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7 days to die spotlight how to craft
December 13, 2018 Events Calendar 4 comments

One of the tankers hit in the Gulf of Oman (Tasnim, June 13, 2019)

Deputy Commander of the IRGC, Ali Fadavi (Tasnim, June 2, 2019)

Yahya Rahim Safavi, the Senior Military Adviser to the Supreme Leader (IRNA, June 12, 2019)

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  • On June 13, two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman. One of the tankers, owned by a Norwegian company, was en route from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Taiwan, while the other, owned by a Japanese firm, was on its way from Saudi Arabia to Singapore. The US blamed Iran for the attack. In a video, published by the U.S. Navy, a force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) can be seen removing a limpet mine that failed to explode from the side of one of the targeted tankers. Iran rejected the accusations and blamed foreign actors for the attack, which was carried out during a visit of the Japanese prime minister to Tehran.
  • The deputy commander of the IRGC called Iranian presence in Syria “the realization of a divide duty” and declared that the Islamic Revolution is not confined in one geographic region. He added that the presence of Iranian fighters in Syria is an expression of the commitment to the values of the Islamic Revolution.
  • Against the backdrop of reports on growing discord between Iran and Russia in Syria, a Lebanese newspaper published a report alleging a reduction in the presence of pro-Iranian militias in Damascus due to Russian pressure. The newspaper reported, based on senior military sources in Syria, that the number of Shi’ite militiamen in Damascus decreased by more than 70% over the past year. On the other hand, the newspaper reported about growing presence of foreign pilgrims visiting Shi’ite holy sites around Damascus. Meanwhile, an Iranian news website reported that an Iranian delegation of preachers and Qur’an reciters was dispatched during the month of Ramadan to Syria. The dispatch of the delegation is indication for Iranian efforts to broaden the religious and cultural activities under its guidance in Syria.
  • The Lebanese businessman, Nizar Zakka, who also holds American residency, was released from prison in Iran and returned to Lebanon. Iranian officials reported that his release followed an official request by the Lebanese president and through the mediation of Hezbollah Secretary General, Hassan Nasrallah.
  • During a visit to the Khuzestan Province in southwestern Iran, the senior military adviser of the Supreme Leader of Iran called to connect Iran, Iraq and Syria through railways that would create a corridor connecting the countries of central Asia to the Mediterranean Sea and provide Iran with significant financial benefits. He remarked that Iraq and Syria strategically complement Iran, and that the alliance between the three countries can serve as an economic, political and security axis against Israel and the United States.
  • During the Quds Day speeches in the Gaza Strip, senior Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad Officials thanked Iran for its support for the Palestinians. The Supreme Leader of Iran, Khamenei, used the occasion of a meeting between ambassadors of Muslim-majority countries to mark Eid al-Fitr to reiterate Iran’s support for the Palestinians and call for continued Palestinian “resistance” against Israel.
Attack on Tankers in the Gulf of Oman
  • On June 13, two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman. The motor tanker “Front Altair,” sailing under the flag of the Marshall Islands, belongs to the Norwegian Frontline firm. The ship carried refined crude oil on the way from the UAE to Taiwan and was targeted while sailing in international waters between Oman and Iran. The motor tanker “Kokuka Courageous” sailed under Panama’s flag and belongs to a Japanese firm. The tanker carried methanol and was en route from Saudi Arabia to Singapore. One of the crew members was very lightly injured. Due to the damage to the tankers, the crewmembers of both tankers had to evacuate.
  • The U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, blamed Iran for the attack. As proof for this allegation, Pompeo pointed to intelligence collected by the U.S., the type of weapon used, the level of expertise required to carry out the operation, similar Iranian attacks on ships in the region, and that fact that none of the proxy groups operating in the region have the resources and skills required to carry out such complex operations. He asserted that Iranian attacks are part of an overarching Iranian campaign intended to increase tensions in the region and that Iran is working to sabotage the flow of oil through the Straits of Hormuz.
  • A few hours after the attack, the U.S. Navy published a video showing an IRGC force removing a limpet mine from the side of one of the targeted tankers, which had failed to detonate. The spokesman of the U.S. Navy stated that the video shows a force on an IRGC patrol boat approaching the Kokuka Courageous ship and removing the mine. The Japanese operator of the ship stated, on the other hand, that he and the crewmen saw “flying objects” around the time of the attack, which could have been bullets. He rejected the possibility that the ship had been targeted with mines or torpedo missiles, since the damage done to the vessel was about the water line.
  • Iran denied the American allegations and blamed foreign actors for the attack, which was executed in the midst of a visit by Japan’s prime minister to Tehran. Last month (May 14), four commercial vessels (two Saudi, one Norwegian, and one Emirati) were targeted near the Emirate of Fujairah in the Hormuz Straits. An international investigative team ruled last week that the attack had been carried out by a state actor, which used divers on speedboats to plant naval mines against the ships. The investigators, however, did not specifically name Iran as the culprit.
Iranian Involvement in Syria and Lebanon
  • Ali Fadavi, the Deputy Commander of the IRGC, called the Iranian presence in Syria a “realization of divide duty.” At a ceremony memorializing Iranian fighters killed in the Iran-Iraq War, Fadavi stated that the Islamic Revolution is not limited to one geographic area and that one of the most beautiful expression of holding steadfast to the Revolution is the presence of Iranian young men thousands of kilometers away from Iran’s borders and the victory they have achieved. Fadavi asserted that even the enemies of the Islamic Revolution are admitting the victory of the Iranian young men in Syria. The United States, the countries of Europe and the “reactionary” Arab states that opposed the current government in Syria and strove to topple it have failed to do so because Iran did not allow it to happen, boasted Fadavi (Tasnim, June 2).
  • The Lebanese paper al-Modon reported (June 2) that the presence of pro-Iranian militias in Damascus has decreased due to Russian pressure. According to this report, at the end of the military campaign around Damascus, the Russians began exerting pressure on the Iranians to leave the city and halt efforts to spread Shi’ite Islam in the area. Following this, Shi’ite pro-Iranian militias began withdrawing from dozens of military positions and hotels where they were staying in Damascus. The newspaper cited senior military sources who claimed that the number of Shi’ite militiamen in Damascus decreased by more than 70% over the past year. In addition, the number of posters hanging in public of Hezbollah Secretary General, Hassan Nasrallah, and the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, has also decreased. However, the Iranians still maintain several dozens of headquarters and offices in certain areas of Damascus out of which Iranian and Iraqi commanders continue operating. In addition, there has been a marked rise in the number of pilgrims visiting Shi’ite holy sites around Damascus. In parallel to the decrease in Iranian military presence there has also been a rise in the military presence of Russians in the streets and markets of Damascus.
