Alison Clement

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

Tag Archive for ‘writing’

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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half the size of Utah

I wrote almost every day.  I was busy. I had children and a day job and we always had money trouble, and that takes a lot time. I wrote through money trouble and moves and kids and fights and deaths. I was not disciplined. I wrote because I love to write. Because it is fun, because it is deeply strangely satisfying, because I want to.  I wrote novels and short […]

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just short of discursive meaning

In DC we went to an atheists rally, but I am not an atheist. It was the biggest atheist rally in history, or something like that. The periphery was lined with people wanting to save our souls, which is something I never understand. I went with Chuck and Maggie. Two atheists whose souls no one should ever worry about. Afterwards, we went to the National Gallery of Art and looked […]

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my mother and virgina woolf

It’s Saturday and I’m reading  Virginia Woolf. About five minutes ago, I received an email from my mother. It is made up of two sentences:  “I lost her address and I want to thank her for the Xmas card. Sun is pretty on the snow and I see 2 cardinals in the tree.” This tendency of my mother to start in the middle of a conversation used to drive me […]

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the short story

I thought of a short story last night while I did the dishes and it was all whole in my mind but then I worked on math, watched an episode of Twin Peaks, drank a glass of wine, read a little of Henry James and went to sleep and now I haven’t the slightest idea about that story, even though, at the  time, is was complete in my mind.

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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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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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some small, diabolical plot

My birthday. I went to Market of Choice for coffee and to read  Pico Iyer, Sun After Dark. Market of Choice is a good place to drink a cup of coffee in the morning. It is warm, first of all. You do not have to wear a coat when you drink a cup of coffee in Market of Choice. It’s clean and the chairs are comfortable. There is no loud […]

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