We enter the Christmas season at the same time that I and my students are entering revision season. My students are preparing significant revisions of essays they’ve written this semester, while I’ve just finished going through my editor’s notes for my new novel, Late One Night, that’s coming out in May. Who knows what will…

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It starts with the documentary about the Roosevelts that Ken Burns did for PBS—this overwhelming nostalgia that comes over me. I streamed the program on Netflix last week, and once it hit 1910, the year of my mother’s birth, I began to use the timeline to mark the progression of my parents’ lives. The Great…

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I just got back from Louisville, KY, where I was part of a reading on Friday evening, and where I taught a class on constructing narratives at the Writer’s Block Festival on Saturday. The reading was held at the Bard’s Town, a restaurant and pub, and, yes, you guessed it, a Shakespearean theme. What writer…

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When I was a small boy on our farm, I often felt lonely. I was an only child who had to get comfortable with being alone. Now I see what a blessing it was, a blessing of silence and solitude. I liked to read, and I liked to watch television, and I liked to play…

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In my post last week, I suggested that, when we write about ourselves at an earlier age, we’re wise to do so from a position in the here-and-now that allows us to look at those idiots we surely were with humor while at the same time respecting that idiocy. A few people objected to the…

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