Grandpa’s guitar.

October 28, 2012 § 10 Comments

The first guitar in my life was an arch-top Harmony I visited on occasional weekends. It belonged to Grandpa and stood in a dark corner of my grandparent’s living room.

In my memory, my grandfather was a taciturn, disappointed man, but in an earlier time, Grandpa and his brothers had had a dance band called “Carl Fogelin and the Nighthawk Ramblers.”

The days of playing local fire halls were long past when my sister and I used to put the guitar across our laps and pull out the pick that was always woven between the strings.

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The mirror.

October 21, 2012 § 16 Comments

Who am I?

I am the self I see mirrored in your eyes.

I am smart, and incredibly stupid.

Petty and magnanimous.

I am both wonderful and a genuine waste of skin.

Like water I assume the shape of the vessel into which I am poured.

And that vessel is your opinion. I can’t be alone in this.

We love falling in love, in part because the mirror held up at those times is the kindest, the most favorable. We will never be more beautiful, witty, smart, or thrilling—nor will they.

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Because I teach.

October 9, 2012 § 8 Comments

As a writer for young readers I make author visits to schools.

I’m about to spend two weeks in Orlando and Miami as an ambassador from the world of books.

But, at least in my case,  that word “author” could be replaced with the word, “teacher.”

I will be afforded a luxury the recognized teachers in those schools may not get, which is to turn kids on to the joy of storytelling, and get even the most reluctant among them to write.

When it comes to credentials, I’m a backdoor teacher. The only official-looking piece of paper I can hold up is a diploma from the Rhode Island school of Design where I majored in sculpture.

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The wall and the web.

October 4, 2012 § 4 Comments

Sinister rumblings in the publishing world predict the death of the printed book any day now.

Many readers take this death personally.

“I like the feel of paper.”

“I like curling up with a book and turning the pages.”

But there is something else dying, of which the passing of the printed book is emblematic.

A familiar way of thought, the very lens through which we view the world is vanishing because the printed book is more than the feel and smell of paper, more than crisp black type on a stiff white page.

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Where Am I?

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