Small Hours
New Website! A Tale of Shanna, Joy and Toban (and Me)
On November 5, 2018 | 2 Comments

Ta-da! Welcome to my Brand New Website. In fact, if you have read this far, then you have likely already arrived and are seeing it in its brand-new glory, with its lovely fonts and clean pages. And photos. Ever so many photos. Of me. (More on that shortly).

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How We Spend Our Days
On June 20, 2018 | 2 Comments

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour and with that one is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days.     -Annie Dillard It’s happening again. It started in late May, and it […]

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A Post in Which I Explain How CrossFit and Writing are Basically Exactly The Same
On June 2, 2018 | 3 Comments

Day four, and I’m still sore. Not bragging. Not complaining. Just saying. We are four days out from the workout known as Murph, and I am still sore. What is Murph, you say? Murph is a workout named for Michael Patrick Murphy, a navy SEAL killed in Afghanistan in 2005. He was awarded the Medal […]

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Maddie and the Hoffer Award
On May 15, 2018 | 1 Comments

So, maybe you’ve heard it said that writing a book is like giving birth, and publishing it is like sending one’s child out into the world. I have said that, and so have scores of others (although this one disagrees and makes some excellent points while she’s at it). The comparison works less for the degree […]

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Opening Like Hands
On April 19, 2018 | 0 Comments

From the Willow Room in the Prince Conference Center at Calvin College, one can see willow trees. They stand at some distance from the building, at least one hundred yards away, and during the lecture on self-editing a manuscript, I watched these trees. They were huge. Their branches were many. And all of these branches–those […]

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Space
On April 9, 2018 | 0 Comments

Weekdays, I can count on three emails in my inbox. One is the New York Times Daily Briefing, which, on good days, I read with care. The second is from theSkimm, also a daily news summary and which again, on good days, I read with care. And the third is from Merriam-Webster: their Word-of-the-Day. They give […]

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Missing Everett
On March 9, 2018 | 1 Comments

Everett has been away from us now for five months, one week and four days. I didn’t know the exact count until preparing to write that first sentence: I haven’t been marking the calendar with an x every day; I haven’t been keeping a countdown. Which isn’t to say I don’t miss him, that we don’t miss […]

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Contingencies
On November 28, 2017 | 2 Comments

Lately I am thinking of contingency. Standing in her office, my editor reminded me that writing is a job just as ditch-digging is. The ditch must be dug. Must not also the writing be written? She is right, of course. The ditch-digger goes to work and digs her ditch; so must the writer go to […]

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Maddie and Motherhood
On October 26, 2017 | 0 Comments

Healing Maddie Brees and I are headed to another book club tonight. I am very much looking forward to it. It’s tricky, though: when invited, I always tell my host that I recognize the liability. Having an author present for her book’s discussion can decidedly hamper dialogue and limit expression: how many attendees will be willing […]

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Home
On October 12, 2017 | 3 Comments

The subject line of the email: “Stony Brook House.” The text was limited. Just a note from my dad, how pleased my parents were to come across the floor plan of the house my grandparents built in 1960. I think they lived there for a little more than a decade. By the time I was […]

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