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March 22, 2017
Procrastination no more - scaled.DSCF2502

It's the time of year when I give up something, something that's hard to give up. My exercise this year is giving up putting off projects or tasks or dreams. I've got a few days of light work between deadlines, so yesterday I organized a chaotic mound of family photographs and...

Coming on Saturday, March 18

This workshop is for anyone who has ever felt called to write, but didn't know how to get started. Chris  will lead participants through a series of exercises to get in touch with the creative spirit and allow the words to flow. Workshop will include lunch.

Saturday, March 18...

December 21, 2016
A misbehaving horse's lesson - IMG_0724

I took riding lessons for a few years, starting at age 49. At first I had no instincts. I lacked courage, and the horse knew it. I sometimes praised a misbehaving horse, hoping he would behave soon. He would turn the opposite direction from what I’d just directed—to test me—and...

December 1, 2016
Walking into new ideas: 2017 workshop set for June 2-4 - IMG_0689

I published Libertarians on the Prairie this fall after many years of work. At various points over the past 15 years, I doubted I would be able to finish it. But through the help...

November 17, 2016
Laura Ingalls Wilder as a Voter - Alf Landon 1936

Laura Ingalls Wilder devotees asked themselves last week how Laura might have voted in the recent election. I don't think I have to answer that directly. Laura was approaching her later years when women were granted the vote. But assuming that she did go to the polls in her lifetime, let...

September 5, 2016
Testimonials on Writing from Nature workshop - image

Here are a few elements writers liked about the second annual Writing From Nature workshop:

"Tailoring to different genres and skill levels."

"The venue was quiet and undisturbed."

"Positive, encouraging vibe...

August 30, 2016
Writing Laura Ingalls Wilder's pioneer life - Map, Laura and Rose locales

This map by my talented colleague Karen Ward records all of the homes of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her daughter, the novelist and libertarian-movement founder Rose Wilder Lane.

Look at the dates for Mansfield, Missouri. Two key periods, in the mid-1920s and again from 1928-1935, found both...

August 9, 2016
Libertarians on the Prairie Coming Soon - Libertarians3_use this cover

“Libertarians on the Prairie is a fascinating expose of the ideological underpinnings of one of America’s best-loved stories. Who knew that the Laura Ingalls Wilder franchise was actually political propaganda?” — Jane Mayer, staff writer, The...

July 15, 2016
Long 91-Mile Trail - IMG_0051

My husband Nat and I are back from our 91-mile adventure on the Long Trail!

We met some incredibly strong, funny, thoughtful, adventurous people. And trekked for two days with our dear friend and mountain companion Skip. Thanks, Candlelight and Velveeta, Trailspice, Becky and Levi, the...

June 2, 2016
A slim biography of masterful storytelling - Wilson and Edith Wilson, Armistice Day 1922

A 125-page biography in the Penguin Lives series blends storytelling and journalism in a clear, fast-paced overview of a complicated man, Woodrow Wilson. The novelist Louis Auchincloss synthesized many thousands of pages of reading and understanding. A writer who studies and uses the lessons in...

May 22, 2016
Nature and the Ghosts of Thinkers - image

I just came back from Stone Pond, where Annie and I worked with my husband, Nat, getting my inlaws' family cottage ready for Writing from Nature, my second annual workshop. I heard a new story from a neighbor. It's about the giant red mansion next to the house where we'll be. The...

May 1, 2016
Observing without a notebook or cell phone - image

Resist the temptation to write or photograph as you walk through the fields or woods or desert or bog. When we stop and consider the right word while looking at the broken bird's egg, we lose part of our reaction. The same disconnect apparently happens during photographing. One second you...

March 3, 2016
Why I started a writing workshop, and what happened when I did - Stone Pond waterfront

I have been a writer for 35 years. Much of what I've achieved so far, I've figured out by myself. But some of what I figured out, I would have loved if someone had told me early. Mainly: Trust yourself.

Also: Those doubters...

February 25, 2016
Squatter farmers of long ago - Sand plains

In the 18th century, squatter farmers in central Connecticut tried to grow crops on sand plains. They failed, because the soil resembles the desert, and they abandoned the land. Particular plants and trees thrive on sand plains, or sand barrens, just as very particular plants adapt to deserts....

Writing from Nature Workshop coming June 17
Fog, night, fear, and writing ideas - Clouds, cold, looking toward Franconia Ridge from

Have you ever thought that being scared and uncomfortable in nature might jolt you toward new ideas? 

People sometimes ask me why I go into the mountains by myself. I do it so that I will bang into the edge of comfort, free up my brain for new ideas to go pouring in. I've had...

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