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Month: February 2016

Novelist, Essayist, (Recovering) Journalist

Mojo Binders

Or: Fetish and the Art of Writing I remember reading, where I don’t know, that Hemingway used pencils to write in his notebooks. It must have been in A Moveable Feast, because I remember it was in his own voice, so strong, authoritative, and direct. The comment was almost a throwaway, the kind of detail a writer…
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The Apple Tree and the Gazebo

An Allegory So this farmer has a section of low-lying land that is perpetually flooded with water, land that came as part of his family’s original grant more than a century ago. Right in the middle of it, miles away from anything, is a hill that rises up above the swamp. Getting to the hill requires mucking…
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Pressure Cooker

Or: How to Make the Perfect Pot of Beans for a Cold Tennessee Day It wasn’t so long ago that I didn’t own a pressure cooker, had never used a pressure cooker, and to be honest, wasn’t too sure I knew what one was. Jessica changed that on my 35th birthday, when she and her…
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Veblen was Right

Or: Gravitational Waves and the Complex Economics of Higher Learning in America   (Author’s Note: I began this post last night, but events of the day — namely a deadline and work followed by the governor’s speech mentioned below–conspired to delay completion. I’ll post twice today.)  Earlier today, I logged into the computer early, propped back…
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A Year in Review

Every year since 2005, one of the hallmarks of January was a “Year in Review” story for whichever newspaper or magazine I found myself writing at the time. What sounds like a herculean task–cramming an entire year’s worth of news or commentary–into a single article of no more than 2,200 words isn’t exactly the most…
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