Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

Three quick updates from my desk.

1. I’ve been pretty busy lately with a lot of non-writing projects. But I can tell you that one highlight of my (amazing!) 30th college reunion this past weekend was poetry-related: My classmate Jenny Factor shared with us a gorgeous poem she wrote that is set back in her undergraduate days. I cannot wait to read the collection in which this poem appears. (Fun fact: I’ve known Jenny since our freshman fall—when we were both enrolled in our college’s version of a “Physics for Poets” course.)

2. Another non-writing project has had me sifting through a lot of old files. Herewith, the opening paragraphs from one archival discovery: the text of a long-ago presentation (a version of which I thought was published online many years ago—but I can’t seem to locate it).

Opening paragraphs of a presentation titled "Turning History Into Literature: The Progress of a Novel and Its Writer."
Spoiler: This novel, though represented by a literary agent by mid-2001 (thanks to a referral from someone who was in the audience to hear the November 5, 1999, presentation), never sold (and ultimately, the agent and I parted ways). Although a couple of standalone excerpts have appeared in literary journals, the book was never published. And I’m okay with that!

It’s stunning to realize that my (unpublished!) novel’s origin story is now 25 years old (note the reference to “the summer of 1996”). My archival encounter that summer in many ways transformed my life, certainly insofar as my life as a practicing writer is concerned.

3. Have I mentioned that I haven’t been doing much writing this past week? BUT: My spot’s been saved in my pal Sara Lippmann’s next flash fiction workshop, which will begin next month. It has been A LONG TIME (a lot longer than a week) since I’ve even tried to write fiction. I’ll admit that I’m a tad apprehensive. But I’m also very much looking forward to the structure, inspiration, and community to come.

opening paragraphs of a presentation about the writing of an historical novel

4 thoughts on “Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

  1. Erika,
    I would love to read this paper! Is it available anywhere?
    Barbara

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Thanks, Barb! No, it doesn’t seem to exist in any electronic version. I am thinking of retyping it when I have a chance. Stay tuned!

  2. John Smistad says:

    I write almost all fiction. Just let it flow, Erika. You’re gifted. You’ll do great.

    And, as ever and above all, HAVE FUN, MAN!! :]

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Thank you for the vote of confidence!

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