Word by Word

Creating myself one word at a time.

Old letters

When I was in the fifth grade, my class took a field trip. Well, we took a few, but there was one that stuck with me. My family was living in Grand Forks, North Dakota, where my father was stationed at the Air Force base. There was a local hero in Grand Forks and the …

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Anne Lamott“Try not to feel sorry for yourselves when you find the going hard and lonely. You seem to want to write, so write. You are lucky to be one of those people who wishes to build sand castles with words, willing to create a place where your imagination can wander.”

Anne Lamott

**This will be my motto through the coming months of NaNoWriMo. Here is to shitty first drafts!

September 27, 2013

This is the continuation of a series of blogs looking back on the books that made an impression on me in my youth. By the time I went off to college in 19…, well the year doesn’t really matter, I’d already read a fair number of books considered classics. You know the lineup: “Anna Karenina,” …

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I knew very little about the life of Charles Lindbergh and his wife, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, before “The Aviator’s Wife.” I had, as a child, seen the Spirit of St. Louis at the Smithsonian museum. My father is a pilot and we spent many hours in the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum. I had even …

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I thought I would tell a little tale in honor of the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week. In 8th grade I was lucky enough to be library aide for one period during my school day. Yes, that’s right, I spent my days putting protective sleeves on paperbacks, shelving books and reading the new selections …

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Dialogue image

I talk—a lot. Just ask my husband. He would agree. I talk at work. I talk to my previously mentioned spouse. I talk to my children. I talk to my mother, sister, and father. I talk to my dog, some might say more than is healthy. I even talk to some inanimate objects. I also …

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Family in tent

I love history. There are many things about studying history that I love. One thing I love is trying to grasp where humanity as been, understanding the way events and knowledge work together. My love of history has married with my love of creative writing, which is why I tend to write historical fiction. In …

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“How do I know what I think until I see what I say?”–E.M. Forster


By Dora Carrington (1893–1932) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

September 20, 2013

If you’re of a certain age, say about 30 to 35 years-old, there is only one Anne Shirley. She looks a lot like the actress Megan Follows. There were two movies made when I was a young girl: Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea. I was about six or seven when the first …

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September 14, 2013

My son is now in Kindergarten. This week his first school book order arrived. He had poured over the book order forms and placed an “x” next to each item he wanted. When he brought his new books out for me to see, he cradled them in his hands like something fragile. My heart swelled.


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