by John de Visser

The Tattered Eagle: A Snippet Triggered by a Window

This blog  falls  into the category of snippets–bits and pieces triggered by pictures, writing prompts, incidents–anything that brings pen to hand.  One of my favorite triggers when I was teaching was a book called WINDOWS by Val Clery, http://www.amazon.com/Windows-A-Feast-Eye-Imagination/dp/0770515835/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1363403109&sr=8-5&keywords=Val+Clery A window gives a peek–imagine what lays beyond. The picture below, by John Visser, brought this […]

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Marry Poppins

Why Read?

  We all read because we have to–to bake a cake, to put together a bookcase, to pass a test. But why do so many of us become addicted to that other kind of reading–to stories? We became bookworms as children. As escape? To cure loneliness? Boredom? Because books took us on adventures in distant […]

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Nowhere Else To Go by Judith Kirscht

Birth of a Novel

“Where did you get the idea for that novel?” I’ve heard authors answer that question in dozens of ways, including, “I haven’t the faintest idea.” More often than not, my answer would come close to that. How, in the first novel I wrote, did the image of a peacock rising from the prairie only to […]

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Just Toss the Ashes

Book Review: Just Toss the Ashes

BOOK REVIEW: JUST TOSS THE ASHES By Marta Merajver One of the great gifts of the Internet is the ease with which we can connect with like-minded others across the globe—people whose existence we would never have discovered before.  In honor of that I’d like to introduce Argentine translator and author Marta Merajver (Just Toss […]

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flightcover

Imagination & Image-Making: Thing One and Thing Two

 As promised last week, poet Jane Alynn ( http://janealynn.com/) joins to our conversation on the role of the imagination. Jane, a friend and colleague, is a frequent contributor to Skagit Valley Writers League workshops on creativity and poetry.  I’m delighted to have her here. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Like the two mischievous characters in The Cat in the […]

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Balloons

That’s Just Your Imagination

“You’re imagining things!” How often have you heard someone respond this way? A husband to a wife, maybe? One friend to another? A parent to a child? In any case, it’s clearly a put-down. When I was teaching writing my college freshmen assured me the imagination is a thing of childhood—fairytales and Winnie the Pooh—given […]

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Mothers hands

My Mother’s Hands

In a previous blog (“About the Inheritors”), I talked about how the themes of my life emerge as I write, and more specifically, in The Inheritors, the very American experience of moving between cultures and classes. As I wrote about Carla, Alicia’s mother, I suddenly had a vision of my own mother standing at the […]

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Grandma, Grandpa, me, girls

Who’re You From?

  One of the fascinations of writing fiction is creating characters “out of whole cloth”, then recognizing in them attitudes and dominant traits of myself, the people who shaped me, my children, or others who have left some mark. I remember creating Carla in The Inheritors and puzzling over her familiarity. Then I woke up […]

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Memories of a Chicago Winter

From my damp, but otherwise cozy roost in the Northwest, I listen to the weather report from Chicago, look at the pictures of the icicle-laden remains of a burned-out buildings and remember.  This memory is for you. A New Year’s Message, Chicago Style New Years’ Eve, 1945, and I was invited to spend the night […]

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Harper Quadrangle

Where’re You From?

  Why is that so often the first question we ask a stranger? To place him or her geographically, sure, but also in the whole universe of language, culture, and attitudes we associate with place. So it used to be, when people asked me that, I’d mumble apologetically. I longed to say “the mountains of […]

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