Although I have been writing since the age of nine, I was an adult before I saw writing as an art form available to me. It never occurred to me, an avid reader, that ordinary people wrote. By contrast, after visits to art galleries and museums to see paintings I loved, I would come home to draw and dabble. I had no plans for my artwork, no illusions, but trying it didn’t feel like overstepping my bounds. Writing—language, the manipulation of words, the power—was something I worshipped. Then one day, while reading a novella, I found myself thinking I can do this. I felt an affinity to the length and structure and to the degree to which the characters were developed. I wanted and needed to do it.
For BiblioBuffet, the novelist and essayist Dan Jaffe wrote, “Linda always brings a deadpan honesty to the page together with a rare sensitivity to life’s absurdities.” During our interview, I noted that just as Joan Didion writes to find out what she thinks, I write to discover what I feel and see. “My stories are…observational. I like to watch.” And then I strive to add color and light. (For the complete interview, visit BiblioBuffet.)
Curiosity is not only the impetus to all of my writing, but to all of my teaching as well. I love sharing what I have read and what great teachers have shared with me. I am generous with what I have discovered through my devotion to the art and science of writing and to the art and science of teaching. Working with creative writing students, either in a classroom or privately, has brought as much joy as time spent on my own work. Perhaps you will join me!
Photo: Linda’s studio