iván BRAVE

Writer

Emphasis on Retreat: the Last Two Weeks

Emphasis on Retreat: the Last Two Weeks

21 August 2019

The following is about the last two weeks, at times a Herculean effort on Ela’s part, while at times an Ovidian exile for me. Now that it’s over, I think Ela’s mother put it best, when she said, “You two will always remember getting married.” In her own witty way, she means we had better […]

How I Create Characters

How I Create Characters

3 August 2019

Let’s assume I’m this world-renowned author, with aspiring writers from around the world flocking to me for advice. I have this wild, white beard from years of paying attention to other people, a colorful yet tasteful garb over my head to prevent ideas from spilling out, and a voice as clear as ice water. A […]

Life update, Romania, et cetera

Life update, Romania, et cetera

18 July 2019

A shout out to Michael, my friend who tugged at my writer’s collar the other day, asking, When are you going to start blogging again?   So here I am. Not necessarily at his behest, but reminder. It’s nice to feel this digital cauldron burns again for hungry readers.   A lot has happened since […]

Where nerves and excitement meet dreams come true

Where nerves and excitement meet dreams come true

30 May 2019

Alright, yall. This post has to happen. It has to. The feels need lines. My life, over a lined loose leaf, hole-punched, types. Prompted? A little. Go. I’m writing on the Uber to JFK. Lots of items got lost, left, in the last minute packing. Blankeys gone, knicknacks patty wacks gone, clothes from Austin, NY, […]

An exercise in self-definition: why I write

An exercise in self-definition: why I write

20 March 2019

What if I told you a story?   Breakfast with mamá, galleria area Houston, 2014 — the year I came back home to live with my parents.   She hints at my finding a job as casually as she stirs the sugar in her coffee. I ruffle my nose. It would be easy, she suggests, […]

Mentors and Mentees

Mentors and Mentees

23 January 2019

(Athena disguised as Mentor, helping the prince.) “Telemachus, no more shyness, this is not the time! We sailed the seas for this, for news of your father — where does he lie buried? what fate did he meet? So go right up to Nestor, breaker of horses. We’ll make him yield the secrets of his […]

My Present Tense: a typical full day

My Present Tense: a typical full day

14 November 2018

This morning I assigned my students two simple writing prompts, exercising the present tense. They had to use the words “as soon as,” “first,” “next,” “then,” “before/after,” and “when.” We all learned. For example, I realized, as I chalked the prompts on the blackboard, that “when” plays as the middle child between “before” and “after.” […]

The Summer Abroad: a publishing update, as we end the fall

The Summer Abroad: a publishing update, as we end the fall

7 November 2018

Three dark themes stalk this journey into self-publishing: Bursts of tinkering, troubleshooting, and anxiety.   Of course there are luminous elements holding hands with me as we progress. But those lights shine in between and at the end of the journey.   Last Friday, I received the edited draft from the professor-editor who agreed to […]

What NYC means to me and what it’s like to live here

What NYC means to me and what it’s like to live here

31 October 2018

A buddy sent me this sketch from College Humor last Sunday, which satirizes the stereotypes Americans have against New Yorkers. My favorite part was the joke about NYC getting criticized more than any other city.   “Nobody ever talks shit about Cincinnati,” says the man from Ohio.   “That’s actually a great point,” replies the […]

Self-publishing: an update — “The Summer Abroad: a novel”

Self-publishing: an update — “The Summer Abroad: a novel”

25 October 2018

This week, I met with an ex-workshop peer from way back (from last year). She is currently working on her own thesis project, which explores the current fiction-workshop model, how it fosters or damages originality, and what universities can do about it. Having participated in the same workshop ourselves, she was keen to discuss.   […]