literature
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On The Art of the Essay
On September 13, 2019 | 2 Comments

“You get the sense that it’s possible simply to go through life noticing things and writing them down and that this is OK, it’s worth doing. That the seemingly insignificant things that most of us spend our days noticing are really significant, have meaning, and tell us something.” ~Joan Didion Back in my teaching days, […]

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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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Of Teachers and Why We Love Them, My Favorite One, and Two Birthdays
On September 13, 2017 | 0 Comments

I think we’ve seen the last of them for this year: the first-day-of-school photos that spill down our social media screens. Darling children in their new clothes and unscuffed shoes, grinning for the camera and holding their signs: Amelia, second grade. Dylan, fourth. And the less-than-darling, I’m-too-old-for-this children, holding signs or not, wearing I-couldn’t-care clothes […]

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What Every Writer Wants
On January 23, 2017 | 0 Comments

Silence, maybe. Space to write. A quiet column of time in which to give audience to all that’s in one’s head. That might be what a writer wants. But that’s not always true. Having made room for these things precisely, a writer can find that they are absolutely not what she wants. She can find […]

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The Absence of Precise Answers
On October 26, 2016 | 0 Comments

My family and I attended a play last night: Arthur Miller’s The Crucible at PlayMakers Theater. It’s difficult to say that this is a wonderful play, or even, perhaps, a good one. You don’t witness a drama about false accusations, terrible lies, and gross injustice and feel good about it afterward. Which isn’t to say that the play doesn’t resolve. It certainly resolves–but […]

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Carry-On
On July 20, 2016 | 1 Comments

I feel as if I’ve done a lot of traveling lately. It’s that time of year, right? Summer vacation. We’re gone, we’re here, we’re gone again. Definitely not complaining. I love to travel. But lately it’s got me thinking about how I pack. Like most people (everyone?), I’m guessing I have the normal categories: clothes, […]

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Scott and Annie, Baz and Jay
On June 13, 2013 | 3 Comments

http://cdn.tss.uproxx.com/TSS/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/the-great-gatsby-2012.jpg I love going to the movies. Despite all that Netflix and Amazon have to offer, there is something so simply great about going to the cinema and sitting there in the dark, releasing yourself to the larger-than-life narrative unfolding on the screen. I love it. One of the best classes I took in college […]

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Birthday
On October 15, 2012 | 2 Comments

Here’s to imagination, and the world of fiction that can be so good at inspiring it. Here’s to the first novel ever read to me– before the Little House books, before Lewis’ Narnia. Here’s to a book about rejects all in polite society: a pig, a rat, a spider. Here’s to an unflinching look at […]

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More Thoughts on First Sentences… and Other News
On September 7, 2012 | 0 Comments

Here’s something delightful– and who doesn’t need delightful now and again? Reader (thank you so much, Tim) and high school chum Timothy Crouse reminded me of this: the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. It is a contest in which you– get this– compete to win the prize for the Worst First Sentence. I love this. It is […]

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First Lines, Part the First
On September 4, 2012 | 4 Comments

So I’ve had first sentences on my brain for a while, ever since that post I wrote a few weeks ago. I like noticing how writers begin things, how, perhaps, they try to lure their readers in with the first few words. It’s no small task getting someone to read one’s writing. After all, in […]

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