Ross Gale

8,446 Added | 5 Magazines | 6 Likes | 34 Following | 14,366 Followers | @rossgale | Ross is a writer and editor living in Arizona. He earned his MFA in Creative Writing from Seattle Pacific University. @rossgale

What a Novel Looks Like Before It’s a Novel

In the long game that is novel-writing, the most mysterious element is the first draft: the rough attempt at shaping a story, the often never-seen …

Marilynne Robinson on Finding the Right Word

One of the things I love about Emily Dickinson is the way that, every time I read her poetry, I feel as though I’m encountering it for the first time. It has a reserve of meaning that seems to open very slowly over a long series of readings. Part of that is due to the extreme compression of her …


In prison, writing is an act of redemption

The poet is gone, transferred to another institution. This was not his choice: When one is incarcerated, one goes where one is sent. His name …


The Gloom, Doom and Occasional Joy of the Writing Life

There are only two kinds of writers in the world, according to John McPhee: the overtly insecure and the covertly insecure. His new book, “Draft. No. 4,” a collection of essays on craft, is a sunny tribute to the gloomy side of the writing life: the insecurity, dread, shame, envy, magical thinking, …


Prowling the Woods

My father told me that when he used to bird hunt through the Kilgore Hills in Northeast Mississippi, he would sometimes come upon a whisky still or …


Killing Me Softly

In high school, I used to look forward to study hall because the girl who sat in front of me would spend the whole time gossiping and laughing with …


Iris Murdoch and the Limits of Language

Artists are often mythologized for their neuroses—picture <b>James Joyce</b> scrambling to the printer with corrected pages of <i>Ulysses</i> or <b>Orson Welles</b> toiling …


Friday Finds for Writers

Writing-related resources, news, and reflections to enjoy over the weekend.


'Plagiarists never do it once': meet the sleuth tracking down the poetry cheats

Ira Lightman is a man on a mission: to root out plagiarism in poetry. And his latest case is the most shameless yet<p>The poet Ira Lightman stared at his laptop screen in disbelief. Could it be true? He was sitting on the sofa in his terrace house in Rowlands Gill, five miles south-west of Newcastle, …


This music production tool is the reason why all new music sounds the same

Imagine music as a recipe. Would you be able tell whether it had been made with artificially engineered ingredients or fresh produce from the farmer’s market? Canned tomatoes might work just fine—but maybe you wouldn’t know what you had been missing until you tried the same dish with heirlooms, …

Bon Iver

Florida Demands Parents Call Their Kids 'Limited' or Lose Health Care

America's scarcity model for disability treatment is pushing parents to answer impossible questions.Imagine a nurse coming to your house and asking …


It’s the Golden Age of TV. And Writers Are Reaping the Rewards and Paying the Toll.

LOS ANGELES — Kirk A. Moore’s sleeping pattern had landed him in the hospital.<p>Working two jobs last year — he was a member of the writers’ room on ABC’s “American Crime” and contributing to the upcoming Netflix show “13 Reasons Why” — Mr. Moore was getting by on three hours of sleep (at most). He …


The Heretical Things Statistics Tell Us About Fiction

In high school, writing term papers on the family PC, I’d often turn to Microsoft Word’s “readability statistics” feature to make sure I sounded smart enough. With a few clicks, Word assigned my papers a Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level: a number from one to twelve indicating how many years of education …

J.R.R. Tolkien

Crafting Peace in Terabithia

Though it shook her, Una loved the book. In fact she turned around and read it again straight through. I wanted to ask about it, but tried to give …

How a Binge-Writing Getaway Can Boost Productivity

By faungg’s photos via Flickr’s CCPlease welcome our guest Leah DeCesare, the author of <i>Forks, Knives, and Spoons</i> and the nonfiction parenting series</i> …

Rhode Island

Writing in the Shadow of a Masterpiece: On Homage

“Neither a borrower nor a lender be;<br>For loan oft loses both itself and friend,<br>And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.<p>–Polonius, <i>Hamlet</i><p>Ezra Pound’s …


"Solastalgia," and Other Words for Our Changing World

Science fiction has always been an outlet for our greatest anxieties. This week, we delve into how the genre is exploring the reality of climate change. Plus: new words to describe the indescribable.<p>1. Jeff VanderMeer @jeffvandermeer, author of the <i>Southern Reach Trilogy</i> and <i>Borne</i>, on writing about …


Before You Start: Introductions, Forewords, and Prefaces

A letter appears before the text of <i>The Comedians</i>, the 1966 novel by <b>Graham Greene</b>. The author penned the letter to <b>Alexander Stuart Frere</b>, his longtime …

Redactions to Reveal: Poetry in an Age of Censorship

The censorship of artists is not a new practice, but it feels lately like events and structures are realigning the boundaries of personal expression. …


"What you plan is too small for you to live"

Mark Rylance: how Robert Bly changed my life

Ahead of a new film about Robert Bly, Mark Rylance recalls how the poet helped him to live with loss<p>I was raised in Milwaukee up to 1978, when I was 18. My father was an English teacher, so I must have come upon the American poet Robert Bly through him. But the first time I remember meeting him was …


Mexico And U.S. Team Up To Create Low-Cost Wheelchairs : NPR One

Telling Is Listening: Ursula K. Le Guin on the Magic of Conversation and Why Human Communication Is Like Amoebas Having Sex

“Words are events, they do things, change things. They transform both speaker and hearer; they feed energy back and forth and amplify it. They feed understanding or emotion back and forth and amplify it.”<p>Every act of communication is an act of tremendous courage in which we give ourselves over to …

Mark Rothko on the Transcendent Power of Art and How (Not) To Experience His Paintings

Between January and July of 1956, a pivotal point in art when abstraction and realism confronted one another in a particularly fierce conflict and fine art was exorcising its ambivalence about the “organic” and the “formal” on canvases the world over, the celebrated writer, poet, critic, and public …


On Not Writing a Book Right Now

Why I won’t be asking you about your next big project.


Always Becoming

<i>The following is adapted from an address given at the Seattle Pacific University MFA in Creative Writing commencement ceremony last month</i>.<p>For …


Arizona lawmakers undo disability-lawsuit compromise; Ducey signs off

Skip in<p>x<p>Embed<p>CLOSE<p>THE GAGGLE: TALKING POLITICS EVERY WEEK WITH THE AZCENTRAL.COM TEAM The Gaggle: AZ's memorable delegation, voter registration …


Can you judge a book by its odour?

Cocoa, wood, rusks – every book has a distinctive smell. And each smell says something about how and when it was made, and where it has been<p>What does it mean to experience a book? To a bibliophile such as Alberto Manguel, smell plays an important part. In a talk at the British Library this week, …


Self-Help for Sarah Lawrence Girls: Joan Didion on Franny and Zooey

<i>I’m sick of just liking people. I wish to God I could meet somebody I could respect</i><p>“When I first came to New York during the fall of 1956, I went to …


Syrian-American poet's view of the conflict

Syrian-American spoken word poet Amal Kassir lost 11 family members in Syria last Tuesday - but not in the suspected chemical attack.<p>This is her response to the war, Donald Trump, and the moment she spent six years preparing for.<p><i>Produced by Nadia Alhuraimi; Filmed and edited by Allen McGreevy</i>

Donald Trump