Under Pressure: A Writing Prompt

There comes a time when writers are overwhelmed either by the circumstances of their personal lives, their jobs, or the challenges of the writing itself. Today, I’m thinking particularly of those of us who teach because, as is usually the case this time of year, I’m swamped. I won’t list everything I have to do—after…

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Characters and Pressure

My wife Cathy has spent this weekend canning and freezing: blackberry jam, bread and butter pickles, and corn. I’ve lent a hand: toting, shucking, mashing, cleaning. My mother spent her summers preserving food, so it’s a nostalgic thing for me to listen to the jar lids popping as they seal, the hot jars cooling, the…

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It’s Time: Prose and the Ticking Clock

Once again, we’ve reached the season for setting our clocks forward an hour and entering daylight saving time. Just like that, we jump ahead with that hour of our lives to be recovered in the autumn when we go back to standard time. This jump ahead, which brings us longer light, isn’t without its challenges.…

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Struggle and Empathy

We’re nearing the middle of January, which means the end of the month is in sight.  Given the challenges of the pandemic, I thought it interesting to revisit this post from a year ago. A native Midwesterner, I’ve always thought of winter as an endurance test, and each signpost along the way—the end of January,…

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