Navigating early motherhood is hard. Doing it without your own mother—because she dies unexpectedly while you’re in the throes of it—is perhaps harder. In the wake of loss, middle-aged first-time mom Julie Patterson considers whether grief dramatically changed her children’s personalities, or if her children dramatically changed her grief.
In the end, we have to feel responsible for our own writing growth, and not fall into “echo chamber” mode,
It is easy to spot dialogue in “Speech Class,” because it looks just like the dialogue we see in stories—set
Oh, I wish I’d been born a poet! It does help me remember to go way down, past the scene, past
I used to dread conferring with student writers. I felt like it put me on the hot seat. I had
I suspect my undergraduate writing students will have no difficulty recognizing at least one craft strategy in my recently published essay, “Reckoning.” I teach it early and often.
Perhaps it’s my trademark.
I’m talking about white space. I like to use it around a single short line to make the line stand out and demand attention. It’s a strategic move that stuck with me after several semesters of poetry in college, even as I migrated to prose. To be clear, I’m not talking about dialogue, which might look set off by white space because of grammar conventions. I’m talking about an original line of my thoughts that I deliberately place by itself.
I know your eyes go there.
First in a series of posts looking closely at the craft of writing about grief Last month I facilitated a
In the first post in this series, I was thinking about the feedback I give student writers. That leads me to another big observation: sometimes I mess up, perhaps even bad enough to set a kid back a little. Learn more about two conversations with students that I’d like to redo.
This semester, I teach writing in pre-K on Wednesdays, and writing to college students on Fridays. I’m quickly discovering that the only real difference is the texts I use.