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My mother may have been the first American practitioner of feng shui. Before this ancient Chinese philosophy of bringing harmony to the home by moving furniture and other objects to create a balance – sort of an external chi thing – became popular among the trendy, New Age, upper-class, my mother was moving things around our home to restore balance and harmony. During the 1950’s when I was still in grade school, my...

Often, when I teach fiction writing workshops, I feel a bit like a guy peddling fortune cookies, each with a classic saw about craft inside. Show, don’t tell . . . Put your character in a tree and throw rocks at them . . . A problem with endings is a problem with beginnings. My students nod kindly. Many of them are science majors, taking a detour into humanities (or more often fulfilling a requirement) and they take notes, as if they plan on returning to these sage pearls of wisdom...

blog - food

To me, the only real pleasure in life is food. I remember as a child my math Ph.D. father watching in horror as his daughter was far more interested in cooking shows than any math workbook he tried to pass onto me as fun. I spent my allowance money on...

Fan fiction is the red-headed stepchild of the writing world.  It searches for a home among reputable houses but, walking that fine line between plagiarism and hackneyed parody, it’s forced to live in the leaky, damp cardboard box in the dank and dingy alley outside, hoping tonight’s trash yields more than banana peels and half-burnt muffins for dinner.  The fact that it’s directly responsible for such...

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