Recently, my phone suggested that I “create memories” of 2020 by sifting through my photos, and helpfully, it offered up the first one of the year.

It was taken at a funeral.

My first thought was, “Sheesh, phone, read the room. 2020!”

Fifteen minutes later, though, I was thinking, “On the day of that funeral, Covid19 was arriving in California from China and in NYC from Europe. We were dimly aware a new virus had been identified, but did not yet understand that the seeds of the pandemic were floating down around us and taking root.” My next thought was, “If this was in a story, that funeral scene would make great foreshadowing.”

Continue reading “Foreshadow”

I Don’t Know

Recently, in a terrific talk for Hippocampus magazine, Gotham teacher Angie Chatman said something that really stuck with me.

Writers build credibility with readers with humility, by saying three words: I don’t know.

Angie was talking about nonfiction, but I think this advice applies to all storytelling. There’s always so much human beings can never know. We might as well admit it.

Continue reading “I Don’t Know”