Gretchen VanEsselstyn

Jun 04 2013
When I am asked, “How do you know when a poem is done?” I answer that in the best cases it is when the hair on my neck stands up when I read it. In most cases, it is when the poem says what I wanted to say and it is as concise as I can make it (no unnecessary words). In most cases, what I end up saying in a poem has only a thin connection to what I started out to say, to what I thought I wanted to say. I write to put into words what haunts me emotionally, like trying to render in words the frustratingly ineffable emotions you may wake up with when a dream ends.
Larry Colker on what makes a successful poem.  I learned so much from this brief blog post.

2 notes

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transportationnation:

Baby falcons. On NYC bridges. Yes, we have a slideshow!
(via PHOTOS: Baby Falcons Nest Atop New York City Bridges - WNYC)

SUPER FLUFFIKINS!!!

transportationnation:

Baby falcons. On NYC bridges. Yes, we have a slideshow!

(via PHOTOS: Baby Falcons Nest Atop New York City Bridges - WNYC)

SUPER FLUFFIKINS!!!

(via wnyc)

30 notes

May 16 2013

The hardest or least enjoyable part?

I have to take a deep breath before I start the first full revision. I used to hate myself for procrastinating, but now I see it might be wise. You need to pause in holy fear at what you’ve done, and make sure you don’t wreck it in panic.

Hilary Mantel: By The Book, NY Times, May 16, 2013

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What’s the best thing about writing a book?

The moment, at about the three-quarter point, where you see your way right through to the end: as if lights had flooded an unlit road. But the pleasure is double-edged, because from this point you’re going to work inhuman hours, not caring about your health or your human relationships; you’re just going to head down that road like a charging bull.

Hilary Mantel: By The Book, NY Times, May 16, 2013

May 09 2013
Going through a drawer I found the submissions/applications log I’ve kept off and on over the years. Just in case you think it’s all been roses I’d like to report that Yaddo rejected me (as recently as 2011). McDowell rejected me. Hedgebrook rejected me twice. The Georgia Review rejected me and Ploughshares rejected me and Tin House rejected me, as did about twenty other journals and magazines. Both The Sun and The Missouri Review rejected me before I appeared in their pages. Literary Arts declined to give me a fellowship three times before I won one. I’ve applied for an NEA five times and it’s always been a no. Harper’s magazine never even bothered to reply. I say it all the time but I’ll say it again: keep on writing. Never give up. Rejection is part of a writer’s life. Then, now, always.

Cheryl Strayed | Facebook

Cheryl knows.

(via therumpus)

TESTIFY

(via therumpus)

423 notes

May 08 2013
npr:

There is one kind of food writer who gets stuffed in the closet when cookbook awards are given out. He or she is the ghost — the person who does the actual writing for busy chefs and celebrities. Sounds like a dream job, right? Well, maybe. JJ Goode is one of the busiest ghosts in the business. He has ghostwritten several books, including Truly Mexican and A Girl and Her Pig.
— Meet the cookbook ghostwriter behind busy chefs’ best sellers | The Splendid Table
Photo: iStockphoto.com

I like this very much because it’s about my friend JJ but he is NOT a ghostwriter — he is a cookbook writer and his name is on the wonderful books that he writes with chefs. Nothing wrong with ghosting, but that’s not what he does.

npr:

There is one kind of food writer who gets stuffed in the closet when cookbook awards are given out. He or she is the ghost — the person who does the actual writing for busy chefs and celebrities. Sounds like a dream job, right? Well, maybe. JJ Goode is one of the busiest ghosts in the business. He has ghostwritten several books, including Truly Mexican and A Girl and Her Pig.

Meet the cookbook ghostwriter behind busy chefs’ best sellers | The Splendid Table

Photo: iStockphoto.com

I like this very much because it’s about my friend JJ but he is NOT a ghostwriter — he is a cookbook writer and his name is on the wonderful books that he writes with chefs. Nothing wrong with ghosting, but that’s not what he does.

117 notes

May 04 2013

Clams, coffee, gin, waves. That’s how I finished my novel manuscript in Montauk.

2 notes

May 03 2013
nevver:

Dream Interpretation Dictionary

To sleep, perchance to dream of pudding. 

nevver:

Dream Interpretation Dictionary

To sleep, perchance to dream of pudding. 

1,369 notes

Apr 22 2013
theparisreview:

E. L. Konigsburg, author of beloved children’s titles The View from Saturday, A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver, and, most famously, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, has died, at eighty-three.
For more of this morning’s roundup, click here.Quote from From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

Oh, how I will miss her. 

theparisreview:

E. L. Konigsburg, author of beloved children’s titles The View from SaturdayA Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver, and, most famously, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, has died, at eighty-three.

For more of this morning’s roundup, click here.

Quote from From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

Oh, how I will miss her. 

725 notes

Apr 10 2013
poetsandwriters:

From The 6.5 Practices of Moderately Successful Poets: A Self-Help Memoir. Ed. Jeffrey Skinner, Sarabande Books, 2012.

Read and remember.

poetsandwriters:

From The 6.5 Practices of Moderately Successful Poets: A Self-Help Memoir. Ed. Jeffrey Skinner, Sarabande Books, 2012.

Read and remember.

28 notes

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