• strict warning: Declaration of FeedsImporter::copy() should be compatible with FeedsConfigurable::copy(FeedsConfigurable $configurable) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/includes/FeedsImporter.inc on line 94.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsNodeProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsNodeProcessor.inc on line 319.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsNodeProcessor::setTargetElement() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::setTargetElement(&$target_item, $target_element, $value) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsNodeProcessor.inc on line 319.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsFeedNodeProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsFeedNodeProcessor.inc on line 227.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsFeedNodeProcessor::setTargetElement() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::setTargetElement(&$target_item, $target_element, $value) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsFeedNodeProcessor.inc on line 227.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsUserProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsUserProcessor.inc on line 195.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • You must include at least one positive keyword with 3 characters or more.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_display::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_display.inc on line 1877.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_display_block::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin_display::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_display_block.inc on line 193.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_field.inc on line 641.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 82.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 585.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 585.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 609.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 128.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_style_default.inc on line 25.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of content_handler_field::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/cck/includes/views/handlers/content_handler_field.inc on line 208.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 745.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 770.

Holiday Shopping Guide - Lori Ostlund

This Holiday Shopping Guide suggestion comes from Lori Ostlund:

In 2006, I attended the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference,
where I had the opportunity to hear Richard Siken read “Litany in Which Certain
Things Are Crossed Out,” from his poetry collection Crush (Yale University Press, 2005), which won the 2004 Yale Series of Younger Poets
competition.    I cannot put into words
how I feel about this collection, except to say that it terrifies and
exhilarates me, and when I am feeling discouraged, especially when I am feeling
discouraged about my own writing, I take this collection out and read from it
to myself, aloud.  There are some poems
that I return to repeatedly, poems such as the one that I heard Siken read that
afternoon at Bread Loaf, which begins as follows:

Every morning the maple leaves.                                Every morning another chapter where the hero shifts             from one foot to the other. Every morning the same big and little words all spelling out desire, all spelling out                                              You will be alone always and then you will die. So maybe I wanted to give you something more than a catalog          of non-definitive acts, something other than the desperation.                    Dear So-and-So, I'm sorry I couldn't come to your party. Dear So-and-So, I'm sorry I came to your party          and seduced you and left you bruised and ruined, you poor sad thing.                                                          You want a better story. Who wouldn't? The title refers, of course, to the crush of infatuation,
though this infatuation is of an obsessive, even violent, nature, and so the
title refers as well to the way that lovers crush one another.  There are some poems that I love, such as “A
Primer for the Small Weird Loves,” but that I sometimes cannot read, silently
or aloud.  There are others that I have
read perhaps a hundred times, poems such as “Boot Theory” and “Scheherazade,”
which opens the collection and is a love poem (of sorts) that describes the
beginning of romance, a beginning that is giddy and reckless and marked by its
own transience:

Tell me about the dream where we pull the bodies out of the lake                                                       and dress them in warm clothes again.         How it was late, and no one could sleep, the horses runninguntil they forget that they are horses.                   It's not like a tree where the roots have to end somewhere,         it's more like a song on a policeman's radio,                 how we rolled up the carpet so we could dance, and the dayswere bright red, and every time we kissed there was another apple                                                                                       to slice into pieces.Look at the light through the windowpane. That means it's noon, that means         we're inconsolable.                               Tell me how all this, and love too, will ruin us.These, our bodies, possessed by light.                                                                Tell me we'll never get used to it.

These poems are filled with desperation and sadness, wit and
beauty, love and loneliness. Though this probably does not need to be said,
this is not a book that you give indiscriminately, as a stocking stuffer at
work or to an acquaintance who has, in passing, mentioned an interest in
poetry.  When I returned from Bread Loaf,
exhausted, especially after a sleepless final night cleaning up after a
vomiting roommate, I staggered into the house, presented my partner with a copy
of Crush, and read to her before
falling into a deep sleep.  She still
considers it the best gift I’ve ever given her. 
Crush is not for everyone, and
I mean that in the best sense.  

Two other recommendations: one is a subscription to New England Review, my favorite
journal.  I gave a subscription to a
friend earlier this year, and when I saw her last month, she told me that NER
has become her favorite journal also and that she gives her copy to a friend,
who makes comments on post its as she reads. 
In this way, they have a ‘conversation’ about the work.  My second suggestion is the recently released
paperback edition of Nancy Zafris’s The
People I Know
, which won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction in
1990. Among my favorite stories are “A Minor Fatality,” “The People I Know,”
and “Grace’s Reply.”   I’ve already
started handing this book out to lucky friends.

Lori Ostlund’s
first collection of stories, The Bigness
of the World
, won the 2008 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and
was published by the University
of Georgia Press in fall
2009.  Her stories have appeared in New
England Review, Bellingham Review, The Georgia
Review,
The Kenyon Review, Hobart,
and Prairie Schooner
, among other
journals.  In 2009, she was one of
six emerging women writers honored with a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award.  She teaches developmental English and story
writing at The Art Institute of California-San Francisco and is at work on a
novel. 

"I once sent a dozen of my friends a telegram saying "flee at once - all is discovered." They all left town immediately."
Mark Twain

Random picks

  • Best European Fiction 2010 edited by Aleksandar Hemon, preface by Zadie Smith. Dalkey Archive Press.448 pp, $15.95. “The great pest of speech is frequency of translation,” Samuel Johnson once wrote, in the preface to his iconic Dictionary of the English Language: No book was ever turned from one language into another without imparting something of its native [...]
  • Maybe I'm just dense, but I wasn't really expecting what eventually occurs in this story, and I liked that. It's a tale of a woman whose husband has left her, her psychologist husband. And as expected, she has some problems with that and needs counseling, needs something to get her through. That's really all I want to say, lest I spoil it. But as far as tales of psychologists go, this story seems to have a bit in common with Nabokov's Pnin, another tale of a spouse jilted by a psychologist partner. It's interesting how psychologists in literature and film are often of two extremes--one the...
  • You can either hook the reader on the first page of your book or lose her forever. In fact, you'd better grab her attention with the first sentence. After all, there are hundreds of thousands of murder mystery novels. Why should she read yours?
  • This information is content specific and usually revolves around a specific theme or issue. It represents a careful selection of ideas gleaned from other people's findings of a particular topic or set of topics deemed to be related in some way.
  • Photo by Cameron Degelia. I have been writing professionally – as in, someone’s paid me for it – for the past twenty years. In the course of these years, I’ve developed my own writing routines, found my voice, and developed my process.  I’ve even gone so far as to coach others in working with their own processes. Today, I thought I’d give you a look at how I take an idea and then bring it to fruition. First things first: ideation. I have sparks for ideas. Sometimes, it will be just a title.  I wrote a novel called Couch World which was initially supposed to be about a young woman’s...

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Fast fact about writing

It has been said that a monkey, randomly typing away on a typewriter (in the days when typewriters replaced the pen or plume as the preferred instrument of writing) could re-create Shakespeare-- but only if it lived long enough (this is known as the infinite monkey theorem).