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Keep The Hand Moving

Natalie Goldberg On Zen And The Art Of Writing Practice

I knew somehow that I wanted to write, and I knew I couldn’t learn to do it through traditional writing classes. . . . I had to begin with what I knew, something no one could tell me I was wrong about. And so I studied my mind.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Secret Of My Success

I am writing this in the parking lot of Walgreens, where I just purchased a couple of manuscript mailers, a new brand of anti-frizz serum for my hair (hope springs eternal!), a discounted day-after-Easter bunny (solid milk chocolate, fifty cents), and a small tablet of light purple eye shadow. Now, this is the life: I can apply the eye shadow in the rearview mirror and check how it looks (too light), eat my chocolate bunny without sharing, and write.

Money-Back Guarantee

While reading an old news article, I came upon a surprising admission by George W. Bush: he confessed that he is a nov-elist. In an interview with CBS he said, discussing the struggles of his contested election, “It’s been a fascination, as I’m sure you can imagine. I’m not a very good novelist. But it’d make a pretty interesting novel.”

Thirteen Ways Of Claiming A Literary Prize

“There he is,” someone whispered.

At the other end of the bar stood a stocky man with thinning hair and black-rimmed glasses. His skin gave off an unhealthy sheen; his eyes swam, magnified and vague, behind thick lenses. So this was the Pulitzer Prize–winning author (let’s call him Moe) who’d chosen my unpublished book as best new novel.

Fiction

Telling You

The worst thing that could possibly have happened was that I fell in love with my therapist, a man whose hand I’d held briefly and anonymously in the spring, not knowing that by August I’d be in therapy with him. Life is like this: one minute you’re lying by your air conditioner in the heat, reading haiku and wishing you didn’t have to go to see your new therapist, and the next minute you’re in his office blinking at him in surprise and thinking that he looks familiar, that you’ve seen him someplace before.

The Power of Jesus

The power of Jesus — my mother believed in it. Not the kind of power that would make her tumors dissolve. No, she was a pragmatist. She prayed for me, that Jesus would seal her son’s leaking soul, a soul stripped by apathy, an apathy fueled by disappointment, disillusionment, and drugs.

Readers Write

Laughter

I see us clearly in my memory — ten teenage girls walking down the sidewalk after school in 1955: black-and-white saddle oxfords, plaid skirts with sugar-starched crinolines beneath them, prim white shirts cinched by belts at the waist. We shriek with laughter.

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸
Sy Safransky's Notebook

November 2003

The goddess of sleep wants more respect. Eight hours? I object. I tell her I used to get by on four. She tells me I was younger then. I tell her I don’t have time for this conversation.

Musings From Our Founder ▸
Quotations

Sunbeams

Contrary to what many of you might imagine, a career in letters is not without its drawbacks — chief among them the unpleasant fact that one is frequently called upon to sit down and write.

Fran Lebowitz

More Quotations ▸
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