Viewing: appreciation

Sep 27

September 27, 2015

When Reading Saved My Life

I was a special guest at an event last week, the 30th anniversary celebration for our local adult literacy program. The non-profit Alameda Reads teaches immigrants and adult learners how to read and write in English. As part of the celebration, several of the participants read a short piece about an event in their lives. For some, it was the first piece of creative writing they had ever done. It was an honor to hear them reading, in front of…

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Sep 13

September 13, 2015

How is This Possible? Coincidences and Other Disasters

I spend a lot of my time howling the cosmic yawp into the blue beyond. It looks, to mortal eyes, like I’m making lunch and beating a deadline and running errands and remembering to put out the trash cans. But I assure you, a goodly portion of every day is given over to caterwauling (mostly in my inside voice but not always) on the WHY of everyday living. The WHY of how did we get here? The WHY of how…

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Sep 7

September 7, 2015

Shelf-Sitters Anonymous

First things first: Say “shelf-sitters” three times. Fast. Do it. You said self-shitters, didn’t you? You did. I know it. What is a shelf-sitter? It’s a term I have heard used only once in my life, but appropriated and used, at least in my mind, ever since. In third grade, Miss Ellis had a list of books we were to check out from the library on our once-weekly visit: An autobiography. A non-fiction book. A book about an animal. A…

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Jun 15

June 15, 2015

The Ugly Truth: Sins of the Forefathers

A few years ago I picked up a book at the library because of its intriguing cover and title. It was Edward Ball’s Slaves in the Family. I read about Ball’s exploration of his roots, delving deeply into his family’s history as slave owners, discovering the ugly truth in his own backyard, as it were. When I finished reading this devastating portrait of Ball’s own family, it took weeks before I could read anything else. My mind was full of…

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May 25

May 25, 2015

Book Review: On Writing (Stephen King)

You’d think I had other things to do, but I just reread this how-to and wanted to share some thoughts while they were still fresh in my mind. I’m a great re-reader of books (see last Monday’s blog), and needed a kick in the pants this month to get me back on track with my revisions. Herewith, my review of SK’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. Stephen King began writing his book on the craft of writing to…

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