Yes, there’s a new teacher, and he’s starting class at The Charlotte Center for Literary Arts in just a few weeks. I am honored Charlotte Lit invited me to lead a class. We’ll cover getting permission to write, what to write about, the best way to tell a story, choosing the right audience, judging good writing, and then where to go next.
Pets matter. One in four of us share homes with pets, while millions more dream of an old, or yet to happen, awakening in their lives that comes with loving a companion animal. There is something about the way our pets shower us with unconditional love that makes us want to share their spirit and antics with others. Social media is the best way to spread that love around the world.
Hemingway said, “As you get older it is harder to have heroes, but it is sort of necessary.” Was Hemingway was asking me to redefine my ideas of heroes? Maybe he was reminding me to look beyond the obvious models who get all the attention and find the more supportive “Robins” in the world. These are the heroes who are hidden in the shadows, doing the important work so the stars can shine.
We’ve all seen two runners matching stride for stride in the park or on a greenway. They run with a paired choreography. But what if one in the pair doesn’t have the confidence and freedom needed to run alone? That’s where my new friends at Para≈Guide enter our story. “Sight by side” is more than a tag line for them, it’s the perfect description of what this group does everyday.
Louisa met her first busker this morning. Our new friend, Greg, said he was pleased to meet her and appreciated how friendly and interested she seemed. Do buskers add to the cultural richness of a city – or is a busker just another panhandler with a guitar instead of a cardboard sign?
Better storytelling can be traced to good listening, and as Willa Sibert Cather, the novelist who wrote so vividly about frontier life on the Great Plains tells us, it all begins at an early age. Willa’s belief reminds me of Corey, a toddler who grew into a man at a small nursing home his parents operated in Charlotte. Hillcrest Manor was Corey’s entire world until he started preschool …
Did you celebrate Father’s Day? We did. It was fun. I’m very fortunate to have been loved by a great dad, one who believed in me, and I’ve tried to do the same for my children and grandchildren. So, I’ve been wondering what it takes to be a father, other than, of course, the right plumbing and a partner.
I read the obituaries. Not everyday, but often. Sometimes I know the person and plan to attend their service. Sometimes an obit celebrates a stranger. It doesn’t matter, as a storyteller myself, I enjoy reading about these people and learning something about their lives.
I want to get to know America better. I often dream of getting in my truck, pulling a small travel trailer, and hitting the road with my wife and dog, all packed up front. But until my grand adventure happens, I am saying, “Hello America” right here – in Charlotte, in North Carolina. I’m making a choice to listen to the stories from people who make different decisions about how to live their lives …
Most faith traditions use confession as a way to acknowledge shortcomings and seek forgiveness. That’s good, but lately I’ve wondered if this group confession, with its community language, isn’t getting in the way of my personal transformation. In short, does the first person plural or “we” language serve as a tweed coat in hiding the problem from my personal, singular, responsibility …