Judith Moore remembered

How Truth Can Be Told

"I hate flattery, don't you?" she said to me once.

I was 26 and unemployed when a friend told me about the San Diego Reader and its editor, Judith Moore. I had published a few essays and stories in small literary journals while amassing a ...

Make Something Better

She was fierce about writers she didn't like, fierce about writers she said had done a bad job or were lazy.

I never met Judith Moore. To me she was a voice over the phone: slangy, half-cynical, eager to talk about her dog, and passionate about writing. I first talked to her in the summer of ...


That she was at least 20 years my senior never mattered.

"Execrable." And... "You sound like a fluttering dilettante." There were many more in a similar vein. I have all her editorial comments saved somewhere on the jittery hard drive of my old computer. The two ...

Mother Reader

"Don't self-publish anything; it makes you look like a slut."

Judith often referred to herself in the third person as "Mother Reader." An appropriate epithet, considering that after coming across my blog, she elicited a job offer from "Father Reader," thus giving birth to my ...

More Was Her Thing

She wanted to hear more of what went on, what was said, done, eaten, drunk, spilled, tripped over, who was repulsed, enraptured, or simply left behind.

Point-blank, Judith is the reason I'm here. When she found out that I, at 20 years old, had a love for writing, she wanted to see for herself. A piece I'd written for another magazine ...

Always Read Poetry

She would deepen her voice, soften and elongate her vowels, and breathe life into any poem.

Judith and I shared an October 14 birthday. We met when a mutual friend threw a party for us both, 30 years ago. I was freshly graduated from a state teachers' college, where I had ...

Busy fingers are happy fingers

"Forget all about angles, and write a sentence. Then write another sentence, and another."

My long conversation with Judith Moore about writing began in 1980. We first met at a monthly campus ministry shindig for the faculty of Central Washington University, in Ellensburg, Washington. Judith was escaping the small-town ...

More Blood, More Pus, More Mucus

"None of this PR crap anymore. It's a bad habit, and I'll be the one to break you of it, by God."

"This is horrible, this stuff about your mother. Just awful, Susie." Not since my father had someone called me Susie. And not since my father had the endearment arrived with such menace. "It's what I ...

Don't Pretend You Know More Than You Do

Our readers will see through it, and so will I.

Judith made this whole gig happen, I mean Tin Fork and the cheap-eats world she gave me. Actually, it wouldn't have happened without Carla either. She met Judith first and must have mentioned this layabout ...

Tales of a San Diego manicurist

Annalisa's file

She sighs. “But I can wear jeans and a slobbed-out shirt, and if my nails are painted, I feel glamorous." She lifts her glance from my fingers to my eyes. “You know what I mean?”

Let’s Be Friends

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