Monday, March 28, 2011


You’ve read every word of your prose in the draft at least ten times, each time except for the first knowing what’s there. And you detest it. You know you need that first-time sensitivity, but the mind archives everything you’ve read and then reads every word back to you before you even read it on the page. It’s true then that by the tenth time most of the words won’t make sense to you anymore. By the time the book is published, you'll have felt cold about it. If there's hope, then you hope 'for sound, intelligent criticism . . . as writing is the loneliest of all trades.'

You know that many writers are prone to criticism of their works. Is reading reviews such a vice? Like Hem said, it’s destructive to have your book published and then read reviews of it. When critics slight you, you get angry. When they praise you, they say nothing new about you that you don't already know of yourself.

Critics? Aren’t they a bunch who ‘have a habit of hanging attributes on you themselves’?

Friday, March 25, 2011


Most live writers do not exist. Their fame is created by critics who always need a genius of the season, someone they understand completely and feel safe in praising, but when these fabricated geniuses are dead they will not exist. Ernest Hemingway


Monday, March 14, 2011


She moved the lantern into the corner where it burned, now yellow, now blue, and she lay inclined on the floor, resting her head on the rim of the wooden crate. The side of her face went dark, only the white of her throat glowed. When I lay down by her, her hands came up soft and warm touching my face like she wanted to feel the remains of the smallpox scourge. I held still, forgetting myself.  Warm, fragrant heat clung to her skin. The curve of her throat sloped into the valley of her shoulder. Wind came sweeping through the door, the air infused with a tinge of wet moss. Her curved back, hollowed to kiss the fingertips. Patches of light on her feverish skin, white worms writhing in the sky. From the corner, the lantern’s flame sputtered and dimmed.

Excerpt from FLESH, forthcoming novel from Black Heron Press © 2011