MotherJana

Water is my wine. The earth is my body.

writing

Writing and Love

“Everything is gestation and then bringing forth. To let each impression and each germ of a feeling come to completion wholly in itself, in the dark, in the inexpressible, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one’s own intelligence, and await with deep humility and patience the birth-hour of new clarity: that alone is living the artist’s life: in understanding as in creating.” –Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet […]

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The Wisdom of Cameron Crowe

I can’t help myself. I just keep thinking about Cameron Crowe movies, the ones I watched over and over again in high school and college. The guy’s sort of a genius. First, let’s take a look at Lloyd Dobler, from Say Anything. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Lloyd is a yogi, ahead of his time. A Bhakti yogi, the stream of devotion. Only, he doesn’t direct […]

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The Thing I Hate and the Thing I Love

Until yesterday, despite being in an MFA program for creative writing, I have not written fiction in earnest for many weeks. Because I hate trying to write stories. And yet telling stories is also my great love. I spoke recently to my advisor from my MFA program, the talented and generous Helen Schulman. The novel I’m writing, and have been tinkering with for several years, is not working yet. It […]

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Opening Veins and Writing

On the Saturday mornings I don’t have my kids, I go to yoga and then my favorite café to write. I try to treat myself by getting a breakfast burrito or a Danish, sipping on a cappuccino, and trying to snag my favorite seat by the window. I try to make my writing time special because I know that if I do it at home, I’ll distract myself with domestic […]

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Book Talk, August: Debut Authors!

This summer, it just so happens that I’ve been drawn to books by debut authors, even though I didn’t purposely set out to go on a binge. It’s a good binge, though. Netflix-worthy. I’m in the process of pitching my novel, called The Scribe, to an agent. It’s tough work. Agents, as many aspiring writers know, have to wade through loads of pitches in their inboxes, only occasionally finding a […]

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What Do You Do for a Living?

A few years ago, I dated someone who, whenever I mentioned a friend or relative, immediately asked what he or she did for a living. It always made me laugh because I, too, wondered that when I met new people, even if I didn’t always have the nerve to ask right away. At the time, though, I was looking for steady full-time work, and I had a heightened awareness that […]

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Kill Your Darlings (And Other Tales)

Because we’re so bombarded by information these days, it’s probably safe to say we’re reading—or consuming, rather—more words than ever. Whether it’s status updates from social media, blogs, or news sites, we tend to click our way through the day, raising an eyebrow or sharing something we find interesting. But when it comes to creative writing, there’s a big difference between consumption, information, and art. In my own writing journey, I’ve learned a […]

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