The Life Cycle of a Story

It’s crazy to think back on the life cycle of this story. The summer of 2009…that means it took five years for me to get from the nugget of an idea about a guy and the weather to this piece that now lives on the Joyland Magazine website.

I wanted to document this as a reminder to my future self, for when I’m feeling bleak about my novels or whatever it is I’m working on. Everything starts as shit. Everything. There were so many times I believed the story was unsalvageable. So many times I thought I was giving up on it for good.

I was never certain I would be able to mold the piece into what it was meant to be. But somehow I did it. And now you can actually read the thing. Unreal.

One short story, five years. But in these five years I’ve learned so much. Who knows how long it’ll take me to get one of my novels through that same cycle? But now that I can look back and clearly see the path that I took in order to finish that story, I don’t care. The amount of time doesn’t matter. There’s a lot to reshape. A lot more growth to be had. I’m calm and I’m ready.

My virtual friend Emily (whom I met on MFA applicant message boards) on the life cycle of her story, which just got published at the awesome joylandmagazine

(via INFOGRAPHIC: J. R. R. Tolkien’s Top 10 Tips for Writers | Electric Literature)
(via Jane Austen meets mansplaining: This is the perfect satire of the anti-feminism movement - Salon.com)
I wrote about Jane Austen, manfeels-park, and feminism for Salon.
"It’s also an answer to an old question: should you write for yourself or for an audience? The answer is “for an audience”. But not to impress them. The idea is to help them discern something you know they’d be able to see, if only they were looking in the right place. Happily, this also makes writing easier. “We never feel any difficulty when we are pointing out something directly perceptible to somebody next to us,” Turner and Thomas say. “We are built for this.” Understood this way, writing isn’t a performance, a confrontation or a matter of ramming information into someone else’s brain. It’s the writer and reader, side by side, scanning the landscape. The reader wants to see; your job is to do the pointing."

This column will change your life: how to think about writing | Life and style | The Guardian

"The Memory Garden is the tale of Nan, an amateur witch who has helped women “in trouble” in the past — we all know what that means — and of her foundling child Bey, who may have nascent supernatural abilities. Nan harbors a particularly dark secret from her girlhood, a loss which led to her choice of profession. On a weekend reunion with Nan’s childhood friends, in which they gather for a “flower feast” — literally, a feast based around floral ingredients and flavors — and exchange reminiscences that turn into accusations, the truth emerges. The novel’s plot is formed into what Rickert describes as a “spiral” structure, slowly unfurling itself. Oh, and there are ghosts around Nan’s house, who pop in and out to aid the unfurling."

Memory Garden Author Mary Rickert Interview – Flavorwire

So pleased to find a home for this Q+A with Mary, an amazing writer and person!

(via Taking a Bite Out of Networking Events: A Guide for Beginners | The Hairpin)
Ask yourself two questions: The first is whom do I know here, and the second is where is the cheese table? Good. Now combine these two questions: whom do I know here who is closest to the cheese table?

(via Taking a Bite Out of Networking Events: A Guide for Beginners | The Hairpin)

Ask yourself two questions: The first is whom do I know here, and the second is where is the cheese table? Good. Now combine these two questions: whom do I know here who is closest to the cheese table?