Author: Julie Patterson

Julie is a writer, teaching artist, and professor in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Reading [grief] like a Writer: THE POND

The Pond by Nicola Davies is—in hindsight—the book I wish I’d found immediately after my brother died suddenly in February 2001. But even if it had existed then, I probably wouldn’t have found it, because it’s a children’s picture book, and I was an adult without children at the time.

Link

Interview with Chila Woychik

From my interview with this Mud Season Review contributor:

“In the end, we have to feel responsible for our own writing growth, and not fall into “echo chamber” mode, where one school or style may be popular, a handful of authors may appear to dominate a certain writing scene or genre, so we run to those, and then a while later, run to something else that is said to be all the rave.”

Craft Strategy: White Space

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.

Reckoning

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.

Crafting Grief: Narrative Point of View

First in a series of posts looking closely at the craft of writing about grief Last month I facilitated a writing workshop about narrative point of view (NPOV), and afterwards it occurred to me that I have looked closely at the craft of many texts specifically about grief. I’ll even be so bold as to…

Feedback is important (and I mess up sometimes)

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.