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Showing posts from September, 2011

Stowaway with Me!

Hop aboard the link on September 13 for my interview with Lisa Findley of Stowaway. Lisa, a classmate of mine from Kalamazoo College, has a delightful travel blog where she is hosting a series of artist interviews this month. Lisa is a writer and traveler who is saving up for a 'round-the-world tour. Check out her blog and give her a suggestion for a great place to visit!

Emotional Landscapes

Fiction writers, how do you use setting to tell your stories? As I go through major life changes (mainly, bringing Nux Gallica into the world), I've been musing on setting--the settings in my stories and also the setting of my own life, which influences what and how I write (not just how often I can do it!).

I find that when I better understand my own feelings and opinions about my material, it frees me to write with a depth and clarity that I can never find when I haven't examined my personal, social, cultural, and political relationship to the subject. Because whether we are aware of it or not, our own "settings" as authors, both external and internal, shape what and how we write. This is true not just for blatantly political works like satires. Our beliefs about things like human nature, love, the earth, men and women, class and power, values, and morals set the stage for how we develop characters and draw plotlines.

The characters in my novel-in-progress, Briars…

Variations on a Theme: Contest by the Literary Lab

Did you know that Anton Chekhov banged his high school teacher's wife? Neither did I, until I fell into a Wiki-hole searching for short story ideas for the The Literary Lab's third anthology contest. I really don't have time for writing contests, but the fairy tale theme is too close to my heart to pass up. I took a peek at the two prompt stories, and my mind was reeling with themes. Class and gender! Fairy tales! West vs. East! I have no idea what the Lit Lab Techs were thinking when they chose these two stories, but they are both so interesting.

First, I thought I would write a story about pillow talk between Chekhov and his teacher's wife, gossiping about the pathetic Hans Christian Andersen, who would have been wasting away in a nursing home about then--an official national treasure, yet dying alone and friendless. I wanted to highlight the differences between the two authors' luck with the ladies and how it affected the way they wrote male and female character…