Blog

The Center blog is teeming with tips and inspiration for starting and maintaining your writing practice.

The snow has at last melted here. Three solid days of rain, and the daffodils are bursting! In the days before I painted flowers from my garden, and also in the days before my investigation of the use of yellow grew deep enough to dazzle me, I’d take note of the daffodils I’d brought up here, from my garden on Long Island, and how they poked through the leaves first, the garden still bedraggled and delinquent...
A semicolon has been used to punctuate complete thoughts within a sentence; it is somewhat arcane, I’ve thought, and been replaced by a period or an em dash (—). The above sentence could also be written this way:...
I’d visited a writers’ group in a nearby town. This is a rural place. Nearby is an hour’s drive. But the weather was still good, I’d heard they were serious writers, and there is no group nearer home...
Two nights ago, sitting by the open window in the quiet country woods, late July, I heard a bird sing—chirp! Chirrup! Chirrup! I listened and heard it again. Then it must have moved on. Startling to hear a bird at night—full dark...
"The joy for me comes when my students find that one, perfectly resonant image that captures the nuances of emotion in their experience, or when a bolt of inspiration reveals a perfectly broken line. Those moments are what makes me thrilled to teach with The Center." Writing Toward Balance and Wholeness teacher Teneice Durrant shares some insights into both her teaching and creative processes.
"...it is a rediscovery for me, that the teaching I do is not just about me. That alone is affirmation. We are all in this together. Writing for Children and Writing a Small-Scale Memoir teacher Helena Clare Pittman shares some insights into both her teaching and creative processes.
Many years ago, my sister and I went on a house tour, a walking exploration of some of the great old houses in Oyster Bay, on Long Island, the peninsula that extends east from New York Harbor, sitting in the Great South Bay where it meets the Atlantic Ocean. The house tour was something I was less interested in than was my sister, but it was a way for us to spend time together...
The five of us, myself and the four writers who registered for the retreat, had dined together. We then drove to the place that would be home base for the next four days: The Lazy Pond Bed and Breakfast, in the town of Liberty, New York, where I live. Lazy Pond is just down my road, but the others had traveled from all over the country.
At the supermarket two weeks ago, I encountered a man. He’d knocked down a display. I couldn’t pass by with my wagon while he was picking it up. I said, “I’ll wait…it’s usually me that does that…” –very female. I am protecting his pride. He smiles. “You’re a good citizen,” I add. He says, “If you knock something over you pick it up.” A principle. A morality play. But we had connected...
I think the eyes open when one writes, just as they do when one paints, to a more subtle, finely-tuned world. I’ve just looked up from my notebook. The snow on the hemlock trees past my window makes a fine, latticework pattern. I didn’t see that before I started this writing. It’s a glimpse, a vision of bright order. Outer to inner eyes. I think I’ve gasped...