Thanks to Maggie Galehouse for publishing this review in last Sunday’s Houston Chronicle: ‘Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs’ By Sally Mann. Little, Brown and Company, 496 pp., $32. Photographer Sally Mann is a Southern artist. Not because she was born in Lexington, Virginia, in a hospital converted from the home of Stonewall Jackson, but […]
In honor of Women’s History Month, my essay on Georgia O’Keeffe published this month in Houston Woman Magazine. Enjoy! What was there to love about the abandoned house perched over route 84, north of Santa Fe by 53 miles? Its adobe walls were cracked and crumbling, the beams fallen, the doors dangling. Much of the […]
My dear, sweet, always encouraging and affirming father gave me this postcard in his last years. I have no idea where he came across it. I’m sure he enjoyed imagining that his daughter and Shakespeare had anything in common.
Hilary Mantel took on a most difficult writerly challenge with her historical fiction: she must cleave to the historical record (as far as that goes) and at the same time she is burdened to make that record breathe as vividly as the bravest fiction. I’ve been reading my 50 pages a morning in order to […]
Last night I attended a creative writing prompt group, for the first time ever, via MeetUp.com. It was my one-writerly-activity-for-the-week, a variation on Julia Cameron’s weekly artist’s date. I was astonished, just astonished, did I say astonished?, how the storytelling just flowed out of my companions. My first prompt response was okay, the second dreadful, […]
Well, it’s Monday, and if I can trust the insight of Elizabeth Hardwick — and I do — I may have something worthwhile by Friday . . . “Interviewer: Can you always arrive at the tone you want? Hardwick: No, I can’t, and when that happens I put the work aside. But I’ve noticed that […]
Shouldn’t I be spending every available waking moment at the screen, or on the page, writing? I despair, and the word is not too severe, at the amount of time I waste. This morning I came across this bit of writerly self-revelation from Joyce Carol Oates, likely the world’s most prolific writer, in The Writer’s […]
Recently published in Houston Woman magazine: a review essay of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Margaret Fuller: A New American Life by Megan Marshall (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). It’s hard to imagine the depths of Margaret Fuller’s despair as she came of age, an intellectual prodigy in the early nineteenth century, expected to achieve nothing more […]
Why do I write? Because I find the world endlessly fascinating. And because I love sentences.
In 1995, the signing party for my first book, Done into Dance: Isadora Duncan in America, was held at BookWoman bookstore, back when it was at 12th and Lamar, near the crystal shop. A dozen years later, when owner Susan Post kindly hosted the book signing for Clarity: How to Accomplish What Matters Most, the […]