This weekend at the Creative Nonfiction Writer's Conference, I led a master class on Research Techniques in the genre. For those of you who attended (or anyone else interested in learning more about creative research), here are links to the essays and books I referenced. Immersion Pieces Jeanne Marie Laskas' "Underworld," and her entire collection, … Continue reading How to Be An Explorer of the World
I'm recycling my own work here, which I am usually loathe to do. But a post I wrote last semester, working alongside the students in my Writing for Digital Media class, was just featured on WordPress.com's Freshly Pressed showcase, and the response has been tremendous. The advice has really seemed to resonate with a lot … Continue reading Go Down the Rabbit Hole: A Writer’s Manifesto
I. LOVE. research. It's by far my favorite part of the writing process, the time when I just get to look and learn and soak up and scribble and wonder and wander around and around and around... And it doesn't matter if it feels like it's getting anywhere.
When I decided, five years ago, that I was no longer satisfied with my vegetarian diet, or its impact on the food system, I turned to the Internet to help me navigate that decision. I had a lot of questions. I wanted to know what would happen to my body, and how to prepare my … Continue reading Breaking Vegetarian
It's a short week, so I don't have too much to say or too much time to write. But my Digital Storytelling students got to see me-as-writer this week, when I did their short digital prompt along with them, so I thought it only fair that my other students get to see that I write, … Continue reading The Professor as Writer
I finally got myself an iPad last week, and I've been having a great time exploring how to integrate it into my life. So far, my favorite uses have been creative (big surprise, I know). For fun: I've been playing around with Keri Smith's "This is Not an App." For day-to-day idea generation and noodling: … Continue reading What We Carry
Today, I asked this of my Digital Storytelling class, after a really productive discussion about the power of narrative (with the help of Elif Shafak, Benjamin Zander, and Rives). This week, my creative nonfiction students are reading Terry Tempest Williams' "Why I Write," and Joan Didion's "On Keeping a Notebook," to examine nonfiction's possibilities for … Continue reading What Are the Stories You Want to Tell?
I'm beginning the process of curating a collaborative digital collage of women + food called Mangia, Ragazza! Mangia, Ragazza is Italian for "eat, girl!" which is what my Nona used to scold me when I told her I was full at the end of a three-hour meal. My goal with this project is to explore … Continue reading Seeking Women Who Eat…
They dim the lights in the Wigle Barrelhouse just as the music is starting, so that the soft twang of an acoustic guitar and a mandolin sound softer still, muffled and sweet. The oak barrels lining the room – all four walls, stacked on their sides to the ceiling, propping up the cocktail tables – … Continue reading Whiskey and Water
It's staunchly autumn here in western PA, and I'm beginning to feel it happening. I'm starting to work on my book again. It's been a long time since I've been able to even think about working on the manuscript, and that absence has been hard -- troubling -- to me. I've been thinking, probably too … Continue reading Some Thoughts on Working, Fear, and Growth