Bird by Bird – Tips for Life

One of my favorite books on writing is Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird. This was one of the first books about writing that I ever read, probably in my early teens, and it was only when I re-read it in the last year or so that I realized how much the advice in this book has shaped not only my writing but also how I approach life. Lamott is not just a writer but also teaches writing professionally, and much…

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A Food Lover’s Thoughts on Fasting and Feasting

This article was originally published in The Catholic News Herald of the diocese of Charlotte The Lord truly invited us to enter fully into the desert this Lent. And perhaps it has been a consoling blessing that this crisis happened when it did, right as we entered into this penitential season. Hopefully it has been an opportunity to deepen our prayer lives, reflecting more fully on the Lenten fasts we had already chosen to adopt. In modern rhetoric, fasting can refer to…

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Isolation Update: Art During Crisis

The last few weeks I have been making some serious headway on my novel-in-progress, and it’s felt pretty good. But in those last few weeks I have also had a few emotional mini-crises while reading the news and thinking about the state of the world and what the future might look like, and I have had to stop and ask myself, “What’s the point? Should I really be spending my time working on a silly novel right now? Should I…

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What I Read: October 2019

Please note: I have intentionally decided not to include Amazon links (unless something is available exclusively on Amazon). Instead, if you are interested in reading any of the books I mention, I encourage you to check out your local library or independent bookstore. These places (and the communities around them) need your support, and they are generally quite willing to order any book if they don’t currently have it in stock. However, if Amazon is still the more practical choice…

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When Time Touches Eternity

In his book The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis writes, “For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity… He [God] would therefore have them continually concerned either with eternity (which means being concerned with Him) or with the Present — either meditating on the eternal union with, or separation from, Himself, or else obeying the present voice of conscience, bearing the present cross, receiving the present grace, giving thanks for the present pleasure.” I am very bad at…

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What I Read: July 2019

Please note: I have intentionally decided not to include Amazon links (unless something is available exclusively on Amazon). Instead, if you are interested in reading any of the books I mention, I encourage you to check out your local library or independent bookstore. These places (and the communities around them) need your support, and they are generally quite willing to order any book if they don’t currently have it in stock. However, if Amazon is still the more practical choice…

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Beach Bodies, Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

I love the beach, but perhaps not for the exact same reasons that other people do. Yes, the sun and water and sand are all lovely. The sound of the ocean persistently crashing against the shore is indeed the most soothing of melodies. And salt water is really great for my hair. However, one of my favorite things about going to the beach, or even to a neighborhood pool, is witnessing the beauty and diversity in the forms of human…

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Little Gods; or, Why I Finally Deleted Pinterest

In my most recent Social Media purge, I finally deleted my account with Pinterest, the glorified visual Search Engine. I can’t even tell you how many Boards or Pins I had saved on there over the years, because it was too painful to even take a last look before making the final deletion. Now, the final straw proved to be political and moral reasons, which prompted me to permanently delete my account; their censorship and data-tracking practices weren’t something that…

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What I Read: May 2019

Please note: I have intentionally decided not to include Amazon links (unless something is available exclusively on Amazon). Instead, if you are interested in reading any of the books I mention, I encourage you to check out your local library or independent bookstore. These places (and the communities around them) need your support, and they are generally quite willing to order any book if they don’t currently have it in stock. However, if Amazon is still the more practical choice…

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What I Read: March 2019

Please note: I have intentionally decided not to include Amazon links (unless something is available exclusively on Amazon). Instead, if you are interested in reading any of the books I mention, I encourage you to check out your local library or independent bookstore. These places (and the communities around them) need your support, and they are generally quite willing to order any book if they don’t currently have it in stock. However, if Amazon is still the more practical choice…

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