Radio Silence

I know the blog has been remarkably quiet lately. There are many reasons for this, including the children being off of preschool and school for about three weeks, the swirl of holiday engagements, and a pile-up of writing assignments (which is a good problem to have). Add to all of these a serious funk about …

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Notebooks

I keep a notebook for my ideas of what to write. Actually, I keep notebooks (plural), virtual (Evernote) and physical. Fragments of what I write rest in so many places. I cannot corral my words even when I try too. None of my notebooks are even close to full. Blank pages dominate my frenetic handwriting. Each notebook …

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An ornate hand mirror in a field of yellow flowers

Self-Respect

“I faced myself that day with the nonplussed apprehension of someone who has come across a vampire with no crucifix in hand,” Joan Didion, “On Self-Respect,” 1961. Recently, I had a low week (which turned into weeks), in which every bad decision, failing, and the general wrong turns weighed upon me. I was left unhappy, brittle, and …

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On Writing and Selling Out

“Writers are always selling somebody out,” Joan Didion explains in the opening pages of Slouching Toward Bethlehem. These words clawed at me days after reading them in December. Now months later, the words still scratch at me when I begin to write. Didion’s words give me pause as I start new columns and projects. Do writers, implicitly or …

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Academic Motherhood

I wrote this piece over three years ago when  my daughter was two years old. It was my attempt to work through my conflicting relationship between my academic work and parenting. I wanted to document how I always felt torn between my desire to be a “good” mother and a “good” academic. I felt I …

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