The Long Haul

Last week, while I was in my native southeastern Illinois, I ran at the high school track. One morning as I was running, a grounds person was mowing grass. I’d just finished my run and left  the track for my stretches and cool-down, when the man on the mower stopped and asked me how far…

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New Beginnings

By the time she reads this, she’ll be married, and I will have had the honor of walking her down the aisle and dancing the father/daughter dance with her. Her husband, as far as I can tell, is a good man, a kind and decent man, exactly the sort of man any parents would wish…

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Finding the What Via the Why

Many years ago, I wrote the title story of my first collection, The Least You Need to Know. I remember when the narrative reached a point of resolution, and I sat there knowing something was still missing. I realized I didn’t know why my narrator was telling this particular story. That’s when I heard him…

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Making the Small into Something Large

One of my favorite short stories is “Killings” by Andre Dubus. The major event of the story, the revenge killing of a man who has murdered the main character’s son, is large, but within the narrative that moves to this climax, there are smaller, quieter moments that are equally significant. One such moment occurs in…

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