Tuesday, May 22, 2012


The other night I sat down at my desk. I used to always write at night, often very late, but the last few years I've taken to writing early in the morning and going to bed before midnight. Lately, though, I've returned to my nocturnal ways. And it works. 

Writing at night: all those hours before you in the dark. Nothing in the way. And the room dark, and outside dark, and just the spotlight of the lamp and the screen, the desk a small stage. I light a candle every time and start the music (I'll listen to the same album hundreds of times when I'm writing, usually something instrumental like Sigur Ros or Amiina or Kammerflimmer Kollektief, lately it's been Yo La Tengo's They Shoot, We Score.) My notebooks around me. The little flame flickering. Just like I always have, from Brooklyn to Iowa City to Portland to Berkeley to Portland to Oberlin to Virginia. It is the most familiar thing in the world, this small pretty space in the dark. And more than anything else I know it feels like home.


Monday, May 21, 2012


Pawing through a 2005 notebook I come across notes from a Stegner workshop.
Says John L'Heureux: BEGIN at a point where life has been lived in a certain way up to now, but something is about to change it—close enough to the denouement as possible, far enough back to gather up all the events and changes and explain why they're this way.
Then it says underneath (RE: NOVELS.) Which I'm not sure is about that or the next note. Either way: this is helpful to me right now.

Oh JLX, I do miss you. The man also pluralized "spouse" as "spice."