ARCHIVE FOR Nadine Kenney Johnstone

Lessons David Sedaris Taught Me

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I have a 60-minute commute to and from work every day, and after hearing the latest Taylor Swift song for the fifth time in one morning, I decided that I should use my daily two-hours of car time for more productive purposes.

That afternoon, I dusted off my library card, scanned the audio-book shelves, and left with a stack of books-on-CD—four of them being David Sedaris compilations.

October 17, 2012 | Nadine Kenney Johnstone

Craft Advice Different ways to learn to be a better writer Inspiration

On Perfection and Painting

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A perfection demon lives in a studio apartment inside my brain. Sometimes, when a really great story bubbles up, she emerges, cracked out, and cripples my fingers from typing, warning that if I don’t write it perfectly, it’s not worth writing. Other times, she takes naps, and lets me compose my stories, but then she awakens, forcing me to look through a microscope and scrutinize my words so closely that I don’t know if I’m fixing or flawing my work. I’d like for my demon to disappear or at least be evicted.

September 18, 2012 | Nadine Kenney Johnstone

The Writing Life

Love Notes

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Yesterday I was mulling over things to say in an anniversary card to my husband. What could I write about two years of marriage, six years together, that hasn't been said?

Here’s what I came up with:

I love you. You rock. I like your eyelashes.

How was it that I could write blog posts, essays, an entire novel, and not think of things to say to the one person I cherish most in this world? Everything seemed generic, vague

August 14, 2012 | Nadine Kenney Johnstone

Craft Advice Guest Post Inspiration

This Is Your Brain. This Is Your Brain on IVF. Any Questions?

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It was the same as any other Grub Street class—insightful instructor, dedicated workshoppers—but it was different in one way. The workshop I took in the fall of 2011 happened to coincide with my IVF cycle.

This was my plan:

During the first few weeks of Stace’s Ten Weeks Ten Stories class, I’d take the hormones, then I’d have the egg retrieval and the embryo transfer somewhere around week five

July 18, 2012 | Nadine Kenney Johnstone

Guest Post Inspiration

Going Somewhere New to Write about Somewhere Familiar


The first time it happened to me, I was in Ireland. After a few days in County Kerry, I sat down to write about the cold, unceasing rain and about what an idiot I was to have packed a bikini. Instead, I found myself jotting down details of a novel chapter set in Tampa, Florida.

June 20, 2012 | Nadine Kenney Johnstone

Guest Post Inspiration