Reading

If you want to find a good read, go to a writing conference.  Writers, I have learned, are jittery about their own books. As often as not, we struggle to tell you what our books are about or why we fell in love with our own stories enough to spend days, months, and years writing them. But as soon as… READ MORE >>

When I was a teenager, working in the garden numbed my brain with boredom. I could not understand how my mother spent hours and days pulling weeds and clipping dead branches. I loved the beauty of the place and went to the roses to talk to her often, but I could only do the work… READ MORE >>

Every summer about this time, I remember the libraries have programs for reading with prizes to encourage reading. My mom tells me I began doing this in the card catalog days of my grade school years, and most summers I've remembered to sign my kids up before the end of July. (The libraries are always generous and let… READ MORE >>

The other day my son said, "You know you've got a LOT of books on writing on your bookshelf. Have you read all of those?" Mostly, I told him. (He wasn't particularly impressed -- just astounded that I could stay focused for that long on reading books about putting words on paper.) And he doesn't even… READ MORE >>

Creative Beginnings: Part One

This month I'd like to start a series on creative beginnings. It's not very original. January is a time for beginning a new year and resolutions and what not. But I am taking the excuse of a new calendar on my wall to reimagine my writing and my work by looking at what other creative… READ MORE >>

As I painted my son's ceilings over spring break, I listened to the the radio streaming from my computer in the next room. A piece came on about our brains and the effects of skimming material while surfing the Internet in our Information Age. Maryanne Wolf, a cognitive neuroscientist at Tufts University, said that we have… READ MORE >>

Bookmares

Lately, I've felt traumatized by books. Two of the books I was able to stop reading when they upset me. I didn't care enough about the characters to make myself read any more about teenagers doing drugs and blowing up their lives or risk running into another scene like the botched horse euthanasia that I… READ MORE >>

Reading with My Ears

My sister Mary recently told me about listening to Snow Falling on Cedars with her 14 year old son. He needed to finish an abundance of school assigned reading and had fallen behind, so she checked out the CD's for the long holiday drive to his grandmother's house. "I didn't remember the sex scenes from… READ MORE >>