A writer in chief
Consider the butterfly
Video: Archiving Ice
Svalbard and San Francisco 2017–2018
During the Arctic Circle Artist Residency in October 2017, Caroline made molds from “bergy bits” (small icebergs from calved glaciers). She painted melted wax on individual pieces of ice that washed upon the shores of Bloomstrandbreen, Svalbard in Spitsbergen. Read more on Caroline’s website.
An essay in the Spring 2019 issue by WSU Regents professor of English Debbie Lee describes the work and impact of the Artist Residency: Arctic chronicles
Gallery: Arctic journey
Writer and Washington State University Regents professor of English Debbie Lee traveled to Svalbard in the Arctic aboard the tall ship Antigua, as part of the Arctic Circle Artist Residency Program. Follow the journey through Lee’s photographs below, and read her essay, “Arctic chronicles,” in the Spring 2019 issue.
Where the trouble began
“Fiction is a document of trouble,” says novelist James Thayer ’71. The trouble began for Thayer as a teenager reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula on his father’s wheat farm in Almira.
“The narrator sees the Count leap to a window frame—and then crawl down the exterior of the castle wall like a lizard!” Thayer exclaims. “That scene scared me to death! It was a revelation as to the power of fiction.”
Now, decades later, the Seattle-based author of 14 novels teaches fiction writing through the University of Washington’s continuing education program.
“The main thing that keeps people from writing a novel is that it … » More …
The accidental novelist
What began as a way to avoid going stir crazy while recuperating from a nearly fatal equestrian accident has become an award-winning western genre trilogy that blends suspenseful mystery and the allure of lost fortunes with good old-fashioned frontier fortitude.
Landscape architect STEPHEN B. SMART ’75 calls himself an unlikely novelist. He’s spent most of his life outdoors, designing everything from elaborate gardens and water features to a driveway gate cleverly concealed to appear as a fallen ponderosa pine. And in his free time, he’s more likely to be found atop a favorite mule exploring the Pacific Northwest backcountry than sitting at a keyboard … » More …
James Thayer on the craft of the novel
James Thayer reads from The Boxer and the Poet
James Thayer ‘71 reads the first chapter of his romantic comedy, The Boxer and the Poet.
Tips and Techniques
Thayer started teaching the craft of the novel about ten years ago as a creative writing instructor at the University of Washington. He’s also a regular contributor to Author magazine.
Thayer, a natural storyteller, absorbed his craft through his lifelong voracious reading habit. When he first got the teaching job, he realized he didn’t have enough to say to fill a 90-hour, year-long course. So, as is his wont, he read a bunch of books. … » More …
Subject. Verb. Object.
These are the basic building blocks of written communication. It’s what you need to make a complete sentence like the one you’re reading now.
Structured. Logical. Direct.
This also is why parts of my chosen career are ripe for takeover by robots.
For millions of Americans, the defining realization of how fast artificial intelligence is evolving came in 2011 when Watson — IBM’s now-celebrated language processing computer — won the popular TV quiz show Jeopardy by beating two of the game’s top champions.
I watched with fascination as well. But, for me, the point was driven home even harder a few years … » More …