Posted on | April 13, 2014 | No Comments
Garage sale! offers?
Posted on | April 12, 2014 | No Comments
If you’ve been hoping to get a free book I’m sorry to disappoint you – they’ve all gone now. But you can find them on Amazon.com!
Posted on | March 31, 2014 | 7 Comments
If you’d like a copy, signed by me, of Write Your Memoir just respond to this post with a comment. The first four replies will get a FREE copy. US post only! Just let me have an address and how you’d like it inscribed.
Posted on | March 29, 2014 | 1 Comment
Posted on | March 11, 2014 | No Comments
The act of reflecting on our lives is best accomplished by reflecting, first, on the lives of others and seeing what we can learn from them.
Since the lives of others take many decades to unfold, the very finest way to understand the human situation is to read stories about the way others have chosen to live.
That is why we study literature.
Posted on | February 22, 2014 | No Comments
Life asks us to play, and if that means the living room looks like a disaster zone after a few minutes that’s perfectly OK. It just goes to show that adults have stopped knowing how to play properly. It’s your job to teach them.
Sometimes the wrapping paper and cardboard box really are much more exciting that what’s inside.
Loud noises are scary. But anything that even comes half way close to being music is magic.
Wonder is everywhere.
Join in. It doesn’t matter if you can’t actually speak yet. You can still make encouraging sounds and be part of the conversation.
Tents are fun. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Posted on | February 16, 2014 | 2 Comments
So what is it we teach when we teach literature? What is it that we convey when we engage in discussions about books or encourage our students to write their own stories and poems? What do we allow them to explore when we teach Memoir?
I’ll call all of these activities by the same term, the Study of Literature, since they are all linked.
All literature is predicated on one thing – that the characters or narrators in the stories encounter struggles and then have to choose whether or not to face them. It would be fair to say that literature is therefore implicitly concerned with the virtue of courage – that virtue without which no others can exist. Whether it’s Emily Dickinson asking us to take the step of sharing her unusual view of the world, and risk the puzzled looks of our neighbors, or if it’s Odysseus refusing to give up in his quest to get home, courage is at the core of literature. Reading about it, talking about it, we grow our own courage.
In the outside world we don’t have too much opportunity to examine courage, and see whether or not we’ll actually live up to those standards. And increasingly most of us don’t. We act out of self-interest and expediency. We do tend to play safe – with the exception of the bungee-jumping thrill junkies who think that extreme sports are the same thing as moral courage, as “doing the right thing”. They are not the same thing.
Courage – thoughtful, considered, unselfish actions that are about choosing the humane path – is in short supply in our modern world. Literature can help us grow this virtue.
And that is just one reason to consider literature as a vital area of study for all people, everywhere.
Posted on | January 22, 2014 | No Comments
About a week ago I had the great privilege of being interview by Philip Mereton on his radio show, www.conversationsbeyondscienceandreligion.com . The podcast is now available and you can also access his site for other fascinating interviews… These links should get you there.
Posted on | December 29, 2013 | 2 Comments
You don’t have to respond to someone just because they call your name and want you to do something.
You don’t have to smile on demand.
You don’t have to be what anyone wants or expects you to be.
You don’t have to perform.
Love the people you trust. Trust is a feeling, not a calculation. Ask for what you want.
The people who are paying attention will understand what you mean right away, long before you have to shed tears.
Be you. Everyone who is paying attention to life will love that you’re being you and will become more themselves as a result.
Those who don’t get it won’t get it, ever.
Posted on | December 13, 2013 | No Comments
Has anyone made the link? School shootings are a way that very confused people take out their rage on others. It’s like bullying, only more so. Those who are bullied tend to be the ones who resort to the guns. So if we’re looking for a “cause” and if we actually want to try to reduce the number of school shootings (14 this year since Sandy Hook), or prevent Mall shootings, then we have to go right back to thinking about the causes of child abuse, and ways abused children respond to it.
Child abuse happens when parents are absent or not parenting well, and when children aren’t loved or are exploited.
So yes: I believe that “family values” may need some help in this country. The phrase should not be used as a slogan for a political party that then spectacularly fails to support working class families.keep looking »