Fleshing Out Characters

When a story gets stuck, I try to see it as an invitation. Amid the frustration, I seek what I have missed. What central element have I bypassed in this story that makes it tick slower, slower, slow until it halts? Often for me, the culprit is the undeveloped character. I plan the story and... Continue Reading →

A Quick Post Today: We Aren’t Our Writing

I had a good reminder yesterday. The UWC network has been running a series of webinars these past few weeks from alumni, teachers, National Committee representatives, bringing the community together for discussions and presentations. It's been incredible, seeing the community come alive in this way--I've never felt so connected to the larger UWC network, one... Continue Reading →

Anatomy of a Metaphor

An update Three days after my last post, it was announced the school would close. We are sending students home. Last week's heartbreak is compounded. On Wednesday, we celebrated an early Graduation for the second-years. Each day since then, our numbers have been whittling. There are some students who cannot go home. Borders open up... Continue Reading →

How Writing Shapes Our Thoughts

I wrote five letters of recommendation for students in the wake of Christmas. Five good students. Five iterations on a form. Five attempts to capture the standout. Five people to reflect upon. I'm not sure I've met a teacher who enjoys writing recommendation letters, although perhaps I just assume. We smile graciously when asked. "I... 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 →

Short Stories in Naples

On Thursday morning, at the patisserie Poppella, I wrote this in my journal: I'm so overwhelmed by Naples. It's so busy. I feel like I'll be trampled when I walk on the street. Everything is dirty. Garbage is all over the streets. I'm afraid to take out my computer. I'm afraid someone will take it.... Continue Reading →

Authenticity–what is it really?

My husband's and my goal for this summer was to settle: to root ourselves in a place for a length of time, to get to know it well, to accustom ourselves to some new surroundings, to avoid the pellmell back and forth of place-to-place travel, to focus, to breathe, to find some deeper sense of... Continue Reading →

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