The Last One Out

Last week I chaperoned a ninth-grade retreat at Doe River Gorge. As the last post indicated, this wasn’t the first time I’ve spent a couple of days zip-lining, hiking, and rappelling with high school students. Many of the activities were familiar, and it had been a couple of years since my last visit, but my initial intentions were to get to know a completely new group of students and fellow faculty. Still, the familiarity (and a reawakened love of the woods initially instilled by my grandma) fueled my anticipation for activities that my at once old and new boss had lined up for us to do. One was the famous (and aforementioned in the previous post) bonfire and night hike.

10 Books for Writers

One of the best ways to put off writing is to read about it.  And at the same time, we all need to be taught. Continually. Or, perhaps more accurately, as Lewis recalled Dr. Johnson saying, we need to be reminded. In this spirit of procrastination, learning, and remembering, I would like to recommend ten books for writers plus three new ones from my "to read" list.

When You Haven’t Been Writing Much Lately

A few weeks before Christmas, I thanked a friend for posting a blog interview featuring a writer who was also a busy wife and mother. (You can actually access the article here.) The article was truly encouraging, and my friend’s response was meant to be: he asked if I would be interested in being interviewed myself. There was one problem: me. Once more, I was going to have to confess to someone far more successful that I hadn’t been writing lately and therefore wouldn’t be much of an inspiration. As I clicked send, I hoped my brevity wouldn’t reveal the grumpiness and defeat the offer had unwittingly triggered.

A Mad Tea Party (Part One)

One of my favorite stories has become Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. I first met Alice a few summers ago when I learned I would be reading Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There with my eighth graders. Naturally, I thought Alice and I might need to become better acquainted. Sixth months later, I adapted both novels for the stage (with a greater emphasis on Wonderland and a few beloved scenes and characters from Looking-Glass), using Martin Gardner’s annotated version.