You’ve Been Summoned

Today is a soapbox day. You’ve been warned. One of my coworkers received a jury duty notification recently. Everyone has offered their suggestions on what to say to get out of serving. I won’t join that discussion because the idea of shirking jury duty infuriates me. Yes, I know America’s judicial system is flawed. Yes,... Continue Reading →

What Is a Legacy?

I used to think the idea of a midlife crisis was absurd. Why, I wondered, did so many people hit a certain age and then suddenly blow up their carefully crafted lives? Now that I’m in my late forties, I don’t find the idea of a midlife crisis absurd at all. I recently encountered Erik... Continue Reading →

Coda: Writerly Foibles

I’m not sure my earlier piece was as clear as I’d like. Rather than taking it down, I’m adding a second post. When thinking about what terrain writers can and cannot cover, I think the key is recognizing that there’s a difference between writers as creators and writers as publishing professionals. When writers are in... Continue Reading →

Catching Lightning in a Bottle

 I had the good fortune to attend the Writer Unboxed Unconference in Salem, Massachusetts, last week.  WriterUnboxed.com is one of my favorite writing websites, and I think I’ve mentioned it here a time or two. WU offers daily posts on a variety of writing topics, and its 50+ contributors have a wealth of knowledge to... Continue Reading →

Trapped in the Doldrums

As a kid, I loved reading Treasure Island. I was in a fifth-grade reading group, and we worked through the novel together.  We learned a lot of cool terms, including the “doldrums.” Lately, I feel like I’m stuck in that belt of windless waters, just praying for a small breeze. As I noted in last... Continue Reading →

Lengthening Shadows

Here in the U.S., we’re rolling into Labor Day weekend. In a lot of communities, Labor Day marks the end of the summer break for children and teachers. Many call this weekend “the end of summer,” and it will be the last big weekend for travel, hanging out at the beach, and cookouts. While summer... Continue Reading →

Literacy and Storytelling

I’ve been thinking about how writing, storytelling, and literacy intersect (or not) in American culture. For a long time, humans believed we were superior to animals because we were smarter. Then we learned how to measure the intelligence of pigs and dolphins. We assumed a dividing line between humans and animals was the ability to... Continue Reading →

(Mis)Perceptions

About four weeks ago, I had my stylist give me some purple highlights in my hair. It’s the first time I’ve ever colored my hair (if we exclude those hairspray colors used for Halloween or on stage that wash out easily). And I’ve found myself amused and/or bemused by people’s reactions. Most people who commented... Continue Reading →

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