Fresh out of college, I visited my older sister, a ceramic artist teaching in West Virginia. She beckoned me to her yard to see her latest creation—a six-foot oblong curved shape, slightly hollow in the center. It was unlike anything I’d seen, and yet also strangely familiar. “It’s beautiful,” I said. She beamed, and walked over to another shelf, picking up a piece of wood, weathered and shined by time. “It was inspired by this,” she said, “that you gave me.” I didn’t remember this remnant…Continue
I didn’t seek this one out. I had all kinds of ideas for books, but this wasn’t one of them. Plus, I had several books-in-progress stewing: a memoir about traveling with and homeschooling my son, a collection of essays, a novel, a book of poems . . . a messy pot, with never enough time for cooking.
But when Gordon Haber’s research plane crashed into the mountains in Denali National Park, I dropped the pot. Gordon had studied the wolves of Denali and northeastern Alaska for over four…Continue
A recent book review in the New York Times began with this: “No subject offers a greater opportunity for terrible writing than motherhood.”
That review reminds me that writing about mothering is just like mothering itself – fraught with judgement, whether it’s from family or neighbors or the media. It’s right up there with education as media’s go-to when we’re not in the midst of an election or scandal or disaster or tragedy.
And so, at the Associated Writing Program’s annual…Continue
I'll be joined by Hope Edelman, Kate Hopper, and Caroline Grant at AWP in Boston on Saturday, March 9 for our panel presentation and lively discussion of "My Son is Perfect: How to Write (Honestly) About Your Own Kids." I came up with the idea for this panel because this is something I've struggled with. My kid - I adore him - and when he was little, well, I thought he was - perfect. So, how to write honestly? Space. Closeness and Distance. Come to our panel, or stay tuned here for more.…Continue