“It’s a real privilege to have talented friends”

Back in spring of 2015, I was looking for fresh material to bring into my composition classroom, and I happened to have a batch of students who were itching to break out of the essay rut and write in response to some literature. So I shared some widely-anthologized essays and some interesting editorials from major newspapers, but … More “It’s a real privilege to have talented friends”

A Writer’s Notebook: first lines for essays

My creative nonfiction class is working on an exercise this weekend. I’ve got them doing the map-making exercise from Bill Roorbach’s Writing Life Stories, but I’ve done that one here on the blog before. It’s worth doing again (and again, and again), but I promised them I’d share my writing from the exercise we did … More A Writer’s Notebook: first lines for essays

A Writer’s Notebook: Bill Roorbach’s bad advice

Yes, I missed last week’s Notebook. Skipped, more like, but my wife was newly arrived from two months overseas, so I forgive myself and I trust you will too. Besides, this week (as I’d intended to do last week), I’m using an exercise from Bill Roorbach’s newly-minted “Bad Advice” series over at the blog he … More A Writer’s Notebook: Bill Roorbach’s bad advice

Reading and writing: a beginning, and no end in sight!

Just wanted to quickly share two blog posts, which by happy accident I happened to read almost back to back today. The first is from Odds ‘N Ends (aka Mary’s Little Blog), in which a mother recounts helping her son learn to read and write. More importantly, the post focuses on the first time her … More Reading and writing: a beginning, and no end in sight!