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On Schopenhauer and a rooster

On Schopenhauer and a rooster

I’ve written before about the poignancy of regret in “I Want to Live!,” a story that manages to weave the nineteenth-century German philosopher Schopenhauer’s ideas around a bantam rooster named Mr. Barnes. 

 

And this year's Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction goes to...

And this year's Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction goes to...

As a former winner of the Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction, I've had the privilege of serving as one of the judges for several years. My "work" is reading stacks of southern novels, and attending the luncheon and reception in New York, honoring the authors. 

One Soldier's Life

One Soldier's Life

He worried his mother would have too much pride to take his pension, but wrote to his sister, "She might as well have it. I know plenty mothers getting it who has twenty dollars to mother's one." 

I See Dead People

I See Dead People

When my grandmother died a few years ago, she left behind her own mother's trunk, filled with photographs (some of them dating from the mid 1800s), stacks of old postcards, a few tragic telegrams, and a letter signed by J. Edgar Hoover about my missing great-aunt, who'd run off to California.  

 

On Writing: Keeping It Sharp & Vivid

On Writing: Keeping It Sharp & Vivid

Metaphor, simile, details-- these are not just tools for the poet. The best journalists, essayists, novelists-- know how avoid clichés (like the plague...ha!) and use sharp details to create vivid pictures. I love coming across these beauties when I read. Here are some favorites: 

On Revision: Putting the Pieces Together

On Revision: Putting the Pieces Together

When I remember how ferocious revising can be– that it’s tearing down, peeling away, sanding, brushing off, discovering–I can get the real work done. It’s a comfort to know revision is re-visioning, casting a new light on your draft, seeing new connections.