Alison Clement

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

writing

if I knew how to take advice

I’ve been writing all my life and sometimes I’ve felt bad for doing it too much, and other times I’ve felt bad for doing it too little. Sometimes I’ve felt that my writing is exactly what it needs to be. I mean not that it’s perfect, but it’s mine. When my second novel was published, my agent then told me to next write something like Jennifer Weiner’s GOOD IN BED, […]

Continue Reading →

alarming information, what to do with it

I think I’m too distractible to write in a coffeeshop. Instead of figuring out what Rose will do with the alarming information she just discovered, I listen to the girls next to me discussing electrons. I listen to some guys complaining about a co-worker. I listen to the men at the next table speaking in Spanish, trying to see how much I can understand (not much). Should I resume my […]

Continue Reading →

A Sign

I put each chapter on an index card, A plot one color, B plot another. (Didn’t I already do this about 5 years ago??) I thought about how that B plot bumps up against the A plot. Moved the little cards around. Moved them around again. Then moved them one more time, so they were just like they should be. Oh, they are back to where I started. Okay, surely […]

Continue Reading →

Man Ray and teaching

  I don’t tell my students about my doubts. I don’t say I think school is inferior to what we can learn through following our own curiosity, cultivating our own interests and developing our own course of study. I don’t say I’m convinced that the best way to learn to write isn’t found in the classroom. Read and pay attention. That’s how to learn. Listen to people talk. Find out […]

Continue Reading →

mémoire (masculine), a special use of mémoire (feminine) ‘memory’

This is the way I write it: my sister says she doesn’t remember anything about the Cuban Missile Crisis interrupting our family vacation to Texas or whether we still had the turquoise Thunderbird convertible then or not. Why don’t you write about it? One night in a bar Chuck tells friends the story of when we went to Antigua to set up a printing press for the Antigua Caribbean Liberation […]

Continue Reading →