There’s an episode of 30 Rock where protagonist Liz Lemon prepares to host her own TV show for the first time. When word gets out that she’s about to make her TV debut, one friend eyes her closely and says, “TV? Are you sure you didn’t mean radio?” Another frowns and says, “Well, your hair … More When you put yourself out there, you give everyone the right to comment on your hair
Why do we do what we do? It’s usually pretty easy to answer what we’re doing (I’m typing) or how we’re doing it (I’m using a keyboard). But why? Why type these words? Why type them right now? Of course, “why” can probe deeper: Why live there? Why work that job? And deeper: Why stay … More Why I Write
In my first month in Missoula in 2010, I wrote an essay about being new to a place. Now, a few weeks after leaving Missoula and a few days before becoming a newcomer to a completely different place, that essay is appearing in the magazine and on the website of High Country News. I’m delighted to … More An Essay in High Country News
What are your favorite writing quotes, one-liners, and other bits of wisdom? I certainly haven’t encountered them all, but I’ve seen enough to know: there are plenty. And they are often just the nudge I need at some stage of the writing process. Here are a few of my favorite writing quotes and tips. “Beware … More Beware of Strangers with Journals?
Pop quiz about 1990s sit coms! Who was the prime time uncle known for his signature expression “Have mercy!”? If you said Uncle Jesse Katsopolis, you were right. Thanks to Uncle Jesse’s role on Full House, many of us became used to the expression “Have mercy!” Among friends and colleagues here in Missoula, a new … More Taste that Wild Mercy
On the first day of a writing seminar I’m taking this semester, we were asked to introduce ourselves by sharing a six-word memoir (or at least a six-word statement about the self). The idea, popularized by Smith Magazine, makes a fun exercise to try again and again. How much can we express in six words? … More Wrote Packers Essay. Goal? Meet Aaron.
I was 16 years old with 4 years’ worth of journals stacked at my bedside before I first read Mae West’s observation: “Keep a diary, and one day it will keep you.” I’ve kept a diary for almost 14 years now, and I think of West’s quote every time I consult an old journal: sometimes, … More One Day It Will Keep You