  • A delegation of Iranian preachers and Qur’an reciters were dispatched during the month of Ramadan to Syria. The preachers took part in religious ceremonies in Damascus, Hama, Aleppo, Palmyra, al-Mayadin, Albu Kamal, Deir Ezzor, Nubul and Homs. The Iranian news agency Quran reported that Iran intends to expand its religious activities in Syria and establish centers for the study of the Qur’an across the country (, June 9).
  • On June 11, Iran released from prison the Lebanese businessman Nizar Zakka who was convicted of spying on behalf of the United States. Zakka, a resident of the United States who was detained in Iran since 2015 was accompanied on his way back to Lebanon by the Director of Lebanese General Security, Ibrahim Abbas. The Spokesman of the Iranian Judiciary, Gholam-Hossein Esmaili, stated that Zakka was released following an official request of the Lebanese President, Michel Aoun, conveyed to Iranian authorities. He added that the pardon request was approved by the judiciary following consultation of the Iranian Supreme National Security Council and with Hezbollah, taking into account that Zakka served over a third of his sentence and displayed good behavior (Fars, June 11). The Spokesman of the Iranian Supreme National Security Council, Keivan Khosravi, also stated that Zakka’s release was made possible following the request of the Lebanese president and the mediation of Hezbollah Secretary General, Hassan Nasrallah. He noted that the request of the president of Lebanon was approved due to his support for the “Resistance Front” in Lebanon (Tasnim, June 11).
Iranian Involvement in Iraq
  • On June 10, Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohammed Javad Zarif met with Falih Fayyad, the Iraqi National Security Adviser and head of the Popular Mobilization Units (al-Hashd al-Shaabi, the umbrella organization of Iraqi militias). The two discussed relations between the two countries, ways to expand them and latest developments in the region (ISNA, June 11).
  • During his visit to the Khuzestan Province in southwestern Iran, Yahya Rahim Safavi, the Senior Military Adviser of the Supreme Leader of Iran and former IRGC Commander, stated that Iraq and Syria strategically complement Iran and that the three countries should be connected by railway. He remarked that if it was possible to connect the railways from western Iran to Baghdad through the Kohsravi border crossing in Kermanshah or Khoramshahr in Khuzestan reaching Basra in southern Iraq, such railways would create a land bridge that would connect the countries of western Asia to the Mediterranean through Iran, Iraq and Syria. Iran could, according to Safavi, make billions of dollars from the passage of goods through this corridor. Safavi added that the alliance between Iran, Iraq and Syria could serve as an economic, political, security and defensive axis against the “Zionist regime” and the United States (IRNA, June 12).
  • The Iranian news website, Mashregh News, affiliated with the IRGC, reported (June 11) about U.S. attempts to stymie Iranian effort to create a ground line of supply from Tehran to the Mediterranean. The website reported that recently, the U.S. suddenly halted the training U.S. were providing in the Ain al-Assad military base to fighters among the Sunni tribes of al-Anbar Province to prepare them to fight ISIS. The website alleged that the decision to halt the training is part of an American effort to destabilize security in the region to expand American military influence and thwart Iranian efforts to utilize the ground line of supply through Iran and Syria to the Mediterranean. The website also mentioned that he Americans, concerned about the activation of the land corridor by Iran, have also moved forces and military equipment from Jordan to military bases used by the Americans in al-Anbar, to ensure they are present closer to the sphere of operation of the Popular Mobilization Unit militias around the al-Qa’im border crossing between Syria and Iraq.
Iranian Involvement in the Palestinian Arena
  • During the International Quds Day speeches in the Gaza Strip, senior Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad Officials expressed their gratitude toward Iran for its support for the Palestinians. A senior Hamas leader, Ismail Radwan, gave a speech at the al-Awda (Return) Camp in eastern Gaza City and thanked Iran and the “Resistance Axis” for their support for the “Resistance” (Facebook page of Ismail Radwan, May 31).
  • On the occasion of Quds Day, Yahya al-Sinwar, the Head of the Political Bureau of Hamas, delivered a speech (May 30) in Gaza. The Hamas leader declared that during the 2012 conflict the Palestinian organization struck Tel Aviv for the first time with Fajr rockets provided to them by Iran. He boasted that during the 2014 conflict, the organizations struck Tel Aviv with 370 rockets, including Fajr rockets provided by Iran, and rockets manufactured locally, thanks to financial assistance from Iran (al-Mayadin, May 30).
  • In a speech delivered in Gaza by Ziad Nakhla, the Secretary General of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, on the occasion of Quds Day, he declared that Iran is the only country supporting the Palestinians against the “aggression” of Israel, adding that Iranian support manifests in weaponry and knowledge Iran has transferred to the “Resistance.” He declared that the Palestinian Islamic Jihad is committed to Palestine, to Jerusalem and to the line of Khomeini, the leader of the Islamic Revolution. Al-Nakhla praised Qasem Soleimani, the Commander of the Qods Force of the IRGC, for his support and added that Soleimani personally knows most of the leaders of the “Resistance.” According to al-Nakhla, Iran continues to support the “Resistance” and thanks to this, the Resistance will continue to exist (al-Manar, May 30).
  • In an event marking International Quds Day in Gaza, the event host announced that Iran had decided to provide financial assistance to the families of the fallen whose stipends were cut by the Palestinian Authority. According to him, the total sum of assistance will be $651,000, intended for families of 1,540 fallen, whose stipends from the Palestinian Authority were halted by Ramallah. The family of a Palestinian killed while single will receive a payment of $200, while the family of a married fallen Palestinian will receive $600. According to the announcer, the stipends will also cover 242 individuals injured during the “Marches of Return.” He vowed that Iran will continue to take care of the injured of the “Marches of Return” in the Gaza Strip (Safa, May 30; the website of the radio station Sawt al-Quds, May 30).
  • The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, expressed once again his confidence in the imminent victory of the Palestinian people in the struggle against Israel. In a meeting with the ambassadors of Muslim countries on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr (June 5), Khamenei stated that the point of view of the Islamic Republic, unlike that of some old Arab leaders who believed that the Jews should be thrown into the sea, is that the Palestinian struggle must continue in the military, political and cultural arenas until the “occupiers” will succumb to the will of the Palestinian people. The Iranian leader lambasted Muslim countries that strive to reach a compromise with Israel and called on the countries of Islam to unify against “the criminal presence of the occupying enemy in Palestine” instead of fighting one another (Fars, June 5).

