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She stood inside the doorway in a black tank suit spattered with small globs of mud. A green garden hose dangled from her right hand. Water flowed gently from the hose splashing on the slatted boards by her feet. I remembered happily showering sand from my childhood body on just such slats outside a rented beach house.

“You’ll have to take off your clothes,” she observed gratuitously, smiling, but with evident consternation. I inferred that I was either her first male client or the first in a long time.

For my part I had anticipated, if not a man, an…


Girl in Goggles by Annie Weatherwax

Annie Weatherwax, novelist, short story writer, essayist, and visual artist was the 2009 winner of the Robert Olen Butler Prize for Fiction for her story “The Possibility of Things.” Her novel, All We Had, was turned into a movie directed by Katie Holmes.

Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Southern Review, and elsewhere. A graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, for years she earned a living sculpting superheroes and cartoon characters for Nickelodeon, DC Comics, Pixar, and others. She is currently a full-time painter and writer.

The Language of Visual Art

“I am a visual artist. Using the word “writer”…


Writer-Artist Five: Annie Proulx

“It is a kind of pleasurable note-taking.” ~ Annie Proulx

The Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, Pen-Faulkner Award, and the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction-winning novelist, short story writer, and journalist, most famous for The Shipping News and Brokeback Mountain, Annie Proulx is also a painter, using her artistic skills to record what she sees.

When I asked her whether I was correct to infer from the writing on her pictures that she used her art as a memory aid, she wrote back:

“In part, it is an aide de memoire to fill out…


Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

In 1935, Dupont promised they’d bring us better living through chemistry. Today, the phrase is used ironically for movie and album titles, and most especially to describe recreational drug use. Acknowledging that chemistry has improved our lives is bromidic. Less well known is that the chemical lexicon, demonstrably miscible with our day-to-day vocabulary, has improved our language as well.

Who wouldn’t prefer to read of the combustion when lovers meet, how magnetic is her hold on him, how malleable he is in her hands, and not merely that he is drawn to her? …


Writer-Artist Four: Jorge Luis Borges

Jorge Luis Borges, the great Argentinian master of both philosophical and fantasy literature, of whom Nobelist J. M. Coetzee wrote: “He, more than anyone, renovated the language of fiction,” produced little visual art.

After progressive deterioration of his eyesight, he went totally blind at 55. The only surviving work of which I’m aware is this primitive, appropriately fantastical rendering of a tiger. I include it because it is Borges’ and because of the meaning the tiger held for him.

“In my childhood,” he declared, “I was a fervent worshiper of the tiger.” He lingered before…

Donald Friedman

#Author The Writer's Brush: Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture by Writers (out in 6 languages) and other books. Word fan. http://bit.ly/TheWritersBrush

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