To begin, a confession: I never wanted to write a blog. A few years ago, when I was getting my first web site, my designer, who specializes in authors’ web pages, said, “You’ll need to do a blog.” I told him I didn’t want to do a blog. He said, “But you have to. That’s…

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I just finished teaching an online workshop in flash creative nonfiction for the fine folks at Word Tango. I loved this group of writers who were fearlessly vulnerable as they captured those illuminating moments that surprise us at the end of a good piece of flash. One question that arose was how to know when…

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On the last day of my father’s life, he mowed his yard. It was the hottest day of the year, and he mowed because that grass needed cutting and he wasn’t about to leave it undone. His heart seized with the effort, and my mother saw him, collapsed on the grass, already dead. She’d tried…

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For some reason—maybe because I feel us edging closer to autumn—I’m remembering how, when I was a small boy, I’d walk with my mother into the woods on our farm, and together we’d gather hickory nuts. For those of you who don’t know, a hickory nut is encased in a thick black husk. You can…

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This is the time of year when summer is starting to feel a bit shabby. We’ve made the turn to August—the dog days—and the heat, the sun, the humidity have begun to feel oppressive. Here in the Midwest, the grass is brown, the daylilies are fading, the leaves of trees curl for want of rain.…

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