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The Online and On-Campus Writing Programs offer more than one hundred courses each year, including the two-year Online Certificate Program in Novel Writing. This space will aim the spotlight on the talented alumni and faculty of our courses, featuring news of recent successes, opportunities for networking and publishing, short personal essays, and interviews relevant to all aspects of the writing life. If you have a piece of news or know of an opportunity you'd like to share with our community, please email: [email protected]

November 2019

This month we are delighted to celebrate the publication of poet and Stanford Online Creative Writing instructor Graham Barnhart’s first book of poetry: The War Makes Everyone Lonely. Graham was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford, and before that he served as a Special Forces medic in Iraq and Afghanistan, and received an MFA from Ohio State. We asked Graham to share some thoughts about how teaching poetry informs his writing, or vice versa, and he generously provided this response.

Malena Watrous,
Online Writing Lead Instructor

Graham Barnhart

I know this is selfish, but one of the best things about teaching poetry is that I always end up giving students advice I should follow myself. Distance and perspective make it easier to see someone else’s problem as well as possible solutions or ways forward. I hesitate to use the word “problem.” I suppose “challenge” or “obstruction” might be better words. But even those terms carry the assumption that whatever the thing is, it’s getting in the way. Preventing the poem. One reason we find writing pleasurable (and frustrating) is the challenge of finding something new in the language.

It’s like a playing a video game. When you get stuck and can’t find the magic key hidden at the bottom of the ten-story underground labyrinth, it’s tempting to ask the internet. Somewhere there is a map. A video walk-through. The labyrinth becomes a hallway. You get the key. You get all the secrets along the way, but none of them is secret. That is to say, the struggle and the process are the writing. We all know this, and we all forget it.

But I was talking about advice and distance and perspective. Right now, I’m using Mary Oliver’s A Poetry Handbook in my course. She advocates an exercise-based approach to writing, and as I encourage students to think of the prompts as practice—to emphasize skills development rather than drafting toward a finished, publishable poem—I realize I haven’t been approaching my own work like that for a long time.

I just published a book. I know what I want to do for the next one—explore the environmental impact of war, and ways the hierarchies of need and value get rearranged when confronted with extremity. More and more I’ve felt that idea smothering the poetry. Not the poems, but the poetry. The ideas are there. The concepts feel ripe and urgent. But it has been a struggle to bring them to the page in a way that feels interesting to me. So, more and more I’ve been trying to turn back toward craft as a practice. More and more I feel grateful for the perspective and distance teaching provides, the frequent reminders that the challenges of writing poetry don’t really change.

Graham Barnhart’s new book is available from University of Chicago Press.

October 2019

Literary lovers, get ready for an exciting three days of Litquake events hosted by Stanford Continuing Studies! Litquake is the largest annual independent literary festival on the West Coast and is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. This month we are spotlighting these upcoming events, so that people who live in the area and would like to meet award-winning Stanford authors, learn more about our Online Writing Certificate program, and hear our students’ work can enjoy live readings and interact with the writers!

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Bay Area literary festival, we kick off with our own Stanford Litquake on October 17, featuring five extraordinary authors currently teaching at Stanford. On the weekend of October 18-19, students who have completed the Stanford Continuing Studies Online Writing Certificate (OWC) and finished writing a novel over the past year will come to Stanford to receive their certificates and participate in the festivities surrounding Litquake. Some of these certificate recipients will be doing a reading on campus at the Stanford Bookstore, while others will read at Lit Crawl in San Francisco, a one-night literary pub crawl that is the culmination of the Litquake festival.

Here are more details about these upcoming events open to the public:
Stanford Litquake
On Thursday evening, October 17, from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm, Stanford’s Litquake will bring to the stage five extraordinary authors currently teaching at Stanford who will read from their most recent works: Samina Ali (Madras on Rainy Days), Tom Kealey (Thieves I’ve Known), Charif Shanahan (Into Each Room We Enter without Knowing), Austin Smith (Flyover Country), and Lynn Stegner (For All the Obvious Reasons). For both aspiring writers and book lovers alike, this thought-provoking evening promises to delight, transport, and inspire. Learn more »
Student Reading at Stanford Bookstore
On Friday morning, October 18, from 9:30 am to 11:30 am, we will host a reading in the Stanford Bookstore, where any of our students who are in town to receive their certificates may read a 5-minute excerpt from their novel. There’s a coffee shop inside the bookstore, so come grab a cup of joe and listen to some wonderful writing from novels that are finished, but yet to hit the presses!

Stanford Bookstore
519 Lasuen Mall
Stanford, CA 94305
Student Reading at Lit Crawl SF
On Saturday evening, October 19, from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm, we will host a reading as part of Lit Crawl in San Francisco’s vibrant Mission District. During Lit Crawl, venues all over the Mission neighborhood open their doors to readings, and thousands of people meander the streets, listening to authors share their work while sipping on cocktails. Our OWC reading at Lit Crawl has become a cherished tradition, and we highly encourage you to come to the reading if you're in the area.
Latin American Club
3286 22nd Street
San Francisco, CA 94110


September 2019

Peter Fish served as Sunset magazine’s travel editor for two decades. He received a Lowell Thomas Gold Medal for environmental journalism and Time Inc.’s Henry R. Luce Award. Writers whose work he has edited include Susan Orlean, Jane Smiley, and Tobias Wolff. He was the 2018–19 Rachel Rivers-Coffey Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at Appalachian State University. Fish received an MA in creative writing from Stanford. He is teaching “Writing the Globe: Travel Writing in the 21st Century” for Stanford Continuing Studies in Fall 2019.

Tom Kealey, Author of Thieves I’ve Known, former Stegner Fellow, Jones Lecturer, and Stanford Continuing Studies On-Campus Creative Writing Curriculum Coordinator

Tom Kealey: Can you tell us about a particular travel writer whom you admired and who influenced you early in your career? What was the impact they had on you?

Peter Fish: One writer who influenced me powerfully was Joan Didion. She’s not generally thought of as a travel writer. But some of the essays in her first two collections, Slouching Towards Bethlehem and The White Album, represent travel writing at its most evocative and enduring. Even in short pieces like “The Seacoast of Despair” (a portrait of Gilded Age Newport, Rhode Island) and “At The Dam” (on Hoover Dam), Didion’s essays do what good travel writing needs to do — paint a place indelibly, make you feel what it means to her and what it means to the world. She does so in language that is spare, clear, and precise, so that even when she’s writing about places you’ve been to, you see them for the first time. As for her longer essays, one of them, “Notes from a Native Daughter,” is for me among the best things ever written about California. We’ll be reading and discussing it and learning from it in class.

TK: You’ll be teaching “Writing the Globe: Travel Writing in the 21st Century” for Stanford Continuing Studies this fall. Could you tell us a little about the course and what students might expect to learn and experience during the quarter?

PF: The first thing this course will be is…fun. I say that for a specific reason. Travel writing is the one writing genre where you really want to enjoy doing it — because that pleasure, that passion translates directly to the page. Even if you’re writing about a travel experience that is sorrowful, or a disaster — and there are brilliant travel essays along those lines — you need to throw yourself into the writing with all your heart. Beyond that, I’m certain that everyone has at least one great travel tale in them, whether it’s a story from Bali or Brussels or Benicia. Through reading and writing and critiquing we’ll discover these stories and make them come to life on our pages.

