Sunday, April 6, 2014

From Around the Web: Fiction Writers Robin Black and Donna Miscolta Get Poetic

Would you like to read a  few words on being a happier writer --- and person --- not to mention learning a way to better understand writer friends and partners? Fiction writer Robin Black writes "21 Things I Wish I'd Known Before I Stared Writing," concerning everything from being true to your own aesthetic to knowing when you're asking too much of other writers (or they are asking too much of you). It's a great list and seems about to go viral --- if it hasn't already. Here are the first few and the link to her blog Beyond the Margins if you want to continue reading.

1. Publication doesn’t make you a writer. Publication makes you a published writer. Writing makes you a writer.

2. Your “writer friends” are suddenly going to seem a lot more interesting, understanding, sympatico, and just plain fun than the friends (and sometimes family) you had before you threw yourself into this pursuit. I mean, they get you! But be gentle with the ones who were there all along – and remember the support they’ve given you, and the care, and try not to hurt their feelings by making it clear how much more compelling the ones who “speak writer” now seem. (And may not always seem. . . )

3. The best you can do is the best you can do. There’s a fine line between learning from other authors, and trying to be them. Be yourself. There are more than enough different types of readers out there for us all. I can’t tell you how much time I have wasted wishing my work were more “hip”  and “edgier.” And every single moment was indeed a waste of time. I didn’t even like much of the writing I wanted to emulate. I just liked the attention heaped on the people who wrote it. Write the book you’d most like to read – not the one you think will win over the editor du jour.

4. Not everyone will love your work. Not everyone will like your work. Some people will hate your work. Don’t put energy into pursuing the fantasy of universal adoration. It has nothing to do with writing and everything to do with guaranteeing that you’ll never be satisfied.  Read More Here

I also want to thank Donna Miscolta for the review of Cloud Pharmacy that she wrote here and which I've excerpted below. Donna is a fiction writer who writes with a poetic sensibility. Check out her powerful novel, When The de la Cruz Family Danced. 

Cloud Pharmacy (White Pine Press) by Susan Rich

… don’t let go, let go.
                              from the poem,  The Tangible, Intangible

This last line in “The Tangible, Intangible,” one of Susan Rich’s poems inspired by the nineteenth-century photographer Hannah Maynard, captures for me the essence of Cloud Pharmacy, a collection that is intelligent and observant, and which deftly exposes one’s contradictory passions, needs, and even self-regard. Rich addresses several themes in her new book, one of which is grief.

In a section of the book called Dark Room, Rich reflects on the curious and haunting multiple-exposure self-portraits by Maynard, whose daughter died as a teenager. In Rich’s poems, Maynard is a figure that “stands neither in/nor out of the century but floats.” Or, in yet another multiple-exposure, “Hannahs stand here, sit there, bend over …” In another poem, “she overlaps the images and leaves/no line of separation.”

Even in the other poems, the ones on love and fire, there are these opposing perceptions of what is real and what we want to believe. In “There is No Substance That Does Not Carry One Inside of It,” an encroaching fire moves foreigners to politely request action from their Spanish hotelier, who observes the fire, “the little/ flames clearly flirtatious, clearly beyond belief.” Rich creates a sense of the surreal... continue reading Donna Miscolta's review right here.

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