Author Archives: Mandolin

My life in cats: Henderson

Presenting Henderson, also called Sweet Lady Henderson, which is a great name for both a cat and a blues singer: Henderson was stray until recently when she made camp on my friends’ porch. They fed her through the winter, and … Continue reading Continue reading

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My life in cats: Aurora

Sometimes I think I should document my life in cats. My friend’s cat Aurora is a very intelligent, very grand-looking tortoiseshell maine coon. She’s very self-possessed and polite to me–but not overly so, because generally when I’m over, it’s feeding … Continue reading Continue reading

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In Defense of “Slice of Life” Stories

When I was in college, I insisted that any poem worth its words would have a strong idea behind it–something it wanted to communicate to the reader. I still think that, but I’ve broadened my definition of what an idea … Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in Essays, Writing Advice | 3 Comments  

Drowning in Light

In the middle of summer, at this latitude, it’s light all the time. Not literally–we’re not that far North–but it can feel like it as the hour passes eight thirty and the sun is still happily shining. It’s not as … Continue reading Continue reading

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It’s summer! It’s graduation time!

It’s summer! It’s graduation time! I haven’t paid any attention to these signposts for a long time. After you’re not in school for long enough, its importance just kind of melts away. For years, I noticed graduation season as that … Continue reading Continue reading

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That’s a mixing bowl.

That’s a mixing bowl. (That is also a cat.) Continue reading

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How Long Does It Take To Write a Poem? Also, “Inside Her Heart,” and a class!

I’m teaching an online class on writing science fiction and fantasy poetry on June 30 at 9:30-11:30 PDT. It’s a fun class because it draws people from many different backgrounds with many different goals. Some are dedicated poets, looking to … Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in classes, Poetry, Rachel Swirsky's poetry, speculative poetry, Teaching, verses of sky and stars | Tagged | 1 Comment  

Wander the Kitten, Napping

Photographic evidence suggests that, as a kitten, the fluffball named Wander did nothing but nap. And nap: And sometimes flop: But mostly nap: …but really this is because the rest of the time he was running around too fast for … Continue reading Continue reading

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Come break the rules with me! (in a class. on Sunday. with Cat Rambo.)

Consider this your invitation: start (or continue) to Break the Rules with me in less than three days! After Daylight Savings Time is over and the clock falls back, I hope you’ll spend some time with Cat Rambo, me and your writing this Sunday, … Continue reading Continue reading

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My novel is going well! Yay! Here are some excerpts.

I’m really excited about how well my novel project is going. I’m close to a third done which is a big marker for me. I though tit might be fun to post a couple excerpts from the first two chapters … Continue reading Continue reading

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