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Lost Coast
Only everything.
For a while I lived on a bluff overlooking the Pacific, so close every wave shook the house. The place was prone to earthquakes. I probably never should have lived there. At times, I thought the whole bluff would collapse under me. It had happened at other points along the bluff. But somehow I got to like it. I'd climb halfway down in the morning and find a scooped out place in the soft sandstone where I'd sit, drink my coffee, and watch the waves, feel them, the heartbeat of the world. I loved that. It felt as though I were hanging out over the wild edge of myself.
When you're writing well--and sometimes even when you're not--that's what it feels like, hanging out over a sheer drop and somehow, miraculously, staying afloat.
Writing is a process of discovery. When you write a story or a poem, you're trying hard to reveal a hidden part of yourself, trying to make your unknown known, as Georgia O'Keefe once said. In other words, you're exploring the lost coast of yourself. That's what this text is about. The Art of Fiction
In The Art of Fiction, John Gardner pointed out eloquently that there is no recipe for real fiction, no formula for poetry. Still, there are methods that sometimes work better than others. At least it's possible to do a little trail-marking. What you find or don't find at the end of the trail is your business. There are many sites on the web dedicated to discussion, exercises, and techniques for writing poetry and fiction. What I've done in the pages that follow is compile some thoughts on writing and collect links to sites I find useful for writers.

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The Rock

Nebraska Center for Writers