Wednesday’s Work-in-Progress: Notes from a Practicing Writer

I’m such a creature of habit. But occasionally, I am prompted to change. This week, I’m thinking about shaking up these Wednesday posts. In part, I’m inspired to do so by the structure and content of this terrific post from C.A. LaRue’s BoneSpark blog. For now, we’ll keep the rubric of “work-in-progress.” But don’t be surprised if these posts get a new title soon. And here’s an early effort to follow the blogging impulses now stirred.



I’ve mentioned before that as much as some people recoil from fiction about writers, I am often fascinated by such work. And so it isn’t a big surprise that I was drawn in, quickly, to Brian Morton’s Florence Gordon, which I finished over the Thanksgiving weekend (and mentioned on Sunday as the source for last week’s “Sunday Sentence”).

Have any of you read it?

One of the book’s qualities that I’m still mulling over is the way Morton incorporates “real-life” personalities and publications into the story. And I can’t help wondering what Martha Nussbaum (who provides a glowing, front-page NYTBR evaluation of Florence Gordon’s work) or The New Inquiry, also given a place in the novel, might think about it.


Busy, busy! Among the recent highlights: posting the latest installment of the freelance book review project that I’m editing/managing for the site. Check out Rabbi Rebecca Einstein Schorr’s re-appraisal of Chaim Potok’s classic The Chosen.


Lo and behold, I actually wrote a few new words (323, to be exact) this holiday week! And that’s thanks to the workshop I’ve mentioned before. The workshop uses Jewish texts to help inspire new writing.

Our assignment/prompt was grounded largely in the Torah portion known as Toldot. We were thus instructed to write a character sketch from the point of view of one of the main characters–Esau, Jacob, Isaac, or Rebecca. And we were told to set this sketch in modern times. Also suggested: the use of first-person narration (“it could be a letter, essay, speech, testimony, etc.”). Thus was created a 323-word letter from Esau to his mom. (Written, um, as if it were an writing assignment. See, I really do like meta-fiction!)

2 thoughts on “Wednesday’s Work-in-Progress: Notes from a Practicing Writer

  1. Sounds like a cool assignment, Erika. I may have to steal that one!

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      By all means, John!

Comments are closed.