Skeletons, Ghosts, and Shadows

If you wish to be a writer, write.                                        — EpictetusOn Saturday, I went to a workshop on writing children’s picture books. The teacher was Barbara Bottner, truly the rock star diva of pictures and truly a […]

Words to Write By

Writing is related to character. If your values are sound, your writing will be sound. It all begins with intention. Figure out what you want to do and how you want to do it, and work your way with humanity and integrity to the completed article. From On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William […]

Speaking of Language, Cross-Referenced to Value-Added

Some item writers love multiple-choice language items; some hate them. I pitch my tent in the former category. Several years ago, I wrote all of the language items (writing conventions and writing strategies) that appeared on multiple parallel forms of a statewide high school exit examination.  Language items may be either standalone or passage-dependent. The […]

I’ve Got My Reasons

. . . in the immortal but out of context words of Talib Kweli.Speaking of intention, what if one’s intention be muddled? One wouldn’t get very far. But even if one does not aspire to go far, one needs to know where one is going (and though it is always lovely to leave space for […]

First Things First

Years ago, I attended a writing workshop with Tom Jenks and Carol Edgarian. Now I don’t even remember how I decided to go to this workshop, but I knew it was the right place for me when I learned that Anna Karenina (this translation) and Aristotle’s Poetics were among the required reading for the week.Now I’m […]