Bradbury Revision Challenge Day 11

Each day in June I will follow Ray Bradbury’s self directed MFA by reading a poem, a short story, and an essay with the intention of revising a story already in my files. I will share my reflections.

I welcome your comments and insights as well! I also welcome any recommendations you would like to share with me.

June 11

Poem: Kaveh Akbar An Oversight and Famous Americans and Why They Were Wrong Paris Review Summer 2021

Essay: The True Secret of Writing by Natalie Goldberg What is Practice?

Story: Thank you to Nicole Rivera for reminding me of this story!

Lost Things

They are lost, but also not lost but somewhere in the world. Most of them are small, though two are larger, one a coat and one a dog. Of the small things, one is a certain ring, one a certain button. They are lost from me and where I am, but they are also not gone. They are somewhere else, and they are there to someone else, it may be. But if not there to someone else, the ring is, still, not lost to itself, but there, only not where I am, and the button, too, there, still, only not where I am.

— Lydia Davis


Akbar is a great poet and I love to read his words. I was excited to be part of a poetry reading with him as the moderator through Purdue’s MFA program several months ago.

The lines I am drawn to are:

Some pain stays so long its absence becomes a different pain

I hope somebody forgets you today.

In the essay, NG talks about practice. She hosted a yearlong intensive where she asked students to choose a practice they could sustain for the whole year.

“You don’t know where practice will lead,” she says.

This chapter is longer than some of the others. She poses the question in the last paragraph about what practice you would realistically choose. She recommends tracking it in a notebook as well.

I write a lot about lost things. The first line of this piece has stayed with me. I was fascinated with the idea that items are just lost to you not the world at large.

I would love to know where the seeds of your stories come from! Let me know in the comments.

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