A Method to Combat Those Negative Thoughts that Undermine Creativity

One of the challenges of writing is overcoming the negative self talk that can paralyze creativity.  Below are 25 different thoughts that often surface and a method that I’ve discovered that combats these negative messages. Why I shouldn’t write today: 1) I am boring and so is my life. 2) Why would anybody care about…

November 1 Deadline Met!

Let me congratulate all my students who have worked their rear-ends off to finish their early decision and early action essays and supplemental questions several days before the November 1 deadline. Some of these seniors have been working since mid-August on the multi-layered components in their applications and it is no joke to say they…

“Other”

Other? What does that mean? Other means not us. Someone different. Someone who does not share common traits or beliefs or locations or even species. Other is a word that comes up a lot when people want to judge someone harshly. He has other beliefs. She has other interests. Not ours. Against us. Not with…

College Essay Crunch Time: Early Action/Early Decision

I am in the throes of college essay crunch time. I have a sizable number of students who are applying early with November 1 as the first big deadline and we are hunkered down writing essays for Stanford, Penn, Michigan, Wisconsin, Chapman, Loyola Marymount, and many, many medical schools. Luckily, these kids are hardworking and…

Happy Birthday to My Youngest Brother

Today is my little brother’s birthday.  Happy birthday, Sam! Here we are, still dancing after all these years. Wishing you the best upcoming year of your life Laugh hard Hug often Sing loud Know your big sister loves you.

Homemade Treats: Memories of Many Happy Halloweens

Halloween in Bonham, Texas, circa 1960. I remember well the trick or treating. Or rather, I remember the treats, particularly the homemade ones that were delicious. No fear of razor blades or glass embedded in the goodies. No indeed. The truth is the homemade treats were the ones I liked best. Take caramel apples, for…

Tried and True: Turkey Meatloaf Recipe

I made this meatloaf recipe yesterday and had forgotten just how good it is. This is one of the best recipes you’ll find for turkey meatloaf and normally I don’t like meatloaf of any kind. Simply delicious. We had this yesterday and today for lunch. Both days we had a green salad. Today, I also…

Repost: Lessons from Two Masters

I just finished helping a student finish his 10 page term paper on how Edith Wharton’s and Tennessee Williams’ lives inspired Ethan Frome and The Glass Menagerie. The truth is that both of their lives are right there on those pages, disguised as other people dealing with problems of guilt, abandonment, thwarted dreams and societal…

Seeing an “Old” Student After 5 Years

I saw one of my students today who I haven’t laid eyes on since he was twelve-years-old.  He is now 17.  The last time I saw him he was a lanky little boy with big feet and a shy smile; today I opened the door to a full grown young man with a beard.  Wow….

Back to Work

My first student arrived at 2:30 today, my last one left 30 minutes ago at 10 pm.  It is college essay time and that means back-to-back students. Plus, I have a few “regular” writing students tossed in, who need help with college term papers.  I even have two plain ole kids who are coming just…