Place as Memory — Writing the Geography of Our Lives

“Memories are rooted in place: a lifetime of kitchens, backyards, porches, and patios. Our bedroom and our best friend’s bedroom, the street where we played until dark and our parents called us inside, the park where we picnicked, the swimming pool with its aquamarine water smelling of chlorine or the pond on the farm with its muddy banks. If you want to enter a memory, enter a room in your grandmother’s house. Remember an incident, and the place where it happened will figure prominently in the story. Everything happens somewhere, and if you want to bring the memory alive, be in the place where it occurred.
garden cottage

Continue reading

An Interview with Fiction Writer Bonnie ZoBell

Every writer needs writer friends who know and understand what it’s like to live the life we’ve chosen, or that has chosen us, and who can share the thrills and chills and ups and downs and magic and mundane right along with us. Bonnie ZoBell is such a friend of mine. I’m crazy about her writing. I hope you are too. And if you don’t know Bonnie or her fiction, let me introduce her via these few interview questions.

Continue reading

When Wild Voice Speaks, Pay Attention

I’ve been throwing around the term “wild voice” for a long time, at least as long as I’ve been doing the Wild Women writing workshops (these date back to 1997). With my new book Wild Women, Wild Voices, due to be released April 7,  I thought I’d better explain what I mean when I say “wild voice.”

Magellan Penguin flaps its wings, Punta Arenas, ChileAs its name implies, wild voice is untamed and unbounded and holds the possibility of great beauty. It goes deep, like roots; it sings because it can. It is not domesticated or restrained. Wild voice can be dangerous; it can be outrageous. It is passionate, exuberant, and eager for life. It is turbulent and stormy, often arriving as unexpectedly as a summer squall. It can also appear as tranquil as an autumn breeze or a lazy river—but just try to capture either of these in a bottle and put them on a shelf.

Continue reading