TK: The art and craft of interviewing is an essential skill for travel writers, or really any writer of nonfiction. Could you share with us some insight into what works well for you as an interviewer? I’d be particularly interested in ”off-the-cuff” or unscheduled interviews. How do you interview someone who you simply meet as part of your writing and traveling adventure?
PF: Interviewing is indeed an essential skill for anybody wanting to write travel stories, or nonfiction of any kind. Even if it’s not a task that comes naturally to you—and it didn’t for me — it can be honed with practice. For scheduled, planned interviews, the key is to know as much about your interviewee as possible ahead of time, think hard about what you want to ask them — and also give them the chance to go off in directions you weren’t expecting. The unscheduled, off-the-cuff interview operates by a different set of rules. You’re writing about someplace interesting, you see somebody doing something interesting, you want to talk to them about it then and there. If you’re naturally extroverted, no problem. If, like me, you aren’t, you overcome your shyness and go talk to them anyway. It’s a lot like meeting somebody at a party—you want to convince the other person that you’re going to be fun to converse with and that you won’t take up too much of their time. One key bit of advice: people love to share their expertise. If you’re talking to an ornithologist or a rock-climber or a plein air painter, ask them how they got so good at what they do. They’ll be happy to tell you.
TK: You were an editor and writer for Sunset magazine for well over twenty years. Please tell us about a story or assignment that was particularly challenging for you, and how it helped you grow as a writer and/or a person.
PF: One particularly challenging story was a recent one — a feature story about Big Sur I wrote for Coastal Living magazine that was published this Summer. What made it challenging? I was writing about a place I love, that I know pretty well, and that I have written about before — and that many other very good writers have written about before. How was I going to come up with something new, something surprising, something that hadn’t been done a thousand times before? I felt intimidated. I tried — and I hope succeeded — to overcome this challenge in two ways. First, with any travel story — and especially one intended for a magazine — you need to find news. What makes Big Sur different in 2019 from how it was in 2009 or 1969? Insane real estate prices? Instagram tourism? That was what I needed to find out. Even more important, I needed to talk to people who would help me find that out—Big Sur locals who had grown up on this coast and could tell me how it had changed and how it had stayed the same. Hearing their stories, seeing Sur through their eyes, made all the difference. The people who are from a place will always come up with insights you would have never discovered on your own; it’s through them that the soul of the place will emerge.  
TK: Would you be willing to share one of your “hidden gem” destinations as a traveler? What is a place that is perhaps not widely known, but that you feel is an important place for people to experience? And what was your first visit to that destination like?
PF: Last fall, I spent about ten days taking a slow-paced road trip through the American South. I was particularly interested in visiting sites associated with the African American experience: history I’d read about but maybe not fully felt because I hadn’t set foot in the places where it happened. Fortunately, in the last decade the South has been graced with a remarkable growth of museums and other institutions devoted to African American history, from slavery through the Civil War to 2019. In Atlanta, there’s Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park. In Memphis, the Lorraine Motel, where King was assassinated, has been transformed into the National Civil Rights Museum, which encompasses more than 150 years of Civil Rights history — from Jim Crow to Brown v. Board of Education to today. West of New Orleans, the Whitney Plantation is unique in that it tells the plantation story from the point of view of the enslaved people: not Gone With the Wind, but 12 Years a Slave. Finally, in Montgomery, Alabama, the National Memorial for Peace and Justice honors the estimated 4,400 African Americans lynched in the United States between 1877 and 1950; the nearby Legacy Museum puts what you see at the memorial into historical context. It was a life-changing, sometimes emotionally shattering trip, one I think every American should take.

August 2019

Lynn Stegner is the author of five works of fiction, including the novel Because a Fire Was in My Head and the story collection For All the Obvious Reasons. She has received numerous awards including a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, a Fulbright Award, a Faulkner Society Gold Medal, and the Raymond Carver Short Story Award. Lynn worked for many years in the wine industry in California and France, and it was noted that she had the exceptionally keen palate of an “organoleptic freak.” She has been a whitewater boatman, rafting most of the rivers of the western United States, and she is an enthusiastic student of fly fishing, opera, and many other pursuits. Lynn is a beloved long-time instructor in Stanford Continuing Studies, where she has taught courses on novel writing, the memoir, nature writing, and this fall is teaching a new course, “Essential Elements for Creative Writers: The Narrative Toolbox.”
Tom Kealey,
Author of
Thieves I’ve Known, former Stegner Fellow, Jones Lecturer, and Stanford Continuing Studies On-Campus Creative Writing Curriculum Coordinator

Tom Kealey: Many of your life experiences and interests emerge and are explored in your stories and novels. It seems that your life’s adventures are fuel for your writing. But in fact is the opposite true? Is your writing fuel for your life’s adventures?

Lynn Stegner: There is a great deal of cross-pollination between my own life and the lives I live through characters caught up in different situations, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Otherwise, one can become estranged from essential and helpful elements within each half. It would be self-alienating. So the recreation and nonwriting work I have found myself doing, like the years I spent in the international wine industry, have sometimes landed in a book. But the reverse is just as true: every story depends upon research that makes the story credible as a real fictional place with persuasive fictional people.

For instance, before sitting down to compose the novella Hired Man, about an eighteen-year-old dairy farmer in Vermont, I spent three months milking cows at five every morning on the dairy farm at the bottom of our hill. That taught me a lot about that unique life — the smell of manure, the lowing of the cows, the brutally hard labor. In one of my novels I needed to know what it was like to be incarcerated in a women’s federal prison, and so I secured permission from the governor of California to spend one day at the penitentiary in Tehachapi. One day was long enough! The research for an early novel sent me up to a remote island off the northeast tip of Vancouver Island where I lived with a marine biologist for two weeks so that I could experience the orcas of Johnstone Strait directly and intimately, never mind the seasickness and the days when we got twelve (and on one day, twenty-four) inches of rain. A month during the wheat harvest in Saskatchewan was part of the homework for yet another novel. And so on.

One of the great side benefits to conducting in situ research for stories is that every trip I take is wonderfully, conveniently justified. And then there are simply the wild situations I end up in, like having to hitch a ride on a naval cargo jet from San Miguel Island to Point Mugu. If you’re creating whole worlds on the page, you’ve got to set your feet in those places on the planet.

TK: As far as just having a good, productive writing day, what are the best practices for you? What puts you in the best place to write your best work?
LS: Getting started each day generates a lot of anxiety, and for me one of the best remedies for that, or at least a way to navigate that fairly predictable rough water, is to keep a regular schedule. It’s remarkable how simple habit can carry one through. I head to my study around 9:00 a.m. and the first thing I do is read aloud a poem, sometimes the same one many days in a row, just to tune my ear to the English language as an instrument with rhythms and nuances. If I happen to be reading a novel by someone who writes beautiful sentences, then I’ll read a few pages of that, certain passages aloud if they’re especially fine. It’s easy to get diverted by reading, though, so I limit myself to no more than ten pages. Then I’m ready to revise whatever I wrote the day before, plus anything that precedes it that still needs tightening and polishing. I work chapter to chapter, so that when one is finished, and excepting plot points and factual particulars that may surface later, the chapter is done. Dialogue I always read aloud to ensure that it sounds natural.

There are writers who are perfectly comfortable writing out their entire books and then going back to revise and clean them up, sometimes many times, but I clean as I go along. No method is better than any other. It is a matter of temperament. I can’t seem to leave a mess in my wake. And more often than not I discover deeper meanings while revising, or an interesting complexity in a character, which may then send the narrative in a slightly different direction and even change the course of the novel.

