a presence—if not complete accessibility—on the Internet.) Continue reading ›
Writing-related resources, news, and reflections to enjoy over the weekend. Continue reading ›
As I’ve mentioned elsewhere this week, Wil S. Hylton’s profile of Laura Hillenbrand for The New York Times magazine provides an excellent craft seminar in narrative nonfiction.
“In fact, it feels strangely simple: I have used up my material, the stuff from which I craft stories. I don’t have anything now. Maybe I will have more soon. Or not soon. Or not.” From Robin Black’s resonant (and much-cited among my Twitter connections) essay “On Being Empty: When a Writer Isn’t Writing.”
Terrific spotlight on poet Joan Naviyuk Kane in the latest Harvard Magazine.
To a considerable extent, librarian and book reviewer Deb Baker’s post “On Being ‘Discontinued'” is another installment in the ongoing “writing for free” discussion.
“Jill Lepore had written my book.” That’s what Noah Berlatsky discovered some months ago. Here’s what happened next.
Writing-related resources, news, and reflections to enjoy over the weekend.
Enjoy the weekend, all!
(Still experimenting with a new title/format for these midweek posts. Thanks for bearing with me!)
‘TIS THE SEASON
Well, not exactly. But my extended family has found, these past several years, that it’s often easier for all of us to gather for a holiday on less-than-exact dates that are at least in the general vicinity of the holiday in question.
Thus, last weekend found us pre-celebrating Hanukkah. Below, one of the gifts Auntie Erika bestowed: B.J. Novak’s The Book With No Pictures (the picture doesn’t capture the excitement/joy that the gift evoked as soon as it was unwrapped; this was one of my more inspired/successful choices!).
This week brought the conclusion of the terrific workshop I’ve been part of this fall. It also brought an effort–now stalled, I admit–to work on a new essay. And it brought a poetry acceptance (more about that soon, I trust!).
I knew the workshop was coming to an end. I suspected that the essay might not “work.” And I hoped the poem might find its home.
But I did not, in any way, anticipate this lovely note which arrived via email yesterday, about one of the short stories in Quiet Americans: Continue reading ›