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« The Rainbow Connection: My Interview with Ex-Cub Pitcher Steve Trout | Main | End of Summer Sale! »


The essay Bobble-heading, about how the creative process for writers can sometimes make them a bit unbalanced, which just published in the Chicago Writers Association’s The Write City, took me nearly ten years to write. Its evolution is a story in itself, and during its development, I did, at moments, resemble the essay’s narrator. In its first life, it was 628 words and carried the title, Putting a Cork in the Whine. I first published it on my Lost in the Ivy blog on April 24, 2006, and then, as the editor of the earliest editions of the Chicago Writers Association’s The Write City, republished it there. Absolute Write, a national website for writers, picked it up. That was its first life. It could have been its only life. But then in 2013, it came back, though in a new form, as a performance piece for the Chicago Writers Conference (CWC). The show’s curator, the multitalented author and editor, Samantha Hoffman (What More Could You Wish For), worked with me to shape it into something completely new and original. Something that I never envisioned it being before. After I read it live, it kept gnawing at me, as my writings tend to do. I kept playing around with it. The credit for its new title goes to something that CWC’s founder Mare Swallow told me after she saw me read it: bobble-heading was the new euphemism for writerly procrastination. I nodded, like one of those bobbleheads from the essay, and made that the new thematic center-point. Two years later, I sent it to The Write City’s current editor, Kristin Oakley, who tightened it a bit more. The same essay, now in its third incarnation, is 1240 words, double the length of its original form. It bears almost no resemblance to that first essay that was born nearly a decade ago. Which, I suppose, is in some ways, a reflection of its author as well. Read the essay here.

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