Tag Archives: fiction

Joyce Carol Oates on Writing – Advice from a Master

[Terrific interview on BuzzFeed with literary icon Joyce Carol Oates about “writing.”] “It’s been 52 years since Joyce Carol Oates published her first book, a short story collection titled By the North Gate. Since then, Oates, now 77, has written … Continue reading

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The Pain and Perils of Revision

I just “finished” a book I’d been working on for nearly a year. Every writer will understand why I put the word finished in quotes, because, truly, it is never really finished until it is published, is it? The manuscript … Continue reading

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Best American Novels? from The American Scholar

[Something to argue about.] One Hundred Best American Novels, 1770 to 1985 (a Draft) A reading enthusiast’s list By David Handlin Share on facebook Share on twitter Share on reddit Share on email About a year ago I put an … Continue reading

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Free Books! Not Many, But Good Ones

[Also posted as separate page on the blog] Review Copies Each month I’ve informally off the record given away review copies of my books, usually three to five a month, to my followers with the understanding these eager readers will … Continue reading

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Just Have to Share

Readers of this blog know I’m opinionated, have high writing standards (for myself at least and in what I read). So it is particularly gratifying when an astute reader of one of my works takes the time to write a … Continue reading

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The Scoop, The Dish – “Twilight’s Indian Princess”

FREE BOOK PROMOTION FOR THIS TITLE JULY 1 – 5 Amazon link http://www.amazon.com/Twilights-Indian-Princess-Margaret-Langstaff-ebook/dp/B00L9Q1TC2/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1403836553&sr=1-1&keywords=twilights+indian+princess _______________ About the Book Briefly, it’s Literary with a Southern flavor. It has a lovable daft heroine who can’t get out of her own way. She is … Continue reading

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“Twilight’s Indian Princess” – a new story

Sarah Sloan McCorkle of Piney Point, TN is a smart, hard-working schoolteacher, a good wife and great mother, who “married down”—according to her Southern aristocrat mother. Way down. One day she finds herself at the end of her rope, exhausted, … Continue reading

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“Some Place” (is better than no place at all)

In the rural South, if you are a newbie in town, or just passing through, and pull into a truck stop or Mini-Mart, for however brief a time and however chintzy a purchase, you are sure to be asked a … Continue reading

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Coming Soon from Cedar Hill Press … a new novella about a very remarkable woman

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Good People Doing Great Things

Some recent events and encounters with certain passionate non-fiction authors have put a burden on my heart, a sense of responsibility or obligation  to help speed them on their way any way I can.  These are generous-hearted, non-judgmental, self-less souls … Continue reading

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WHERE DO GOOD STORIES COME FROM?

For non-writers, yet voracious readers, this has always been a question tantamount to asking where did the universe come from? The sources seem so mysterious, inexplicable and almost supernatural. Veteran writers, on the other hand, writers who have been at … Continue reading

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Flannery O’Connor on Writing: You Are Always Bounded by What You Can Make Live …

Here  are a few short ones (all I have time for right now, apologies) but they may keep a certain sort thinking, chewing on them, for a while in spite of their brevity– “The sense of place is very highly developed in Southerners.” The … Continue reading

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Fllannery O’Connor on “The Meaning of a Story”

From THE HABIT OF BEING: THE LETTERS OF FLANNERY O’CONNOR, P.437 [O’Connor was frequently aggravated and frustrated by mis-readings and misunderstandings of her work by people who she felt should know better and who should have had the intellectual background … Continue reading

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Flannery O’Connor on Writing

Once one gets through the hesitancy and uncertainty of her youthful  scholarship student ruminations at the Iowa’s Writers Workshop in  THE HABIT OF BEING, the view broadens, the pace quickens and the takeaway for a writer scouring the book for useful tips and affirmation grows exponentially. I … Continue reading

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What a Lady, What a Writer

As I’m sure you know, Alice Munro won the Nobel Prize for Literature this year on the basis of a lifetime of writing plain spoken, deeply felt and viscerally moving short stories about the intricacies, snares and joys of human … Continue reading

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Why Do We Read and Write Fiction?

In a strange coincidence both the New York Times and the New Yorker published within two days’ time (Dec.8 and 9) two thoughtful and resonant essays by top literary critics about fiction, its whys and wherefores, its challenges and attractions, … Continue reading

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The Rigors of Writing and The Shocking Plunge into Reality

Though I still have my hair and teeth, I can attest to the truth of O’Connor’s ballsy statement. I would  add that The Plunge into Reality is also often highly disruptive, can make a mess of the rest of one’s life, … Continue reading

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Ah, Victory!

I have always enjoyed Joseph Conrad’s work, but have approached it rather haphazardly, catch as catch can, picking up a novel here and there, savoring it, then moving onto something else, usually a more sunny optimistic novel or book, for … Continue reading

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A Lagniappe for Readers – “The Unbearable Lightness of Prunes”

For my few stalwart, long-suffering and die-hard literati readers who have been too impecunious to purchase one of my books or stories just yet, here is some news you can use (as you wish). My narcoleptic publisher has roused from … Continue reading

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Flannery O’Connor “My Dear God”

Followers of this blog who have taken the trouble to wade through my whimsical though approximately accurate “About” page will have discovered that I am a great admirer of the short stories and novels of Flannery O’Connor.  We are co-religionists … Continue reading

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Name That Chick

I have been scarce around here because of 1) weather related events (featuring falling trees and tree frogs)  2) a contretemps with a “publicity consultant” 3) a nuclear war with my husband  (he lost as far as I am concerned, … Continue reading

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Writing 2.3 – A Contract with the Reader

Originally posted on brainsnorts inc.:
When I took a graduate class called “Writing the Novel” a few years ago, I learned two very important things.  First, if you tell a writer that her work in progress is a romance novel…

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You Have to Be Willing to Make a Fool Out of Yourself: Some Advice to a Young Writer

(c)Copyright 2013 Margaret Langstaff, All Rights Reserved I receive many emails and questions from young writers of fiction, serious novices who have literary aspirations. Many of them are well read and well educated and as a result are so in … Continue reading

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Pity the Poor Tortured Writers?

In a very amusing piece  “Is Writing Torture?”  the New Yorker covers the recent dust-up over the travails of the writing life among three of the unlikeliest writers ever to engage in mutual conversation, let alone a serious discussion, among … Continue reading

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