Composing a Writer #7. Criticism Wanted

I was fifty-nine years old and someone had scribbled “Why should I care?” in thick red ink on my hard-fought 300-page manuscript. Not just once but every few pages. Wait, it gets better. I sold a saddle to pay for this! It started on Christmas Eve, my second least-favorite day of the year. I packed up … Read more

Composing a Writer #6. Writing for Readers

It’s a moment of exquisite anxiety. The kind of anxiety that’s prickly and blunt at the same time, and you can’t see around it. One word at a time, it’s been an act of faith that you’ve come this far. You retreat, change a word here, and alter some punctuation there. You’ve lost count of … Read more

Composing a Writer #4. Why Words Matter

  She’s been my friend for decades. That was me at her daughter’s birthday party, singing and tap dancing in a rented Big Bird costume. She came to all my weddings. We’re chosen family but we almost had to hate each other in the beginning. I met her husband first; I was a goldsmith and … Read more

Composing a Writer #2. Just Write

We’re big talkers. We debate and dream and create. There are issues that good people should agree about on but it gets complicated by reality. A cure for cancer or missile defense? Big business or the environment? Recycle or a one-size-fits-all trashcan? And everyone knows a rescue pet is the right choice, as long as they’re … Read more