creating your own integrity

By Kate / March 31, 2010 /

Stella is on spring break this week, and something about that and the fact that it is surprisingly—strangely—warm outside makes me feel as if I should also be on vacation. I’m not, of course, but things have slowed down for me a bit. One class has ended and the other is winding down, so I…

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teaching, writing and lee

By Kate / March 25, 2010 /

The other night I went to see Chang-rae Lee read and talk about his new novel, The Surrendered. I haven’t read much of his fiction, but I absolutely love his essay “Coming Home Again,” which he was gracious enough to let me use in my Introduction to Creative Nonfiction class at the Loft. I like…

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the power of words

By Kate / March 17, 2010 /

Thank you for your kind comments on yesterday’s post. I’ll keep plugging along, I promise. And because I’m going to keep plugging along, I have a few things to say about how women’s writing is described. So often in our society, writing by a group of people is lumped together and dismissed. This has certainly…

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nine lives

By Kate / March 16, 2010 /

The sun is finally shining here and yesterday was gorgeous, mid-sixties—almost unheard of weather for this time of year in Minnesota. It’s amazing what this does to the way I see the world. Hopefulness bubbles to the surface, escapes through my pours. I start imagining long walks and bike rides and loping, solitary runs during…

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retreat recap

By Kate / March 2, 2010 /

I wrote about arriving at Faith’s Lodge on Friday, about the feeling of that place, the incredible energy there. This energy only intensified, crystallized, as the weekend progressed. The weather was perfect—in the 40s, bright sun, blue sky. (Don’t be afraid of Wisconsin in February!) As we sat in the top floor meeting room, sun…

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the other side of perseverance

By Kate / February 7, 2010 /

Last week, I found myself staring longingly at mail carriers, watching them tromp through the deep snow, doing their rounds. And I thought, I could do that. That could be my job. I’m organized and I’m a perfectionist (though I’ve tried hard not to be). But perfectionism seems like a useful trait in a mail…

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an honor

By Kate / January 20, 2010 /

I have been reading Brevity for years and I’ve dreamt of being published there. The first two pieces I submitted (one in 2004 and one in 2005) were both excerpts of Ready for Air. In each case, I tried to condense a scene or chapter from my memoir into a 750-word essay. It didn’t work.…

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buying time

By Kate / January 7, 2010 /

I finally realized that I can’t juggle everything—teaching and editing and writing and child care and house maintenance—without more time. So starting next week, Stella will be in an extended-day program the three mornings a week that Zoë is in preschool. This essentially means that I’m buying back six of the ten work hours I…

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working, living, and a note about structuring chapters

By Kate / December 8, 2009 /

I thought I should check in about how my writing is going since the serious truncation of my work time. It’s, um, not going. I was on page 156 two weeks ago and I’m still on page 156. It’s clear I’m not going to make my December 31st deadline. I go to the coffee shop…

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fight for preemies

By Kate / November 17, 2009 /

I am half-way through my revision of Ready for Air, which is both exciting and daunting—exciting because retyping it has forced me to cut unnecessary paragraphs, to put pressure on my prose, and to never let the narrative threads slip too far from sight; daunting, of course, because I still have 150 pages to go,…

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