The Bowl Split

I nipped into the ceramics room during my free block the other day, flipped the kiln on so the temperature would show--24 degrees. I flipped it off. I'd left my two bowls at the bottom of the kiln, quick glazed them up last week after five hours of oral exams, until at last I could... Continue Reading →

Morning Thank-yous

I didn't sleep well last night. Some kind of heartburn, that luckily I experience only rarely, kept jolting me awake, and water, an extra pillow, and antacid pills couldn't keep it still. So it is sometimes, these unexpected little annoyances of life, and today I am tired, and a bit frustrated with political machinations at... Continue Reading →

Reading Bashō, remapping genre

Following the example of the ancient priest who is said to have travelled thousands of miles caring naught for his provisions and attaining the state of sheer ecstasy under the pure beams of the moon, I left my broken house on the River Sumida in the August of the first year of Jyōkyō among the... Continue Reading →

Dialogue #3: Dialect

This post comes third in our series on dialogue. To read the first post about the dialogue's three basic forms or last week's discussion of realistic dialogue, click these links. This week, we'll look at how characters' spoken dialects might be rendered in fiction, the effects these different portrayals might have on readers, and the... Continue Reading →

First days of school, and a quick post

Sunset above Denmark. Summer is done for me. A week of workshops with colleagues, a week's orientation for new students. The fjord is bursting now with a world-full of teenagers, and they have come loaded down with suitcases and nerves, excitement and their blue-toothed boomboxes, their overwhelmed emails, overwhelming excitement, their homesickness, fledgling independence, their... Continue Reading →

Old City: a visit to Pompeii

When the train doors open, we can already feel the heat. Nine forty-five, cloudless sky, the second heatwave of the summer sliding leisurely through Europe. We are spending the day in Pompeii. We've taken the train over from Naples, six euros for the express with air conditioning, three euros for the slow train. Last night,... Continue Reading →

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