The Slow-Cooked Sentence

Interior view

Rachael Conlin Levy

Andrea Lani of Remains of the Day asked me to participate in the My Writing Process blog meme. Because I’ve got a stubborn streak against anyone who tries to give me a writing assignment (a remnant from my days as a newspaper reporter), I’ve declined other memes. But being part of a community means supporting and joining when one can, and so I agreed to answer the following questions:

What am I working on?

A short story.

A weekly blog post.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I’ve published a few essays about my experiences as a mother, as well as a piece of flash fiction that included magical realism, but I don’t have nearly enough published material to lay claim to a genre. Mothering is a lens through which I view the world, but what interests me is the working class, alienation and rural poverty, the drifters and do-gooders. So, I’m reading Larry Brown and Tillie Olsen. I’m looking forward to Willy Vlautin.

Why do I write what I do?

To remember.

To understand.

To communicate.

How does my writing process work?

I write stream of consciousness first thing in the morning. I write with a bright yellow pen in cheap spiral notebooks I buy during back-to-school sales. I return to the notebooks and search for threads of a story. I write some more. A better description of how I work can be found in the post Assholes All Around.

Who’s next on My Writing Process blog tour?

The meme’s instructions asked that I ask three bloggers to share their writing processes. But it’s the nature of memes to act much like genes in that they “self-replicate, mutate and respond to selective pressures,” according to Wikipedia; I tapped one.

Piccalilli Pie is written by my friend Christina Wilsdon whose librarianish mind wanders hither and yon. Chris lives in the Seattle area with her husband, daughter, one dog, two cats, and a horse. She worked in the publishing industry in various production and editorial positions before becoming a freelance writer about 20 years ago. Chris writes mainly nonfiction books and articles about natural history, science, and other nonfiction topics for kids ranging in age from 4 to 14. Her blog, however, is for grown-up readers, and there she writes about anything that takes her fancy, from aphids to zweibacks.

Please visit Piccalilli Pie on April 14 to learn about Chris’ writing process. And thank you, Andrea, for this opportunity.

2 responses to “Interior view”

  1. Andrea says:

    Well, Rachel, I’m honored that you said yes to this “assignment” from me. I love how clean and uncluttered your responses here are (and how clean and uncluttered your writing is, too!). You are an inspiration!

  2. Denise says:

    I love Assholes All Around. My husband loves it too. Thanks for being you and sharing your writing here.

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