Alison Clement

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

Tag Archive for ‘Alison Clement’

unless it’s cancer, or something

I just lay in bed and think about my body. All the ways it hurts. I dream about words. When you are sick with the flu, it isn’t the time to watch a documentary on HIV. In my dream I am writing my thesis, but I’m not sure what my thesis is and anyway I thought I already got my degree. When you are sick with the flu, it’s a […]

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why is a feel oyster an egg stir

First of all, I don’t like Gertrude Stein’s writing. Conceptually what she is doing might be interesting, and I appreciate the fact that she was brave and that she wrote what she wanted to write even if she had to publish it herself, but her writing is awful to read. I was sitting in the train station this morning reading Tender Buttons and a young man was pacing up and […]

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$8 isn’t enough

Last week a woman sitting next to me on the train was reading my book. I’ve always wanted this to happen. Last night I was at a party and realized the man I was talking to is the ex-husband of the woman on the train. I’ve been depressed and I think it’s because I’m in school and don’t have a moment for my own thoughts and have only written one […]

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and then she winked

I’m on page 82 of my revision, but I’m not in the mood of the novel. Sometimes I can listen to music and get in a mood that way. Frieda decides to run away from home. What song would it be? On the radio this morning an actor described making a film about the rape of Nanking. He worried because the actresses were required to cry so much and he […]

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Martha Marcy May

2011 Jody Lee Lipes / Fox Searchlight Earlier I said I didn’t think MMM was worth the anxiety I experienced watching it, but I found myself thinking of the film all day today and, better still, thinking beyond the film: thinking of what it said. Thinking about the prisons we allow ourselves to live in, about fundamentalism, cults, domestic violence, about the human longing for a charismatic leader or, at […]

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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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the plot

I knew someone who couldn’t finish writing his book because he had fallen in love with his protagonist. Sometimes I fall in love with my made- up guys even though they hardly say anything and in real life I like men who can talk. I finally figured out the plot for my book, The 5 ½ Senses of Frieda LaValle. Yes, it has a plot. It apparently has a plot […]

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Three Queens

I’ve begun my young adult novel yet again. How many ways can I write the same story?  It was going to be my simple story, the one I wrote quickly, for fun. Oh, and my agent thought it would sell. Let’s be honest. The first version was disturbingly similar to the movie, The Sixth Sense. Something I didn’t notice until I had completed it. I went back and watched that […]

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Taha Muhammad Ali

Taha Muhammad Ali  (1931-2011): Palestinian poet, author of “So What; New and Selected Poems, 1971-2005” pub.2006, Copper Canyon Press  And so it has taken me all of 60 years to understand that water is the finest drink, and bread the most delicious food, and that art is worthless unless it plants a measure of splendor in people’s hearts. Thanks, Roger Weaver, for sending this.

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yes, cannibals are bad

“Why are there bad guys?” Sasha once asked me. If I had to name one personal obsessive existential question of my own, that would be it. Yeah, why are there bad guys?? Upon learning the definition of the word “cannibal,” four year old Sasha was quiet for moment. Then he turned to me and, hoping this was not some tradition he was only now becoming aware of, asked, “That’s bad, […]

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