Writing Lessons #2: Sparrows

(The prompt for this week is surroundings and we were encouraged to focus on one aspect of nature as it relates to the story.  I chose sparrows.) Out the back gate, across the farmer’s field and into the woods I go in search of the child, knowing that she comes here frequently, alone, despite the […]

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On the Anniversary of Your Death

I write to you often.  Does earthly mail even translate into the afterlife, I wonder.  The distance between us, I find, only leaves me with more questions.  Perhaps this is the byproduct of objectivity. It’s been twelve years, Dad, and so many things have changed, and yet, still the after shocks of your presence continue.  […]

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Dancing In Heaven

“I’m in trouble!”  My sister’s voice was weak but charged with panic.  “Help me!” “What have you done?” She’d locked us all out of her apartment that weekend; said she was tired of being sick, tired of people hovering over her.  She wanted to be independent. Reluctantly, we gave her space.  I’d held my breath […]

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Developing Intuition

Making sense of chaos is difficult for young minds, and yet, often necessary for survival.  I could not have recited the list of causes for my family’s particular brand of dysfunction, I just knew from an early age that I needed to be on guard.  So I developed what I called ‘body radar’. My parents […]

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“Hillbilly Elegy” Worth a Read

J.D. Vance grew up in white working-class America, with roots in Kentucky.    His memoir is an examination of what happens when substance abuse, rampant unemployment, and lack of parental stability strips children of the perspective to strive for better in their lives. Although Vance did rise above his tumultuous beginnings and graduated from Yale Law, […]

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“Beautiful Affliction” Resonates

The riddle closes in.  I can hear its heavy footsteps, echoing in my ears.  The dark brings out that which the day hides. (Excerpt from Beautiful Affliction) Lene Fogelberg knows what it is like to live with an undiagnosed medical condition and to be turned away time and again from doctors.  In Beautiful Affliction she […]

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Tired of the Same Old Endings

“I’ve started to write short stories again – something I haven’t done since I was a kid.” “How’s that going?” “It’s disturbing, actually; the endings are the same even after all these years.” “Like what?” “Me in a straitjacket, completely mad.” “Oh, I see!” As do I – there are never happy endings, just a […]

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