Filed under writing

Beautiful Sentences: Lydia Kiesling

Why did I have a child? To have a child is to court loss.
Lydia Kiesling, The Golden State.

Writerly resolutions: June status

The Chart of my wordcount over the month of Junenovel gained a net of nearly 10,000 words this month, which is a vast improvement over previous months. Doing the 1,000 words of summer thing helped a fair amount even if, during the two weeks of that challenge, I only hit the 1,000 word target a few times.

Not much progress on the new story, but three older stories got revised and back into submissions.

In all, though, a good month for my writing ambitions.

Beautiful Sentences: Tom McAllister

Shell-shocked acquaintances will say without irony that he had so much to live for, ignorant of the fact that the prospect of having to live like this for another fifty years was not the solution to but rather the cause of his hopelessness.

Tom McAllister, How to Be Safe.


Beautiful Sentences: Bennet Sims

What if he is her paramour from the past tense, cuckolding me from her unconscious, such that her body will break up with me in undeath, leaving our apartment for him?

Bennett Sims, A Questionable Shape.


Beautiful Sentences: Genevieve Valentine

Of course, like most unkind advice, it was correct, eventually, somehow.

Genevieve Valentine, Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti.


Beautiful Sentences: Sigrid Nunez

In the news: Thirty-two million adult Americans can’t read. The potential audience for poetry has shrunk by two-thirds since 1992. A “rent-burdened” woman worrying how she’s going to survive in New York City decides to try writing a novel (“and that’s going well”).

Sigrid Nunez, The Friend.


Beautiful Sentences: Tommy Orange

She presses the Home button and for a second, just for a small moment, thinks she should open her other Facebook feed. On that other Facebook, she’d find the information and media she’d always been looking for. On that other Facebook feed, she’d find true connection. That is where she’d always wanted to be. Is what she’d always hoped Facebook would turn out to be. but there is nothing else to check, there is no other Facebook, so she clicks the screen off and puts the phone back in her pocket.

Tommy Orange, There There.


Writerly resolutions, May status

I madeProgress graph on the novel for May significant progress on the novel (the graph at the right shows the progression of my word count over the month). A first draft of chapter 11 is done and I’m nearly finished with the rewrite of the chapter. I think that this might be a chapter that can stand on its own as a short story, although it’s a bit on the long side (the first draft was 7,333 words). There are some obvious cuts that can be made, but I don’t think I can get it under 6K without damaging the narrative.

Speaking of short stories, revision of the long story is finished and it went into submission along with a piece I workshopped this month. I’m heavy on revisions for another story which got a ground-up rewrite which made for a better story, I think. Progress on the other story I have in the works is slow but steady. I don’t really know where the story is going so that makes it a little challenging to write and I suspect at least half of what will be in the current draft will end up getting tossed, but with any luck the remaining half will be decent enough to get published.

I also received my contributor’s copy of Steam Ticket with my short short, “Persistence of Memory” in it. Always nice to get the occasional reminder that not everything I write is crap.

Beautiful Sentences: Sigrid Nunez

If reading really does increase empathy, as we are constantly being told that it does, it appears that writing takes some away.

Sigrid Nunez, The Friend.


“Persistence of Memory”: The Story Behind the Story

“Persistence of Memory” has its origNewImageins in a visit to the Salvador Dalí Museum in St Petersburg, Florida. During a tour of the exhibits, there was a painting from the same series as Dalí’s “The Persistence of Memory” and the guide said that this was about Dalí attempting to portray time flattening to a single instant. 

I had previously encountered second-person future-tense narrative in the “You Will Be Born” section of Jane Siberry’s  “Oh My My” on her album Maria. It seemed an ideal way to flatten time to a single instant in prose.