This clean-as-you-go method has the advantage of saving me time when I reach the last chapter, because I’ve seldom wandered too far off track. Revision takes as long as it takes and there’s nothing served in allocating a specific amount of time for it. At last, I’m ready to push forward into new material. Maybe I’ve got three hours left, maybe just one. I stop working generally after four to five hours in my study, and if it was an especially good day, I’ll go back to my desk later in the afternoon for an hour or so to see what exactly grew on the page that morning. Included in all of the above is a certain quite necessary amount of time spent staring out the window. The three Rs: reading, (w)riting, and ruminating.
TK: Is there a particular moment or experience in your life that you find that you keep coming back to in your writing? If so, how does that experience shape your storytelling?
LS: In effect what you are asking is what question haven’t I been able to answer, book after book. Writers usually return to experiences that haven’t sorted themselves out yet. The dust is still swirling and the whole picture can’t quite be discerned with enough clarity to paste it into the photo album and close the cover. This is why first novels tend to be more autobiographical than later ones — there’s just more littering up the road, more that needs to be written out of the way. In my case I would not say that there is any single defining experience that continues to ask my attention or to imply that I haven’t in some sense mastered it. But there was an extended situation that continues to infuse the emotional and psychological atmosphere of my work, and that arises from having grown up mostly in institutions–first a foster home, then four years in an orphanage, followed by six years in a boarding school. Institutions are not necessarily bad places. You always know that there are people who care for you, but they don’t love you. So the questions what is love?how do you authenticate it? why does it succeed or fail? lie beneath many of my narratives.
TK: Your new course for Fall 2019 is “Essential Elements for Creative Writers: The Narrative Toolbox.” It’s our first lecture course in Stanford Continuing Studies Creative Writing, though I know the course will be quite interactive. How do you envision this course?
LS: It’s going to be a real mix of approaches to topic — lectures, readings, group discussions, in-class writing exercises, and volunteer oral presentations. We might, for instance, take a great story, break it down into its moving parts, and see how — and why — it works. What makes one plot a thrilling roller coaster ride and another like driving a tractor in low gear down an interstate? Or why are some characters so vivid we begin to confuse them with people we’ve actually known or met, while others are as flat as cardboard cutouts? As with any art form — music, painting, ceramics — there are actual tools and devices the artist uses to create a final product. For example, during the class session that we devote to character development, we will identify the series of points in a specific narrative when the writer enlarges upon and complicates the character as the story unfolds. Obviously characters do not arrive on the page fully formed. Getting to know them is an ongoing process. And then they change! Or they ought to. Every week will have a different focus. We will read about it, talk about it, consider specific examples, and then pick up the tool and try our own hands at it. It should be a very lively “lecture” course.
TK: I know you’ve been working hard on a new novel. Would you be willing to share a detail or two about what you’ve been exploring?
LS: Guilt — in a word. But if you had asked me that two years ago I could not have reliably said what the book explores. It has taken me three hundred pages to figure out the deepest thematic currents, and I guess I would say that they have to do with the burden of guilt human beings seem to readily accept, frequently without enough cause. I also wanted to look at the peculiar dynamics of twins as they relate to guilt and protection. It happens that I have a twin brother, as well as several friends who are twins, and so I have a special insight into the unique advantages and dilemmas of that relationship. On the surface, and in terms of the plot, it’s a novel that considers directly the effects of human beings, a brutally copious species, on the rest of the planetary community of life through an environmental crisis that occurred twenty years ago in Mexico.

July 2019

Samina Ali is an award-winning author as well as a curator and a popular speaker. Her debut novel, Madras on Rainy Days, received France’s prestigious Prix du Premier Roman Etranger Award and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award in Fiction. She teaches in the Stanford Continuing Studies program, including "Novel Writing: The Art of Spinning Tales" (Summer 2019) and "Novel Writing: The First Chapter and Beyond" (Fall 2019).

Tom Kealey, Jones Lecturer in Creative Writing, Stanford; On-Campus Creative Writing Curriculum Coordinator, Stanford Continuing Studies

Tom Kealey: Layla, the protagonist of Madras on Rainy Days, is such a complex, conflicted, and compelling character. How did you first discover/imagine her and how did you go about helping her emerge within the narrative of the novel?

Samina Ali: Creating Layla was actually a difficult process because there weren't any books at that time that depicted an American Muslim woman, and especially not one from India. I didn't have any true examples of what I was trying to do. As a new writer, it's important to have books as guides and inspiration, to both emulate and resist. It's the push and pull that can help young writers to understand their vision more clearly. Without that, I felt in many ways that I was writing in a void. Small questions of craft became pressing decisions: Do I set the book in India or the US or both? How much of Indian Muslim culture can I explain to Western readers while keeping the plot moving forward? Because I have to essentially teach while telling a story, should the narrative be in third person or can I get away with first?

To help me, I turned to other women writers: black writers like Toni Morrison and Paule Marshall. Muslim writers like Mariama Bâ and Nawal El Saadawi. In other words, I took some parts of my experience from here, others from there, and stitched it together to create Layla. Remember, I was writing about someone who is a minority in her birth country of India and a minority in her adopted country. As someone who lives in both the US and India, steeped in both American and Muslim Indian culture, Layla is simultaneously an insider and an outsider in both countries, which puts her in the unique position of being able to pull back the veil and reveal the intricacies and truths of these two worlds in a way the audience might never have considered before.

TK: I know that one of your interests is the intersection of fiction and nonfiction. On the one hand, they share so many similarities of narrative storytelling, and on the other hand they deviate in important and distinctive ways. How do you see the similarity of these forms, as a teacher and writer?
SA: Whether I'm teaching fiction or nonfiction, I tell my students the same thing: there's a big difference between fact and truth. We're not journalists. We're not chasing down facts. As creative writers, we're responsible for conveying the truth: whether that's the truth of your lived experience, as in nonfiction writing, or the truth of human emotion, which is so important to get right in fiction, whether you're writing literary or fantasy.

TK: And then, obviously, writers approach fiction and nonfiction in different ways. That said, if you are telling a story that is in a gray area between fiction and nonfiction, how do you go about choosing the form that fits that narrative in the best way?
SA: To be honest, that feels more like a question for the agent and editor. I think the job of the writer is to write the story that's demanding to be told, to just be a creative artist. Only after you've done the hard work and written the book do questions of marketing come into play. I know that sounds crazy. After all, fiction and nonfiction are separate and distinct genres. As an author, you're the one who decides, right? Well, marketing doesn't always see it this way. After you're done with the book, you're no longer in the driver's seat. The publishing house is. They get control the minute you sell the book. When my novel was coming out, memoirs were very popular. And because I had personal elements in my book, elements of truth, there was a big debate about whether to label it as a novel or a memoir. Which would sell more? Because so much of my book was fictionalized, I was relieved when it was decided to label the book as a novel. But let me tell you: even though it was shelved in the bookstore under fiction, all the marketing of the novel — which means all the publicity and interviews I subsequently gave — highlighted the memoir aspect!

TK: Is there a particular piece of writing advice that has influenced you in your writing career? If so, what is that advice, and how do you go about infusing it into your creative work and into your classroom?
SA: Not only are there many years between my first and second books, but each book has taken a good many years to write. In the amount of time it's taken me to write one complete novel and a draft of a second book, other writers have gone on to complete and publish multiple books. One friend of mine has ten books to her name! Another friend went on to win a Pulitzer Prize! When I see how much other writers are producing, it's hard not to get down on myself. But I've learned that we each have a different path and you have to get to a place where you not only accept your individual path but also relax into it.

