Permission to Experiment: One Week at Jack Kerouac School of Writing

Permission to Experiment: One Week at Jack Kerouac School of Writing

Earlier this summer, I attended a week of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. Laird Hunt, author of Neverhome and Kind One, was teaching a class on writing historical fiction which has always been my emphasis. I was looking for something new. Naropa writing programs tend to encourage experimental writing and I was giving myself permission to step outside my comfort zone. That started with...

Read More

List–What I’ve Done in Life

List–What I’ve Done in Life

My daughter-in-law posted this list on Facebook and challenged me to fill out what I’d done. Turned out to be a post that drew more comments than most. I’m not sure why. I thought it was a little silly, especially the part about kissing a lemur, until I realized I’d done quite a few things, except kiss a lemur. Maybe we need to take a silly inventory once in awhile just because–because . . . Couple of things I’d...

Read More

The Gayety of Killing Passengers Pigeons and Other Losses

The Gayety of Killing Passengers Pigeons and Other Losses

Because the last passenger pigeon, named “Martha,” died a hundred years ago, I’m suddenly seeing a lot of commentary about passenger pigeons. In an 1808 journal, quoted in the New Yorker, a woman recalls the “gayety” of pigeon hunting. This was when there were still something like five billion birds left. Yet already she worries that future generations will not know the euphoria that accompanied raising a gun at a...

Read More

We Tell Stories Because We’re Proud!!!

We Tell Stories Because We’re Proud!!!

Went to my son’s latest movie–PLANES. Yes, I say that like he did the whole thing. Actually, I say that like a mother. Ethan Hurd is an animator who has worked on a number of movies–Toy Story 2, Shek, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Madagascar, Bolt, etc. etc. On PLANES  he was an assistant supervisor. That means his name came up in the credits larger than before. Mothers notice things like that. So do dads. Jon elbowed...

Read More

Wine, Laughter, and Good Stories

Wine, Laughter, and Good Stories

I’m on my way out tonight. Dinner with friends. I know how this will go. We will drink a little, eat a lot, and tell stories. At least once during the evening someone will say, “Did I tell you about ____?” I hope we say, “No, not yet,” because the stories that you have to ask if you’ve already told are the ones worth repeating. Dinner with friends equals wine, laughter and good stories. Stories are how we...

Read More

Same Story Except for Mad Men and White Supremacists

Same Story Except for Mad Men and White Supremacists

At dinner with friends, my husband mentioned Mad Men.  He’s been catching up on that old television series. Our friend shook his head. He couldn’t watch that series. There was nothing about the fifties and early sixties that he wanted to relive. The conversation moved on. Maybe it’s a sign of having really moved on because I was home getting dressed for bed before I realized what he meant. He was a black man starting his...

Read More