The Beauty of Constraints

The Beauty of Constraints

When I was a high school sophomore, the English teacher said to our class, “Creativity is working within the constraints.” The concept was new to my 15-year-old brain. Wasn’t a constraint something bad, something that held you back? Well, no, that was more like a...
What I Did On My Armchair Time-Travel Vacation

What I Did On My Armchair Time-Travel Vacation

  I’ve been on the road a lot lately. The road is in my head and the destination was suggested by my great-grandma, Mary J. Patterson. In 1893, at the age of nineteen, she boldly boarded a train in Portland, Oregon, and, without a chaperone, traveled to Chicago...
An Exciting Week!

An Exciting Week!

Writing, as a type of work, can have long stretches of days at the desk and/or hunched over research books, striving to finish a project that you hope someone besides yourself will someday read. Nothing seems to move except your fingers. I was moaning about this to my...
Family and Fiction, Part Three-Family Legends

Family and Fiction, Part Three-Family Legends

Every family has its legends. The longer these legends are around, the more embellishments they acquire. In my family, there’s a story about something my maternal grandfather did in Prohibition days that involved his mother-in-law (though she never found out about it...
Get Away From That Desk! Writers and Health

Get Away From That Desk! Writers and Health

A serious occupational hazard of writing (or any desk job) is a decline in health through inactivity. The issue is getting more attention in the media, now that so many folks spend their days glued to screens. Common wisdom about writing rightly expounds on the...

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