Stubborn persistence pays off, as Heinlein teaches us. Can I have a Hallelujah to that? All the way back in 2009, when my marriage was only four years old, and I wasn’t even a father yet, we took a trip to the mid-Atlantic island of Sao Miguel. The volcanic beauty and verdant exuberance of the…

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A long, rambling mission statement in which I admit I that need your help WARNING: This post contains writerly soul-baring and navel-staring. Never surrender When it comes to writing, I am my own worst enemy. I found a discussion thread on the forum page of my online writers group Codex yesterday, posing the question most writers…

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We’re living in the future… Springsteen got it right on his Magic album. We are living in the future. Case in point: the proof is no longer in the pudding, but in the cloud, or rather, the Cloud. In preparation for the 10th Villa Diodati Writers Workshop, 21-24 April in Southern England, all participants are…

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A friend got married today, in a moving civil ceremony of beautiful speeches and enchanting songs, the bride and groom radiant and utterly happy. I was reminded of our own wedding, and of countless other moments of deep and unwanting happiness. And then the Reverend Norman Viss got up to perform the spiritual part of…

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My wife and I made a 600-kilometer circuit of the central Netherlands by bicycle a few weeks back; during that wonderful trip, I’ve learned that riding a bicycle is one of the best ways to see a country up close.* The Dutch countryside, I’ve discovered, is so pretty it looks like a foreign country. Of…

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On its way to Leiden Lammenschans station, the slow train to Alphen passes a crossing. It’s a fairly unappealing place, where the ugly housing developments of northern Leiden crowd up to an uninspired business district and an empty lot. At first, therefore, it was hard to explain the rush of satisfaction I felt when I…

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