Category Archives: Stories

PHOTOGRAPHY AND STORY

The best thing about great photography is that it tells a story without words. It may set the stage for different stories, but that’s not important. The crucial part is that the photo “says” something for every viewer, something that … Continue reading

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CATS AND CHRISTMAS

If you want people to read your blog, you’ll greatly improve your chances by including cats in the title and photo. No matter how much time I spend trying to write thoughtful, well-crafted essays, the ones that get the most readers … Continue reading

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WHAT I’M READING: ALICE MUNRO

I prefer reading books of fiction for pleasure. I wish I could get as excited about non-fiction and sometimes I do; Atul Gawande, John McPhee, Daphne Merkin, Michael Pollan, Janet Malcolm snag me every time. However, fiction is my first … Continue reading

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FACT EMBEDDED IN FICTION

I prefer reading fact embedded in fiction. Last week, I met with a Wareham, Massachusetts book group to discuss Jacksonland, a history of the shameful forced removal of native Americans from their ancestral lands. The history, by Steve Inskeep, an NPR … Continue reading

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I’M ALL EARS

I had big ears as a child—great big, stick-outie ears. My kindergarten picture shows an enthusiastic five-year-old with the biggest ears in the class. Those ears were a source of misery for me through eighth grade and then I forgot … Continue reading

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BEAUTIFUL SENTENCES

Beautiful sentences in English literature are a pleasure to read and remember. Recently Daniel Dalton of BuzzFeed Books solicited reader opinions on the most beautiful sentences they had read. Here are some of their favorites (and mine), with attribution of … Continue reading

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Books at My Bedside

I’m often asked what books I’m currently reading (or intending to read soon) and why. Here’s the current stack of books on my very tidied-up nightstand: 1. The three latest issues of The New Yorker—it’s been a busy month, so … Continue reading

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Ten Quotes About Writing

“There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” –W. Somerset Maugham “There are no laws for the novel. There never have been, nor can there ever be.” –Doris Lessing “Personally I think that … Continue reading

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You Will Never Be Bored If You’re a Writer

When I speak with young writers, this is the first thing I tell them. It’s true that you won’t be bored and that fact has gotten me through standing in a hundred lines, waiting for the gas tank to fill, … Continue reading

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Teaching Young Writers at Our Sisters’ School

Last week I spent an hour at Our Sisters’ School in New Bedford, MA talking to young writers about storytelling. What I wanted them to understand about writing can be said in ten minutes or ten hours. There are lots … Continue reading

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