Autobiography and Autobiographical Fiction, Beyond writer's block, Fictional worlds, Story

Overwhelming. This year. In its watery infancy of March….Story is powerful.

Dear Writers,

If I asked you to list the 10 events that have affected you most deeply in the past months since the new year entered or we entered the new year, in your immediate sphere, in your family, in this country, in another, in your love life, in your children’s lives, in your art, down the street, in your body, at the poles, under the sea, in your dreams, in your immense solitude, in your bed, in your classroom wherever that may be, in your vision, in your computer, in your hand, in your yard, in your bankbook, in your imagination, in this ocean of language, you might say Haiti, Honduras, murder, birth, you might say betrayal or Afghanistan or love or corn or hope or Cuba or New Orleans or New York or you might just go to your corner and start to write.


Overwhelming. This year. In its watery infancy of March. In its loss of the familiar blanket of Minnesota snow. In its grief and its promise. Budding.


I am aiming to go back into the world of the story I had been working on. All this which is indeed overwhelming and pushes me to action which then takes away the very hours to look at this list and its context, can no longer, for me, be a poem. I can only go back to the world of the story, in this case a novel, not about these things on my 10-item list specifically. But, in that world of my current novel, is a way to focus as I write, and bring forward an immensity which I cannot bring forward when I am flooded by even the 10 things on my two-month list.


Story is powerful. Story can hold what we need held.


Just a quick announcement to let you know that I will again be teaching online for on the net, sessions beginning April 6, 2010:  Claiming Our Stories: Working with the Power of Autobiography and Autobiographical Fiction. Part One and Part Two.

These are both 10 week courses for writers of both memoir/creative nonfiction and fiction. For full descriptions and registration, please go to and for questions, email me at .


I am continually amazed by the community, characterized by artistic excellence and insightful feedback, support and connection, that is developing online. Much more than I ever imagined could happen online. A lot at stake, perhaps. We know how to reach each other in this community of words. I look forward to this continuing to grow and serve writers around the world. 


Story is powerful. Story can hold what we need held.


Consider story and its way of bringing forward more stories. Bringing forward what has not had a place to be told. I see it everywhere.


An abstract posting, at an overwhelming time. Needs, perhaps, story, perhaps about the January 2010 Writers and Artists Delegation to Cuba, or about the ones coming. (I am, by the way, beginning to hatch dates for the next 2 writers and artists journeys to Cuba. Contact me if you are interested.) 

Story? Next time.




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