Reluctant Muse's Blog

Diary of a Mad Creative Writing Teacher
MARCH 23, 2010 9:09AM

Can People Change?


A few weeks ago, I became reacquainted with an old lover: a man as renowned for his charm and style as he is for his rather slippery morals when it comes to women.  Ten years ago, when I first knew him, my morals were also somewhat slippery, and we/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 3, 2010 8:39AM

Hemingway's Town


Last week I left the Paris of the North for some respite from the snow and cold and grayness that lodges in my bones like a wasting disease by February, and flew to Cuba hoping for a miracle cure.  I had been there once before, and other than… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 7, 2010 8:55PM

Good News Gingerale

Have you ever thought that half the charm of anything is anticipating its arrival, whether it is a man,  a sunny day, or gingerale?  There is something so great about imagining what it will be like when the thing arrives and, best of all, it gives you something to look forward… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 3, 2010 9:27AM

The Book Blurb: Guilt by Association

If you paddle around long enough in the small pond that is literary publishing, sooner or later someone is going to ask you to write a blurb.  When my first book was accepted by a publishing house, I was the one forced to beat the bushes for some author with a… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 28, 2010 3:46PM

Madness, Abuse, and Twinkies in the Classroom

I should have pursued a degree in psychology.  It would have made it much easier to deal with the number of unhinged students who gravitate to creative writing classes.  I've had a paranoid schizophrenic, who explained the mind set of a Twinkie in a story in which said snack cake was… Read full post »

Scarlett Sumac gave us three songs to brighten up our Sunday, now I offer you my picks:

  1. Daniel Johnston has had a more difficult time of it than many, but he has still written my favorite love song of all time, and the message is hopeful on a lonely Sunday
  2. Read full post »
JANUARY 15, 2010 1:07PM

Monster Goofy at the Wheel

I witnessed an incident of road rage on my way home from my dog walk this evening. I didn't see the mis-negociation that launched it, but I saw the outcome. A tanker truck, shiny silver and carrying some volatile flammable substance besides the driver, stopped at the light. Next to it,Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 11, 2010 2:10PM

Hitler Ate My Homework and other excuses...

There is this notion among students of Creative Writing that a creative excuse will get them out of doing the work they were assigned.  I don't know if it's their creative temperament that I'm supposed to excuse, or whether I am supposed to imagine just how ground-breaking and fabulous those cre… Read full post »

JANUARY 10, 2010 2:03PM

Even Nuns Drive--Why Can't I?

A few years ago, I tried, for the third time in my life, to learn how to drive.  I wrote a few pieces on the experience at the time, and thought I would share them here (in between my ranting about students).

 I have lived my whole life up untilRead full post »

I've been teaching creative writing for about ten years now.  I'm not sure how this much time has passed, and it certainly was not how I expected to use my creative gifts.  Some people are natural teachers; they feel like they are contributing the the betterment of humanity by passing on… Read full post »