The writing life

reading novels is good for your brain

Reading novels is good for the brains of old people, according to a recent New York Times story headlined “A Neurologist’s Tips to Protect Your Memory”:

One early indicator of memory issues, according to Dr. Restak, is giving up on fiction. “People, when they begin to have memory difficulties, tend to switch to reading nonfiction,” he said.

Over his decades of treating patients, Dr. Restak has noticed that fiction requires active engagement with the text, starting at the beginning and working through to the end. “You have to remember what the character did on Page 3 by the time you get to Page 11,” he said.

reading novels is good for your brain Read More »

What I’m working on now

I’m creating new ebook versions of my first three novels, which, for a while, have been available only as out-of-print traditionally published hardbacks. (For more info on those novels, click on the Books tab.) Another interesting creative exercise … I sent three hardbacks to a woman in Oregon, who tore them apart and fed the pages into a scanner, and then she sent me a PDF and a Word doc of each novel’s text. Now I’m proofreading the text, comparing the scans to the original novels and correcting mistakes in the scans’ optical character recognition. I’ll let you know when the ebooks are available.

What I’m working on now Read More »

my process

My process begins with ideas, of course, and listening to the words. Deep into it, I’ll print out a draft of a novel, then I’ll reread and rewrite, then I’ll print out another draft for another round of rereading and rewriting, and so on. I’ll do some doubling-back to see what I had in some previous draft, all of this for draft after draft until I need to stick my head in a bucket of ice. Sometimes the writing feels as good and easy as singing. Sometimes it’s like digging up rocks with a pickaxe, still kind of enjoyable because it’s solving problems.

my process Read More »