Lately I am thinking of contingency. Standing in her office, my editor reminded me that writing is a job just as ditch-digging is. The ditch must be dug. Must not also the writing be written? She is right, of course. The ditch-digger goes to work and digs her ditch; so must the writer go to … More Contingencies

Two Questions

The text had two questions, the first from the daughter, who is ten: “Are you related to Robert Louis Stevenson?” And the second from the mother, who is old enough to be a mother: “(The Daughter) is reciting her most favorite tomorrow… ‘The Swing.’ I’ve been coaching her to try to recite it without the … More Two Questions


Yes, this is a familiar feeling. I recognize it– and I don’t like it. I would imagine, too, that it’s almost universal: that sense of having a deadline, Something Due, and so everything else must wait, or take a back seat to it, anyway. Of course, deadlines are helpful. Even necessary. I have talked about … More Familiar


We have a cat. Her name is Minnie, and we’ve had her for fourteen years– longer than we’ve been parents, longer than we’ve lived in North Carolina, almost as long as we’ve been married. She is a Very Sweet Cat. I think rescued animals are often sweet, because they are, by and large, grateful. Minnie … More Minnie

Favorite Photo

Here’s a favorite photo: Emma Grace with her Oji-San, my dad, just after she has helped him peel potatoes. I think they both look so pleased. Don’t you think they look pleased? Emma Grace is wearing the vest my mother crocheted for her in the car during their drive to our house. She made me … More Favorite Photo