Rocks & Roots

Donna Salli

An Ordinary Day in July: What John Milton Taught Me about Writing

I learned to read from a Dick and Jane reader. I remember the chalky smell of the classroom, the confines of our circled chairs. Each word was breathtaking, the way it filled its page, and as the words began to come together to create sense—Oh! I was at the border to...

From Birds’ Eyes to a Bug’s Knees: On Writing and Introspection

Have you spent much time—figuring out how you figure things out? I have. I do it by writing, following thought after unfettered thought, wherever it leads, then holding my breath and sharing. Sometimes all that introspection ends in a fiction. The generating event in...

The Elephant in the Room (Or, The Tap Dancing Writer)

I have a confession. I don’t have a ten-second “elevator pitch” for my novel. When people ask me what A Notion of Pelicans is about, what kind of book it is, I do a song and tap dance. I haven’t found a pithy way to describe it. Confession is a good word for me to...

My Grandmother’s Hair: On Writing, Hauntings, and Love

What do you think about, when you think of your grandparents? When I think about mine, I remember the hours that I spent following them around their rock-strewn farms. Those were idyllic hours, and the memory of them is a hedge against the harsher realities of this...

The Character Had Red Hair: On the Ruination of a Reader

Maybe you like to read. Maybe you reward yourself occasionally with a good book. Let’s talk about novels. Maybe you’ve marveled over a favorite, its language, ideas, and plot coming together to catch you up and turn the fictitious strangers that walk through its pages...

Ruining the Twists: Things Writers Worry About

The day after my novel was released, I was sitting at my desk, leafing through its pages. Just holding the book gave me pleasure. There’s the simple fact of it—A Notion of Pelicans, now a thing apart from me—and there’s the book itself, its cover and pages. The cover...

Rock-faced root cellar

Donna Salli - Seated - Color

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