Acts of Reader Gratitude

Gratitude is one of those words that has become tainted and overused over the last few years. Gratitude journals ballooned into full-blown humble-bragging on social media, ad nauseum recitations of beautiful children or perfect autumn days or that special cup of coffee. I feel immense gratitude for the things and circumstances and people in my life, but also feel grateful that I can, for the most part, keep it to myself. The joy for me is not in the telling, rather in the being. But there is one form of gratitude that… Read More

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

I was listening to Tom Petty this morning, sad that he has passed away at a relatively young age. His music immediately pulls me back into the past, growing up as a teenager in Iowa. It reminds me of parties out in machine sheds in the middle of nowhere, of awful first dates, and coming of age when getting booze and pot and avoiding pregnancies were all that we worried about. It wasn’t a great age of innocence. We were still in the Cold War. Someone tried to assassinate the president. Terrorist… Read More

The Green Study’s “Positively Happy Nice Story” Contest: 1st Place

1st Place goes to Kiri at The Dust Season for the “A Happily-Ever-After Story Involving Break-Ins and Police Action”. It takes a village to raise a child, but those villages often wait to show themselves. At just the right moment… She was sent one Green Study Coffee Mug, a postcard from Minneapolis and $100 donation was made to the American Red Cross on her behalf. “A Happily-Ever-After Story Involving Break-Ins and Police Action” By Kiri at The Dust Season My son is an escape artist. He revels in finding ways around the… Read More

The Green Study’s “Positively Happy Nice Story” Contest

Months ago, I had decided to run an autumn contest here at The Green Study. It will be my 4th contest in 4 years, so longtime readers here are familiar with the patter. At first I thought I’d dispel some political gloom and make it the “If I were President” Contest, but frankly, I’ve lost my sense of humor about it all. And I don’t have the energy to rein in political rants running amok on my blog. Instead, I’m looking for good news – the news that aren’t click bait, news… Read More

Walking through Storyland

The most irritating writing advice for me is write what you know. Once I’ve written that paragraph, I sink into a morass of self-pity and caffeine. I wrote about finding narrative on vacation. Sometimes a change of scenery is the jolt needed to wake a person up from the glazed coma of being in one place for too long. Upon return, things look a little different. Last night, I took a stroll around my neighborhood. With the latest addition of a grocery store, my neighborhood is like one of those preformed children’s… Read More

Death by Writing

In 1967 Roland Barthes, a French literary critic, wrote an article titled “The Death of the Author”. His theory was that the writing and writer were to be regarded as separate entities, that literature should not be interpreted through the lens of knowledge of an author’s life. Therefore, to gain real readers, the author must disappear from the landscape or die a metaphorical death, allowing the work to stand on its own. I like that idea. I like the idea that whatever fiction I write, it will stand or fall on its… Read More