Getting the Goods


It’s amazing,the variety of writing that comes into a Writer-in-Residence office. I’ve had fan fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, memoir, short stories, excepts from novels, random musings, young adult literature and pure poetry. All of it is interesting but, so far, only one piece has kept me up at night.

I’m not going to name the author or the genre, but it’s so stirring when a piece of writing stays with you and, in this case, becomes unshakeable. The author has a confidence and a completely activated voice. You can’t help but engage. Nothing is explicit, everything is shown instead of told.

I’ve taught about metonymy and the importance of having a story be bigger than the self. “In transformative writing, the Reader learns as much about themselves as they do about the character, ” is one of my standard take-home quotes. But when it happens on the page, when something happens between you, the Reader and the story, when there is an exchange of energy, when the story lodges in your head (and yes, as a nod to St. Valentine’s Day, in your heart) it truly is magical.

Which is a round about way of saying, I’m still learning. I’m in a position to pass on learned experience to fellow writers. I help them see their work differently as, together we unpack the text and explore what is said and unsaid. But I’m also learning. And it’s being transfered into my own work. For that,I am very, very grateful


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