The First Rule

The First Rule

12-16-07 | The first rule of writing is to use fewer words than you think you need to. I violate this rule every time I put my fingers on the keyboard.

Without a Net

Without a Net

12-13-07 | Last month, the day before Thanksgiving, I was pumping gas into my car, or trying to, anyway. After a few tries, the gizmo still wasn’t working. I was annoyed. I turned to step over the hose and head into the station to get an attendant. Suddenly I heard an eerie sound: it sounded just like the thwack! of a baseball and bat making contact.

The Hard Part

The Hard Part

12-4-07 | I’ve just spent a week, more or less, doing what is for me the hardest part of writing: starting.

More Real Than Real

More Real Than Real

11-30-07 | One summer, when I was a kid (maybe seven, or eight) I read Fred Gipson’s 1956 classic Old Yeller. When I got to the end, when Travis Coates has to shoot his beloved dog, I cried and cried.

The Art of Kindness

The Art of Kindness

11-20-07 | “Musician, mentor, friend.” That was the headline of a story in the Nov. 14 edition of the Rochester, NY Democrat & Chronicle. The story continued: “Noted as a scholar and a gentleman . . . the late Alfred Mann is credited with bringing attention to early music. As brilliant as he was in his field, Mann also was gifted in the art of kindness.”

On Nineteen

On Nineteen

11-12-07 | I remember 19 very well: it is a potent threshold, a time shimmering with the halo of possibility. If you can keep that halo alive, then in a very real way, you’re always nineteen.

The Folly and Wisdom of Nineteen

The Folly and Wisdom of Nineteen

11-9-07 | When I was nineteen, I was offered a position as composition instructor at a university. To my dad, a musicologist and college professor, this must have seemed a dream come true.

Those Three Little Words

Those Three Little Words

10-31-07 | For years I have believed that the most empowering thing one can do is to freely declare, “I was wrong.” I believe this is one of those acts that can elevate one’s character and ennoble one’s life as almost nothing else can. ¶ Why is it we cling so ardently to being right?

Another Lesson from My Mom

Another Lesson from My Mom

10-6-07 | I’ve had more response from my last post, “Lessons from My Mom on Staying Young Forever,” than just about any other post I’ve written.

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