"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better." ~Samuel Beckett
Fiction
A Sense of Space

A Sense of Space

Driving south on the New York State Thruway this week, I passed by the small village of Ravena, which the highway bisects on its inevitable journey south to New York City. This is significant to me always because Ravena is my hometown,and every time I pass by it on the Thruway I’m reminded of where...
The Principled Life

The Principled Life

In the grand scheme of things, what is it really all about? Is it our accomplishments? The achievements we so proudly sought out, sometimes sacrificing all for, will they really be the things we hang our hats on at the end of the day? Writers long for publication- God knows I’m no different- but really,...
The Truth About Rejection

The Truth About Rejection

  This post is deliberately two sided. Both sides have to do with rejection. There are similarities between the two, no doubt, and in the similarities hopefully some inspiration can be gleaned. The first example comes from an email I received last week. It was a rejection from Willow Springs magazine, and it went succinctly...
Social Media, Errors, and Oversights That Can Cost You

Social Media, Errors, and Oversights That Can Cost You

I love my blog. For years now I have been chronicling thoughts, hopes, aspirations, hurts, and writing tips right here on Sharper Thesis, the blog. But last night I was reminded in an abrupt way that there are rules to social media, and that if you forget them like I did you can miss out...
The Inevitable Angry Post Remorse

The Inevitable Angry Post Remorse

Look, I make errors. I repeat the same errors over and over again, usually on this blog. This is one of those times. I’m writing the mea culpa for a post I wrote yesterday in anger. Im going to try to take the bee out of the honey, as it were. Here goes. My last...
Next to Normal

Next to Normal

” Day after day, give me clouds and rain and grey. Give me pain if that’s what’s real–it’s the price we pay to feel. The price of love is loss, but still we pay–we love anyway…” from the song, “Light,” in Next to Normal I was cruising through a friend’s Facebook account and came upon...
NaNoWriMo and the Death Force

NaNoWriMo and the Death Force

November. The month that turns a writer’s heart to all kinds of disparate things. Snow (apparently), turkey, football, writing a novel in thirty days, raking leaves, etc. Yes, writing a novel in thirty days is in there, too, because it’s National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo.  And it’s pretty wild. The point here is simple:...
Elif Shafak and the Politics of Fiction

Elif Shafak and the Politics of Fiction

TED constantly fascinates me.  This is no exception. Turkish novelist Elif Shafak discusses the relationship between identity politics and fiction in this really amazing talk that all teachers of “creative writing” should hear.  The notion, as Shafak puts it, that modern life, technology, and globalization have allowed us all to gravitate into cultural ghettos, places...
#4

#4

I believe in little gifts from the gods.  Snow days, green lights, extra cheese on your pizza, a few personalized words from a harried fiction editor, and, yes, getting a story published after a five year drought.  The little gifts are the best. I, like every writer known to mankind, sends stories out, and, also...
A Storyless Story

A Storyless Story

I just finished Scarlett Thomas’ latest novel, Our Tragic Universe, which got me thinking about fiction, story, the afterlife, new age religion, relationships, and the writing life.  In short, this fascinating novel got the juices flowing, which, in the end, is what you hope good fiction will do. Meg, Thomas’ protagonist, is a genre writer...