Monthly Archives: June 2015

“But, like most families, they imagined they were special.”

What makes this family special? Anne Tyler provides this list: They thought their uncanny ability to keep their dogs alive for eons set them apart, as did their fierce disapproval of any adults who wear jeans, and their air of … Continue reading

Posted in fiction | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

“The first key fact is that attention is limited.”

Pay attention! Isn’t that the first step to. . . well. . . just about everything? It turns out, however, that most of us are terrible judges of how well we can focus. We tend to think that we can … Continue reading

Posted in non-fiction, Pedagogy | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“However carved up or pared down we get, we keep on making the best of it…”

An extra punch — which distinguishes the extraordinary poetry of Kay Ryan — hits us in the title poem in this collection, “The Best of It.” At first, it seems that she’s telling us to make do, but then the … Continue reading

Posted in poetry | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

“We are just going to take this bird by bird.”

From the scores of books on writing that I’ve used over the last twenty years, the one piece of advice that floats to the top most frequently comes from this book. Author Anne Lamott tells the story about the time … Continue reading

Posted in non-fiction | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment