Alison Clement

observations from a novelist who sometimes wants to say something small and see it published immediately


The Village of Witches

We went looking for a village of witches. We passed a man with a  machete. A donkey. A sign said go back this is an active volcano but nobody went back. People put up signs that said viva el revolultion which we could read even though our Spanish is bad. Masks hung on walls, on fences, and on houses. We passed sugar cane fields. A man walked along the road […]

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The sun always shines in Algeria

It’s a mistake not to leave Oregon at least for a little while in the winter, and so we’re thinking about a trip. I’m reading A Moveable Feast. I want to go to Paris in the 20s but clearly that will not work out. When I went to Paris I met a woman named Beatrice whose apartment was full of books. She had a painting of flowers on the wall […]

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Oregon in the winter

> My mother is in Hawaii and my kids are packing for Mexico. Here the winter sky is gray almost every day. It’s gray and bleak and we live like people buried beneath plastic, like someone has stretched a plastic tarp over our heads and all we can do is wait for it to stop. My kids don’t mind the weather, but they are packing for Mexico. They are buying […]

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>internalizing repression

Today I posted the first page of my new manuscript, Watching Rhonda Honey, on my website. The first page is about being raised Catholic. I’m glad I was raised Catholic, let me say that right now. It did three things that I like. It made me psychologically complicated, which is useful for a writer. It gave me a sense of shame, which is not a bad thing, I realize now […]

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>who would have guessed

I thought I couldn’t write here. I thought maybe my writing required a cynical state of mind and I can’t feel cynical here, on the Jalisco Coast of Mexico, but today I wrote three pages of my novel, Finding Rhonda Honey. Last night we went to a drag show here in this little town. The guy from the taco stand was a beautiful woman. Who would have guessed. People brought […]

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>not a secret

I’m on the Jalisco coast, in a town called La Manzanilla. I used to keep the name a secret, but the town isn’t a secret really, so there it is. La Manzanilla. It’s December and I am wearing my flip flops. If I look up, I can see the ocean.

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