Longleaf Stories

full circle in the hundred acre wood

Most of the time reading about writing is just lofty-sounding procrastination, a deep dive into craft or inspiration that stalls facing a blank page or (worse) a rewrite. Nonetheless, here are ten of my favorites that give me courage — if not to high-dive without a net — to proceed in a workmanlike way and …

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The online class I’m taking through Creative Nonfiction calls on participants to write a minimum 300 word piece each day (Monday – Friday) and a 1,000-word piece that can be separate and new or culled and compiled from the week’s work.  It’s a 10-week course: 2 down, 8 to go. Worth it, in case you’re …

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The good old boys deep in these panhandle Florida pine woods couldn’t wait until 11:59 to kick up a fuss.  It’s only 9:15 when I hear the first muffled whumps and booms of roman candles, aerial repeaters and shells, and firecrackers.  When I step outside I feel a frisson of electricity in the air and hear the …

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I return to Natalie Goldberg’s seminal work, Writing Down the Bones, every year or two. I don’t like to let it get too far away. She eases me back into the seam of honest writing quicker than any magic writing hat ever could. Today is one of those days when I’ve been dipping back into Writing Down the Bones and …

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How do you select the next book you’re going to read? I’m at a stage of life where, in theory, I can spend all day and all night, too, if I want, tossing back bon-bons and reading books for pleasure. I’m retired from working for other people, don’t have any kids, have a healthy self …

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I think I finally  get  the “less is more” exhortation. “Show, don’t tell” is easy to understand, if hard to do.  “Less is more” sounds like an effort to be content with something other than what you really want. The phrase has a hipster hollowness. It’s become cliché code for down-sizing. But when Buck wrote the …

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My penchant for kosher salt is sprinkled all over the plate.  This is the essence of a plebeian Monday supper: farm-raised catfish (gasp) from our local Publix grocery store, a sliced tomato, and turnip greens dipped from the quart container we take out once a week from a phoned-in order to the local Cracker Barrel. …

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