Mojo Monday: Diagram (the lit magazine)

It’s Mojo Monday, and as always, I’ve got a little something-something to lift your creative spirits, buoy you up, help you get your mojo on, and nudge (or better yet, catapult) you into writerhead.

I’m kinda in love with DIAGRAM lit magazine right now. (A high-five to Ned Stuckey-French for sharing it on Facebook a few weeks ago.)

I think a lot about structure—the structure of a beach, the structure of a squirrel’s nest, the structure of the Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai, China, the structure of my family, the structure of a particular lane off Anfu Road in Shanghai, the structure of a chair, etc.—and how the structure, or anti-structure, of a novel or essay can reflect the structure of a thing or place or concept.

Right now, I’m looking at a row of stones that lines an overgrown garden-y space outside my office window , and I’m thinking about how I could write an essay that reflects the shape, rhythm, and pattern of those stones. Flat, roundish/tall, small headstone-y type, roundish/short, flat/triangular, turtle-like, a mere bump, etc. And then, of course, how to work in the lopped-off trunk of a tree that stands guard behind them.

Anyway, DIAGRAM publishes pieces that explore structure in a concise, schematic way. It speaks to my obsession interest in place and how to express place on the page.

It’s cool. Check it out.


Image: David Castillo Dominici /

38Write: Why, Why, Why?

As you know, registration for the first 38Write writing adventure workshop is open! (If you don’t know, hop on over there and check it out. Sign up. Get your friends to sign up.)

This week, someone asked me, “Why? Why this kind of place/culture-centered workshop? Why do you so love working with place-passionate, culturally curious writers around the world?”

To answer, I sent them to a short piece I wrote a few years ago for the Poets & Writers magazine “Writers Recommend” series. I think this explains the “why” pretty well. Read it here.