Alison Clement

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

Tag Archive for ‘Oregon’

Little Bird

The structure … is always the story of how the birds came home to roost.    –Arthur Miller I’ve been watching Henning Mankell’s Kurt Wallender series.  I like crime movies. but I don’t like to dwell on the crime, which is what American crime movies usually do, as if the crime is what’s interesting. I went to see The Life of Pi, even though I don’t like movies or books that […]

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when New York said no

When New York said no, I put the manuscript in a box and went on to something else. When I thought of the story at all, it was only to remember the flaws.  The novel is called All the Home I Have, the title taken from a poem by W.E. Aytoun. The earth is all the home I have, The heavens my wide roof-tree. It’s a novel set in Ten […]

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we are not zombies

When we questioned the District Attorney about the decision to use a SWAT team that night, a “small army,” as one of the journalists characterized it, the DA said that overwhelming force generally encourages submission. Research shows that, he said. At one time, not too long ago, a SWAT team was called in only in rare cases: when hostages had been taken or if there was a mass shooting, but […]

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tax man

One day when we lived in the woods  I walked up our drive with the kids and found a man parked in a car looking down at the place where our house set. He was writing something on a clipboard. He was startled when I knocked on his car window. He rolled it down quickly. What are you doing?  “Tax man here.”  I was carrying Sasha, our son, and holding […]

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Ten Mile

When Sam got shot by the SWAT team up Ten Mile, I decided to go ahead and write the Ten Mile book.  I’ve been working on it this summer. I’m supposed to write in my blog at least once a week, according to what I read about blogs, but clearly I don’t do that.  I’m writing about Ten Mile, that beautiful place, and I’m writing about the people there: odd, […]

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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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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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  Today the homeless advocate visited our school. She said homelessness includes substandard housing which means we were homeless when we lived in the woods without a bathroom, closets, or electricity.I don’t think that’s right.

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