You have to understand how big of a fanboy I am. When someone asks me for a book recommendation, Power’s story collection, ROOFWALKER, is usually the first I name. It captures perfectly the flux between community/reservation life to an urban Native experience. I have a special love for the book because I taught it in my Native Lit class at the Institute of American Indian Arts. This was back in 2013 when the then Head of Creative Writing, Evelina Zuni Lucero, asked me to adjunct for a semester. When I compiled my list of Native fiction to teach, Mona Susan Power’s book was at the top.

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What to do with a great idea?  Let’s sit down and map out a novel.  Writing in the dark is a popular way of writing short stories.  We get an idea.  We pull out the laptop.  We write until everything is on the page.  As we write, we don’t know where the story will lead and this suspense and feeling of surprise keeps us writing, it builds adrenaline, and keeps us guessing as we finish a story.  But there may need to be a different approach when it comes to a 25 chapter novel.

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The sought after and mysterious “voice” of writing.  You watch editors salivate like Derridean defeatists about how magical voice can be when it “makes your foot tap to the rhythm.”  Aww, how romantic.  We are lovely romantic beings who need magic in our lives.  Well, I’m about to take the magic out of the what, where, and how to find a literary voice.

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