In the end, for instance, the reason so much time has elapsed between my books is because I'm not only a writer. The publication of my novel actually jumpstarted my activism work around Muslim women's issues, which attracted the attention of the US State Department. That led to a side career as a speaker — my TEDx talk has had over 4.5 million views! I was also asked to curate an exhibition for the Global Fund for Women on leading Muslim women around the world. And because I was the first to curate a global, virtual exhibition on Muslim women, that directly led me to be invited to begin a new, tremendously exciting project that has taken up a great deal of my time. Over the past months, I've been pulling all-nighters as I rush to help formalize the initial ideas for curating three groundbreaking exhibitions that will be featured at the Dubai Expo 2020. This project excites me the most. But, at the same time as I've been working on it, I've been teaching graduate MFA students, raising two kids, getting ready to teach my Fall 2019 course at Stanford, and trying my best to finish my next book.

All of us are in this boat. We have daytime jobs or kids or sick parents or multiple projects going at the same time or depression or some life event that pulls us away from our writing. Instead of adding more pressure onto yourself, blaming yourself, and feeling guilty for not writing, I think it's important to accept whatever is happening in the moment. Because here's the truth that many don't know, the truth that I tell my students when they're concerned that they're not writing enough: even when you're not actively writing on the page, some unconscious part of your brain is still wrestling with and working through the story, so that when you do finally have the time and emotional space to get back to your writing, you'll see the progress your brain has made, figuring things out in the storyline even when you weren't consciously aware.

So widen your definition of what a writer does — because being entirely focused on your writing may not be for you. When you accept and relax into your unique path, you can then relax into your particular writing (and non-writing) process!

TK: What writing project are you working on these days, and what is it teaching you?

SA: For more than eight years now, I've been working on my next book. It's the story of how I nearly died giving birth to my son at a top hospital in the nation simply because the doctors wouldn't take my concerns seriously. I actually began writing the book at the urging of my neurologist. At the time, I'd suffered such extensive brain trauma that no one thought I'd recover. But I took my healing into my own hands, created my own milestones, and eventually, after several long years, got myself back to being what my neurologist called "healed." He was so stunned he told me that he could only guess at what happens inside the head of a patient who has suffered brain trauma. But I actually know. And since I happened to also be a writer, he thought it would be beneficial to many if I wrote about my recovery.

Well, the first time I wrote the story, I did so as a novel. After all, I'd already published a novel. I was trained as a novelist. It seemed natural. But when my editor read it, she told me that the true story wanted to break through — that the fictional narrative was holding it back. So I had an entire novel that I could do nothing with. Two or three years later, I took another stab and wrote the story as a memoir, as she'd suggested. This time, my agent read it and said, "Where this book ends, that's where it needs to begin." So that meant another full draft and more years of work that went nowhere. I started the next version where the last one ended and realized my agent was absolutely right. Beginning where I had ended the story made it much more powerful. But it also meant I wasn't quite sure where to go next.

So I wrote and wrote, thinking that I was still writing about recovering from brain damage — even though the book had undergone two incarnations. But as my agent and I discovered at the end of that full draft of the book, recovering from trauma is repetitive and slow and undramatic and agonizing — basically, everything a story should not be! So now I had three full drafts of my book on my computer and not one was right. To prevent me from writing yet another full draft and losing yet more years, my agent and I agreed that I would now write a section at a time and deliver it to her. Because the healing process isn't exciting literary material, I've incorporated larger issues into the book: Islam and its views on life and death, the myth that martyrs receive seventy-two virgins in paradise, our fears about Muslims mixed in with my own childhood growing up in the US as an immigrant. Basically, I speak about women's rights versus traditions, faith versus fundamentalism, immigration versus nationalism, and issues of life and death, and I do so in a very personal way.

I wouldn't say that I've learned patience through this process, as many might think. But I will say that I've learned that a book has a life force of its own, that it goes out into the world only after you, the writer, have matured and developed enough to write the story that the book is demanding to be told.

June 2019

This month we feature Lydia Fitzpatrick, whose debut novel, Lights All Night Long, is about a Russian exchange student who arrives in Louisiana shortly after his brother is charged with murder, and who works to exonerate him from afar. Lydia has a long and varied association with Stanford. I first had the pleasure of meeting her when she took an online novel-writing workshop of mine many years back, not long after she finished her MFA program at Michigan. I remember being blown away by her incredible writing submission (some of which eventually made it into this novel) and unsurprised when she subsequently received a Wallace Stegner Fellowship. Coming full circle, Lydia has also taught for our Online Creative Writing Program. It’s a huge treat to celebrate this phenomenal publication by a former student and former instructor! Written in gorgeous prose, with indelible characters, the novel is a literary tour de force, a page-turning mystery with a truly original setup. It was an Amazon Best Book of April 2019, and the Los Angeles Times called it “A luminous debut. . . . It's hard not to read the book in a single sitting." I completely agree, and urge you to read it for yourself.

Malena Watrous, Online Writing Lead Instructor

Malena Watrous: I still remember many years ago when you took an online writing course that I was teaching. You had recently completed an MFA program and you shared the fact that your mom bought you the Stanford online course as a gift, because you were a bit adrift after finishing grad school and she thought you could use a class and a reminder to put your writing first. I remember that your writing was absolutely wonderful, and what a pleasure it was to get to read it and work with you as a student, but I don't think that this was the novel you were working on at that time. Can you talk about the trajectory of how Lights All Night Long came to be?

Lydia Fitzpatrick: I’d forgotten all about this, but yes! My mom gave me your course as a wonderfully nudging Christmas present. At the time, I’d written a short story about a teenage girl, Sadie, and I had this sense of unfinished business with her and her world. I wanted to write a novel about her, but each time I tried, I seemed to run out of steam around the hundred-page mark. I’d told my mom this, and she thought a little external guidance might be helpful, and signed me up for a Stanford online course. I think I workshopped one in that long series of abandoned beginnings with you—in it Sadie shared the narrative with a worker on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig — but soon after the course ended, I wrote another version that had legs. In it, Sadie met Ilya, a visiting Russian student, and was smitten. I was smitten too, and I started digging into his backstory to figure out why, and that was when Ilya began to eclipse Sadie’s role as protagonist and the novel in its current, recognizable form began to take shape.

MW: Because I follow you on social media, I am lucky to have gotten to watch you with two of the cutest babies I have ever seen. Your daughters are still very young, and close in age. Can you talk a little bit about how you find time to write in addition to raising children? What does a typical day look like for you — if there is such a thing?I really liked your use of second person, because it felt fresh, and I loved how you used it in a specific and unique way. Sometimes "you" is the husband and sometimes the little girl, yet I never felt confused. Was that a choice you knew you were going to make from the start? Or was it something that emerged and felt right as you were discovering the story?

