I began writing this blog, Writing in Upheaval, as the Covid-19 pandemic was shown to be spreading, and lockdowns and self-isolating began, because so many writers expressed having difficulties working. They had lost their focus, they said, in and for their writing. Shift upon shift, jolt upon jolt Before I’d finished the first of these… Continue reading Understanding story focus through the lens of exclusion and inclusion
I’m a novelist. I write long. If you’ve had a phone conversation with me, you know that’s a transferable skill. But I also know how to listen. Well and deep. Which is how I listen to language, to writing, to writers, to what they ask for. Straight lines make journeys shorter, but at times a… Continue reading Writer’s block? Is that a real thing?Dispensing with inner critics and self-censorship.
STARTING MARCH 14! A 6-WEEK ONLINE CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOP with Anya Achtenberg Taught for the Transformative Language Arts Network FOR FICTION AND MEMOIR WRITERS, POETS, AND OTHERS, ACROSS THE GENRES. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you want to greatly expand your creative writing craft, whether in poetry or prose, fiction or creative nonfiction;… Continue reading Creative Writing for Social Change: Re-Dream a Just World. Online for the first time! Starts March 14, for 6 weeks!!
You have the final say in shaping your work; the first say in its birth; the real responsibility of bringing it forth in a way that is true to your project and your truth. You might work tirelessly to learn, to hear, to read, to be open to the truths of other writers; you might… Continue reading How to write disobediently
February 20, 2016 Why have I--- a quite busy professional writer; teacher of creative writing; writer’s consultant; film maniac and occasional Cuban film festival curator; arts adorer; salsa dancer and music devourer; and, of course, lover of books, and lover of justice --- continued to organize trips to Cuba? Like my Multicultural Cuba… Continue reading Why the heck do I organize trips to Cuba? I am not a travel agent…I’m a novelist, poet, teacher!!!
The bombing continues, the cities are rubble, are emptied… whose plan… the children are at the center of the explosion, they burst apart, as if the heart of a child were the precise target. Fiercely some hold on to their own holocaust, but as I write a novel, “fiction” you’d say, the characters meet… Continue reading What happens inside a writer, in a world at war? Who to listen to, in a world at war?
For A.M.-C. “The bud stands for all things, even those things that don't flower, for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing; though sometimes it is necessary to reteach a thing its loveliness” From Galway Kinnell, “St. Francis and the Sow” I was a small girl in Brooklyn, between broken English and broken hearts, whispered Yiddish,… Continue reading Trusting Our Own Vision, or: The Late Bloomers’ Club
Dear Writers and Friends, Almost 2013! I have a request, for you and for myself, for the new year. We have plenty of other work for our imagination to do, and so—let’s free it from that need to imagine we are writers, and write with an imagination freed to do its enormous labor… Continue reading Writing and the New Year: A request for writers.
On December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut, around 9:30 in the morning, a gunman entered an elementary school and on a rampage, after killing his mother with one of her guns, killed extraordinarily courageous staff members-- teachers, a psychologist, and the principal (all women), and 20 small children, six and seven years of age. Grief… Continue reading The terrible story is always bigger than the terrible event.
Dear Writers, Dear Friends, I have so much to share with you, and I will be starting to post again, as much as I can on craft, so please watch these pages. For now, I have to tell you about my novel, Blue Earth. It’s now been a little while since Blue Earth – my… Continue reading Blue Earth, a novel: update on the recently published book.