bird by bird and other thoughts on writing




from Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird

“If something inside you is real, we will probably find it interesting, and it will probably be universal.  So you must risk placing real emotion at the center of your work.  Write straight into the emotional center of things.  Write toward vulnerability.  Don’t worry about appearing sentimental.  Worry about being unavailable; worry about being absent or fraudulent.  Risk being unliked.  Tell the truth as you understand it.  If you’re a writer, you have a moral obligation to do this.  And it is a revolutionary act – truth is always subversive.” – Anne Lamott


from pn

I can’t speak to the mechanics of writing or the ins-and-outs of publishing – I am far too inexperienced.  But I can speak to the vulnerability of writing, to the risk of being unliked, to the risk of being forevermore thought of as a porn writer.  I never planned on writing erotica, on exposing my humanness, my insides in that way – but I did – it was the emotional center of my world, my truth, my obligation, and there are fences to mend because of the risk taken. But it was indeed revolutionary – and marvelous.


anne lamott / bird by bird / awesome


at the wedding




In youth it was a way I had

To do my best to please.

To change with every passing lad

To suit his theories.

But now I know the things I know

And do the things I do.

And if you do not like me so,

To hell, my love, with you. – Anonymous


A poem given to me by my mother when I was in my teens.


photo credit:

monday the 20th






I walk past her house and think of the widow

who died two or three times and wakes in the night

with salt on her lips and sand in her sheets,

God and girlfriend vacant when she cries.


I shudder with a fear of the ocean,

and a love that runs just as deep

till watery death.


A personal note:  my thanks to all who have commented on my blog and apologies that I have not replied.  I continue to feel my way around wordpress and will return shortly.


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David to Claire: (subject) Unexpected

From the first, she had touched him in ways that few women (and there had been many) had. Though they had never met, a chord had been struck that vibrated harmoniously and he was ever aware of her. There was a spoken yet unspoken understanding of shared tastes and fantasies, unexplored territories. Sometimes he wanted her so badly it was like a physical ache. He spent hours almost every day imagining their time together, their mutual explorations of each other, the anticipated pain and pleasures, the fantasies, the delicate boundaries they would push. It was like an ever-pulsing engine that was in him. Yet, despite the crazy lust he had for her, he felt a soft desire, and was in no particular rush to their first encounter, content to let it build, perhaps to an even greater need. xx d


photo credit: magical-art-of-shadow

from the story within by laura oliver




“Write because you are a witness, not just to events, but to what mattered about those events. Not just to relationships, but to how those relationships exposed or celebrated a truth. Write because you are an explorer of yourself and of the human condition. Write to cherish what will otherwise be lost and to understand what has never made sense. The more personal your discovery, the more universal it is.” – Laura Oliver

along with heart, a compass for writers

the story within / new insights and inspiration for writers / laura oliver


from the near transformation of claire




Language is a skin. I rub my language against the other.  It is as if I had words instead of fingers, or fingers at the tip of my words.  My language trembles with desire. – Roland Barthes

I am addicted to you.  You arouse me higher than I can remember.  I will have you, and have you, and chafe myself raw in you. My ear is already tuned to your cries and whispers as I mount you.  You are my virgin. – David Ambrose

The near Transformation of Claire will be available as an e reader, summer 2015.


photo credit:

in flight


“What do you do?” he asked her.

What do I do, she thought. Geez, I don’t know, I don’t know what I do. Stupid stuff, I play online card games, I watch bad tv, I check my emails a hundred times a day and I don’t know why, it’s not like anything important is going to show up.  I go to meetings.  I miss my children, but they’re older now and not so much fun.  They just like to tell me how to do things.  Hah, as if!  I miss my dog, I clean house a lot, I smoke too much, I read poetry, I really love poetry.  I garden but it hurts my back.  I spend way too much time in front of the mirror.  I fantasize, I think about him.

She assumed he meant, “What do you do for a living?”

“I work the customer service desk in a print shop,” she replied.

He chuckled a bit. “That sounds like a big headache.”

“Oh, it can be,” she replied and turned away ever so slightly and opened her second bag of pretzels.


angel by dyane fancey





for bill wernick


Every woman wants her own, you know,

and every king, god, and pasha

too gouty, sweaty, or lecherous

makes the same mistake courting.

Sending the favorite boy as envoy

and the maiden sees the smooth, the sleek,

the beautiful young body and the gentle mouth

and at first sight seizes that as her bargain.

Sometimes her heart and loins lock absolutely

like Isolde’s

and the old king’s key can never open

the knot of flesh

and the eyes never close that follow

the handsome nephew.

Every woman wants her heart’s own,

even Mary of Nazareth, that pious child

consumed under the wind and thunder

listened for the rustle of wings

crying like a prayer,

“Gabriel, Gabriel!” – Dyane Fancey, A Religion of Skin


From the back cover of A Religion of Skin:

“I was a poet for lust.

I write because I don’t do anything else as well, except lie, booze, etc…

I need some justification for my otherwise lascivious and licentious life, and the world always forgives if one makes art.”

Thank you for this, Dyane, and for more than you know.


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