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Burned Toast

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My brother Craig loved burned toast. At least, he told Mom he did. For the record, I didn’t believe him. I thought he was just currying favor with the chief cook and chauffeur. Well, it worked. He did seem Mom’s favorite. And she did burn a lot of toast. It’s easy to see why now, […]

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Constructing a “Don’t Do” List

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So I’m doing my traditional New Year’s assessment—seeing what got done last year and thinking about what needs to happen in 2020—and I had a thought. Maybe the most important thing is not what I put on my “to do” list but what I leave off. Because, it’s obvious; I can’t get ALL these things […]

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My First Book Reading

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Had my first reading last week. It took place in a small room in a small bookstore with a small crowd (can you call 10 a crowd?). I loved it. I used to tell students that you never know what you have written until a reader tells you. So authors live for reviews and comments. […]

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A Not-So-Timely Update

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OK, so I’ve been neglecting this blog. Why? Well, would you believe writing teachers get writers’ block the same as our students do? Oh, I have excuses, but—truth be told—they’re the same “dog-ate-my-homework” variety I used to get in my classes. Truth is I haven’t come up with any cool ideas—so in lieu of a […]

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Can’t Get Enough of Christmas

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Not even mid-November and stores already decorated for Christmas. But if you think I’m going to complain, think again. You see, I love all things Christmas, even the commercial stuff. If Wal-Mart wants to deck the halls with reds and greens and play “Jingle Bells” in July, I say, “Go for it.” I don’t even […]

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A Ghost Story

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“Come on Mike; you’ve slept through the carnival.” As I tried to clear the cob webs from my brain, my brother Craig’s words seemed to come from a different world. “Let’s go,” he said, “they’ve already started trick or treating.” Still groggy, I scrambled into my costume. I had missed the town’s Halloween Carnival; I […]

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Questions about Blogging

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Tomorrow, I will teach a class about blogging, and I need your help. I want to know why you read blogs. Do you read about topics you like? Do you follow friends? Do you read for information, entertainment, inspiration, all of these? What makes a good blog? New info or insight? Humor? Honesty? What about […]

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Keep Your War Stories

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“Finally, I will have a war story,” I told myself early yesterday. Seriously, all my friends have them—tales of knee replacement, hip and shoulder replacement, ankle replacement (did you know they replace ankles?). These people spin their yarns with all the drama of war veterans, looking admiringly at one another as they explain in detail […]

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Book Signing Drama

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Now that the book signing is over, I’ll let you in on a secret. Half a week ago it looked like there would be no books to sign. Evidently, Hurricane Dorian interrupted service at the Amazon distribution center in Charleston, SC where my books were printed. When I ordered two weeks ago, my delivery date […]