Kind De-fusers Blog

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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All works are equal

I’m not going to throw my hat into the ring of commentary-on-Ferguson. I’m not going to think about how there-but-for-the-grace-of-god-go-I in regards to random violence. I’m not going to imagine the pain of Brown’s parents. I’m not going to listen to the estimates of when the elephant will become extinct (most likely in my lifetime. […]

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To write, perchance to produce?

I returned to Taos for the third consecutive year last week, for the Taos Summer Writer’s Conference. It’s a highlight of my year. It’s a highlight because it’s in the desert southwest; because its attendees are, to a one, interesting, informed, and intriguing; because it’s an excellent “reset” button for my writerly self; because it’s near […]

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