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Vol. 32, Freeing Your Work Through Limitations

Posted on 5 April 2003

The idea for this month’s column was sparked during a recent conversation with my mother. My mother is at the bitter end of her struggle to complete her Ph.D. In the final throes of her dissertation, she finds herself pulled in more than one direction. On the one hand she wants to explore all her… »

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Vol. 31, Seeking and Receiving Critiques

Posted on 1 March 2003

In writing an essay for an upcoming anthology, I was recently stumped. The topic seemed unwieldy and I couldn’t get the tone and feel of the piece. The content in the first draft was too personal. The content in the second, too dogmatic. I put both the first draft and the second draft to the… »

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Vol. 27, Writing is Fighting

Posted on 6 September 2002

Novelists for Life Cybergroup Cyberspace On my novelists e-group, we are always discussing writing. The processes of writing, the challenges, the failures and successes, what scares us about it, how we triumphed over an obstacle or a block. During one of our discussions on writing, a member of the list, Angel Shannon wrote: ishmael reed… »

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Vol. 26, Editing: Going Within

Posted on 23 July 2002

Brooklyn, NY I am fascinated with the editing process. That should not come as a surprise as I am an editor and a copy editor as well as a writer. I look at the first draft of a story or an essay as a mass of raw material, a block of marble to be carved…. »

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Vol. 22, In Brazil: Bahian Food

Posted on 15 March 2002

Salvador, Bahia Brazil When I returned from Lençois, my sneakers were so dirty, I decided to just leave them in the plastic bag I transported them in. On a rainy morning, a few weeks after my return, I decided to wear my sneakers instead of the customary flip-flops. I pulled my sneakers out of the… »

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Vol. 18, Pitching: A Study in Frustration

Posted on 6 February 2002

New York, NY Pitching is a skill in and of itself. To be able to look at a magazine and create story ideas that fit with their thrust is a talent I haven’t mastered. Admittedly I haven’t tried very hard to master the technique. For me, the act of pitching steals away valuable writing time… »

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Vol. 17, Contemplation on Completion

Posted on 28 January 2002

 Brooklyn, New York A few months ago, someone suggested I pitch the KIS.list to print publications. They envisioned a syndicated column in magazines and/or newspapers nationwide. This idea interests me, and I thought I’d put it off until later, but then I decided, why not do it now. It took more work than I expected… »

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Vol. 15, 9-to-5

Posted on 23 December 2001

An ongoing conversation about j-o-b-s New York, NY Before I went away on the Thomas J. Watson fellowship (and before I’d worked an actual 9-to-5), I thought I had to work to feel settled in my life. These words from my student lips: “I can’t live without working. I’d go crazy.” Then I went away… »

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Vol. 13, Money and Art

Posted on 2 December 2001

Email Conversations with a Writer Friend New York, NY I’d noticed one writer friend constantly complaining about money. On stage, in private, whenever conversations about her work came up, one of her responses would be “Yeah, well, I ain’t got no money.” Her disgruntledness made me uncomfortable. I’ll have to excavate (as another friend says… »

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Vol. 11, I/We

Posted on 9 November 2001

Phone Conversations with My Mother Baton Rouge, LA and Brooklyn, NY Writing is a very solitary act. Yet it, like many other art forms, is only fulfilled in community. It lives when it is read by others. Some artists don’t like to be influenced by others while developing their work, but I find a large… »

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