The Secret to Writing Good Sentences

Lately, I’ve been judging my sentences as too clunky. They get to the point but there’s no inspiration. So I thought about what books in the past inspired me to write interesting sentences. European greats like Tolstoy, Hugo, Balzac, Dickens, James. And then contemporary writers like Anthony Doerr, Richard Ford, Haruki Murakami, Cormac McCarthy, Kazuo Ishiguro, Don…

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Moving to Seattle: The Best Decision I Ever Made

Today is my 21st anniversary of moving to Seattle. I came here in late January of 1992. I was just out of graduate school, my job had been eliminated, and I had no romantic partner in my life. I’d visited the Northwest the previous October, staying with my aunt and uncle who’d recently moved here…

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Richard Ford on Writing as an Arrangement of Words

When I debuted this blog, I called it, “An Arrangement of Words.” That’s a phrase Richard Ford once said. It’s a beautiful expression, elegantly encapsulating what we writers do: arrange words to create a world and a truth. But as I realized I wanted to write about more than just my writing passion, I considered…

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