#3 of TEN, TIMES CHANGE

I began writing this on Tuesday, three days ago, and you won't read it until Friday morning. It was a chilling, damp morning but we walked north to the headland, zig-zagging back home. We spotted the little shore birds on our way north, found sea glass walking both directions (35 pieces by the time you … Continue reading #3 of TEN, TIMES CHANGE

#2 EXERCISE: DEBRIEF

2. The monster sentence. Begin with a simple short sentence—“I baked bread”—subject verb object—and then turn it into a “monster sentence” of at least 100 words. This exercise is straight out of Stanley Fish's playbook. Use every trick you know to ensure that the sentence is grammatically correct and not a run-on, use long dashes … Continue reading #2 EXERCISE: DEBRIEF

[no] EVACUATION

On Wednesdays, the local coastal alarm system broadcasts a cow mooing. This is followed by a man explaining it's only a test. It's impossible to ignore, sounding loud even inside the house. The system exists to warn about potential danger, especially tsunamis. During a genuine emergency, we would first hear a siren and then receive … Continue reading [no] EVACUATION

#2 of TEN SENTENCE EXERCISES

Writing Good Nonfiction Sentences… one exercise each Friday. First the necessary introduction. NOTE: several of these exercises are inspired by How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One by Stanley Fish, Steering the Craft by Ursula K. Le Guin, and other sources. A good essay has a goal—to convince, delight, enlighten, instruct, warn, or to review and question. … Continue reading #2 of TEN SENTENCE EXERCISES

#1 EXERCISE: DEBRIEF

REFLECTION: My nonsense rewriting of Lewis Carroll was tricky only because auto-correct kept fixing my words to make them sensible. I left all the ordinary words—articles and prepositions—while doing my best to watch Carroll's verbs, nouns, and adjectives. The sensible version was much harder. I went to RhymeZone.com to hunt for my last word. The … Continue reading #1 EXERCISE: DEBRIEF

#1 of TEN SENTENCE EXERCISES

Writing Good Nonfiction Sentences… one assignment each Friday. NOTE: several of these exercises are inspired by How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One by Stanley Fish, Steering the Craft by Ursula K. Le Guin, and other sources. A good essay has a goal—to convince, delight, enlighten, instruct, warn, or to review and question. … Continue reading #1 of TEN SENTENCE EXERCISES

HOME TURF

Many years ago a famous author commented about the sloppy appearance of women in Washington State, where I went to public schools, Kindergarten through three undergrad degrees. She also talked about Puget Sound, using terminology appropriate to the East coast. Both comments irritated me, but non-locals talking about my corner of the natural world is … Continue reading HOME TURF