Back to School Photo, September, 2021

    I returned to school this past week, teaching three sections of The 99-Day Novel through the University of Iowa Summer Writing Festival over Zoom (see link below). Thirty writers will be starting (or starting to revise) a novel before Labor Day, and finishing their goals, whatever they are--to finish a skeleton of a novel or to finish a completed manuscript--before the holidays. My job is to shepherd them through the process and to be their most helpful reader and their most enthusiastic cheerleader--a job I absolutely love!

    I wish all students and educators who are returning to school a happy and healthy year. May we make new friends and grow in "old" friendships, may we learn new things, may we learn from our failures and rejoice in our successes, may we have fun!, and may we attempt feats just out of our reach...

    What are you doing and learning this September? I wish you well in your endeavors!



*For more information on the University of Iowa Summer Writing Festival upcoming classes, sign up for their email list/ go to: ISWF




 

The book I'm working on now, GHOST MOTHER, has been inspired by one of the world's great novels (novellas), Henry James' THE TURN OF THE SCREW, which poses the question, Are there ghosts, or is the narrator going insane? It has taken me about eight readings, but I have finally determined the answer to that question. (And no, I won't give it away here. You must enjoy the tortuous delight of reading it for yourself eight times!) I have loved so many of James' novels, and have learned so much from all of them, but this one is my favorite. It continues to inspire and amaze me. Henry James' birthday was this week, on April 15, 1843. I am so grateful he was born, and so grateful he wrote all of the beautiful and complex books that he did. Do you have a favorite James novel? A favorite ghost story?

Happy birthday, Henry James!

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