Content Tagged ‘Robert Frost’

Poetry & prose

June 15, 2016 | 12 Comments

Balancing honesty and artifice

August 13, 2012 | 17 Comments

John Casey on that “low vaudeville cunning” necessary in writing. Once I asked for advice about my idea of adding a fourth act to my memoir. I’d seen how it would break up the long second act, give readers a fresh resting place. And the more I’d lived with the notion the more I’d liked it: adding an act also would emphasize a new phase in the story’s arc. My mentor at the time was really offended, however. The reason …

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Review/Q&A: Alethea Black on ‘Lovely,’ faith & fiction, essays & cutting to bone

April 29, 2012 | 9 Comments

I can only speak for myself, but there’s something about writing at night that feels . . . sneaky. There’s an outlaw quality to it, combined, oddly enough, with a sense of being safe. It has an anaerobic, subterranean feel; it’s as if I’m working beneath the soil, toiling in secret, trying to cultivate something hidden and occult.—Alethea Black, “Essay to be Read at 3 a.m”  I Knew You’d Be Lovely by Alethea Black. Broadway Books, 238 pp. I read …

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Honesty and chronology, part two

September 11, 2009 | No Comments

William Zinsser addresses the issue of fidelity to chronology in his On Writing Well, and I was surprised by his answer. Perusing the thirtieth anniversary edition of this sober classic on nonfiction, I expected Zinsser to be very conservative in all matters regarding literal truth, but after a long career of successful freelance magazine and book writing he’s practical about quotes and timelines. He approves of legendary New Yorker writer Joseph Mitchell’s composite quotes and blended timelines in his profiles. …

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