why i write

I’m drawn to the essay’s fluid form. I love both writing and reading essays. But, not all essays. I’m attracted to certain minds, Joanne Beard, Lauren Slater, Phillip Lopate, Leslie Jamison, Jessica Hendry Nelson, Brett Lott, Dinty Moore—I could go on. So many wonderful writers working in what has become known as the fourth genre these days.

I love writing essays because an essayist gets to have opinions. She writes her musings on movies, literature, friendship, family, history, travel. Yet, few essayists stay inside any particular narrow place. Essayists meander. But not off the subject. Always, there is a thread, and that thread is the writer’s mind— the reason a reader follows the writer on her journey. In school settings, the essay is usually broken into pieces: argument, persuasion, personal, analytical, personal, memoir—when really the essay is all of those pieces. and more…



  • Auvillar’s Secret – finalist Tiferet Journal, 2016 Writing Contest
  • Houses – Nominated for Best Of The Net, 2014; nominated for Pushcart Prize (published in Ascent)
  • Pilgrimage – Short Nonfiction Award finalist, 2014 Maine Literary Awards (published in Ploughshares)
  • Hiding – Notable Essay, Best American Essays 2013 (published in Ascent)
  • Circling My Father – Winner Michael Steinberg Essay award 2010 (published in Fourth Genre)


featured post

Trusting Me With Her Words

I’ve been helping my granddaughter with her mini college essays, two hundred words, two hundred and fifty words, honored that she has chosen to trust me with her words. I praise her strong sentences, her interesting approach to the prompt. She’s a good writer—a good student, and she’s easy to teach. All I need to say is, “Look at these two sentences. What repeats? Can you pare them down to one?” Or “This kind of jumbles. Take a piece of scrap paper, and write down your thoughts.” We get to her final sentence. “Blah Blah College would give me the ...
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