Writing Life, Writing On Writing

Character Allowance

My ancient fiction professor at Vanderbilt creaked in his departmental chair and told us about a man he knew who drank Dr. Pepper hot. When work was over, this man would get into his after-fives and stir it in a saucepan over low heat, delicately, like he was handling milk. “Sometimes,” Professor Sullivan said, “it’s all right to let your characters take life a little too far.”


Writing On Writing

Poetic Rigging

It’s hard, when you work in poetry, to continue seeing the beauty and magic of poetry. All you see are the mirrors, hooks, and wires; the duct tape holding everything up; the spit and Kleenex it’s made of. Attempting to look past those things is fruitless. Once you have seen them, you will always see them. The trick is to find that beauty and magic in the rigging itself.