Faye Rapoport DesPres


My post/essay “Fireworks” is up at the Superstition Review Blog


Many thanks to the editors and students at Superstition Review, the literary journal out of Arizona State University. Today they published my guest post/essay, “Fireworks” on the journal’s online blog.

I’ve written for Superstition Review’s blog before; last time I wrote just 10 days after the bombings at the Boston Marathon. Guest contributors to the blog take different approaches to their posts; some offer writing tips or share writing experiences and others write short creative pieces (it’s a wonderful blog to bookmark, by the way). My first post on the blog, titled “What does this have to do with writing?” described the experience of being under lockdown as the authorities searched for the surviving bomber, and then used that experience to consider what makes a topic something one eventually writes about.

This time I went in a different direction and wrote what amounts to a short personal essay. Does this one have anything to do with writing? Here’s the link if you want to find out:


The Long and Winding Road…


It’s been a long road between my last real blog post and this one — and it will likely be some time before I really get back to blogging. The summer in Boston has been hot, hot, hot…and I’ve been focused on completing a large number of freelance jobs while preparing for the release of my first book next spring.

In the meantime, my wonderful webmaster, Justin Sablich, has been tinkering with both my blog and my website. He’s been transporting everything into WordPress so that I can eventually manage the site on my own. That makes sense, because Justin is “moving on up” at The New York Times and he doesn’t have the time he used to have to devote to projects like my little website. I appreciate very much that he’s putting his heart and soul into the re-do so that I have something to work with. Sometimes you meet someone wonderful without ever even meeting them in person, and that’s been the case with Justin. He was referred to me by a friend who is an editor at the Times, and I’ve loved every moment of working with him.

I do have some new things coming up. I’ll be teaching Writing 1 at Lasell College in the fall as an adjunct lecturer, and I’ve also just completed another guest blog post for Superstition Review, a literary journal that I admire greatly and that was kind enough to publish one of my earlier essays, “Tulips.” The post is scheduled to be published on August 10th on their popular literary blog. I’ll post a link when it’s up.

I also look forward to what’s coming next for my book, the “memoir-in-essays” MESSAGE FROM A BLUE JAY. I’ll keep you posted as it winds through all of the steps before it is launched in Spring 2014 — I don’t have an actual publication date yet. It’s exciting, but also scary. I can’t wait to hold that book in my hands.

Finally, I’ve been working (for fun) on a “cozy mystery” based on a story that I initially wrote as a NaNoWriMo effort last year and then transformed into a mystery short story a few months later. Now I’m expanding that story into a full book, and it’s been a fun exercise.

Still, my heart is always called back by personal essays, and the blog post I wrote for Superstition Review is really more of a short essay.

Well, that’s enough of a round-up for now. I hope to get this blog and website back online soon, and in the meantime, I’ll keep popping in with news and notes. Have a wonderful rest-of-summer — and stay cool!…

Website re-boot — I’ll be back soon!


Hi friends,

My wonderful webmaster, Justin Sablich, is going to re-boot my website so that it is fully designed in WordPress and will more seamlessly match up with my blog. This change, he assures me, will also enable me to make small adjustments to the site without calling on him desperately for help. This is a good thing, because Justin has become rather a big deal at The New York Times — he is now the senior web editor on the sports desk, where he manages the daily content of nytimes.com/sports, produces multimedia packages (audio and video) and writes regularly for multiple blogs and occasionally for the print edition of The New York Times. Congrats, Justin!

Justin assures me he will still be here when I need him :-) . But in the meantime, for the next week or two the blog might remain inactive while some web changes take place. Still, if I have any news — a couple of things might be coming down the pike over the next few weeks — I will likely update the blog.

Enjoy the rest of June!

- Faye…

On Reading “This Boy’s Life” by Tobias Wolff


I’m currently listening to an audiobook of This Boy’s Life, the well-known memoir by Tobias Wolff. I enjoy listening to audiobooks, and this one has kept me company during morning runs and short car rides. But I have wished, more than once, that I could see the words that I am hearing in this book — that I could read the sentences over and over and really appreciate the incredible craft of this writer. Show vs. tell? Move seamlessly from scene to reflection? Use interesting verbs? Find a creative, new way to say something ordinary? Set the scene? Find the universal in the individual experience? It all seems effortless in this book. It all seems, even, beside the point. Amazing.

Here’s a delectable taste (found online — I had to find these paragraphs!):

“We sat gazing out across the water. The river was swollen with runoff. More brown than green, it chuckled and hissed along the bank. Farther from shore it seethed among mossy boulders and the snarled roots of trees caught between them. From under the changing surface sounds of the river came a deep steady sigh that never changed, and grew louder as you listened to it until it was the only sound you heard. Birds skimmed the water. New leaves glinted on the aspens along the bank.

It was spring. We were both caught in it for a moment, forgetful of our separate designs. We were with each other the way kindred animals are with each other. Then we stirred, and remembered ourselves. Father Karl delivered some final admonition, and I said I would do better, and we walked back to the store.”

Sigh. I write like that in my dreams.…