Has it been so many months since my last post? Hopefully none of you are familiar with this feeling of having abandoned your blog on accident. I’ve been finishing up a screenwriting project with my dear friend, relocating to a new city (greetings from Atlanta!), and doing the general business of living that makes sitting down to maintain The Wordsy difficult. I’ve missed this community’s warmth and encouragement (you’re a most decent bunch), and I hope in the future to bring you a better, more vibrant, thoughtful and entertaining collection of work.
P.S. Expect some renovations to the site for easier navigation!
I’d fallen into a rhythmic stride en route to the dormitories, where my path led between a ridge of lamplit trees and pond reeds dusted with snow tops. That powder sifted over my route between the parking lot and campus proper would melt before morning, but it was here now, and so was I. Everyone else would be asleep at this hour, tucked away from frosted windows and clanging radiators. But here, falling into the silent rhythm of heel-toe, I left a single set of footprints behind me. Continue reading →
And now a break from our regularly scheduled programming.
Tribes Note 5 went up earlier this week. It’s not really a storyline that’s in a hurry. More of a sometimes-warmup for my off-blog activities. I’m making excuses for the fact that it may be going nowhere, and may never end.
Until the last year, I believed that the small tweaks and grammar corrections I made to my writing constituted “rewriting.” I heard about people starting over with their rewrites and thought “well clearly they didn’t have this amazing base for their work that I do.” That overhaul rewrite was for other people, not me.
If Charlie Kaufman decides not to write another screenplay, that will of course be a great loss. I’ve written here before about his latest film, Anomalisa (2015), as well as my fandom for what I call his “aesthetic of despair.”
Today a friend of mine who has written plays and stories for decades made a Facebook announcement. He had received his 50th rejection. It was with humor and a grain of salt he commemorated the occasion, and it drove home for me the importance of having the right attitude about your setbacks. Continue reading →
A few years ago while I was living in southern New York, a friend and I decided it would be fun to have a psychic read our futures. I’m what you call a “skeptic,” in that I’ve long ago given up on spirits and spiritualism, religion, or anything else that pulls from ancient mythology as a source of faith. I am, however, a little on the “hippy dippy” side in that I seek the peace of nature and animals, and believe in cultivating human goodness and goodwill. In other words, I would never believe a psychic who claimed to know my life, but I’m open to one with some good advice. Continue reading →
Years ago, I read this installment of one of my favorite series, The Atlantic‘s “By Heart,” in which authors discuss their favorite literary works and one-liners. At the time, I don’t think I fully understood the Camus line Faye Weldon quoted. I just wanted to read an interview with a successful author and television writer (an ambition of mine that has since evolved).
I could just as easily title this post “Confessions of a Chronic Procrastinator.” I’m sure plenty can relate, but when you’re writing independently this isn’t really an option. With no one holding you accountable to sit down and write daily, to finish that draft or edit your latest revision, self-starting can be the biggest source of writer’s block.
Two things have helped me overcome this. One is a mindset, and the other an accompanying practice. Continue reading →
Not even a year after the publication of a new manuscript, Go Set a Watchman, American author Harper Lee has passed away at the age of 89. Lee is perhaps remembered most lovingly for that grade-school book report staple To Kill a Mockingbird.
I want to take this opportunity not to mourn, because authors have the unique ability to live on in their works, but to focus on a moment in Lee’s early life and writing: her friendship with Truman Capote. Continue reading →
The Atlantic magazine online recently published the latest edition of their writer-centric “By Heart” series, which interviews writers about their favorite quotes and best writing advice. This week’s interview with Tony Tulathimutte addressed why characters (and the authors behind them!) have a moral prerogative to be “good people.” Continue reading →