10 tips on writing from the Chronicle of Higher Ed

One of my professors from graduate school posted on her Facebook a link to an article, “10 Tips on How to Write Less Badly,” in the Chronicle of Higher Education.  It’s a strange title, partly because the URL truncates the title to read “10-Tips-on-How-to-Write-Less,” which is precisely the opposite of this article’s purpose:  The tipsContinue reading “10 tips on writing from the Chronicle of Higher Ed”

A Writer’s Notebook: The great outdoors

This is a fairly old-school, simple exercise, but it’s one I keep returning to again and again.  But as usual, more on that below. I’ve never seen the skies in other vast states, like, say, Wyoming or Montana, but I’ve seen skies in California, skies in New York, skies in Wisconsin and Florida. And itContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: The great outdoors”

A Writer’s Notebook: Found dialogue

The following conversation is not one I invented. I made up the characters and the situation, but the dialogue already existed. But I’ll explain below. Jacob smiled and leaned across the table. “It’s terribly funny,” he said. He winked. Sebastian shook his head. “You are pulling my leg.” Jacob only grinned. “You exaggerate!” Sebastian said. “SurelyContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: Found dialogue”

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”