30 4 / 2013
"Shame is the work of memory against forgetting."
13 7 / 2012
Kurt Vonnegut’s Rules for the Short Story
1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
4. Every sentence must do one of two things–reveal character or advance the action.
5. Start as close to the end as possible.
6. Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them–in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages."
06 7 / 2012
"Total risk, freedom, discipline” has become my mantra. Those four words say more about my daily life as a writer than the empty term “process” can begin to suggest."
26 5 / 2012
"A good writer is basically a storyteller, not a scholar or a redeemer of mankind."
20 5 / 2012
Karmelicka Street, a sky-blue tram, the sun,
September, the first day after vacation,
some have come home from long trips,
armored divisions enter Poland,
children off to school dressed in their best,
white and navy blue, like sails and sea,
like memory and grapes and inspiration.
The trees stand at attention, honoring
the power of young minds that haven’t yet
known fire and sleep and can do what they want,
nothing can stop them
(not counting invisible limits).
The trees greet the young respectfully,
but you—be truthful—envy
that starting out, that setting off
from home, from childhood, from the sweet darkness
that tastes of almonds, raisins, and poppyseeds,
you stop in the store for bread
and then walk home, unhurried,
whistling and humming carelessly;
your school still hasn’t started,
the teachers have gone, the masters remain,
distant as summer, your sleep sails through the clouds
across the sky.
06 5 / 2012
"Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass."
24 4 / 2012
"If she did wild or wicked things, it is because she could not help them."