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Mylene Dressler's Blog

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Sep.25.2009
"The opening paragraph of a story is its second strongest statement (the final paragraph is the strongest) and sets the tone for all that follows . . .  At the conclusion of a novel the illuminating incident* need only send its ray backward . . . but it should send a long enough shaft to meet...
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Sep.24.2009
"Practice other arts, even if badly, because it makes the soul grow."--Kurt Vonnegut  What are you doing to cross-train as a writer?   Join me on Twitter:   http://twitter.com/mylenedressler
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Sep.24.2009
See me
"Caress the divine details."  I'm sitting down to do so.  May you have a glorious, finely observed day. --MD   Photo credit:  Bruce Barone
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Sep.23.2009
"My task, which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the written word to make you hear, to make you feel--it is, before all, to make you see.  That--and no more, and it is everything."  --Joseph Conrad
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Sep.22.2009
Race for the Cure
I have a friend--I'll call her Jennie--who was diagnosed eight months ago with breast cancer. I learned this very recently. Jennie and I are friends whose worlds overlap only along a very particular seam: we meet and see each other thanks to our dogs, who compete in canine agility. In the sport of...
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Sep.21.2009
Wonderful Red Room Friends and Fans: You can now join me on Twitter for regular tweets from the road and from my current lecture/workshop season: http://twitter.com/mylenedressler (for writing-related posts, stories, and links) or http://twitter.com/doctoremspeaks (for widely ranging...
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Sep.21.2009
"[A] work of art, like a life, can fail in two different ways:  either, in terror of admitting that there is any chaos, it takes refuge in some arbitrary conscious order it has acquired ready-made from others or thought up itself on the spur of the moment . . .  or, lacking the courage and the...
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Sep.18.2009
GW Bridge
Ron Wach has been hiking almost constantly for fifteen years--ever since he endured his third car accident while commuting to his job with a large pharmaceutical company in a big city. On that day, he was sitting still, stopped by traffic, when he was hit at 65mph by another car. "That was it...
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Sep.15.2009
Taormina, Sicily
Dear Friends, I hope your fall has begun on a cool and fresh note.  All my thanks, as always, for allowing me into your lives as I share some news regarding the coming year.  A few delightful things are at hand: For those of you who have been asking when my next extended writing course will be...
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Sep.15.2009
"Let's say you believe in the highest principles of art, and that you want your story to express some lofty idea--or even ideal.  This is all well and good.  You don't have to sacrifice high principles to be a good writer.  You do, however, have to get off your high horse and walk the ground...
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Sep.14.2009
"I had a terrible mother," the woman sitting across from me in the Pep Boys waiting room said. Her own daughters, one eight years old and the other thirteen, clung close to her side. The girls were dark-skinned, small and beautiful. The woman was large and blond, with poodle-thick-curling...
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Sep.13.2009
Central Park, NYC
"You can't and shouldn't be impervious to the mood of your times.  You should never be thinking and feeling with the crowd.  Don't do anything for the crowd.  Don't do anything with the crowd.  But you've got to be aware of the crowd." --Martin Amis  Photo credit:  Bruce Barone
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Sep.12.2009
"On Edward Hopper's Birthday"
"The main reason for rewriting is not to achieve a smooth surface, but to discover the inner truth of your characters."  --Saul Bellow  Photo Credit:  Bruce Barone
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Sep.11.2009
"Supply the particulars, allow the significations to emerge all of themselves.  A procedure pioneered by Daniel Defoe.  Robinson Crusoe, cast up on the beach, looks around for his shipmates.  But there are none.  'I never saw them afterwards, or any sign of them,' says he, 'except three of...
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Sep.10.2009
At present, I am aware, an audience impatient for blood and glory scorns the stress I am putting upon incidents so minute . . .  One will come to whom it will be given to see the elementary machinery at work; who, as it were, from some slight hint of the straws, will feel the winds of March when...
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