Month: July 2013

Death Enters the Story

I just finished mapping out the last fifty pages of the new Katrina novel, Jazzy. I don’t begin writing with an outline; I begin with a character and a situation. As I write, I jot down a bare-bones outline of what I think is coming next. Often this turns out to be untrue. Sometimes I go back and outline what I’ve written, to see...

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Love and Fleas and Love

My other blog is talking about love. And fleas. And love. “In my ongoing efforts to rid my life of fleas, I’ve learned way more than I want to know about them. Their life cycle, their truly horrifying body anatomy. Every article I’ve read is accompanied by the gruesome photo of a bare back, the splotchy red flea bites (I know what a flea...

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Pulce: How Do I Love Thee, Let Me Count the Ways

For reasons I can’t explain, I am following a blog on how to speak Italian,The Art of Translation. It’s interesting—I like getting notice of the posts. Today, the topic was “Honey, Sweetheart, & Co.” Or, Italian nicknames for the beloved. I was looking forward to the topic. My husband and I call each other (TMI alert) “mon petit chou-chou,”...

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Something Different is Happening Here

I opened the hand-addressed notecard. The graceful penmanship thanked me for my short story. I flipped the envelope and read the address: the writer was my neighbor. She had read “Just Now” in Memphis Magazine when the story won its annual fiction contest. I tucked the note away with other notes I’ve received over the years,...

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She Will Love Venice

My character in Jazzy, the new novel I’m working on, will love Venice, Louisiana. Venice will be a place Jazzy drove to with her daddy, one of her many “memory containers” destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. She will be devastated to learn the Katrina surge so inundated Venice to make the land indistinguishable from the Gulf of...

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It’s Not the End of the Earth

A couple of days ago, I called Venice, Louisiana the end of the earth. It’s not. It’s the end of the world. At the time, I did not know Venice’s official nickname was “The End of the World.” Now, having gone and returned, the REM song “It’s the End of the World As We Know It” keeps looping through...

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When It Becomes Real

With my new novel, Jazzy, I’m writing about the destruction of New Orleans following Katrina. Yesterday, I traveled to Plaquemines Parish where Katrina made landfall. Now I’m writing about the destruction of Venice, the last point in Louisiana reachable by road before the Mississippi River pours into the Gulf. The community, “protected”...

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