creative writing Archive

Out of the Blue and Onto the Page: How Translation Rekindled My Passion for Writing

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When my mother, born in America to Israeli parents, first met my father in Tel Aviv, she said she knew he was right for her because he was an American living in Israel. As a young woman who grew up in transit—constantly being moved around between the two countries—she

When We Are Given a Feast of Flesh

How do I remember spaces? Bedrooms, beaches, backseats, bazaars. The time between dreams. Night. The no-man’s land of a twelve-hour flight. I remember the world as words. I spent my last few weeks in Delhi hunting for books. For relatives, for friends, but, finally, for my own sake: to

Etymology as Pedagogy: How Words Teach Me to Live

Author: | Categories: Reading, Writing No comments
When I learned, not long ago, that the word “daisy” comes from the Old English word “day’s eye,” referring to how the petals open at dawn and close at night, I was delighted. Here was proof that the English language can be governed by a beautiful logic. It was

The Ploughshares Round-Down: Stop Fearing the Business of Writing

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Last week, Guernica published an interview with art critic Ben Davis, which begins with Davis questioning the premise that “the central tension of the art empire is that between creativity and money.” Davis says there can obviously be tension between what sells and what an artist wants to express, but he argues that money also funds

Back to School Special: Thoughtful Imitation

Author: | Categories: Writing 1 Comment
I didn’t study creative writing as an undergraduate; it wasn’t an option. When I enrolled in the MFA program at University of Washington, what I craved more than workshop (which I’d experienced a few times in continuing education settings) was the elusive “craft” class: reading analytically not to make

Writers with Responsibilities: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Author: | Categories: Writing Advice 1 Comment
Perhaps, you’re one of those people who cry on the first day of school. For those of you putting your eldest on the kindergarten bus for the first time, I’ll give you a pass. For the rest of you, get real! The first day of school should bring the

Writers With Responsibilities: Damn the Dog Days!

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Dear Sally: In June, when I was running around from school picnics, to award ceremonies, graduations, lacrosse jamborees, school plays and concerts, I longed for the dog days of summer and no morning routine. But now summer is here and I can’t wait for school to start. Help. Your

Research Unleashed! And Leashed.

Author: | Categories: Writing, Writing Advice 5 Comments
I knew I had a problem when I started envying my dog’s cone collar. Now, my dog’s problem was a hot spot. Allergic, itchy, hot, and double-coated, my German Shepherd had chewed her hind leg raw over the course of a single evening. My problem was research. Engrossing, surprising,

Writers With Responsibilities: Patience is a Way of Life

Author: | Categories: Writing, Writing Advice 1 Comment
Dear Sally, I want it all, NOW! What do you have to say to that? Your friend, Veruca Salt   Dear Veruca, You can stomp and jump up and down all you want—but the truth is, if you’re a writer with responsibilities, you’d best get down with the heavenly virtue

Writers With Responsibilities: Keep Your Mojo

Author: | Categories: Uncategorized 2 Comments
Dear Sally, I found my voice relatively late in life—40—but once I started to write I couldn’t imagine a life without it. I took classes, joined writing groups, and wrote all the time. I published essays in my local paper and people stopped me in the grocery store to