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Everything Known

In the zone, within in a zone,

holding a megaphone.

High I fly, high indeed,

high above the cacophonous drone.

For a moment, an eternal moment,

it seems that I might stand alone.

I look around, and take a breath,

and breathe in deep of everything known.

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Filed under Poetry, Writing

Woe is Me: I’m a Raymond Carver Reject

Raymond Carver rejected me today.

It wasn’t personal, of course; Raymond Carver passed away in 1988. It was actually a publication named in honor of Raymond Carver that passed me up.

Months ago, I began work on a short story entitled Windswept. It’s the first real writing that I have ever committed my heart to and, since I completed draft seven on the day before the deadline for submissions, I decided to go for it.

Now, months later, I am reading a personable rejection letter courtesy of the folks at Carve Magazine. Woe is me.

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Filed under Essay, Featured Content, Writing

Roll on, Maggie

When I woke up all I could see was the teacher looking at me in the dim light of the overhead projector.

Now, with consciousness seeping back across my synaptic bridges, the various geometric proofs scribbled on the wall are like Egyptian hieroglyphics. The rest of the students are conspiring in the shadows, half-wits scoffing at a dimly lit dimwit. There’s drool on the desk.

“What’s wrong with you?” says teacher, “maybe you need to go to the vending machines for a can of pop? Get some sugar in you?”

This cheeky witch is hip! How much does she really know?

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Filed under Featured Content, Flash Fiction, Writing

Discover “The Art of Fiction” in the Paris Review

“Read, read, read. Read everything—trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.” – William Faulkner

I want to be a writer like you. Even though I write everyday—professionally, creatively and otherwise—reading plays an important role (if not the most important role) in my development as a writer. By reading “everything”, I am able to see how different writers approach our complex craft, from style and prose to dialogue and punctuation.

But what do we read to learn about the elements of a writer that extent far beyond fundamentals and talent into the realm of intangibles? These things—be they abstract thought, an appreciation for prosaic or a tolerance for ambiguity—cannot be learned from a textbook (find me a book that starts with “the key to imbuing the details of the world around you into your writing effectively is”). They can, however, be gleaned from a lifetime of good reading. And so we arrive at The Art of Fiction, a series of interviews by the Paris Review that dates back to the middle of the 20th century.

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Filed under Featured Content, Writing