becoming the other


she, the author of ‘white oleander’, sits humbly in black dress and loppy hat. her face gently amused. i watch her from across the table. the air smells like lake-water. she leans in over the first of our five-course meal and asks me, “who do you suppose they are?”

we turn, two writers, one mind, to watch the couple across the way. together we imagine their lives: she, a tired professor who demands too much. he, a successful businessman, phone glued to ear. we become lost in playing the other.

janet fitch and i. she, who took 10 years to publish a short story. she, who authored a bestseller whose characters find haven within me. i learn from her during the day under italian silk-sky; i, along with 14 others. i, the only canadian, joining the only australian, and 12 americans… together, ink to pad, we form characters which ‘pop.’ narratives which drive. plots which sizzle.

and at night, we imagine alongside our mentors. make muses out of como’s countryside. practice the art of becoming the other.



  1. July 2, 2009 at 12:33 am

    What a luscious, delectable opportunity, Em. May you be as pregnant with ideas as you are with child.

  2. Tiffy! said,

    July 2, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    what a great experience!

  3. naomi said,

    July 2, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    Hi Em! Been meaning to say hi … what a wonderful, inspiring trip you’ve had! How is the little one? Hope all’s good.
    Naomi x

  4. joannamallory said,

    July 4, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    Sounds amazing!

  5. July 7, 2009 at 2:42 am

    You make me want to write for real.

    Missing you…

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