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March 25, 2018
A quick lesson from a musk ox - Musk Ox

At times like this, I silently thank the taxidermists.

This is a life-size diorama of musk oxen at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. The musk ox embodies certain truths about the life of a writer. A musk ox lives in a harsh environment and survives with a shaggy coat and rounded...

February 22, 2018
Searching for a Lyme disease test - IMG_2964

The Connecticut Health Investigative Team has released my story on the search for an accurate diagnostic test for Lyme disease. Check it out!

Part of the reason for the explosion in...

February 9, 2018
Moments frozen in memory - 05B5F803-DB27-4ED4-90D3-34DD013D334A

It’s the universal experience: aging. And yet this feels like my family faces unique fears. My mother’s physical universe is shrinking as she prepares to live somewhere where she can get the help she needs at any hour. Her mental universe, though, seems to expand, even if it goes to...

January 25, 2018
Spontaneous survival projects - barn

For many years I thought people acted spontaneously in making history. I thought, for example, that Rosa Parks suddenly thought she’d had enough of segregated buses in Alabama and that she was overcome with disgust and anger and spontaneously decided that she’d stay in her seat...

December 19, 2017
19 inches - Screen Shot 2018-01-05 at 1.25.25 PM

I spent this past week inside a house with my dog in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The first full day there, it snowed 19 inches. Snow creates the perfect writing landscape. Muffled, the world slows down.

I turned my thoughts to timber rattlesnakes and snowshoe hares while I...

Do we change, how much do we change, and does it show in our writing?  - 35422B0F-39F2-455C-907B-6651E59CD93C

It is so easy to think of a writing project I’ve kept at my side for years as if it exists in perfection, a static beauty I just must uncover. In reality, an unwritten essay or story contains no form until I make it. And as I change and think in new ways as each month of my life passes,...

October 9, 2017
Gas wells meet wilderness - 4DEE2E32-DE55-4CC9-B0C8-9CE3C5AEC7B3

In most forests in eastern North America, humans’ imprint has shaped the land beyond even what we can imagine. I have just returned from western Pennsylvania, where I visited the edges of the Allegheny National Forest, the United States’s first oil-boom area starting in 1859.


September 14, 2017
Step forward onto the land: starting new writing - dscf0448

Wendell Berry knows Kentucky, where he has lived, written, and done some farming for most of his more than eight decades on earth. When one knows a place deeply, one writes about it well. In 2015 while being...

September 5, 2017
Ideas come from trees - IMG_1717

 I started walking in the woods as a way to write more honestly about 15 years ago, after my father died.  I already knew at that point that getting onto a forest path, alone, helped me sort out what I think. But I was still in the mode then of putting off the time in my life...

August 24, 2017
Studies! - arizona-state-university-simplifies-the-dorm-move-in-process

When's a good time for graduate school? Right now. I've started a history master's program at Arizona State University. The lectures and discussions are all online. I work out of my Connecticut office and take one course every seven and a...

June 16, 2017
On paperback prefaces - LauraIngallsWilder._V138605067_

I'm in my favorite retreat spot this week, Randolph, New Hampshire, holed up in front of a vista of Mount Madison and Mount Adams, writing a preface for the paperback edition of Libertarians on the Prairie: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Rose Wilder Lane, and the Making of the Little House Books...

May 15, 2017
The link between walking and creativity - 2014-05-24 11.31.56

Some years ago, Chris felt a calling to reach a class about walking and writing. The Green Street Arts Center in Middletown, Connecticut agreed to let her try it. She called the class Writing in Motion. Writing from Motion evolved into ...

Missouri, Iowa, Montreal
Appearances for Libertarians on the Prairie - Item7maybe-RWL-137

Libertarians on the Prairie, Chris's biography of the secret coauthors of the Little House on the Prairie books, continues to get out there. She will give a keynote...

April 5, 2017
Danbury, Connecticut and the Little House books - RWL in Wm Holtz

Not everyone realizes that the city of Danbury, Connecticut was an important landscape in the making of the pioneer stories, the Little House books. Laura Ingalls Wilder's daughter and collaborator, Rose Wilder Lane, lived in Danbury for three decades. There, she revised the last of the...

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...

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