on Read a Book Day

I love swimming, but I have crappy breath control. When I was training regularly, it embarrassed me: I breathe every third arm-motion, which for a swimmer is like panting hard when strolling around your block. With focus and intention, I could get up towards five strokes, but real swimmers breathe once a length. Pay attention […]


One of the biggest surprises in this research was learning that fitting in and belonging are not the same thing. In fact, fitting in is one of the greatest barriers to belonging. Fitting in is about assessing a situation and becoming who you need to be in order to be accepted. Belonging, on the other […]

Workshop magic

Our speculations about Shakespeare are almost as multifarious and foolish as our speculations about the maker of the universe[…]. The itch for personally knowing authors torments most of us; we feel that if we could somehow get at the man himself, we should obtain more help and satisfaction from him than from his chosen self-revelation. […]

Write it now

In contrast to long-term memory, working or short-term memory is severely limited in the number of words, phrases, or “chunks” of material that it can hold simultaneously (Baddeley, 1986). With space for only five to nine chunks, the component of working memory serves as a limitation as well as a resource to writers. –R.T. Kellogg […]


I have just finished poet Mary Oliver’s A Thousand Mornings while eating a bag of beet and sweet potato chips. It is the most nonchalant I’ve been with poems since I can’t remember when. I may have been going about poem-reading incorrectly. I checked this volume out of the library maybe a month ago. A book […]

Leaves, rinds, and scraps

Today’s start feels a little more routine. I must be acquiring one, then, if I’m prompted to say that-! For the past two days or so, my brain has been consumed with what I just realized is impostor syndrome overlaid with genuine logistical fuzziness. You see, on Saturday I’m teaching outdoor skills for Girl Scout […]

Stripped to the bone

Writers must be able to represent their inner experience, feeling, beliefs, and attitudes such that they can then be shared and understood in a public forum. Forging the relationship between personal and consensual symbols is difficult and may never be completely successful. This is the crux of the challenge facing each writer. –R. T. Kellogg, […]

Another set of guide-lines

I’m home again, which I enjoy as much as going away. And I’m feeling dragged out, which could be due to having one less hour of sleep, or could be a mild ‘welcome home’ backlash…a biorhythmic version of my cat walking away from me for the first hour after I’d been gone for a couple […]

What we repeatedly do

Is it not a good jest that when God gave us work to do as punishment for our disobedience in Eden, it was work that could never be finished, but only repeated, day in and day out, season upon season, year after year? Acedia & Me p195 Early this morning, in my first swim toward […]

Widening the circle

[A]s the public sphere becomes increasingly chaotic and threatening, what we think of as freedom consists of retreat and insularity. Acedia & Me p125 I’m interleaving my thinking about Acedia & Me with reading Quiet, by Susan Cain. I just finished Cain’s discussion of how highly-reactive (-sensitive) people are often introverted — to damp down […]