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To My Son

After 9/11,  children had fears adults could not qualm.  My son was one of those children.  At that time, I wrote this poem.  I’ve reworked some of it–a poem is never finished–and post it now in thoughtful sorrow, mostly for the families of Sandy Hook but also for all families who have felt the shock […]

The Happy Masons

One occupational hazard of the writing business is that a person can get weird spending so much time wandering around in the imagination or fiddling with this word or that.  Not surprisingly, therefore, writers develop techniques to fight off the weirdness when it descends.   So I search for the perfect anti-weird medicine, a way to […]

Plato and Blogs

Plato apparently distrusted the written word.  He feared philosophical learning that relied on writing because one cannot ask questions of or engage in conversation with the author.  Therefore, some say, Plato would argue that one cannot learn from the written word.

Hmmmm.  When I teach writing my first observation is that writing is the outward and […]

My Tiny Trail

Today I am reaching deep into the archives for this poem, written way back in middle school:


I make a tiny trail in the vastness of eternity

Like the tracks of the sandpiper in the sand beside the sea.

The tides of people will come in and wash my tracks away.

And all I ask of you, my friend, […]

Boys on the Brain

This just in:  Scientists have discovered that the majority of human female brains contain genetic material that is found only on the Y chromosome.  This material is not there when the female is born.  Somehow it arrives later, and the assumption is that this occurs when the female is pregnant with a male fetus.

Once again, […]

Hate the Library?

Today I went to the library, not to check out anything or even to do research but simply to find a quiet place to work.  I am lucky that a five minute walk takes me to a shaded university campus and its large, musty-smelling library.  The minute I walked in the door and inhaled, I […]

The Checklist

I post today to honor my flying father-in-law who recently suffered a heart attack while prepping his aerobatics plane for flight.  He is recovering nicely, thank you, and we are grateful that “feeling right” was one of the checklist items last Saturday.  This comes from an old file, as you can see.


I learned about checklists […]

How to Tell What Music Is Good Music

I am lucky in that I have an interior music-o-meter according to which I can reliably determine what music is good music.   Good music will always register soundly (ha ha) on one of its three settings.

Setting one is “Dance.”  If the music makes me want to dance, it is irrefutably good music.  An interesting dance […]

Why do I write?

Two days ago as I was making the bed, I was mulling this question.  Between tucking the sheets and fluffing the pillows, I had inspiration after inspiration.  My ideas were incandescent.  I told myself that as soon as I tossed on the throw pillows, I would write it all down in my pink notebook.

But I […]


Today I bought a new notebook.  I plan to write in it often.  Not every day, but often.  And not organized pieces, just random thoughts and ideas.   This is a very ambitious plan for me.  Doing anything regularly seems almost impossible in the crazy quilt of my life.  So the notebook I chose is pink […]