Thursday, February 21, 2013


As of summer 2013, I'm on hiatus as I work on three new projects. Visit my main site at for updates and information. And as always, work...write...and wonder.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


I'm cheered to report that the (legally questionable) Jane Austen Fight Club film-ette is back on YouTube...complete with a lame advertisement, but back. (Actually, perhaps Jane would find Zoosk amusing.) From its dubious taffetas to its bloody roses, this is just delicious. Enjoy it while you can.

Saturday, August 11, 2012


Photographer Joseph Holmes, who was given this book by his friend Dwight in 1978, calls this "the best book inscription ever." That's hyperbole, of course, but it's still very charming thanks to that last throwaway line with its totally amusing twist. Kerouac and a Star Wars game: don't you think this must be the only time in history the two were ever considered equivalent? And do you think Jack Kerouac would laugh?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

THE STORY WITHIN AN IMAGE: tracy chevalier at TED

In this TED talk, writer Tracy Chevalier talks about finding stories within paintings: a small meditation not just on enjoying art, but also on the creation of her novel Girl with a Pearl Earring, finding processes that fuel one's inspiration, and the kernel of story that can be found in even non-narrative images.

I especially love this comment: "We know very little about Vermeer himself, which made me go, 'Yippee'!" Many of us who write fiction feel the excitement of the moment when a sort of hole opens up in history just large enough to allow us to wiggle our own story in.

Monday, August 6, 2012

OBITUARY FOR THE TYPEWRITER: and a typewriter lover

I came across this 2008 obituary of a typewriter expert and repairman named Norman Tytell entirely by chance, a tiny gemlike gift from the randomness of the Internet. The writing is beautiful and the vision of a life filled with love for a craft equally so.

ANYONE who had dealings with manual typewriters—the past tense, sadly, is necessary—knew that they were not mere machines. Eased heavily from the box, they would sit on the desk with an air of expectancy, like a concert grand once the lid is raised. On older models the keys, metal-rimmed with white inlay, invited the user to play forceful concertos on them, while the silvery type-bars rose and fell chittering and whispering from their beds. Such sounds once filled the offices of the world, and Martin Tytell's life.

I wish that I could praise the author by name, but there's no byline I can find. You can read the equally wonderful remainder of the piece on the website of The Economist.

Saturday, August 4, 2012


As those of you who have worked with me know, diet cola is a weakness of mine, fuel of many a writing project.

So it amused me greatly to come across a description, in (despite the scary name, an interesting compendium of photographic and press oddities) of a museum of failed products that includes Pepsi A.M. The beverage was a "breakfast cola" that lived from 1989 to 1990 and is pictured here with its colors inverted, just because I could. Yum, yum--and surely so good for you....

In my next life, surely all of my creativity will be fueled by something sensible, like broccoli.

Friday, July 20, 2012

FILM-ETTES ON FRIDAYS: Elizabeth Gilbert on Tom Waites, Ruth Stone and genius

TED is an extraordinary repository of great inspiration, all packaged in 18 minute videos. Here's one of my favorites. I think you'll find Elizabeth Gilbert's thoughts helpful to your writing pratice whether or not you loved, or even read, Eat, Pray, Love. It's articuate, searching, comforting, and funny. Can one ask for more?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

DON'T LOOK NOW: (i'm writing)

You may have noticed that I haven't been posting here of late. I'm happy to say that I'm finally back at work on both my memoir and my new novel, and I've wanted to spend any and all available writing time on them. I'll be back here at some point, though perhaps not until the fall. Until then, I hope that all of you have a pleasant and creatively productive summer.

You may not see my previous posts on the blog on this page, as the display is date-sensitive. It's all still here, though; just click on "older posts," below, or use the search bar at the very bottom of this main page to search by topic.
On one more minor point of housekeeping: I've gotten a couple of questions about the Jane Austen Fight Club video posted here as one of my film-ettes on Fridays. Sadly, it has been pulled from YouTube as a result of copyright issues. I am a fierce supporter of copyright protections, as I believe all creative people should be...but I must admit, I'm sorry not to be able to revisit that delicious little piece of work.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

BONNETS MADE OF CHEESE: literary voice on Twitter

Today I received a link to a blog post about Rosanne Cash "channeling" Jane Austen on Twitter. (Surely there is a simpler way to express all that, but it is Monday evening and I can't think of it.)

Until this little snippet it had not occurred to me that one could tweet in persona, as it were. Somehow, using Twitter in my own already overused voice has never seemed very festive, and I have hence been avoiding adding yet another task to my eternally overlong and underdone to do list. Buttweeting in the crisp and dulcet tones of a literary, there's an entertaining thought.

According to the blog Austenprose, Ms. Cash, an accomplished memoirist and singer-songwriter when not tweeting, offered a particularly amusing series of Janeite observations on Twitter during the Super Bowl--certainly an occasion that might bring out the swooning maiden in a gal.

My favorite among them was surely "Some ladies are determined to sport bonnets made of cheese. I must take to my bed."

The thought of enjoying such dainty and ironic snippets isn't quite enough to make me sign up on Twitter just so that I can follow Ms. Cash.

But it's close.

Friday, February 18, 2011

FILM-ETTES ON FRIDAYS: so you want to write a novel...

Working Writer (who is also a Working Book Coach and Editor) loves this snarky little film so very, very much.