Monthly Archives: May 2015


Do Not Call It Dialoguing!

Bad news from a plumber…
Learning Method Acting in Mrs. Fairhurst’s class…
A philosophical conversation about the word hiss...
It’s forty minutes of writing talk about dialogue!

We cover some how-to and some how-not-to. Jon brings several dialogue examples from current reading, and Juliet provides a wide digression about the mentoring of editors.

Books mentioned in the show (Amazon links and text):

Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr (which Jon accidentally called About a Girl)
I was thirteen when my dad caught me with Tommy Webber in the back of Tommy’s Buick, parked next to the old Chart House down in Montara at eleven o’clock on a Tuesday night. Tommy was seventeen and the supposed friend of my brother, Darren.
I didn’t love him.
I’m not sure I even liked him.

Jon also recommends Sara Zarr’s podcast This Creative Life.

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
She’s got it all figured out.
Or does she? When it comes to relationships, Remy’s got a whole set of rules.
Never get too serious. Never let him break your heart. And never, ever date a musician.
But then Remy meets Dexter, and the rules don’t seem to apply anymore.
Could it be that she’s starting to understand what all those love songs are about?

Fantastic 70’s image by Dave Gilbert and


Writer’s Quotes

What do Annie Dillard and Jhumpa Lahiri have in common? Um… they said stuff about writing?

Two quotes start a discussion about finding the essence of one’s novel somewhere deep in the rewrite… how to revise with rage… and why there is a dreaded Second Novel Syndrome.

The quotes we consider are:

Being a writer means taking the leap from listening to saying, “Listen to me.”
—Jhumpa Lahiri

When you write, you lay out a line of words. The line of words is a miner’s pick, a wood carver’s gouge, a surgeon’s probe. You wield it, and it digs a path you follow. Soon you find yourself deep in new territory. Is it a dead end, or have you located the real subject? You will know tomorrow, or this time next year.
—Annie Dillard

I found these quotes at:

Books mentioned in the show (Amazon links and text):

Interpreter of Maladies
Navigating between the Indian traditions they’ve inherited and the baffling new world, the characters in Jhumpa Lahiri’s elegant, touching stories seek love beyond the barriers of culture and generations. In “A Temporary Matter,” published in The New Yorker, a young Indian-American couple faces the heartbreak of a stillborn birth while their Boston neighborhood copes with a nightly blackout. In the title story, an interpreter guides an American family through the India of their ancestors and hears an astonishing confession. Lahiri writes with deft cultural insight reminiscent of Anita Desai and a nuanced depth that recalls Mavis Gallant. She is an important and powerful new voice.
An American Childhood
A book that instantly captured the hearts of readers across the country, An American Childhood is Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annie Dillard’s poignant, vivid memoir of growing up in Pittsburgh in the 1950s.


We Begin Our Climb Up Mt. Character

A curious encounter at the grocery store…
A girl who wants to be a spaceship…
A teenager talks Seagram’s and 7 Up…

You guessed it. We’re talking about characters.

What they are. How they work. What can go wrong. Today’s only the start for this topic. And after just seventy-three more shows we’re sure we’ll have it completely covered.

Books mentioned in the show (Amazon links and text):

The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp.
Until the morning he wakes up on a random front lawn, and he meets Aimee. Aimee’s clueless. Aimee is a social disaster. Aimee needs help, and it’s up to the Sutterman to show Aimee a splendiferous time and then let her go forth and prosper. But Aimee’s not like other girls, and before long he’s in way over his head. For the first time in his life, he has the power to make a difference in someone else’s life—or ruin it forever.

Light by M. John Harrison.
In M. John Harrison’s dangerously illuminating new novel, three quantum outlaws face a universe of their own creation, a universe where you make up the rules as you go along and break them just as fast, where there’s only one thing more mysterious than darkness.

Fluency by Jennifer Foehner Wells
NASA discovered the alien ship lurking in the asteroid belt in the 1960s. They kept the Target under intense surveillance for decades, letting the public believe they were exploring the solar system, while they worked feverishly to refine the technology needed to reach it.