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On History and Life

What’s your road trip style?

What kind of road-tripper are you? Different people define ‘road trip’ in different ways. Whatever your definition, you’ll get no judgment from me. I support all kinds of road trips! Which of these road trip styles looks best to you? 1. Day trips from a vacation home...

Memoirs: Week 4

The memoir mine: spiritual experiences Put "spiritual memoir" in the Amazon search window, and you'll find more than 8,000 results. They cover a broad range of religious and spiritual experience, from stories of meeting Jesus to the spiritual journeys of Zen masters...

Memoirs: Week 3

Memoir mine: Creating your memoir experience Can you create your own memoir experience? Millions of readers shared the experience of Frances Mayes as she fell in love with Italian food and rebuilt a rundown Italian farmhouse. Under the Tuscan Sun, her memoir, topped...

Memoirs: Week 2

The memoir mine: Social and cultural issues All of us grew up somewhere. That somewhere included a social and cultural setting. For me, the tiny berg of Moose Pass, Alaska deeply influenced my first dozen years. Insular, yet inherently limiting, Moose Pass was home...

Memoirs: Week 1

Memoirs: Week 1

The memoir mine: family history Every three or four years my sister and I take a family history trip together. We've visited the tiny Idaho town where our dad was born, and met a woman who knew his grandparents. In England we tramped through dozens of cemeteries,...

Story Inspiration: Nature all around us

Image from Canva.com Artists of all kinds find inspiration in the natural world. They include painters like Van Gogh, photographers like Ansel Adams (and many since), and writers of poetry, essays, fiction, and more. An Esquire article last year claims we are living...

Story Inspiration: Food, glorious food!

Story Inspiration: Food, glorious food!

Chocolate and strawberries. (Image from Canva.com) Author Joanne Harris spent her earliest years living above her grandparents’ sweet shop in Yorkshire. She spent her girlhood summers with her French grandparents in Brittany. Small wonder that she contrived a magical...

Memoirs: Week 4

The memoir mine: spiritual experiences Put "spiritual memoir" in the Amazon search window, and you'll find more than 8,000 results. They cover a broad range of religious and spiritual experience, from stories of meeting Jesus to the spiritual journeys of Zen masters...

Story Inspiration: Nature all around us

Image from Canva.com Artists of all kinds find inspiration in the natural world. They include painters like Van Gogh, photographers like Ansel Adams (and many since), and writers of poetry, essays, fiction, and more. An Esquire article last year claims we are living...

Story Inspiration: Music, the universal language

A Harvard study published last year in the journal Science concluded what many have long assumed to be true: music is universal. Every society uses music, and it may inspire us to dance, worship, relax, or cry.  But how can it inspire us to write? I turned to...

Memoirs: Week 3

Memoir mine: Creating your memoir experience Can you create your own memoir experience? Millions of readers shared the experience of Frances Mayes as she fell in love with Italian food and rebuilt a rundown Italian farmhouse. Under the Tuscan Sun, her memoir, topped...

Story Inspiration: Food, glorious food!

Chocolate and strawberries. (Image from Canva.com) Author Joanne Harris spent her earliest years living above her grandparents’ sweet shop in Yorkshire. She spent her girlhood summers with her French grandparents in Brittany. Small wonder that she contrived a magical...

4 ways to survive the perpetual disappointments of 2020

Yesterday I received another disappointment--an email canceling the last in a long string of events I planned to attend this year. Same for you? Only a family Christmas gathering was left. Then my daughter called in tears to let me know her husband could not travel...

Memoirs: Week 2

The memoir mine: Social and cultural issues All of us grew up somewhere. That somewhere included a social and cultural setting. For me, the tiny berg of Moose Pass, Alaska deeply influenced my first dozen years. Insular, yet inherently limiting, Moose Pass was home...

Five road trip essentials during a pandemic

Here’s the new road trip playbook, thanks to Coronavirus.

What’s your road trip style?

What kind of road-tripper are you? Different people define ‘road trip’ in different ways. Whatever your definition, you’ll get no judgment from me. I support all kinds of road trips! Which of these road trip styles looks best to you? 1. Day trips from a vacation home...

Memoirs: Week 1

The memoir mine: family history Every three or four years my sister and I take a family history trip together. We've visited the tiny Idaho town where our dad was born, and met a woman who knew his grandparents. In England we tramped through dozens of cemeteries,...