Patrons of writing and teaching: My grandfather, Ted Snoek

Ordinarily, I reserve the “patrons” entries for divine and/or fictional influences on my writing and teaching. But today I want to write about a real, living person, because today is my grandfather’s 90th birthday. My grandfather, Ted Snoek, has had a profound influence on my professional life. His father died fairly young, when my grandfatherContinue reading “Patrons of writing and teaching: My grandfather, Ted Snoek”

A Writer’s Notebook: Capt. Snoek, the elder: Adventures at sea with Ted Snoek’s father (Pt. 2)

Today, we’re we should have been on our way home from the Netherlands (see the note at the bottom), so I’ll conclude the story of my great-grandfather and return to other writing exercises next week.  As with last week’s entry, I’m still working from the basic interview-storytelling exercise I mentioned in the first “Capt. Snoek”Continue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: Capt. Snoek, the elder: Adventures at sea with Ted Snoek’s father (Pt. 2)”

A Writer’s Notebook: Capt. Snoek, the elder: Adventures at sea with Ted Snoek’s father (Pt. 1)

Because we’re in the Netherlands, land of my ancestors, I thought I’d continue the story of my great-grandfather William Karel Snoek, Sr., who left his home in Hoorn, Holland at the age of 12 and took to a life at sea.  There is no new exercise this week, though–I’m still working from the basic interview-storytellingContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: Capt. Snoek, the elder: Adventures at sea with Ted Snoek’s father (Pt. 1)”

A Writer’s Notebook: The salty but true story of the origins of one Capt. Ted Snoek

I thought I’d try my hand at some non-fiction this week, though I confess this is not my forte.  For the reason I’ve engaged this genre–and, as always, for the exercise itself–see below. I come from a line of seamen. My father, and my father’s father, and my father’s father’s father-in-law, all were captains ofContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: The salty but true story of the origins of one Capt. Ted Snoek”

The Captain’s shoes

About eight months ago, my paternal grandfather died. I’ve written about him on the blog before; just look for any posts about Capt. Ted Snoek. He was 95 years old when he moved on, and his memorial service drew a wonderful crowd. My family invited me to speak at the service. I wrote a pieceContinue reading “The Captain’s shoes”

New publication

This summer, one of my primary writing projects has been composing new short stories related to my Civil War novel, Hagridden. Each story involves a minor character or two from the novel, people who have some important moments in the book but are definitely supporting characters to the main narrative; in these stories, those folksContinue reading “New publication”

A Writer’s Notebook: more of Beth Locke’s “A Louisiana Girl”

This is more of my grandmother’s story. The year is 1945. My grandmother, Beth Locke, has just turned 20, and she works at the nearby Navy base, where troops are returning from the war. (I think you see where this is headed….) Along about this time, my social life was at a complete standstill. I hadContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: more of Beth Locke’s “A Louisiana Girl””