Sunday, March 20, 2011

Swimming Practice

“...perhaps the greatest pleasure of all is to put aside the striving and anxiety of ambition, if only for awhile, and to sit down to the blank page, clean and empty and inviting. And then you begin again.” -- Priscilla Long in The Writer's Portable Mentor

Priscilla Long’s new book on writing, The Writer’s Portable Mentor: A Guide to Art, Craft, and the Writing Life, deserves a place of honor on every writer’s bookshelf.

Long, a writing teacher who has published a wide range of essays, stories, and poetry in a variety of literary journals, shares insights into writing that will take your breath away.

By the time you’ve finished her book, you’ll know why a sentence might be better served as a complex rather than compound sentence, and why a story might benefit from a braid or collage structure rather than the more traditional dramatic story structure.

She covers practically every aspect of writing that you need to know in order to do your work. Chapters include suggestions for daily writing, working with language (gathering words, sound effects, repetition), training yourself to see (observing the here and now, observing persons, observing gesture), finding a structure (theme, collage, braid, dramatic), learning the art of constructing sentences and paragraphs (sentence craft, fragments, the phrase), and more.

You'll find examples of writing from Long's favorite works to reinforce many of her points, as well as a helpful chapter on revision, and a section on getting your work into the world.

The Writer’s Portable Mentor is an astonishing work, a master teacher's thoughts on how to write... and then on how to improve what you've written. Its depth and scope are breath-taking, and you'll find inspiring nuggets of wisdom along the way to inspire you as you explore the book's pages

Imagine taking a class with the kind of writing teacher every writer longs for.

Her name is Priscilla Long, she's collected her lessons in this book, and now she's waiting for you to sit down and join her.

For more information about Long and her work, visit:

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