LF: I’m so glad you asked this. Since the Lauren Groff interview in The Harvard Gazette, in which she said she wouldn’t answer this question until a man had been asked it, I think there’s been a general hesitation to pose the question. And while I certainly understand her reaction to it, to the sexism with which it can be asked, I wonder if focusing on the sexism of the question doesn’t in some way obscure the greater goal, which is gender parity in the writing profession. The audience who needs the answer to this question is overwhelmingly female. Women who are trying to do both—to parent and to write. So in the hopes that someone who fits that description is reading this, I’ll try to answer it as honestly and pragmatically as I can. Plus I’ve read interviews in which men have been asked the question, so hopefully I’m not in any way betraying my deep and abiding love for Lauren Groff!

When my daughters were little, I wrote and taught during their naps and during a three-hour stretch from 9 am to noon while a very patient neighbor watched them. Every single hour of writing cost $15, and there is nothing like knowing the monetary cost of every word you write — yes, I did that math daily — to motivate. I know this pressure is probably paralyzing to some, but it helped me to become a more efficient writer. Then, from 2:30 on, I parented — in body at least; my mind often strayed to the novel. Now both of my girls are in school, so I have seven hours completely free to write each day, and it feels incredibly luxurious.

MW: Knowing that your novel prominently features Russian characters, who also happen to be two brothers, I am very curious as to what kind of research went into writing it and capturing those points of view in an authentic way. Do you typically write fiction that is pretty far outside of your own personal experience? What inspires you as a writer?

LF: I love the imaginative leaps that only fiction allows. There is a thrill in trying to see the world—to experience it—as someone else. But with those leaps comes the risk of not getting it right. To minimize that risk, I did a lot of research on Russia during the years in which the novel is set. I traveled there, and I read political and economic histories, memoirs, articles, and oral histories. It’s also key to have an emotional point of contact with a character. With Ilya, the novel’s protagonist, this is a bit of a “chicken or the egg” debate. I’m not sure if his character arose from a subconscious emotional point of contact, if that is why I was so drawn to him, or if I created him and then found a way to connect him to my own emotional experience as a way of pulling him closer.

May 2019

Melanie Bishop is the author of the young adult novel My So-Called Ruined Life and will teach the Stanford Continuing Studies course “Writing the ‘Modern Love’ Essay” in Summer 2019. Her own “Modern Love” essay, “I Would Have Driven Her Anywhere,” was published in The New York Times in November 2018.

Melanie recently spoke with Tom Kealey, Jones Lecturer in Creative Writing and On-Campus Creative Writing Curriculum Coordinator for Stanford Continuing Studies.

Tom Kealey: Melanie, your “Modern Love” essay begins, “When my mother was booted from an assisted living facility in North Carolina for being ‘too high maintenance,’ my husband Ted and I agreed to have her live near us in Prescott, Arizona.” You explore your relationship with your mother during this time, and among other things, both of your connections to a 1992 Honda Accord and all of the small items found in its glove compartment and under the seats. Can you tell us about your original idea for the essay and how it came to be in its final form?
Melanie Bishop: The bit that ended up published in “Modern Love” was originally part of a much longer essay about my mother, titled “Final Instructions for Princesses.” I started it during a month-long residency at Djerassi1 in spring of 2016 and finished a draft in the spring of 2018, holed up in a studio at Arcosanti2. It was long and unwieldy, and I knew it needed more pruning than I’d already done, but I was too close to the material to do the necessary cutting. So I hired an excellent editor, Dawn Raffel. Her comments were enormously helpful, and one thing she said was, “I feel like the mother/daughter car wants to be an essay of its own.”

It’s a braided essay, so the car story was one of several stories that were being told in turn, in pieces, within the frame of the longer essay. In extricating all those sections, and turning them into a separate short essay, I then had to mend the holes where I’d plucked content, work on new transitions, and then find the form and the opening and the structure for the new essay. But her comment was brilliant, and I never would’ve come to it on my own. Eureka, of course it’s a separate, self-contained essay, and of such a publishable length! I sent it to “Modern Love” and received an auto-reply saying they wouldn’t be accepting submissions again until September 1. Fortunately, it was August 25, so not a long wait before I could resubmit. I received the acceptance email from the series editor, Dan Jones, on October 26, went through a few rounds of revision with him, and the essay appeared in TheNew York Times on November 18. All happened very quickly.

TK: Many readers of your essay had a strong emotional reaction to your story, and a number of them reached out to you online.3 Could you talk about those interactions?
MB: There’s a loneliness to caring for someone with dementia. It’s hard and repetitive and relentless. Often the loved ones are unrecognizable as the mother/father/grandmother/spouse they once were. And you miss deeply the person you knew. Yet here is this new version of them, needing you more than ever. And you struggle. And there’s a lot of exhaustion and guilt, difficulty and sorrow. In my experience, there weren’t many opportunities for fellowship or community around the experience. What happened I think, is this essay in “Modern Love” created, briefly, that missing community. So many people who wrote me had endured similar or worse scenarios; many were living through them currently. It was like a club we’d all secretly belonged to, thinking we were its sole member, and then found out there were all these others in the club! It was a party among us; the correspondence was candid and deep, a level of intimacy inherent in the shared experience. I wrote back to every person who wrote me. I still occasionally get a letter from someone who’s just stumbled upon the essay from the archives.
These numbers and this camaraderie shouldn’t have surprised me, but they did. Not only were there similar stories of loved ones made difficult by their disease, but also a dozen or so people even had stories, like mine, about an old car, rickety and beloved, a symbol of both the loved one and their decline. In my case, after my mother died, I was loath to get rid of the car. I was incapable. That sentiment is at the core of my essay.

TK: Your Stanford Continuing Studies course in Summer 2019 will aim to help students write “Modern Love”–style personal essays of their own. Can you tell us a little about the course?
MB: The course takes place on two consecutive Saturdays in July. We’ll spend the first day reading, discussing, and analyzing what makes an essay right for “Modern Love.” Numerous examples will show us the range of topics that have been covered in the column over its nearly fifteen years. As evidenced by my own essay about my mother, the column isn’t limited to romantic love. Many have written about parents, children, and platonic relationships, about heartbreak, divorce, and death. Once we’ve studied the column, we’ll do exercises to uncover our own material, and generate lists of possible topics. Before leaving the first day, students will have made a start on an essay, which they will develop over the next week. The second Saturday will be for sharing the drafts-in-progress and offering encouragement and feedback. 
I want to teach this course because my own experience of publishing in the column was so exciting, and unlike any other I’ve had as a writer. When my young adult novel was published, it was maybe read by a thousand people. It had good reviews in KirkusReviews and Publishers Weekly. Over a period of about a year, I received maybe a dozen fan letters and maybe fifty very positive reader reviews. The book was a top-five finalist in two reputable contests. For comparison, within a week of my “Modern Love” essay coming out, hundreds of thousands had read it, it had been translated to other languages, I had thousands of hits to my website, about sixty letters from readers, an invitation to do a radio spot, and a tweet from the deputy editor of The New York Times Magazine, praising the essay. The reaction was off the charts and it was instantaneous. The road to book publication can be so long, a year and a half from acceptance to print, and, unless you're famous, or publishing with one of the “Big Five,” book release day/week/month can feel pretty anticlimactic. Not so the day your “Modern Love” essay goes live.

