Kind De-fusers Blog

Everything happens at once

The fragrance from my mother’s recipe for cabbages and apples set off a cascade of memories for me, seemingly all at once: my mother’s frustration with the lack of effective kitchen ventilation, resulting in a house that smelled of whatever she’d cooked for supper; childhood nights spent reading on my belly in front of the […]

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Long time, no write.

Everyone said, when you finish the MFA you’ll need a rest. Give yourself a break! Don’t worry about it if you don’t write for a week or two. You deserve it! Relax! But not-writing for a week turned into three weeks, and then bam!, it was three months. So let’s talk about resuming and sustaining […]

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The Craft of Voice: My Muriel Spark Binge

I’ve been binging on Muriel Spark the past three weeks: The Girls of Slender Means, A Far Cry from Kensington, Aiding and Abetting, Loitering with Intent, plus her short stories. She’s teaching me a great deal about that ineffable, elusive, all-important element of writing that everyone talks about but no-one can define: voice. The quality of presence formed by words on […]

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Luck and Greed

I’ve been nose to the cliched grindstone since February, working on the required 30+ page essay for my MFA. I ran the gamut of emotion about the essay itself (hated it. feared it. dismissed it. cowered before it. fell in love with it.). And I learned more than I realized I hadn’t known, a terrific […]

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Long time gone . . .

I’ve been a long time away from this blog – almost a year. I let y’all know I was starting a low-residency MFA at Warren Wilson College in January 2016. What I didn’t know was that the MFA work would displace my energy for blog essays. This August, as I start my second semester, familiar […]

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Mama’s mocha

It is no secret that my favorite coffeeshop is Bollo’s. It’s my favorite for lots of different reasons: its long, narrow floor plan (I can hide at a back table for productivity, or sit up front for socializing — half the town, the interesting half, comes into Bollo’s). It’s my favorite because of their oat fudge bars, […]

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