On Supporting Writers

Recently, I watched a writer-editor friend run a crowdfunding campaign for a book anthology featuring works by promising writers of color and get barely any response. I must confess I was not in a position to contribute monetarily myself. It got me thinking, however, of what else I can do, non-financially, to support writers. So here are ten things I try to do to support other writers — both as a reader and a writer — beyond buying their books and without spending money I don’t have. Whether you’re a reader or a writer or both, you might also want to consider some of these. Continue reading On Supporting Writers

Published: A Kentish Summer (The Vignette Review)

“For the present, I have done all my parting. A big, fat family wedding celebration ended this morning. It has weathered me some more, this long week of my sister’s brood dashing against me ceaselessly like frothy waves. But I have raised a strapping, fair son to her three short, dark daughters. A healing man, he is doing his bit for the country in distant places. There’s something to be bitter about: him not coming home for over a year. I am easily cast off for others. All we ever seem to do with people is meet and part, meet and part.” Continue reading Published: A Kentish Summer (The Vignette Review)

Social Media for Writers (Part 2)

In Part 1, at the end of February, I shared why, as a writer, I prefer Facebook as a social media platform and the ten ways I organize and ration my usage time to avoid that brain-as-scrambled-eggs scenario that makes it impossible to write. In this post, I am sharing ten ways of how I use Facebook as part of my overall writing practice. See, as writers, if we really want our writing to express our way of being in the world, we need to be careful about the words, ideas, opinions we put out there. That is all I am trying to do. Continue reading Social Media for Writers (Part 2)

Writing Practices: On Writing Vignettes

The word “vignette” originates from the French “vigne,” which means “little vine” and refers to the vine motifs used sometimes as decorative embellishments to a text. Put a pin in that phrase “decorative embellishments to a text” because we’re going to come back to it. There is a fair bit of conflicting commentary regarding vignettes. Some people refer to short stories or flash fiction as vignettes. Often, a personal essay is described as a vignette. These are not entirely accurate. For me, short stories and flash fiction are about complete stories with the classic story elements of protagonist, antagonist, conflict, complications, resolution, and so on. A personal essay may or may not be a vignette. So let’s explore this narrative form today and see how it is different from these various other forms of writing. Continue reading Writing Practices: On Writing Vignettes

Published: The Weight of His Bones (The Nottingham Review)

This is a flash fiction piece that started out as a much longer story about an adolescent boy who gropes women in public places (see my footnote at the end of this post). Any woman who has lived in India for even a short length of time will probably have experienced this from men of any age. I wanted to explore what drives this particular behavior. What kind of person might be behind that anonymous mask and those grasping hands? What life/people influences might have led him to be that way? In this shorter version, though, I have focused more on the father and the adolescent son struggling with their splintering relationship. Continue reading Published: The Weight of His Bones (The Nottingham Review)