writing
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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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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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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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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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Words Over Coffee
On September 8, 2017 | 0 Comments

His email arrived sometime in May, or maybe late April. An invitation. He’s a writer, a someday filmmaker, and he wanted to talk Art. I’ve known Joel since he was born, I guess. His family and ours go to the same church; his age falls just between that of Everett and Emma. I’m sure they […]

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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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New for a New Year
On January 19, 2017 | 0 Comments

Putting a book together is interesting and exhilarating. It is sufficiently difficult and complex that it engages all your intelligence. It is life at its most free.  I started in earnest on a new book today. It wasn’t one I’ve been meaning to write. For some time now, the list of what I’ve been meaning […]

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Window
On November 12, 2016 | 1 Comments

This is the picture window in our breakfast room. It hasn’t always looked like this. I don’t think we wrote on it–ever–until Emma was home-schooled in the 7th grade. That’s when she helped me see that this window would make an excellent substitute for a white board. And so, throughout her three years of home-school, […]

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