Cover Photo: photo by Spencer Tweedy/flickr
photo by Spencer Tweedy/flickr

Writing About Marriage When You Want to Stay Married

“I am posting a bulletin from the sanctuary behind that closed bedroom door.”

Two winters ago, I stayed temporarily in a bee-infested cottage in the swamplands of Florida while teaching and writing at an artists’ center. Each morning, I opened the cottage door to a swarm of fist-sized carpenter bees so thick it seemed to cloud the humid air, then slammed the door, heart racing. The bees were not my only problem. In fact, they seemed like such a perfect metaphor that I began to wonder if they were real at all. My work had skidded to a painful halt. My mind was . . . well, my mind was buzzing. I was stuck. There was something invisible and dangerous at the center of everything I tried to write, something I didn’t yet understand.

this is it?

woodpeckerice storm.

Devotion

was made

themness

WoodpeckerIce storm. rat-tat-tatI hated him

What does Michael think?He reads every wordHe’s fine with it, good thing he’s also a writer. If he had asked me not to do it, I would have put it in a drawer

Is nothing sacred?

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Dani Shapiro is the bestselling author of the memoirs Still Writing, Devotion, and Slow Motion, and five novels including Black & White and Family History. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, One Story, Elle, The New York Times Book Review, the op-ed pages of The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and has been broadcast on “This American Life​." ​A contributing editor at Condé Nast Traveler, Dani lives with her family in Litchfield County, Connecticut. Her most recent book, Hourglass, was just published by Knopf.