Thursday, October 29, 2015

Writerly Tips & Whatnot & Whatall

I was on Vermont Public Radio a couple weeks ago, forgot to post. Here's some writer stuff that popped up. 
I've been saying for years that you could open a book of mine to any page and I could explain the memory that went into building what's there. And then the interviewer, Shelagh Shapiro (who's wonderful) completely catches me by pulling out a very short bit -- maybe only one sentence -- and it contains three distinct memories. Her point is about using metaphor, but mine is all about using memory. You'll find that at 14:50.
On the page here, you can read the visualization exercise that I now do on the first day of class. Visualization is crucial to my process and I was underplaying it in my teaching so decided, this year, to develop a way to get writing students -- first off -- to understand or, maybe more pointedly, to trust that their minds are generative. Many of the stories written in my classes this fall started with this exercise. Try it yourself, use them in your classes. (If you're teaching them, speak slowly -- the asterisks allow the writers time to see...)
Other bits:
11:15 I explain how I'm Tilton, how I still allow my mother to mother me as she needs to.
11:35 An explanation of my daughter Phoebe's nickname for me "Baby Mobster"
13:20 The dangers of writing a novel over 18 years.
18:15 On how to write a story within a story.