Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

Essays |

DFW + Me = An ‘Arranged’ Marriage of Music and Fiction

What happens when a composer falls in love with a David Foster Wallace short story? Eric Moe describes the genesis of his “sit-trag /concert monodrama” Tri-Stan, his correspondence with DFW about the project, the challenges of translating a short story to a one-woman vocal piece, and why “making art is a lot more exciting when big risks are being taken.”


Shop Talk |

"That adrenaline rush, like an injection to the heart"

Here’s a great essay by Joyce Carol Oates on the connections between writing and running. Here’s a taster: Living for a sabbatical year with my husband, an English professor, in a corner of Mayfair overlooking Speakers’ Corner, I was so afflicted with homesickness for America, and for Detroit, I ran compulsively; not as a respite for the intensity of writing but as a function of writing. As I ran, I was running in Detroit, envisioning the city’s parks and streets, avenues and expressways, with such eidetic clarity I had only to transcribe them when I returned to our flat, recreating […]


Shop Talk |

Motivation… for the Unmotivated

“The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.” Easy for Mary Heaton Vorse to say, perhaps, but what if you need a little more help getting those two seats together? Writers, being creative people, come up with lots of creative ways to get motivated. Two friends of mine from grad school would get together for enforced writing time; if one of them didn’t write, she would be forced to donate money to a cause she loathed, like the NRA. I don’t know if either of them ever actually […]


Shop Talk |

Play it again, Sam

Recently a friend turned me on to Ravens & Chimes, whose first album happens to be titled “Reichenbach Falls”—which, of course, is a reference to the famous site where Sherlock Holmes “died” only to be resurrected by Arthur Conan Doyle after years of reader heckling. This sparked a bit of my own sleuthing on the interwebs. Bookride has a pretty comprehensive list of band names inspired by literature, including: The Grateful Dead (originally a book by Gordon Hall Geroud, though the band claims it was ‘the outcome of a night of stoned lexicology’) Steppenwolf (Holla, Herr Hesse!) Tears for Fears […]


Shop Talk |

Thursday morning candy: Vectors

In homage to the conversation about teaching creative writing in 21st century that we published last week, I’d like to highlight something a little different to jolt your creativity this Thursday morning. Vectors: A Journal of Culture and Technology in a Dynamic Vernacular. I first heard of it via Anna Leahy’s shout out in Part 2 of the aforementioned essay, “Where Are We Going Next?” The USC-based journal may not be a lit magazine in the traditional sense, but spending some time on the site has certainly gotten my mind racing with ideas, connections, energy – all vital to the […]


Interviews |

He Was Just There For Me: An Interview with Lily King

Lily King’s three novels stand as testaments to the power and endless variation of familial relationships. King’s latest novel, Father of the Rain, tells the story of a daughter’s life-long, primal loyalty to her charming and manipulative father. Interviewer Joshua Bodwell discusses longhand, autobiographical influence, puppies, and how to depict realistic sex, with a writer whose work remains “a beacon of tenderness and sincerity.”


Shop Talk |

Inspiration 2.011

One of my favorite elements of FWR’s author interviews has got to be reading about what inspires other writers. Some of us get lost in years of research, some just get out into the world and make friends on the bus, some can’t say enough about delving into nonfiction, science journals, trips to the ballet – you name it. Writing is a passion that feeds off other passions. You can definitely feel this as a reader. Sometimes, sitting in front of blank document, I long for the days of the high school essay prompt. My English teacher senior year, Ms. […]



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