SUPPORT THIS PROJECT--Over 9,500 photos of Philadelphia, Albuquerque, Allentown, Ann Arbor, Ardmore, Ashland (PA), Atlanta, Atlantic City, Austin, Baltimore, Battle Mountain, Bellows Falls, Bensalem Township, Berkeley, Bethlehem, Bolivar, Boston, Bordentown, Boulder, Brooklawn (NJ), Buffalo, Burlington (NJ), Cambridge, Camden, Carbondale, Carlisle, Carmel, Cedar Rapids, Centralia, Charleston (SC), Charlotte, Chelsea (MI), Cherry Hill, Chester, Cheyenne, Chicago, Claymont (DE), Cleveland, Collingswood (NJ), Columbus, Cupertino, Daly City, Denver, Des Moines, Detroit, Dexter (MI), Dupont, Durham, El Cerrito, El Paso, Emeryville, Ewing Township (NJ), Fort Indiantown Gap, Fremont, Gary, Glassboro, Glenside (PA), Gloucester, Grinnell, Haddonfield (NJ), Harpers Ferry, Harrisburg, Hoboken, Houston, Jackson, Jersey City, Joliet, Kansas City (KS), Kansas City (MO), Kennewick, Knoxville, Lancaster, Langhorne, Laurel Springs (NJ), Levittown (PA), Lindenwold (NJ), Livonia, Los Angeles, Los Gatos, Marcus Hook, McCook, Media (PA), Milpitas, Minneapolis, Mountain View, New Orleans, New York, Newark, New Harmony, Normal, Norristown, North Charleston, Oakland, Old Forge, Omaha, Orlando, Osceola, Overland Park, Palmyra (NJ), Palo Alto, Pasco, Penndel, Pittsburgh, Pittston, Portland, Providence, Raleigh, Redford (MI), Redwood City, Reno, Richmond, Richmond (CA), Riverside (NJ), Roebling, Rutland, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Bruno, San Francisco, San Jose, San Leandro, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Santa Monica, San Xavier del Bac, Sausalito, Savannah, Scranton, Somerdale (NJ), South San Francisco, Springfield (IL), St. Louis, St. Paul, Steelton, Stockton, Stratford (NJ), Sunnyvale, Taylor (PA), Trenton, Tucson, Union City (NJ), Ventnor, Vineland, Washington, West New York, Westmont (NJ), Wichita, Wilkes-Barre, Williston, Wilmington, Wolf Point, Woodbury (NJ) and Youngstown, etc. Outside USA: Batam, Berlin, Brighton, Budapest, Burgazada, Certaldo, Dresden, Frankfurt, Gorlitz, Grimma, Halle, Istanbul, Johor Bahru, Juarez, Kiev, Kinaliada, Leipzig, London, Luban, Markkleeberg, Prague, Reykjavik, Rivne, Singapore, Wegliniec, Wurzen, Zgorzelec.
If you have a PayPal account, you can save me the fees by sending money directly to my email address: linhdinh99@yahoo.com . Thanks!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Writing tips for B.B.

.




Carissima Bébé!

The better the writer, the more of the world she gives you, generally speaking, and I don't mean geographically, of course. A good writer is not so self-absorbed, she sees no one but herself. My friend ZZZ is a fairly mediocre writer because rarely can he bring anyone to life. Each of his political essays or slice of life sketches features himself, front and center, hamming it up, so all you see, pretty much, is ZZZ.

With that in mind, a writer must train herself to observe and hear people as attentively as possible. Everyone's speech is interesting, so get that down. Take Pascal. How would you describe him in, say, three sentences? Quote something he said from last night. It's not easy, see. As you sit in front of someone, compose a description about him/her in your head. Even for a very seasoned writer, this is always a huge challenge.

Sex and death give weight and resonance to any writing. Instead of taking sex and death literally, they should be considered as categories into which nearly everything fits.

Sex includes talking, smiling, looking at someone in the eye, worrying about another's welfare, sharing one's life story, confessing, leaning into someone, walking by someone...

Death includes saying no, withholding any kindness, losing anything, betrayal, feeling cold, being ignored, not being understood, being belittled...

Moment to moment, sex and death surface constantly, and since a good writer is a keen observer, she will notice each moment, and know how to isolate the significant words, gestures and details to remind readers that sex and death are always present.

Sex is but a temporary relief from loneliness. Death is its final confirmation. In the end, all we're writing about is loneliness.


Linh




.

2 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Lovely and piercing advice, Linh. Yes, that is what it is that needs to be conveyed, sex and death. You could say acceptance and rejection, but your choice is much richer and more exact.

I hope B.B. is doing better now; give her my best. Oh, and the same for you.

Linh Dinh said...

Hi Elizabeth,

Sex and death are rather lurid. Acceptance and rejection are more subtle.

Olive oil is sex. Palm oil is death.

Ill-equipped, understaffed, truncated in all the wrong places, flat where we should be bulging and vice versa, we wade through a torrent of rejections (palm oil).


Linh

Followers

About Me

Born in Vietnam in 1963, I came to the US in 1975, and have also lived in Italy, England and Germany. I'm the author of a non-fiction book, Postcards from the End of America (2017), two books of stories, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), five of poems, All Around What Empties Out (2003), American Tatts (2005), Borderless Bodies (2006), Jam Alerts (2007) and Some Kind of Cheese Orgy (2009), and a novel, Love Like Hate (2010). I've been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000, 2004, 2007, Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present, Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology (vol. 2) and Flash Fiction International: Very Short Stories From Around the World, etc. I'm also editor of Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (1996) and The Deluge: New Vietnamese Poetry (2013). My writing has been translated into Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Icelandic and Finnish, and I've been invited to read in London, Cambridge, Brighton, Paris, Berlin, Leipzig, Halle, Reykjavik, Toronto, Singapore and all over the US. I've also published widely in Vietnamese.