Making a Scene in Bowling Green: Writing Memoir

When I was a boy, my mother often said to me, “Don’t make a scene.” So I grew up to be a writer in part, perhaps, so I could make all the scenes I wanted. When we write narratives, whether fictional or the personal narratives of memoirs and essays, we need to give ourselves permission…

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Taking Care at the End: The Art of Misdirection

I just got back from teaching in the Vermont College of Fine Arts Postgraduate Writers’ Workshop, and I wanted to give a recap of the craft class that I taught. The session was called “Taking Care at the End: The Art of Misdirection.” So please permit me a digression. The photo below was taken by…

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That Kind of Place: An Argument for Nostalgia

Why is it, once you reach a certain age, that Sundays are loaded with nostalgia? Today, I’m  thinking of summer Sundays when I lived on our farm in southeastern Illinois. I’m talking about an eighty-acre plot of land on the Lawrence County side of the County Line Road. Eighty acres of clay soil in Lukin…

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Klout: Online Influence and What It Means to Writers

Remember those high school days when you were always worrying over your popularity even if you acted like you weren’t, when you were trying to define a workable identity for yourself: a jock, a cheerleader, a stoner, a loner, a straight arrow, a good citizen, a lover, a fighter, and the list goes on. Remember…

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