Category Archives: class

Walls, Doors and Windows

I am thinking about walls, doors and windows, and the rooms that many writers feel they are kept out of. The feeling is real. I have a lot of experience with walls, doors and windows. Besides the fact that I … Continue reading

Posted in Advice, class, Community; Genorosity, Comparison, Competition, creativity, economics, Elitism, emotion, Energy, failure, Gratitude, happiness, Magic, Maintenance, privacy, Process, Public appearances, research, Self-worth, silence, soul, spaciousness, spirit, success, survival, The Writer's Life, Uncategorized, Visibilty, work, Writing career | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Path

I am often asked how I got to where I am now. I honestly don’t know how to answer this question. I didn’t take a conventional route. I didn’t go to college. I didn’t enter an MFA program. I’m not … Continue reading

Posted in class, comfort, Comparison, creativity, Day by day, economics, failure, fiction, Process, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Holding Space for Yourself

In teaching, one of the things I try to do is hold space. In my private prompts classes, we close our eyes and take some deep breaths and get quiet, letting the workweek fall away, the effort that went into … Continue reading

Posted in class, Community; Genorosity, Comparison, Competition, creativity, critique, Day by day, depression, emotion, Energy, Gratitude, Prompts, silence, Uncategorized, what artists need, Writing exercises | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

Nine times a month I teach classes devoted only to writing from prompts. The prompts can range anywhere from a line of poetry, to a picture, to an object, to writing a story that places an object within a picture, … Continue reading

Posted in class, Community; Genorosity, creativity, Energy, Exploration, fun with what we do, Magic, Process, Prompts, Story, Telling our stories, The Muse, Uncategorized, Writing exercises | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Thick Skin vs. Self Knowledge

I am often asked about the ethics of memoir. Specifically, is it ethical to write about another person? Can I be sued? Should I use real names? My answers are, respectively: Yes and no, maybe, and definitely not. There. Now … Continue reading

Posted in class, Competition, creativity, critique, Drafts, editors, emotion, fiction, Revision, Self-worth, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments


I think there are three ways of earning money in this world. One is to rent out your body (labor), another is to rent out the space between your ears (desk jobs mostly), and the third is to have money … Continue reading

Posted in class, Comparison, Day by day, economics, Elitism, fiction, Self-worth, spaciousness, Uncategorized, Writing career | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Dear Karen, It is two days past Thanksgiving, 2014. At the start of the week we learned of a grand jury’s refusal to indict a policeman for the shooting of an unarmed black man. There were riots. Cars were burned. … Continue reading

Posted in class, economics, Elitism, emotion, Grief, Story, Telling our stories, Uncategorized, violence, voice | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Poet Luisa Igloria joins our conversation: making our way as women, as writers, as teachers

06 September 2014 Norfolk, VA Dear Karen, Dear Nancy— Oh your last two letters! One, on heart and mind; and on how important it is to not be afraid of the intimate and the “personal.”  The other, on passion … Continue reading

Posted in class, Community; Genorosity, creativity, Elitism, Poetry, posterity | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Laughter and Tears

Dear Karen – I am thinking about laughter. I love laughter. I love humor, hilarity, wit, silliness. I love joking. I love irony. Sometimes I love things that aren’t supposed to be funny, or weren’t funny while they were being … Continue reading

Posted in class, Community; Genorosity, creativity, fun with what we do, happiness, Philosophy, Play, Process, Publishing, Telling our stories, The Writer's Life, Uncategorized, what artists need | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Elitist Construct

Dear Karen, Long before my first book was published, long before I had even written it, I struggled with finding a way to put words on paper and have them become a story. Part of my study was to read … Continue reading

Posted in Book tour, class, Comparison, depression, economics, Public appearances, Self-worth, The Writer's Life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments