Copying a master

Art students are always told to study the masters, and to copy them. Coming from a journalism background, I was at first taken aback by this approach – it seemed at worst a kind of plagiarism, and at best an exercise that would stifle originality. But once I tried it a few times, I realized that it … read more Copying a master

The red buckeyes: An act of faith

This story begins seven years ago, with an act of faith. February 20, 2009 “I’m going to plant that red buckeye seed today,” I told Tom. Caught in my voice was that thin blade of iron resolution usually reserved for the worst tasks, like sweeping mounds of wet leaves off the decks. I had put … read more The red buckeyes: An act of faith

Girlie stuff

I read Ms. Magazine from its first year, 1972. I was barely a teenager, but I would scratch out “Miss/Mrs.” on forms and write in “Ms.” Throughout my career, I’ve been correcting reporters, editors and people at large for referring to young women as “girls.” But there’s something about a pink flannel pillow sham with … read more Girlie stuff