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Questioning Assumptions

Popular lore holds that cats hate water, but it isn’t necessarily true. I’ve had three, and they have all imbibed from the tap, supervised the bath, and showed up when the garden hose was running. One routinely came home soaked from her forays, whether from roaming wetland, marsh or lakeshore, I’m not sure. She lived […]

Kitchen Table

To rewind this tale to the proximate cause of my shift of late to the kitchen table as my base of operations would require volumes. One of those volumes is in my agent’s hands. Another is in scraps on my regular desk, back in my office. Several more are in published form, shelved on the […]

The Boss

As a writer, you work for yourself, even if you’re being paid. Every sentence, every word, every turn of the phrase comes from you. The way things sit on the page. The amount of white space. The tone. The taste. The raised eyebrows of the reader—in delight or shock, maybe—is proof that you have done […]

Fishing for Stories

Some of the best stories come in our off-duty times. There you are, minding your own business, when you notice something in the current. You keep your eye on it, but it bobs and dives. You run along the bank to follow it, cry out when you think you’ve lost it. But there it is! […]

The Ebb and Flow

There are times when writers can’t seem to write, or when everything we write is just plain terrible. Writer’s block, as some call it, is a common affliction. We moan. We groan. We take to the bed, drink fluids. But in our fear, our misery, we tend to forget that it’s just the natural rhythm […]

Just the Facts

As the cop says to the old lady, “Just the facts, ma’am.” Number of months blogging: 8. Number of posts: 65. Ones I particularly like:  21.  Website tune-ups: 3. Improvements in the works: 3. Posts pulled from an inventory of ideas: 15.  Freshly conceived, more contemporaneously inspired posts: 50.  Rate of new pieces generated as […]

Time for a Break

On vacation. Next post Friday, August 27th. See you then. Thanks for stopping by. Photo credit: sand piper, barloventomagico

The Hallmarks of an Engaging Letter

Yes, I know. No one writes letters anymore. We write e-mails. Or blogs, commentary, essays, stories, books . . . Right there, it goes to show: a letter will be noticed. The lure begins with its very physicality: a nice weight to the paper, a promising feel in the hand. It separates easily from the […]

The Little Man

All day long, people talk. Sometimes we hear helpful things, and we are grateful. But sometimes—stage left: enter the little man, a not so helpful guy. That shifty little bugger, never invited, sits on one’s shoulder, burrows in, makes himself at home, and doles out unsolicited advice. Smoking a cigar, pontificating, he suggests maybe that […]

It’s All in the Delivery

Words are shifty things. One minute they mean this. The next, they mean that. Perhaps this is what makes them so hard to pin down. Here are two versions of exactly the same words, with two entirely different meanings. Watch: Pretty clever, and I didn’t see it coming. Made me stop to realize yet […]

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