I once asked my writing class, which was attached to a course in communication, to identify themselves as Republican, Democrat, or Independent, group up, then write a description of their party—the values that united them. Then I asked them to write a description of what the other groups believed. When they were finished, they […]
If you grew up with Walt Kelly’s comic strip, Pogo, you know the image above became the icon of the age. Americans acknowledging the mess they’d made of the world. This is part of a strip published on Earth Day, 1971. Today we need another such image of the mess we’re making of our democracy. […]
In browsing through old blogs, I came across this “bogey” tale which seems particularly apt for today. Friend and author, Priscilla Long, who writes a fascinating column in the American Scholar, shares this story by author, Brian Doyle, on the origin of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Findings – Summer 2006 Findings: A Bogey Tale […]
As promised last week, here is the second part of the short story begun in last week’s blog—a writer’s view of the Sixties turmoil that, according to Ezra Klein and others, opened the split in the nation’s psyche. As I said before, these stories later became a part of my second novel, THE […]
After weeks of writing of the conflicts engulfing America, it’s time for an antidote. Though I think END OF THE RACE is a story of redemption, Leif Enger’s PEACE LIKE A RIVER is a powerful dose of good medicine. An elixir, like breathing deeply of enduring love. Rather than trying, and failing, to convey a […]
Are we all so caught up in mobocracy we can’t change course? Is hatred really so much fun?
We enter Alice Hoffman’s Illumination Night through the eyes of Simon, stretching to gaze out of his window on a hot summer morning. Simple details give us Simon’s four-year-old world—his room, his mother in the kitchen, his father out […]
Browsing through my notes, I came across this dialogue exercise I wrote for a class many years ago. It’s not nearly the level of Tony Fuhrman’s poem, but it seems singularly appropriate to the level of social and political scene today. […]
Wishing you a peaceful holiday and a New Year with lots of reading time!
I watch the Ferguson protests and feel very old, very frustrated, and very discouraged. I watched the same explosions and protests in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. The same explosion of despair and rage, the same fear and panic, the same, the same, the same. A lot has changed. Huge numbers of […]
This week we voted. Not really. Washington State now has mail in- ballots, so the sense of community action is lost—among other things. I found the picture above, labeled, “Presidential Election, 2016,” in the midst of hundreds exploding in the red, white, and blue celebration of the day. Grim and gray, it expressed […]
My apologies to anyone trying to read my blog in the last couple of weeks. We were having technical difficulties and it took a while to solve them. Also, I’ve been off to writer conventions—The Pacific Northwest Writers Association in Seattle and the Chanticleer Reviews in Bellingham—getting refueled. My own latest book, Home Fires, was […]