TK: It seems that the “Modern Love” genre encompasses many kinds of love, as well as many different perspectives about love. What beginning advice might you offer to a writer interested in exploring their own “Modern Love” essay?
MB: My advice is to take the course! All other advice delivered there!
TK: Can you tell us a little about the writing project you’re working on now?
MB: I’m working on a few things at once. I’m marketing the aforementioned long essay about my mother, “Final Instructions for Princesses.” At 20,000 words, it’s a difficult length to publish, but I’m persisting. The essay is organized around this notion of “instructions,” how to be female, and has relevance to #MeToo. A week ago, I finished and submitted the second YA novel in the Tate McCoy series, titled The Savior of Me. I just wrote a short essay called “The Virtual Dementia Tour,” about a training I underwent as a hospice volunteer. And I’m revising a very long short story (what is it with me and stuff that’s too LONG?) that is set on one of the Cycladic Islands in Greece. That story is titled “Eklepsi,” Greek for eclipse.
Writing is hard. Writers are inventors, taking nothing — the blank page or blank screen—and turning it into something that didn’t exist before that moment. I write despite the difficulty, but often I’m reluctant, having to drag myself to the page. Teaching, though, is my first love. I feel lucky to share with students my ongoing fascination with writing and literature. I’m thrilled to be offering this course for Stanford Continuing Studies.
1. Djerassi Resident Artists Program,↩
2. Arcosanti: An Urban Laboratory,↩

  A Conversation with Lysley Tenorio

Lysley Tenorio will join the Stanford Fiction Writers in Conversation series on Thursday, May 9, at 7:30 pm in the Bechtel Conference Center, Encina Hall, on the Stanford campus. Lysley is the author of the story collection Monstress, and his stories have appeared in The AtlanticZoetrope: All-Story, The Best New American Voices, and The Pushcart Prize anthologies. He has received the Whiting Writer’s Award, the Edmund White Award, and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. Lysley is a professor at St. Mary’s College, and was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford.

For The Writer’s Spotlight, Lysley was interviewed by Tom Kealey, Jones Lecturer in Creative Writing and On-Campus Creative Writing Curriculum Coordinator for Stanford Continuing Studies.

Tom Kealey: The book and title story of

Vulnerability Spotlight: Multiple remote code execution bugs in NitroPDF a patch from NitroPDF due to the expiration of our day deadline. An attacker can craft a malicious PDF to trigger this vulnerability. . March (7).


Entity ID


“Use the wiring tool to connect a power source to this light and you should be able to turn it on.”


The Spotlight is a crafted light source. The recipe for this item is unlock after purchasing Electricity Basics (Perk) Level 2.

Players will need to use the Wire Tool to connect a power source to this block in order to power it. Once powered, pressing the use key will turn the light on and off.

The Spotlight can be aimed to direct light at a specific location. This item will also create an entry in the player's Journal about changing the angle of orientation of items.


After purchasing Electricity Basics (Perk) Level 2, the Spotlight is crafted at the Workbench with the following items:

Paper Craft

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Start crafting your VPS by choosing a game 7 Days to Die Our VDS servers are set up in minutes, our support is super fast, and all our Partner Spotlight. I have a friend who can't get ADSL (rural) and has to choose between He's interested in playing 7 days to die, but as he only has a 15GB cap. Nodecraft offer servers for ARK: Survival, Minecraft, 7 Days to Die, Rust, and more! Instantly create a game server for up to 26 games: 2 Select a plan.

Just a quick one, but we can no longer pick them back up once placed? - Or am i missing something?:p Cheers. this is correct, the claim block needs to be put down first then any workstation/ electrical equipment can be picked up with E. don't wrench it in. You can help 7 Days to Die Wiki by expanding it. Spotlight. . with hordes; To pick up a placed spotlight, use a wrench to "disassemble" it.

Ok, so we need to either change the name from mobile spotlight to just spotlight, or make them so you can pick them up again. All excited I've. At the point where I have a few mobile spotlights set-up at base. Its says they can be dismantled and picked up with a wrench. Its dark. The Spotlight can be aimed to direct light at a specific location. This item will also create an entry in the player's Journal about changing the angle of orientation.

7 Days to Die Tutorial - Mobile Spotlight | Gaming Videos by A17 Official Release Notes | 7 Days to Die. A17 Official Release Notes | 7 Days to Die. 7 Days to Die is the only true survival RPG with nearly 50 multi-tiered skill and perk groups. Choose - Play the Navezgane campaign world, or dive back in with . Using explosives to build a Tower Base to fend off Zombies in 7 Days to Die 7 Days to Die Tutorial - Mobile Spotlight 7 Days To Die, Survival Guide.

Other 7DTD Guides: % Achievement Guide. to give as many OUT connenction as they want to such as relays, this pic will explain it. Page 2 of the full game walkthrough for 7 Days to Die. This guide will show you how to (called Mobile Spotlight in craft area). - Keep all Large Bones, you can. Here's the full Alpha 16 Update taken from the 7 days to die blog, should you want to dive It requires at least one solar cell, expandable up to six. Spotlight – The player crafted Spotlight has changed to require power but can now be . Picking up some of the basics enables you to repair items efficiently.

WATCH THE VIDEO ON THEME: 7 Days to Die Tutorial - Mobile Spotlight Guide - How to Make a Spotlight

I've been attempting to increase the light intensity of the spotlights as, lets face it, they're a joke as they are, not worth the effort to make, search.

7 Days to Die - Electricity for Dummies

Mainstays 7.5" Spotlight Accent Lamp, Black Finish:

  • Pivoting shade so light can be directed where it is needed
  • Standing base and keyhole wall mount for versatile use
  • Black metal finish for a sleek appearance
  • In-line switch on cord for easy operation
  • Black accent lamp dimensions: 7.55"H x 5.43"W x 4.13"D
  • Uses one 60-watt incandescent equivalent bulb
  • 1-year limited warranty
  • Can be used as a spotlight over a piece of artwork, to illuminate a dark corner, or to add extra overhead lighting

Brighten your space with the Mainstays 7.5" Spotlight Accent Lamp. Featuring a glossy black metal finish, it coordinates well with most pre-existing furnishings and decor. This versatile lamp can be used as an accent light, spotlight or uplight. It also features an adjustable shade that pivots to allow you to direct the light where you need it the most. It can be used on the standing base and has a built-in keyhole for easy wall mounting. The black accent lamp has an in-line on/off switch on the cord and uses one 60-watt incandescent equivalent bulb.

7 days to die spotlight how to craft

WATCH THE VIDEO ON THEME: 7 Days to Die - Electricity Guide! Generators, Wire Tool & Relays (Alpha 16)

Using mobile spotlights, you can light up an area rather well. Here is a short tutorial on how to find the supplies to make one, craft it and place it.

7 days to die spotlight how to craft
Written by Nelabar
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