Saturday, March 23, 2019

Two Sides of the Same Coin

December 7, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Writing Practice

I’ve been watching with growing dismay as the headlines about the euro crisis grow steadily more dire. The economics blogs I follow are predicting years of stagnation in Europe as a best case scenario for the resolution of the crisis. Their worst case scenarios include widespread economic depression and misery, blood in the streets, and […]

Déjà Vu: Banana Republic Edition

August 1, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Lifewriting, Writing Practice

The last time I lived here in Brazil (as opposed to just visiting for a couple of weeks), the country was in the middle of a slow-motion train wreck. This was 1991. Incompetent leadership and corruption had caused inflation to escalate from around 40% per annum in the early 1980s to 40% a MONTH by […]

I Said, You Said

July 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Writing Practice

In her research for her new book, Leila Levinson was surprised how the veterans she interviewed often switched to using the second person “you” as they talked of their experiences…. I’ve been reading Gated Grief by fellow Austinite, university English professor and friend Leila Levinson. Ultimately it’s a warmly reassuring read, even as it’s far […]

Not What You Planned

July 21, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Writing Practice

There’s an urgency to your writing, knowing friends are anxious to read your disaster reports. It’s not what you planned, but you’re writing… You have sabbatical year ahead of you with ample time for writing. You’ve found the perfect place to stay on a quiet street, with a writing table near an upper-story window overlooking […]

On the Meaning of Home, an Interview with Barbara Gates

September 12, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog, Writing Practice

My hometown of Christchurch, New Zealand, has just experienced a massive earthquake. Though no lives were lost, many thousands of homes were seriously damaged, hundreds to the point of being likely teardowns. Reading the news about the devastation and talking to family in New Zealand, I remembered my conversation with Buddhist writer Barbara Gates captured […]

Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir

June 28, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog, Writing Practice

Recently I had the great good fortune to hear writer Natalie Goldberg speak when she visited Austin for a book signing. Goldberg was here at the end of a book tour to promote the recently released paperback edition of her latest book, Old Friend from Far Away: the practice of writing memoir. I bought copies […]

A Practice for the Days You Eat

May 28, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog, Writing Practice

I’ve always looked on the task of cooking the evening meal for my family as a meditative exercise that separates the outward-directed activity of the workday from the hearth-centered conviviality of the evening. Though the day-to-day family meals I cook are not often works of culinary virtuosity, they are usually balanced, varied, and tasty (at […]

Finding Consolation

March 13, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog, Writing Practice

The blue-covered booklet of stories, neatly bound with blue ribbon, stood facing us from a handsome carved wood book stand on the dais of St. John Neumann Church in Austin, one bright fall day in November. We were gathered there for the funeral of Mildred Declerck. Just two weeks earlier, Mildred had been a member […]