Writing your thoughts down in private is a nifty way to discover what you think, especially if you’re puzzling through something complicated or emotionally charged. Recording events lets you relive them with a double ownership. Putting the words on paper or typing them letter by letter focuses your attention into concrete expression, and at the same time, it frees the mind to go racing ahead toward the next idea. It’s at once liberating and therapeutic.
By contrast, reading a journal can be a mixed… Continue reading
I picture him there with his cigar ashes, his coffee, and his crumby sheets, and I know I couldn’t do that. I need a certain degree of order around me in order to be productive, and though I’m a seat-of-the-pantser in terms of plot, that doesn’t mean I’m without systems. If you’re a writer, too, you might find the following organizing tips helpful.
- Plan time to write. Many writers have a writing routine, like so many hours a day, or word counts. It… Continue reading
Sometimes my writing takes me to a strange place where the normal world drops away and I’m dealing with an abstract, dream-like landscape. Artistically, it should be intriguing, but honestly, it’s a very uncomfortable place to be. I fear my readers will be confused, or that I’m cheating by letting images stand in place of more conventional explanations. I have to hold my own hand for courage and dip my toe off the cliff into gray, weightless space.
We’ve been playing games pretty much nonstop here for days, pausing only for sandwiches, truffles, and Swedish fish. My family relishes involved board or card games. I love how they bring out our personalities. Patient sons who kindly explain rules to me, often repeatedly, can also be quite ruthless distributing curses. Couples tend to team up, or arrange nice trades for each other, and nobody ever throws the board anymore.
Here are some of our favorite games. For the record, we’re all ages 21 and up, but these games would… Continue reading
As we speed through the shortest day of the year, I’m looking up and enjoying the low-riding sunlight. I like to think about how our planet is spinning to the east at a thousand miles an hour, fast enough for each time zone, one by one, to crest through sunrise into the light. The wintery air feels like the coolness of outer space right here in my back yard, pressing against my storm windows, while inside, the old heat of the sun resurfaces as the… Continue reading