Is there a word for that?

My older daughter is a real entomophobe, and she protested by loud wailings my choice of subject for yesterday’s painting. I had said “dragonfly” and so I agreed that it did sound scary. Is “damselfly” more charming? They are, in fact, two different types of creatures in the order Odonata. But maybe they occupy a…

Emotions as little gods

I like to think of literature and the creative writing process itself as a type of habitat for emotions. We can reserve a space of quiet, practice the discipline of gardeners, and protect our observational vantage points from those who might disturb the sanctuary. But does anyone know where an emotion comes from or where…

Effortful effortlessness

I know, that’s backwards. It’s usually “effortless effort,” the Zen approach to living. But I think it may be more realistic and compassionate to say that putting in a focused effort upfront pays off in the practice of most things. One of my friends asked me when I’m going to add “watercolorist” to my profile…

Shortened sail

Ghost stories and river imagery blew a few gusts in our free-write group yesterday afternoon. Among the paper coffee cups and notebooks, the lyric conversation turned to silent sketching of scenes and memories. Better than candy. The writing prompt I offered was a quote from "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving, a beautiful…