Tag Archives: field guide

On hatred of the artist as a young person

I was listening to Neil Gaiman discuss why he waited to write the Graveyard Book until he was a good enough writer to do the story justice. He told about two aborted attempts to get into the characters. The years of thinking it had taken … Read more

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Get Lit!

In 1998, Eastern Washington University’s Press and the Creative Writing Department sponsored a literary festival that would become Get Lit! At the time, I was a graduate student, and couldn’t afford to pay $10 for the events, so we worked the box office instead. That … Read more

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What is your tone?

I didn’t really get tone until college. What is the author’s attitude, they’d ask us on tests. How the fuck should I know? Why can’t we just read it and have our own attitudes?

But I get it now. It’s not much of a conversation … Read more

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Mothering

I was thinking this morning about the evolution of the mother figure in my novels. In Red Audrey, the mother has mental health issues and ultimately commits suicide when Jane is a child. In Field Guide, the mothers run the gamut from cruelty to tenderness, … Read more

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Please praise what you love

I used to dread the question: What’s your book about?

Um. It’s a kind of love story. (Red Audrey.) It’s a tragedy. About martyrdom. And family.(Field Guide.) Yes. Yes, way to pitch, Jill Malone. But now, I look forward to you asking because fuck, I’m … Read more

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Wherever you are

We want all kinds of things for our children. We want them to be healthy, to be surrounded by thoughtful, kind and supportive friends. We want them to love and be loved. We want them to be patient and reasonable. To enjoy their lives. To … Read more

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My interview with my wife. Not on video.

“Wanna interview me?”
“Sure. Oh, you mean, now?”
“Kinda.”
“I don’t get time to think about my questions?”
“No, you do.”
“HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE YOU TO WRITE A BOOK? ………….. Jill, that’s the first question.”
“Oh, we’re not interviewing on video?”
“No. You … Read more

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Lovesong

While I was in New Orleans, she texted me. “You need to call me,” she wrote. “I’ve just finished your second novel. You need to explain yourself.”

I sneaked out to the pool at 3:43 a.m. and called her. “It’s a tragedy,” I began. “It’s … Read more

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Take the Shortbus

The Netflix rental sat atop the television for months. Blocking the way of remotes and novels. Glaring at us with its red and white face. Why haven’t you watched this movie? Mostly it was the title of the film. Shortbus. Are you fucking kidding? Mary … Read more

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The Girl, Part 1

She said we were too much to be an affair, and too little to be girlfriends, so she called me her whatever. I was in love with her. It went on like that for ages. She’d come to town for Violent Femmes, and we’d do … Read more

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