Archive for December, 2012

fallow field

There is great value in lying fallow.

In a few days it will be the New Year, and I, too, will be thinking about fresh starts and better ways of living and making resolutions to do just that.

But in this lull between the holidays I’m lying fallow.  I’m (more…)


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So today is the last day of the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, the day before the so-called Mayan apocalypse.

A date inscription in the Mayan Long Count.  From Wikipedia.

A date inscription in the Mayan Long Count. (From Wikipedia.)

I’ve always thought that if I had one day left to live it might not be such a bad thing to spend it as if I had all the time in the world.  Sure, I could (more…)

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My book review, “Books to read if …” is up at The Equals Record!

Books to read if

If you’re looking for books to read or give this holiday season (or any time!), click here to read more …


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crystal-ballSo I asked the Bibliomancy Oracle what to do about my writing career — pursue essay, biography, teaching, what?  And it replied:

Gotta find a way around those young cats.

This is from the poem “OL’ MAN STRENGTH” by Derrick Weston Brown.  You can (scroll down and) read the whole poem here.

A little research revealed that (more…)

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This morning I read a post on The American Scholar’s blog called “Start a Blog.”  In it, writer William Deresiewicz discusses the role of the public intellectual.  His jumping off point is his reading of a book that encourages high school students to skip college and become a “Public Intellectual.”  There are five easy steps to follow in order to achieve this lofty goal and one of them is “Start a blog.”  Deresiewicz claims that now the “debasement of the term public intellectual—and it was pretty debased to begin with—would seem to be complete.”

(a tiny picture of William Deresiewicz)

I agree that starting a blog does not make one a public intellectual.  Nor does following whatever the other four “easy” steps are.  I agree with much of what Deresiewicz claims.  But now I’m thinking, (more…)

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I often start a writing session by lighting a candle.  I don’t have a formal ritual attached to this act.  It just sets the time apart.  It says, I’m doing something a little different, a little special, but still something relatively common and everyday.

The Penitent Magdalene by George de la Tour.

The Penitent Magdalene by Georges de la Tour.  (No, I don’t hold a skull as I write.)

I have hesitated to tell people about this because (more…)

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About the only good thing that happened to me during the two weeks that I was sick was that I got my review copy of Stealing Time, a new literary magazine for parents.

The first issue of Stealing Time: Genesis.

I had thought – for the first half of the first sore-throat day – that being sick would turn out to be a good thing.  I could lie around and rest, lie around and drink tea, lie around and read … but the only thing I wound up doing was lie around feeling miserable.  And run around taking care of the twins while feeling miserable.  And sit up at night not sleeping because of my stuffy head and feeling miserable.  Until Stealing Time came.

I was just barely starting to feel better, just starting to need something else in my brain aside from cough medicine dosages and chicken soup recipes and the twins’ usual schedule of meal, nap, bath and bed times.  Stealing Time was perfect.  The essays, stories and poems were long enough to really get at something, but short enough to be ingested by a mother – sick or not – who is always trying to steal time to read or write.

Stealing time to read this magazine is well worth any consequence; most likely you will be inspired to steal more.

My favorite piece in this inaugural issue was (more…)

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