Mentor of the Month: Sherman Alexie: Grounders

In the introduction to the anniversary edition of The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, which I do not have in front of me and therefore all 'quote-y' type things are from my questionable memory, Alexie talks about the headiness of being labeled one of the great lyrical voices of his generation. He comments... Continue Reading →

Owen’s Prompts

At the end of the school year last year, Owen brought home the writing journal that he kept for his second grade class. I didn't know that he kept a writing journal, so I was interested to read his work.And how pleasantly surprised I was! He totally cut loose as far as story goes. There... Continue Reading →


Whoa. This is post #300. That sounds like a really big number to me. In honor of this momentous occasion (Momentous for me--I'm sure there're many bloggers out there going: "Well, you don't write too much do you?) I think that today I'll talk about a piece of legislation that is 300 years old and... Continue Reading →

Mentor of the Month: Sherman Alexie: Genre Mix-Ups as a Way to Expand Your Audience

In War Dances, Sherman Alexie won prestige by mixing up poetry and short stories and a whole host of other writerly things. He's written for teens and adults. He's written poetry, short stories, novels, and he's mixed up subject matters in those (an Indian serial killer for one!).He did follow the advice many agents and... Continue Reading →

Going for something new, nerves

Nervous this morning.I'll be talking with my school advisor today about what I need to do to go for an MFA in writing. Mostly I'm worried because this last decade has been a crazy one. Children were born, marriages made and dissolved and made again. There was a bout with depression that directly impacted my... Continue Reading →

Books on Writing: Yes and No

Writing books are an interesting niche market. Writers, by their nature, are readers and reading about writing seems really close to actually writing itself--after all, we're working on improving our craft, right?Yes and no.Yes--books on writing teach us different ways to approach this writing gig. After all, it's easy to say "Just Write." It's like... Continue Reading →

Mentor of the Month: Sherman Alexie: From Jenny’s Major Writer’s Class

Sherman Alexie. I've written about him before, briefly, when War Dances won the PEN/Faulkner Award. His book The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian won the National Book Award. Plus, Ali named her dog, Sherman, after him (even though the dog is a girl).All of these are wonderful compliments to a writer: awards,... Continue Reading →

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