Twisters and Big Book Announcements

By Amanda Cleary Eastep For the book announcement, skip down the page to The Third Tornado! The First Tornado “Is this a war?” That’s what I remember thinking when it happened. We were driving back from a family reunion on a long stretch of road that cut through Midwest corn fields . . . acre […]

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#readerinthewild

The frustrated photojournalist in me couldn’t resist the scene … what else could I do but hide behind a rack of something that smelled like a hamper and covertly take his photo?

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Holding the wild story in small hands

My father had watched the rabbit’s nest for days and didn’t see the mother return. Still heartbroken over the event and not realizing then that the mother was probably caring for the remaining babies early in the morning, he decided we needed to rescue them…

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The power of your naming…

As much as I hate the “tell us your name and something about you” exercise, I planned for this time of introduction with teen writers to be a little more creative . . .

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In Honor of Independent Bookstore Day

There is a scent. Sometimes it makes me sneeze.

The smell of books:

One like a door closed on a dusty attic that, when opened, overwhelms you with its secrets and want of discovery…

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Take a deep breath and let go of your consonants

“Breath is the percussion of language…” The tall, willowy yoga instructor said this to the class in a lilt that hinted at her formal actor’s training and enviable diaphragmatic control. At my age, with quadriceps straining to sustain my squatted “goddess” pose, I was just happy to control my bladder. The morning class was the […]

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Settings: the places that shape us

All the seconds run together now, and clocks don’t seem to matter much. Maybe they never did in a place where time and work and rest were measured more by when the rooster crowed and the sun set . . . when the rain came or didn’t and the first frost threatened. 

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Staying resilient, slaying parasites

writing

The man made a beeline for me.

I, and a few authors, had just finished leading a discussion about the importance of the voices of “midlife” writers.

This particular writer, who had been in the audience, almost seem dazed–eyes glassy, lips parted as if what he needed to verbalize hadn’t fully formed yet and was resting between them.

Then…

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From Here to Hear

This is a rare morning of solitude. Sitting in the gray light, I feel the damp air sift through the screen door behind me as the smell of rain lays itself across the skin of my bare neck and right shoulder.

I’m listening.

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Hello my name is…(and why it matters)

by Amanda Cleary Eastep Hola, me llamo… I filled in my name big and purple on the adhesive name tag and stuck it on my shirt, the one with the bold graphic of a Japanese animation character I figured the kids would like. Anime always serves as a good conversation starter when I lead writing […]

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