Category Archives: writing

This Social Distance

I didn’t know there was a name for my quirky lifestyle. Practical logistics dictated by our choice to move to a distinctly rural and reasonably remote area in the spring of 2001 amplified the tendency to social distance, but I’ve … Continue reading

Posted in home, working from home, writing | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

On Not Riding

At a writing workshop I attended back in 1998, our instructor, Marita Golden, urged vigilance against opening a door in an essay if we didn’t intend to lead readers through it at some point. In other words, don’t distract your … Continue reading

Posted in animal communication, horses, writing | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

On Not Writing

The classic, and in some ways definitive, advice on writing is this line by Mary Heaton Vorse, as chronicled by Sinclair Lewis: “The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of … Continue reading

Posted in procrastination, scientific literacy, writing | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

Vacation Reflections

Well, vacations—both the planned of July and the unplanned of August—are over: time to get back to writing work. What better way to get back into the routine than to reflect on the break? About not writing in August, there’s … Continue reading

Posted in observation, trees and plants, wildflowers, writing | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

July Vacation

This morning began with work on a blog post I’ve had in mind since sometime in May. I took a batch of pictures for it on the first of June, and finally started writing this morning, running late but determined … Continue reading

Posted in color, summer, trees and plants, wildflowers, writing | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Best Tip for Getting Out of Your Head

After weeks of grinding away on a recalcitrant chapter for my book project, I am dazed, cranky, frustrated, and thoroughly sick of being in the same room with myself. Deciding that it’s time to get out of my own head, … Continue reading

Posted in books, reading, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Leaving Words at Home

I often say I write about my home place, but that’s not true all the time. The book project currently consuming my writing energy, for example, is about scientific literacy. (Though it might far afield from the natural history and … Continue reading

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Windbreak Anniversary

About a decade ago, on the afternoon of October 12, 2007, I turned off South Dakota’s Highway 79 a few miles south of the small town of Hermosa, onto a road called Windbreak Lane. In January of that year I … Continue reading

Posted in learning, poetry, reading, writing | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Packing for the Trip

First things first: I am not a poet. As I mentioned in my last post, my writerly sensibilities are suited to essays, and that’s where I’ve long staked my claim. If I were to pursue poetry again, I suspect the … Continue reading

Posted in poetry, travel, writing | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Writing Short

I recently dipped my toe into the sub-genre of so-called “flash” or “micro” nonfiction, the defining characteristic of which is an abbreviated word count. I regularly write blog posts in the 700-900 word range, which qualify as flash nonfiction under … Continue reading

Posted in observation, poetry, writing | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments