Starting to Outline

I am quite right-brained and so it’s hard for me to outline my writing. I can do it best by talking to someone and then following the dots of our conversation. Luckily, I like to conclude or finish things once they are started so I’ll keep working until I have enough to feel like I know “which way the horse is going.” What I have noticed is that more left-brained writers outline easily and yet, sometimes, have a harder time making  their text sing with strong verbs, metaphors and poetic writing. Continue reading “Starting to Outline” »

The Sense of An Ending by Julian Barnes

I changed my mind and it feels good to do so. I didn’t enjoy the lackluster voice of the protagonist in The Sense of An Ending until I sat down and read it for a length of time; sometimes reading a chunk of a book at one time makes a difference to me in how I can register a book’s tone and voice. Well, I  settled in with in and came to like this 60’s man who was really an ordinary “every man” who took what life gave him and made it enough. Not pro-active until the end. The book became an alternative to Catcher in the Rye with the same sensibility. Continue reading “The Sense of An Ending by Julian Barnes” »

Reading and Writing Helps Memoir

Read for Benecia Literary Arts and audience seemed to like the female touch in Salt and Paper: 65 Candles. Cooperative, peaceful, spiritual, living life with meaning of contribution and higher calling.

Reading Julian Barnes for a book group led by Pat Holt, former SF Chronicle’s book review. We’re thinking of what would make a modern classic where woman are portrayed realistically as powerful as they often are. Enough of the put downs of women and what is womanly. Julian Barnes book is The Sense of an Ending and is about memory. Continue reading “Reading and Writing Helps Memoir” »

Dragon Software (Talk Into)

Just read a snippet in the SF Chronicle today 10-14-2012 that there is a version of the Dragon Software that is free and you can talk into it instead of inputting on computer. Anyone know more about this?

Jennifer Eagen’s Novels

Eagen won the Pulitzer Price for A Visit from the Goon Squad which is a richly layered character driven book. The “goon squad” is a metaphor for age coming to her characters, some maturing in wisdom and some with quirks of personality. This is book of human nature by an author who isn’t into violence but isn’t afraid of the “shadow forces” in us all. A telling of  people which includes their shadow impulses gives us a glimpse into our common reality not readily shown. Continue reading “Jennifer Eagen’s Novels” »

Writing and the Egrets

Went on a walk in Alameda, CA, about thirty minutes from where I live on the marsh in Emeryville, to see the egrets nesting. Although we have egrets here, I understand there are about twenty places in this San Francisco Bay area that they actually build a nest and lay their eggs. They nest in colonies and the trees they pick and return to year after year are often called colonized trees because many nests are built in one tree or an several close by trees. Continue reading “Writing and the Egrets” »

Alison Bechtel’s New Book Are You My Mother?

Just saw Alison Bechtel at San Francisco’s Booksmith Height Street. (What a neighborhood to remind us of the 60’s and the “flower children” we once were.) It was a crowd of all ages and orientations and the store actually felt warm and inviting with the energy of the crowd coming from folks that wanted connecting. This is what Alison does for us. She helps us connect with her experiences of family and allows us to appreciate the truth in what we have lived, rather than the illusions of our defense. Continue reading “Alison Bechtel’s New Book Are You My Mother?” »

Adrienne Rich

The passing of poet, Adrienne Rich is a milestone. A time that has come to an end when she is among us to talk of sexism and with the courage to “tell her truth” . She was always the voice of the oppressed and the one of few women let through the “old boys network” to have her work be part of the poetry canon. I believe her talent but also her great intelligence found a way to her acceptance. I met her once in San Francisco at a reading for Diving into the Wreck. She was a wordsmith for sure. Continue reading “Adrienne Rich” »

Linda Sexton’s Reading, Anne’s Daughter, A Memoir

Linda was one of the readers at 333 in Sausalito, CA, Thursday night reading from her memoir, Half in Love: A Story of Surviving Suicide. Her famous mother took her own life when Linda was twenty, after years of  depression. Linda, struggled with her own depression and suicide attempts, and writes of her life with honesty and compassion to her troubled mother and herself. Continue reading “Linda Sexton’s Reading, Anne’s Daughter, A Memoir” »

Visaul Art As Poetry

I have talked before about how all the arts feed into an artist’s sensibility. I went to the play RED at the Berkeley Rep which was a two man show of Mark Rothko and his assistant. Rothko had an interest and talents in music, writing, philosopher and was, of course, one of the leading artists of Abstract Expressionist. In his large works of color blocks he wanted to show an absolute, uncompromising purity. His signature works were large single colored rectangles over a hovering ground. Continue reading “Visaul Art As Poetry” »