The Official Blog
THE OFFICIAL BLOG feels like an awfully pretentious title, but since I’ve taken over my own website, I cannot quite figure out how to change the titles of things. So, it’s official. It should be better tweeted and Facebooked, and generally sent out into the world and made available for the world to talk back to it. Could be I’ll get better at that. For now, after the blessed success of 2013′s mission—to reboot a body badly used and failing—I’m happy simply to write again. And I’m not sure that I have enough extroversion available after teaching to manage other ongoing and constant conversations. Instead, I’ll use this new, fresh energy to try to create pieces of writing worth the reading.
To the right is the blog archive. It includes the February 2013 announcement of the Kindle version of Free! Great Escapes from Slavery on the Underground Railroad. You’ll find short posts on what our family called caring for my grandmother: “Ladysitting,” my Italian writing retreat at Civitella Ranieri, and the great fun of visiting children in schools. There are great guest blogs, from a variety of folks, such as author Tayari Jones, black talk radio director Sara Lomax Reese, author John Hough, and Gary Steuer, president of Bonfils-Stanton Foundation in Denver, and former chief cultural officer here in Philadelphia.
The archive also includes a regular posting of obituaries and personal remembrances of public and private people. I remember writing obituaries when I first go to TIME magazine. The writer who taught me about them told me that they mattered: to families, corporations that had been led by people; to victims; and to the community of readers who learned about life as we all do, in part; by watching other people solve problems and make creative use of opportunities. Late at night, when TIME articles are edited and fact-checked, we’d talk about the people we write about. These were little life-sonnets: short, tight lit-bits trying to sing a life. inevitably, they made each of us think: about our writing, our own lives, our own deaths. I keep that in mind as I write these, like the piece about my dear neighbor, Mrs. Edith Jones, or writer Leslie Esdaile Banks.
Recently, delighted to have had so much fun adding to the traditional slate of Christmas Pageant readings for the church where my husband is interim rector, I emoted in a little happy-to-write blog to start 2014. The pageant script, in case anyone wants to get started early on next year, is available for download here, open-sourced, like the story it tells.