How Much I Love a Good Story

May 12, 2017 | Tags:, , , , ,  | Comments Closed

Has anyone ever written a story just for you? Or have you ever read something and thought, oh, that’s just what I needed? I’m currently marking student work, third year creative writing dissertations and second year creative responses to a field trip in Córdoba, and I feel so lucky, so spoiled. I’m grateful, first, that I get to read creative writing as a core task of my job as a university lecturer. Second, I’m grateful to my students for their hard work, for understanding how much I love a good story.

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Maybe You Want to Take a Walk?

April 15, 2017 | Comments Closed

So many of my friends are struggling. One lost his job, another tried to hurt herself and ended up in hospital. One friend’s father died recently, another has so much anxiety he has trouble stepping out his front door. Many of my friends are also doing well, but it seems like this spring has been particularly tough. Today, I went walking with a friend. We shared stories of past struggles, how we’d both made it through parting with husbands and lovers, raising children, finding friends and earning money. We walked … More »

Don’t Even Get in the Door

August 13, 2016 | Tags:, , , ,  | 2 Comments

A gorgeous back patio in Brighton watching the sunset with a sleepy cat, this is where I am now. I’ve spent the entire day at the beach, and I’m in that pleasant moment of I’ve been in the sun but now I’m showered and lotioned and relaxed. One of my favourite kinds of moments. I don’t understand it, though, because I’m here, and my friends are elsewhere, several of them struggling with health or money or grief, and the ones who aren’t struggling are just not here, so I miss … More »

The Door to Face the World

May 27, 2016 | 1 Comment

My daughter and I went to the cinema tonight to see Alice Through the Looking Glass. Alice of the game Alice Madness was my daughter’s namesake for more than a year, a placeholder while she was figuring out how to move from ‘Daniel’ into ‘Morgan’, the young woman she is today. Morgan is in England with me for a month, my first visitor from the States. I feel whole with her here, and I hadn’t even realized how thin, how skeletal I’d felt before she arrived. My entire life, I’ve been held … More »

Noise of the World

March 23, 2016 | Comments Closed

The flags, one for the US, one for the UK, are flying at half-mast today at Harlaxton. Stephanie, an archaeology student from University of Evansville died yesterday due to complications of a long-term illness. This morning, the principal gave an address in lieu of lecture, speaking of Stephanie’s time at Harlaxton and offering thoughts from one of her favorite authors, JRR Tolkien. When someone dies young, it is shocking and painful. I didn’t know Stephanie, but from the stories I heard last night on the soft brown leather sofa in … More »