WEIRD teaching, WEIRD students*

This article in Pacific Standard, “We Aren’t the World,” by Ethan Watters, is absolutely fascinating. And I’m grateful for the way Watters boils down the VERY complicated science that Joe Henrich, Steven Heine, and Ara Norenzayan are engaged in, because their arguments are such powerful challenges to the foundations of cultural psychology that we peonsContinue reading “WEIRD teaching, WEIRD students*”

Louisiana research trip: the numbers (and the end)

To wrap up my posts about the trip and the research and my book, I thought I’d share some numbers. My trip lasted 10 days, including 2 days of travel. In those 10 days, I visited: 8 specific locations connected with events in my novel 2 wildlife refuges, where I walked 3 trails (I walkedContinue reading “Louisiana research trip: the numbers (and the end)”

Louisiana research trip: the people

In Louisiana, I had the terrific good fortune to meet with some wonderful people. The librarians and staff at the Cameron Parish Library and the Calcasieu Parish Public Library, in particular, deserve more praise than I can offer for their patience and help during my trip. I also am tremendously grateful for the volunteers atContinue reading “Louisiana research trip: the people”

Louisiana research trip: the bibliography

People who’ve been reading this blog for years will know the score. Way, WAY back in 2009 (that’s, like, two generations ago in blog years), I started the first draft of my Civil War-era novel set down in Louisiana. And even though the story itself isn’t true, there were so many historical facts and regionalContinue reading “Louisiana research trip: the bibliography”

Louisiana research trip: the photos

What follows is a series of photos — just some of the photos I took — from my trip to southwest Louisiana to research the final details of my Civil War novel, Hagridden. While my book isn’t strictly, solely historical, it is set in a certain historical and regional reality, and what details echo historyContinue reading “Louisiana research trip: the photos”

Louisiana research trip: the beginning

A couple of weeks ago, during the last ten days of March, I used the funds from my Oregon Literary Fellowship to travel to southwest Louisiana to research the final details of my Civil War novel, Hagridden. I stayed in Cameron and travelled all over the region, visiting libraries and wildlife refuges, touring museums andContinue reading “Louisiana research trip: the beginning”

I’ve just received an Oregon Literary Fellowship

I can hardly believe I’m typing this. Every time I look at the letter, which I received in the mail last Thursday, I have to read the first paragraph two or three times just to make sure it’s real. But it’s true: I’ve been awarded an Oregon Literary Fellowship. This is huge news. This is momentous:Continue reading “I’ve just received an Oregon Literary Fellowship”

Research tip #7: Check the map

So, I’ve finished a wholesale revision and final(ish) edit on my Civil War novel, the first draft of which started me on my whole “Researching for fiction” series a couple of years ago. And in the process of working over that text, I came across another aspect of research I’ve long been aware of butContinue reading “Research tip #7: Check the map”

Hatfields & McCoys & scapegoats & baptisms

(UPDATE — 8-31-2014: I mentioned while writing this series of posts that I was revising my Civil War novel at the time and was watching this miniseries for atmosphere. That novel I was revising is Hagridden, and it’s out now from Columbus Press. If you like this miniseries, you might like that novel. Click here for moreContinue reading “Hatfields & McCoys & scapegoats & baptisms”