Category: Writing & Reading

Decision in Ireland

Upper Pasture May 3, 1798 Patrick Hamill stepped his way down the path leading from the upper pastures of the Antrim Mountains. Patrick was a wiry, black-haired youth of 17. He was of medium height, now that his growth spurt had kicked in. He wasn’t solid like his Da or Hugh, his older brother. His…

A Successful Poem

Kick in the Keester

You get what you deserve The anthem of the successful I  earned what I got The poor deserve what they get The self-satisfied pat on one’s own back And the well-deserved kick in the keester for the poor               A contrary view,        

Math And Science Affect How I Think and Write

Restrain considerations to just three basic arrows that all arrows can be created from

When I make an argument or write an essay, it’s math and science that shape my thoughts, much more than the two English classes I took as an undergraduate. Minimal Orthogonal dimensions From vector space theory, construct a set of axioms which span the space of discussion and make those premises independent of each other.…

Champions

Suited man holding a silver cup

The opening notes of the old Queen hit “We Are the Champions” rang out of Amy’s desk. Pushing the project funding graph forward, Amy opened the desk’s bottom drawer to get her cell phone. Her favorite photo of Ryan lit the screen. “Hi, Honey,” she said. “Make it quick, please. It’s only a few minutes…

Motivation for Writing Message Stories

Boy flying by standing on bees

Samuel Taylor Coleridge mentioned the “willing suspension of disbelief” that readers bring to a well-told fantastic tale, inducing them to believe the unbelievable.  Now, it is a commonplace that the reader can be counted on to enter a fictional story ready to accept an initial situation if everything afterwards is sensibly connected to the initial…

Church Clothes

While ‘90s rap played in many houses, while contemporary America bought machines to cook without fire and to clean floors automatically—luxuries and delights beyond the imaginations of pharaohs, kings, and people of early in this century—another task remained beyond technology. Teenagers struggled to escape childhood rules and to make choices sensible to a world unfolding…

Bully

(How does a bully see the world?) “Judy,” my little sister calls to me from across the basement.  “Momma wants to know.  Do you want a sandwich?” I jump back from the basement window, which I’d been watching the backyard.  “Clara, don’t sneak up on me.”  I soften my tone and bite off the end…

Distance. Insight into Show, Don’t Tell

John Gardner in The Art of Fiction described a very useful addition to the discussion about point of view (POV). He called it distance. Distance is a measure of emotional nearness presented to the reader. Understanding distance gives more insight into the constraint that all writers know: “Show. Don’t tell.” Gardner focused on distance with…

Thomas Wolfe’s House

After Biltmore on Saturday, Kris and I went to downtown on Sunday. Thomas Wolfe’s childhood house in Asheville. He populated Look Homeward Angel with characters drawn from the boarding house his mother ran and the town he lived in. After it was published, he didn’t return for years, fearing the reaction the town had to…