Charles McLeod on The Quivering Pen

I wanted to share this lovely essay by my friend Charles McLeod, whom I’ve blogged about before.

PensOver on The Quivering Pen, Charlie writes about publishing his first story at the same time his dad unexpectedly dies of sepsis.

Here?s a teaser:

The copy of The Iowa Review that contained my story was among the titles. ?It was the first time I?d seen the issue. ?It was late at night, deep winter, and no one else was around, and if I?d felt my dad?s presence every second since his death, that presence was all the more pronounced as I stood there in the half-dark, staring at the magazine?s title.

The Quivering Pen does a semi-regular feature called “My First Time”; QP says: “writers talk about virgin experiences in their writing and publishing careers, ranging from their first rejection to the moment of holding their first published book in their hands.”

Good stuff, methinks. I might just submit something.

I hope you enjoy the essay.


Juicy Indeed

Good morning,

Not much to say or plug this morning besides my pal Britt Bravo, who is running another Juicy Blogging E-Course this month. It’s $99, it starts on January 11, and you can find the info here. I really enjoyed this course. I learned a lot of basic things I had not before understood about this mysterious world of blogging.

Speaking of juicy, and blogging, I am thinking in the new year of changing my look, but of course I’m terrified of losing any content/readability. So stay tuned, but don’t be surprised if things look about the same.

On another juicy note, I got a new laptop! This still astounds me. I was really beginning to notice how much of a dinosaur the old one was. I’d had it since 2006 and was on my third hard drive. But I couldn’t fathom finding the dough for a new one. Well, Santa helped out a bit, and then while we were in the tax-free state of New Hampshire over Christmas it just seemed like a good idea to take advantage…and here we are. The only problem with my fabulous new MacBook Pro? My old Microsoft Office won’t run on it, so it’s looking like I’ll have to buy some software. This, frankly, sucks, but oh well.

When Blogging Feels Frivolous

The title of this post made me chuckle, because I happen to know a large group of people for whom blogging is always frivolous. But I mean frivolous in the wake of what happened on Friday in Connecticut. Writing about writing, reading, giving–it all feels a bit extraneous and irrelevant.

I dreamed about blogging last night. In my sleep, I tried to work out how I might tie a school shooting to a blog that’s mostly about writing. I came up with something in the night that seemed to make sense, only when I woke up, it made no sense. I kept thinking/dreaming about how it only took my son, L., three years to learn what a gun is. Over the summer sometime he started referring to “shooter things.” Last night, watching a nature documentary, a man with a rifle appeared onscreen. “Do you know what that man is holding?” I asked. “A gun,” he said.

Did I think I could shield him from guns forever? Silly me. I keep sneaking listens on the radio, but turning it off when he comes in the room. L. has been known to hear a brief snippet on NPR and repeat it back to me, verbatim. I guess I just don’t want him to hear that five year olds were shot, because I think it might actually mean something to him.

In my dream, “gun” was a word L. had learned, and the fact that it was a word tied it to this blog in some way. Right: in daylight, it doesn’t make sense.

But then, none of it does, and I guess that’s the point.