Jealousy is the Green-Eyed Monster
Artist's Inspiration

Jealousy is the Green-Eyed Monster

Shakespeare originally coined the phrase “jealousy is a green-eyed monster” but it’s so widely circulated that today the expression has passed into common speech.  Why has this image endured for centuries?  What spared this characterization from fading into oblivion when so many others slipped into the dusty cracks of history?   I suspect it’s because no other writer … Continue reading

Accomplishment-Mania & What It Means to Be a “Real” Writer
Artist's Inspiration

Accomplishment-Mania & What It Means to Be a “Real” Writer

Nothing is more toxic to the soul than comparison.   Glancing at the biographies of established writers, I feel myself infected with that familiar poison: by the time she was my age, Jodi Picoult was already married with children, had published several books, worked as a creative writing instructor at a private academy and English teacher … Continue reading

Don’t Be a Drag, Just Be a Queen: Writing as Entertainment
Artist's Inspiration

Don’t Be a Drag, Just Be a Queen: Writing as Entertainment

William Zinsser, author of perennial classic “On Writing Well,” once argued the “mere serviceable is a drag.”  Despite what stuffy academics and the literati might say, I completely agree: the primary goal of writing is entertainment. “What?” you might scoff in disbelief, “what about the nobler goals of information and persuasion, guidance and enlightenment?” Yes, as … Continue reading

Writing as Seduction
Artist's Inspiration

Writing as Seduction

French-Russian novelist Francine Du Plessix Gray always begins her writing classes by asking students to compare the following sentences, the first from Nabokov’s memoir of his youth in pre-Revolutionary Russia, Speak Memory, the second from Agee’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. “She turned on the steps to look back at me before descending into a jasmine-scented, … Continue reading