May 9, 2016
I acknowledge in my essay that the topic has been done to death, & I ask what I could possibly add to it. My own take, that’s what, which draws not just from personal experience but from my reading: Virginia Woolf, of course, and others I admire–like Doris Grumbach and Rebecca Solnit–who’ve pondered and pontificated on the subject.
“Solo in Seattle” is the result, a meditation and homage, published in the latest issue of The Tishman Review. You’ll find it linked here, on pages 109-113.
With thanks to my friend and mentor, Priscilla Long, who not only makes my solitary retreat possible but whose encouragement and own writing are constant sources of inspiration. See you in July, Priscilla…!
April 11, 2016
My discovery of the obscure mid-20th-century novelist Isabel Bolton led to extensive research and an exploratory essay. I wasn’t surprised when early in my search I discovered critics’ comparisons of Bolton to Virginia Woolf, and when I read the first of Bolton’s modernist novels I could indeed see similarities in style and theme.
“In Search of Isabel Bolton” was jointly published this month by Bloom (linked here), one of my favorite sites for obvious reasons: a focus on late bloomers, qualified by the question “‘Late’ according to whom?”, and in the esteemed online magazine The Millions (linked here).
This project, on the heels of an earlier piece about Lillie Coit, is leading me into new territory in my writing, more research-based essays. I can hardly wait to see what happens next!
April 1, 2016
That’s the provocative name of an onsite literary journal that sees its purpose to be “a heartfelt look at loss through the lens of the home.” More as a writing exercise than anything else, I tackled the challenge of creating a micro-essay that would capture a small portion of my mother’s idiosyncratic ways.
Voila! Linked here is “Fresh Linens,” the latest post at Dead Housekeeping. I didn’t have a photo of my mom in action, so I had to perform the re-enactment.
March 1, 2016
Posted by Alice Lowe under Personal Essays
It will be seven years this July since my dear friend Geri Danzig passed away. I think about her often, like this week when one of my orchids rebloomed–a rare event for me, but Geri had the magic touch with orchids. Her memory is alive, thriving and playful in 15-year-old Bouton, the beautiful blue-eyed cat who joined our family when Geri could no longer care for her.
I wrote this essay about Geri several years ago. It was to appear in an anthology about women’s health issues, but the book was never published, and the editors released the work back to the authors last year. Now I’m happy to have my tribute see the light of day in the appropriately titled literary journal, Lumen. Here’s “Dying is Hard.”
February 14, 2016
Posted by Alice Lowe under Personal Essays
I could start by reciting a list of misremembered lines from movies, or I could impress you with scientific findings about the unreliability of memory. Instead, I’ll reinforce both of those thoughts with my own experience & just say “Whoops!”
I went back to Coit Tower last month, and the result is a follow-up story to my essay, “Lillie’s Legacy.” Instead of banishing me from their archives, the editors of 1966 Journal, who fact-checked my piece so thoroughly, appreciated my “mea culpa” and published it on their blog. Here it is.
January 29, 2016
Several months ago I responded to a call for submissions on “Books that changed my life” at an entertaining and eclectic site called The Drunken Odyssey – a podcast about the writing life. Virginia Woolf’s A Writer’s Diary changed my life dramatically more than 25 years ago. This was a great opportunity to tell my tale outside of the usual Woolfian circles—to preach beyond the choir.
My husband is a musician with a home studio, so he recorded the piece, edited out my faltering and fumbling, and added guitar and sound accompaniment. The segment was published this month in Episode 189 of The Drunken Odyssey (linked here). It starts with a lengthy discussion about Lawrence Ferlinghetti. If you want to skip ahead, I’m at the end, starting at about 51:50.
December 21, 2015
My previous post omitted the link to the essay – I’m starting over….
Creature of habit that I am, the first morning of every visit to San Francisco starts with a walk to North Beach, breakfast at La Boulange, hanging out for a while in Washington Square to watch the Chinese women going through their exercise routines, then up the steep-stepped hill to Coit Tower.
My fascination over the last few years has led me to delve into the history of the tower, its murals, and the woman for whom it’s named, Lillie Coit. My essay, “Lillie’s Legacy,” is published in the Winter issue of 1966, a journal of research-based creative nonfiction that I’ve long admired.
And how does Virginia Woolf fit into my story about Lillie Coit? Read it here.