story season

I seem to be preparing for winter hibernation much too early; before it even threatens snow. I walk through the library, judging books by their covers. I read voraciously in the mornings, when it’s still dark. In the daytime, I discover ideas for short stories I’d forgotten about. And last weekend, evenings were spent getting lost in a different kind of story. J and I discuss strategy over dinner, sharing …

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we the animals of prey

Today I went to the library to write, a new library, which I like much better than my local one. This new one has many staircases and little nooks with desks and comfortable chairs, and windows with trees and light on the other side, and a fireplace. And it was quiet. I wrote so well. I’m working on a story that has a teenage boy as the protagonist and I …

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me, writing

slow progress

After an hour and a half of reading my novel draft, making notes, and doing research, my eyes look like that. I take breaks to look out of the window of the coffee place, noticing how many people seem to mutter to themselves on their way to the subway. I try not to audibly exclaim over how good my chai latte is. Sometimes I feel weird about things like writing …

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my novel, printed

I got my novel printed out today – not printed printed, but just printed. Clear as mud? In truth, I’ve been sort of avoiding working on it since December. I’ve peeked in here and there and made some tweaks, but what I really need is to hold it in my hands and read it cover to cover. And as much as my Kindle-loving husband has convinced me e-books have merit, …

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I’m excited to announce that a short story of mine, Sorry Every Day, is featured in the latest issue of Storychord! The song and illustration featured alongside it are wonderful and everything works together perfectly. I love Storychord and I’m honoured to have been included. You can check it out here. Samantha’s Note, 2023: This story could be considered the prototype to The Quiet is Loud – it features the …

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so i’ve finished nanowrimo

It’s a humble PNG image, but to me it’s the most exciting one I’ve seen in a very long time. Today I finished NaNoWriMo. I wrote a novel. I almost want to put an exclamation mark on the end of that last sentence, but I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet. To me, my novel is just 28 little documents living in my computer and in my brain, nothing …

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Visiting my parents is often so much like a ready-made writing retreat. The house is quiet, softly lit, often sleepy. The TV returns seven channels and there is not much in the way of distraction. I sit straight up, I do crosswords from the paper, I write hundreds of words at the kitchen table I carved my name into at age eight. — Lindsey has an amazingly good story in …

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where i write

An oil lamp from Istanbul, a present from my brother. In the background are buttons with the Berlin “walk/don’t walk” symbols. My old Goose on a Moose print and various old photos of my mother and Finland. I’m not really a fan of Doris Lessing’s fiction, but I love her as a writer. If she catches me not writing, she shakes her finger at me and tells me to get …

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today was a productive writing day

There is no greater excitement than starting a story. Finishing a story is satisfying, but in a different way – it’s a worn-out, bleary-eyed kind of happiness. You almost don’t even care. You don’t really remember the thrilling beginning, the new idea becoming a narrative with real, live characters. Today I took myself and my laptop to a coffeeshop. I opened my Word doc called “Ideas and Beginnings” and picked …

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yesterday was a frustrating writing day

My husband J and I were sitting on our bed in the dark, our dog snoring on her own little bed a few feet away. I was sitting with my chin on my drawn-up knees and trying to put into words why I’d had such a frustrating day. It was hard, partly because you can’t actually speak too well with your chin on your knees, but also because it’s so …

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