A Writer's Moment: 'Companions in One's Life' : “Man was very fortunate to have invented the book. Without it, the past w...
A Writer's Moment: 'Writing, Publishing - two separate things' : “I always tell students that writing a poem and publishing i...
A Writer's Moment: Learning Through Experience : “The world is the true classroom. The most rewarding and important type of learning is...
A Writer's Moment: Ever Dreaming A New Dream : “You are never too old to set another goal, or to dream a new dream.”...
“The world is the true classroom. The most rewarding and important type of learning is through experience; seeing something with our own ey...
“I envy those writers who outline their novels, who know where they’re going, but I find writing is a process of discovery.” – Jay McIner...
Monday, August 31, 2020
A Writer's Moment: It's Always The Little Things
It's Always The Little Things
“It is not the straining for great things that is most effective; it is the doing the little things, the common duties, a little better and better.” – Elizabeth Stuart Phelps
Born on this date in 1844, Phelps was a leading feminist and intellectual who challenged women's traditional roles in marriage and family and advocated for clothing reform for women. A native of Boston, she was born as Mary Gray Phelps into a family of writers and took her mother’s name as her own pen name after her mother died of brain fever.
Her mother was a famous writer in her own right, but wrote under the pen name of H. Trusta. Mary (Elizabeth) chose to use her mother’s name to both remember and honor her legacy.
Besides her writings on feminist
themes, Phelps also was a best-selling author of three spiritualist novels,
led by the wildly popular The Gates Ajar
about the afterlife. Over her lifetime
(she died in 1911), she wrote 31 novels, co-authored half-a-dozen more
(including several with her husband Herbert Dickinson Ward), and numerous
essays for popular magazines and newspapers.
Phelps also became active in the animal rights movement and her novel, Trixy, published in 1904, became a standard polemic against experimentation on animals.
great idea is usually original to more than one discoverer,” she said. “Great ideas come when the world needs them.
Great ideas surround the world's ignorance and press for admission.”
Sunday, August 30, 2020
A Simple Solution
“If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I would just write a little faster.” – Isaac Asimov
Saturday, August 29, 2020
A Writer's Moment: All Those Wonderful 'Things'
All Those Wonderful 'Things'
“A writer - and, I believe, generally all persons - must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource. All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art.” – Jorge Luis Borges
in August 1899, Borges was an Argentine poet who knew the value and power of
the things within our own world and how beneficial they could be to a
For Saturday’s Poem, here is Borges’ award-winning poem, simply titled,
My walking-stick, small change, key-ring,
The docile lock and the belated
Notes my few days left will grant
No time to read, the cards, the table,
A book, in its pages, that pressed
Violet, the leavings of an afternoon
Doubtless unforgettable, forgotten,
The reddened mirror facing to the west
Where burns illusory dawn. Many things,
Files, sills, atlases, wine-glasses, nails,
Which serve us, like unspeaking slaves,
So blind and so mysteriously secret!
They’ll long outlast our oblivion;
And never know that we are gone.
Friday, August 28, 2020
A Writer's Moment: 'The Most Nourishing Forms Of Meditation'
'The Most Nourishing Forms Of Meditation'
Thursday, August 27, 2020
A Writer's Moment: Choosing Your Adventure
Choosing Your Adventure
“There are two kinds of adventurers: those who go truly hoping to find adventure and those who go secretly hoping they won t.” – William Least Heat-Moon
Born William Lewis Trogdon on this date in 1939, Least Heat-Moon is a travel writer and historian of European and Osage ancestry. He is the author of a dozen books – many chronicling his unusual journeys around the United States – including the mega-bestsellers River Horse and Blue Highways.
A native of Missouri and graduate of the prestigious University of Missouri journalism school (where he majored in photojournalism and also has served on the faculty), Least Heat-Moon authors works that have been labeled “literary naturalism,” with the ecosystem serving as a foundation.
In his travelogues he often illustrates the hybrid relationship between humans and the environment and how each entity influences the other, presenting critiques of how societal progress can negatively affect the ecosystem.
“Often,” Least Heat-Moon said, “I did learn what I didn't know I wanted to know.”
Wednesday, August 26, 2020
A Writer's Moment: Write For Yourself First
Write For Yourself First
“Writers write to influence their readers, their preachers, their auditors, but always, at bottom, to be more themselves.” – Alduous Huxley
Tuesday, August 25, 2020
A Writer's Moment: Expanding On 'Breathing Opportunities'
Expanding On 'Breathing Opportunities'
“Reviewers have called my books 'novels in verse.' I think of them as written in prose, but I do use stanzas. Stanza means 'room' in Latin, and I wanted there to be 'room' - breathing opportunities to receive thoughts and have time to come out of them before starting again at the left margin” – Virginia Euwer Wolff
Not to be confused with British author Virginia Woolf, Euwer Wolff, born this day in 1937, is an American author of children's literature. Her award-winning series Make Lemonade features a 14-year-old girl named LaVaughn, who babysits for the children of a 17-year-old single mother. True Believer, the second in the three-book series (they’re not really a trilogy), won the 2001 National Book Award for Young People's Literature. And, in 2011, she was the recipient of the NSK Neustadt Prize for Children's Literature.
Wolff said she uses her own teenage years as the foundation for her writing. “The teenage years are the years to examine faith - the need to be independent and the need to be anchored,” she said. “It’s a time to ask, ‘Who made all this? And what do I have to do with it?’”
I have enjoyed learning that she does her creative writing a lot like I do – slowly.
“No one writes as slowly as I do, I'm convinced,” she said. “It's so hard for me. I learn slowly; I make decisions at a snail's pace.”
“I work early in the morning,” she noted, “before my nasty critic gets up - he rises about noon. By then, I've put in much of a day's work.”