The Writing Life

Serving the Story

                I have just murdered, torn apart and dismembered, the most perfect chapter I’ve ever written. I cannot tell you how marvelous the details were, the emotion, the wild energy, the use of metaphor. I read it at Lit Salon, I showed it to my reader posse –…

A Walk With a Camera

Dorothea Lange said that a camera teaches you to see. I love this idea, so the other morning on my walk with Nelson I had my iPhone at the ready to take pictures of stuff that I usually don’t look at. Just thinking of doing this made me look harder at the world. I’m always…

Kaizen for 2017

  I’m not quite clear how it got to be 2017, but here we are. Another year and a clean slate ahead of us.(Many of you may be relieved to hear that I’m not going to waste one more ounce of energy ranting about politics this year.) What will you write in 2017? Are you…

Lake Arrowhead Writers Retreat

  The spring Writers Retreat in Lake Arrowhead is coming up in March. A few spaces are still open. It’s limited to ten. Here’s the info: Come join us at the Writers Retreat in Lake Arrowhead  March 17 -19th. Maybe you have a final draft to complete and need a quiet place to focus, or…

A Driverless FedEx Truck & Other Tales

  So let me tell you what’s been going on in my life. November was not wonderful. First of all there was the election that still makes me want to bang my head on my desk. Why, how? And I can’t move to Mexico – my original plan – because I’ve got these grandchildren I…

My Old Lover

New York is like an old lover you go back to briefly. You know it can’t last, but oh my God – the old buzz is still there, the memories. I will always be in love with this city. The  jazz-like rhythm walking down the streets, the smells, the sounds, the crazy energy, the wild…

A Celebration of Carolyn See

Carolyn See’s memorial was held at the Broad Theater in Santa Monica Thursday and it truly was a celebration of her life. Lisa See opened the memorial by saying if her mother were here she’d look at the long list of speakers on the program and say, “What the fuck?” The speakers included Carolyn’s other…

Advice to Everyone: Begin

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about this memoir I’m working on. Thinking about a new structure for it, how the current one isn’t working, where it begins and where it should end, what flashbacks are needed and where they should go. I think about it before I go to sleep and at 3:00 am…