Writing

I’ve Been Tagged

Nichelle Tramble has “tagged” me! This means that I am to write fifteen interesting facts about my writing/reading life. It’s going to be hard since I am so confessional here on my blog. What is there that you don’t already know about me? The assignment is fifteen things, but I am going to just do the best I can. Okay, here I go. And these are in no particular order. Ahem.

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Tayari’s Favorite Things

Monday, Oprah announced her “favorite things” for the holidays. You can go to her web site to check it out. You can even click for a printable shopping list. I hope you have several thousand dollars to blow, because Miz O is drawn to high-ticket items. ($150 corduroys anyone? $10,000 watch?)
Anyway, I was thinking of a gift guide for the writer in your life, even if that writer is yourself. So here are some tangible things that have enriched my writing life:

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Quotable Quote

One of my students brought this little gem to my attention:

A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.
–G. K. Chesterton
English author & mystery novelist (1874 – 1936)

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“Universal” is a 4-letter word

The other day, at a bookstore event, I was asked “How much of your writing is ‘black’ and how much is ‘universal.’” Holy cats. Are people STILL asking writers that????
This is one of those moments where I wish I could go back and say something different that what I said. The question caught me off-guard. I am pretty sure that the man, (who was white), didn’t mean anything neccesarily offensive by the question. But, it’s two days later and I am still, annoyed, alarmed, and more than a little pissed off.
Let me explain.

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Novemeber is National Novel Writing Month

On your marks, get set, GO! The goal is to write a short novel of about 175 pages (50,000 words) by November 30, which happens to be my birthday. Shall we all sit down and get our collective scribble on? Yes, let’s. Here’s the NaNoWriMo website.

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P/F Gala: Some Thing Blue

People have been asking me about the three-minute story I wrote for the Pen/Faulkner Gala. If you recall, the theme was Lost and Found. Here’s what I wrote. It’s called “Some Thing Blue.” (If you have a windows machine, you can click here to listen.)

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Manicures and MFAs

Well, I am getting ready to hop a plane to go to DC for the Pen/Faulkner gala. Over the last few days, I’ve been scrambling trying to make sure my sister who lives in Port Arthur, Texas is safe from Rita, trying to get my students’ papers graded, trying to take care of a few home repairs. And I looked down at my hands and feet. Oh no! I had to drop everything and go a manicurist.
You may be wondering what this has to do with the MFA degree.

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Deadline Alert!

Hey, I just wanted to remind everyone of the Christopher Isherwood Foundation Awards. They give grants of $3,000 to writers of fiction who have published at least one book. It’s not very hard to apply. Click here for more information.

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“Evangeline”: A Book I Wrote a Long Time Ago

When I was about twenty-three, I wrote a novel called “Evangeline.” It was about a twenty-something named Fern who was from Evangeline, Louisiana. The plot was that she had come to Atlanta, determined to make a new life for herself.

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Writing Again…

As you can probably guess, I am struggling with the beginning of a new novel. I came up with the idea months ago… I worked on it while I was on book tour. I have written over one hundred pages, but I have only one twenty-page chapter to show for it. I am not quite sure how I feel about this…

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