Tag Archive for Barbara Abercrombie

Work That’s Real

I’m celebrating! I just finished the essay I was grumbling and fretting and trying to keep calm about a few posts ago. (It’ll be in an anthology about faith edited by Victoria Zackheim and published next year by Simon and Schuster.) You go through such doubt and chaos before you find what you’re really writing…


This past week I’ve been in Colorado packing (as in moving boxes).  I got really into stuff.  What’s needed, what’s not.  What you wrap up and send on to the next house.  What you give away.   What you throw away.  There was a yellow teapot – the only object my husband owned from his paternal…

the writing clinic

Thanks to the people who sent in questions and problems. (Below are the first three sent in. The rest will be answered next week.) Please send yours in this week too – either click on the comment button below, or send an email. Brooke and I look forward to hearing from you. (click on the title to continue reading)

Getting Started As A Writer

ArtsDay LA was held Saturday on campus – kind of a buffet of panels celebrating the arts taught at UCLA Extension. I had a dream panel – novelist Kerry Madden (Gentle’s Holler), playwright, director and actor Leon Martell (The History Of Fairfax According to a Sandwich) and novelist Noel Alumit (Letters to Montgomery Clift). All of them terrific writers, very articulate and passionate about teaching, and very funny. The subject of our panel was “Getting Started As A Writer”. The thing about getting together with other Writers’ Program instructors is that you learn as much as anybody in the audience. At least I did; I took notes as they talked. Before doing the panel we shared experiences of – shall we say, less than celebrity status appearances at bookstores. Tragedy plus time equals humor (according to Carol Burnett) so we laughed a lot about those readings when just one person shows up (with his dog), or it turns into a one-on-one with the bookstore manager, or a loudspeaker in a big chain bookstore announces “Author on aisle three!” like you’re a box of soap. (to continue reading, click on the title above)

a picture’s worth…

My father always lined us up by the car on holidays to photograph us; my brother looking bored, me smirking, and my mother just trying to make the best of it. I have dozens of these photographs. My brother and I always complained about having to pose for them, but whenever my father took us up on our advice for candid pictures there I was caught with my mouth wide open, my eyes closed or looking oddly furtive.
What photographs do you have on your desk right now? Or on the wall or on your dresser or in albums or on your computer? What do they say about you and the people you love?
Writers are crazy about photographs, both in fiction and in memoir. They can lend a kind of shorthand to events. Anne Tyler in her 1980 novel Morgan’s Passing writes of a family photograph album with 15 pages devoted to the babyhood of the first of seven daughters…(to continue reading, click on the title above)