writing
Writing A(nother) Book
On September 12, 2020 | 0 Comments

I’m a mother three times, and the births of my children were relatively easy. I say “relatively” because they were each (also) fraught in their ways. But the upshot was the same each time: healthy baby, healthy mother. I remain incredibly grateful for this. The birth of one of them, however, was a little dicey. […]

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On the Back Porch (looking at a poem by Dorianne Laux)
On August 4, 2020 | 2 Comments

  The cat calls for her dinner.  (This is a post about a poem, and these are some of its lines:) On the porch I bend and pour  brown soy stars into her bowl, stroke her dark fur.  No. It’s not a poem about a cat, although here at the beginning one might think it […]

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A Merry Christmas Gift for You: A Child’s Christmas in Wales
On December 23, 2019 | 4 Comments

  Dear Friends, I wanted to give you something for Christmas. Something free and different. Yes, yes. I know that everything on this website is free (okay, well, if you click the links to my books you’ll see that the books aren’t free). And the Advent readings are certainly free. But they aren’t different. Okay, […]

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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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