Archive | December, 2011

MFA Nugget: Creativity and Wasting Time

MONTPELIER, VERMONT: The title of the New Year’s Eve lecture here at my Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA residency was “The Importance of Wasting Time,” but for this attendee it could have been titled “Everything The Artist’s Road Blog is About.” VCFA instructors Connie May Fowler and Patrick Madden engaged both a physical audience […]

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MFA Nugget: Illuminating your Story

MONTPELIER, VERMONT: “The job of a fiction writer is to illuminate what is written.” That pearl of wisdom from the late Grace Paley was shared with us here at the Vermont College of Fine Arts by VCFA instructor Richard McCann. At his interactive lecture, a few dozen of us students broke down a two-page short […]

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MFA Nugget: A Window on Your Narrator

MONTPELIER, VERMONT: “Literary writers embrace exterior details to convey our interiority.” So said Sue William Silverman in the opening lecture of my latest MFA residency here with the Vermont College of Fine Arts. The award-winning Silverman–author of Love Sick: One Woman’s Journey through Sexual Addiction, Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You, and Fearless […]

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A Sneak Peek at Coming Attractions

I’m off to Montpelier, Vermont, tomorrow morning for my latest MFA in Writing residency, and I want to commit to you, via this post, that I will be posting highlights I pick up from lectures and readings in (semi) real time from the residency. I can’t promise a post a day, but I aim to […]

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Congrats, You’ve Won a Top Blog Award!

The Artist’s Road is nothing without its readers, who spark fascinating conversation in the comments and share posts with their friends. So with The Artist’s Road now an award-winning blog, you are the winners. This morning the authoritative blog Write to Done named The Artist’s Road a Top 10 Blog for Writers for 2011-2012. Chief […]

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When a Novel’s Narrator Comes Alive

Quick. When I ask you to name a novel where the first-person narrator leaps off the page, what comes to mind? Now skip to the bottom of this post and type it into the comments. Ah, you’re back. Good! Thank you for helping me formulate a reading list for the next semester in my MFA […]

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Creativity Tweets of the Week — 12/16/11

Running out of holiday gift ideas for loved ones? Why not give them a year’s subscription to The Artist’s Road? It’s chock-full of resources for the creative-minded, and it’s part of a complete breakfast. Oh, and did I mention it’s free? Now on to this week’s links on creativity and writing I sent out this […]

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Is Journaling a Cure for Creative Blocks?

Do you journal? Many creatives do, particularly creative writers. Several best-selling books on breaking through writer’s block and unlocking your muse advise daily writings in a personal journal. The process, we’re told, clears mental cobwebs, sparks ideas, and empowers the writer to overcome the fear of the blank page. Talk to any evangelist for The […]

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Crustacean Christmas Revisited

Have you ever typed “crustacean Christmas” into Google? It probably says something about the oddity of our family tradition that an Artist’s Road blog post about it is the first entry on that list. Today I’ll provide a sequel post, but first some quick background. It started with a Christmas tree ornament my wife purchased […]

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Showing AND Telling

“Show, don’t tell.” Is there a fiction writer out there who isn’t sick of hearing that command? Consider this: when telling your own story, you must show and tell. This was the lesson shared recently by two masters of the personal essay–Keith Woods and Lonnae O’Neal Parker–at the “Write Your Heart Out” conference sponsored by […]

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