Month: April 2014

Method Acting in Sagaponack


I was 27 or 28, working on my first novel. When the Matthiessens offered me their house in Sagaponack in exchange for watching their cats for a month, I leapt at the chance. I knew Peter’s wife, Maria, a beautiful Judi Dench lookalike, but I had never met Peter when I arrived there. I knew who he was, of course, but hadn’t ever read his work. We met only briefly before they went off to the airport and I was alone with the cats.

I was hoping for solitude and space. But I was also hoping that I could crack the writing code. Was it possible that the same surroundings that he found so conducive to genius would work their magic on me? Perhaps this was the month I would make a breakthrough in my interminable novel. I read all of Peter’s work while in his house, as though method acting, sitting among his things, looking at his photographs, eating in his kitchen, walking in his (well, Maria’s) garden.

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The Clothes Behind the Books: How to Dress Like a Writer


Elle Magazine knows what writers like: Long-sleeved silk blouses and exotic-skin totes.

That’s what we’ve learned from the latest issue of the fashion mag, which includes an editorial spread on how to dress like a novelist. This ideal writing ensemble, pictured below, adds up to $7,057, not including the price-upon-request Lacoste cotton pants.

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Take Five with the Children of Tendu

By Leigh Raper

Children of Tendu is a new podcast ostensibly for people interested in writing for TV. But hosts Javier Grillo-Marxuach and Jose Molina offer up solid advice for anyone interested in collaborative creation or building a career around writing.

Grillo-Marxuach and Molina have decades of combined experience writing for television. Their résumés include many of the shows that keep you up at night or tempt you to call in sick and queue up for a panel at Comic-Con: Lost, Sleepy Hollow, The Middleman, Firefly, and Helix.  At different points in their careers they have held most, if not all, of the different staff writing jobs, from entry-level writer to executive producer and show creator.

On Children of Tendu, they share their combined wisdom with honesty and humor. They break down the business into nuts and bolts segments on topics such as finding an agent and how be a good writers’ room citizen. They even have an episode that decodes all of those producer credits and job titles. Here, they talk a little about mentorship, Game of Thrones, and having a plan B (or not.)

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On Our Radar: Hum, Stories by Michelle Richmond

by Heather Scott Partington

Hum, Stories by Michelle Richmond
Fiction Collective Two in association with The University of Alabama Press
Trade paper, 168 pages

Michelle Richmond’s Hum is a collection of stories about men and women who are wanting. Like the constant buzz that emanates from the locked second bedroom of the couple in the title story, each Richmond character feels desire in a constant vibration; a sharp undercurrent to his or her actions. They get what they want for moments only, then ache for things they don’t have, striving not to acknowledge their own yearning. Richmond’s stories are humorous yet sad, toeing the line short stories often do, the one between odd and revealing.

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