Sassy Smocks and Moist Panties

  Words are a writer’s currency, and we each have our favorites. The first word I remember falling in love with was onomatopoeia. It had a satisfying rhythm, plus there was the delight of discovering, oh — there’s a word for that. That joy of discovery was exactly what I felt reading Lost in Translation, […]

The Last Word

January 5-9, 2015 Roberta tried out the Japanese art of decluttering and offered vindication to pilers like me with news of a study finding that people who organize paperwork in piles accumulate less stuff than those neatniks who file them. Guest poster Anne Sasso told us about her devotion to a pocket calculator so beloved […]

Ira Glass is Not My Friend and Some Thoughts on Serial

Last year, I told a story for This American Life (TAL), my favorite radio show. My story was about being so lost in grief over my sister-in-law’s death from cancer that I mistook a pizza delivery guy for an undertaker. My error wasn’t as ridiculous as it seems. The pizza guy had the wrong house, […]

The Last Word, December 1-5, 2014

* Yesterday, Cameron wrote another one of her beautiful essays that make you remember how nice it is to be alive. Or, (in her words), once again she’s vomiting rainbows. “You’re going to have to forgive us our shouting about Europe for now,” says guest poster Chris Lintott, an astrophysicist at University of Oxford, in the wake of […]

Outdoors After Dark

It’s 6 am on an early November morning, and I am tiptoeing up a juniper hillside with a rifle slung over my shoulder. I’m following Adam, my friend and guide, when suddenly he stops. “Listen.” It’s still completely dark, except for the sea of stars above us, which I gaze up at as I stop […]

The Last Word: October 27 – 31, 2014

In the beginning: The week started with Part IV of guest Colin Norman’s every-Monday series on undergoing heart surgery. (Spoiler alert: He lives to write another day.) Next: Craig went looking for a creature from an extinct species—and saw one, sort of. Then: Christie got her gun and went looking for creatures from non-extinct species—and saw them, for real. And: Jessa […]

Forward by Failure

A few years ago, I decided to take up hunting. This was kind of a big deal, because I’d spent the first decade-plus of my adult life as vegetarian. I became a big game hunter for the same reason I raise chickens — to know where my food comes from and ensure that it’s raised […]