Using Extended Metaphors in Your Writing — Part Three

Welcome to my final post on crafting an extended metaphor that runs the length of your creative writing. These lessons apply for fiction as well as nonfiction, but for the purposes of this series I've focused on examples from my recently published memoir, Committed: A Memoir of the Artist's Road. In Part One of this series …

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How One Author Combined Personal Essays Into a Coherent Memoir

It is the height of hubris to edit an award-winning creative nonfiction author who also happens to be your mentor. But I decided the brilliant proposed title of Sue William Silverman's guest post--"E Pluribus Unum: Out of Many (essays) One (book)"--wouldn't translate well in a tweet. So I've imposed a more utilitarian title on this …

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Are You Talking to Me? Use of the Second Person

Perhaps it's because I don't like being told what to do. Maybe it's because I don't like to reflect on some of the things I've done. But as a reader I generally do not care for the use of the second person. I've been forced to rethink my position after reading Sue William Silverman's masterful …

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MFA Nugget: The Writer’s Persona in Essays and Blog Posts

MONTPELIER, VERMONT -- To what extent is the "I" a writer puts down the page truly that writer? It's a question that has long vexed personal essayists, in particular since Michel de Montaigne went about as far as any writer could in examining every aspect of himself in his prose. Vermont College of Fine Arts …

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Is It Easier to Share with Strangers Than With Friends?

In our social media age, even the terms "stranger" and "friend" can be confusing. I consider some people I know on Twitter "friends" even though we have never met, and others I've crossed paths with in person "strangers." For this post, however, I'm going to consider a "friend" someone I've repeatedly spent time with in …

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Showing AND Telling

"Show, don't tell." Is there a fiction writer out there who isn't sick of hearing that command? Consider this: when telling your own story, you must show and tell. This was the lesson shared recently by two masters of the personal essay--Keith Woods and Lonnae O'Neal Parker--at the "Write Your Heart Out" conference sponsored by …

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Honoring Your Child AND Your Muse

How do you honor your muse when you put your children first? It's a question every art-inclined parent surely has weighed. This blog chronicles my return to an art-committed life, but it generally avoids looking back on the choices that kept me off-road. It's not always easy for me to look back, but it's part …

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When Hard Work Pays Off

It's live! A personal essay I wrote last month that won a contest with Unplug & Reconnect, "Forest Foursome," has now been published. Regular blog readers will note it is a shortened rewrite of a post from late August on unplugging from the grid. Thoughtful author Jessica McCann directed me to the contest, and my …

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A Thank-You and an Apology

So where are my Creativity Tweets of the Week, you ask? It's a Friday tradition, right? Where are more pictures of that rapscallion Mr. Bacon? So I guess I'm starting with the apology. I am in a deep creative groove at the moment. I'm working feverishly on rewriting a personal essay I thought I had …

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