Blog

little girl on a staircase of books

The Best Legacies: A Love of Reading and Invitations to Imagine

Learning to Read and Imagine My mother and my older sister, Sue, instilled in me a love for reading and an appreciation of the power and pleasure found in imagination. Mom read to me a lot from picture books such as The Pokey Little Puppy—a favorite because I loved dogs so much—and others such as Little Black, a Pony, and Big Red and Little Black. My sister, Sue, four years my senior, read to me regularly. My favorite books included The Little Green Frog, Little Women, and the Little House on the Prairie series. Like most children who have someone

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snail crossing road

Covid-19 and the Contagion of Caremongering

I figure infectious disease researchers and organizations like the WHO and the CDC are more in the know than the armchair quarterbacks staking a claim in one camp or another on social media. We are living in scary times. But something pretty neat is happening too. Perhaps you’ve noticed.

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Why a “Bad” Choice Can Be the Best Decision

Life’s Templates My life has never fit standard templates. So, I have always trusted my gut when making decisions. Many of my worst choices, according to most standards, became my best decisions. That’s because they rarely adhered to rules or templates about what, when, and how one should do things. When we “should” all over one another, we build traps and cages for one another. We need to stop that because the best lives are spent exploring myriad roads. That’s how we discover our passions, our gifts, and our purposes.  I dropped out of high school in the 11th grade. 

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Wine & Words 2019 Comes to an End

Today Sara, Shannin, and I head home from our Wine & Words Writing Treat in Branson, Missouri. We’ve had a lovely and productive time since we arrived on Wednesday. Each of us tackled a range of writing and work related projects ranging from a scholarly article on “Pretty Little Liars” to freshman composition syllabuses. We “pommed” religiously, more or less, in keeping with the practice we’ve established through our Facebook writing group called Write-ins for Academics. “Pomming” is the term we use to describe our way of keeping our butts in the chair when writing. It’s a tried and true method of

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Wine & Words Writing Retreat 2019

  Wine and Words Writing Retreat 2019 is underway in Branson, Missouri! My friends/colleagues, Sara and Shannin, and I–English professors all–are snugly tucked away in a log cabin in the Ozarks for the next couple of days to write. What could be more delicious? We arrived around 4:30 this afternoon. Each of us came from a different direction. After unloading food, luggage, books, and computers, we poured glasses of wine and spent a couple of hours catching up. Shannin and I are colleagues at the same university; Sara defected to another university a couple of years ago. Our loss, to

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The Dance: Why the Pain of Losing a Pet Is Worth It

“Looking back on the memory of the dance we shared…” Garth Brooks’ much-loved song “The Dance” reminds us that the best things in life sometimes lead to painful endings. The song is about a person who realizes what he would have had to miss to avoid the pain often associated with the end of a relationship. Today, the song was on my mind for other reasons. This morning, my s.o. Alan’s beloved Australian Shepherd/Border Collie cross, Topper, who’d worked his way into my heart to a degree I never imagined possible, crossed the rainbow bridge. He was 14, give or

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