Strength Training

weight rackI want you to turn all your weight training over to me, he said that first day.  When you’re working on your own, you can do whatever you want in terms of cardio or stretching or yoga, whatever.  But leave your strength to me.  This was exactly what I wanted to hear.

I wanted to be strong, so I signed up with a personal trainer and started lifting heavy weights.  Every week, I listened hard, I worked hard, and I got it all wrong.  We do as many reps as we need in order to get your muscles to failure, he told me.  That’s the goal here: we’re training to failure.  I took this in as a life lesson, and when I left the training floor, I kept lifting weights that were far, far too heavy.

What a dope I was: I was hearing everything as a metaphor, and I kept missing the real lesson.  Perhaps I think in terms of metaphor too much.  Perhaps I should just focus on things themselves. Continue reading

Goodbye Hello

I had expected 2014 to be a spectacular year — 14 is my lucky number, it’s the year I turned 50, and goshdarnit, I was due.  But, damn, looking back, I realize Fire-ScapeWebthat it was pretty miserable all around: identity theft, tax fraud, shingles, arthritis, credit card theft, clogged pipes, sudden deaths, unsudden deaths, a torn ligament in my right thumb (I still haven’t recovered from the surgery), major relationship trauma — far, far too many bad days.  Too many times this year, I have found myself in the crosshairs, walking what I thought was a clear and straight path only to find myself stepping on a landmine.  Even a casual visitor of this blog will recognize that there wasn’t much to see here — long gaps and silence.  The stagnant blankness tells  you everything you need to know about my creative practice in 2014.  Goodbye goodbye. Continue reading

The Biographer’s Dilemma

The Biographer’s Dilemma

 On October 14, 2014, I had the honor of presenting Oakland University’s President’s Colloquium Address, in which I considered the role of biography in contemporary literary culture.  Some thoughts from that talk —


Let me begin with a premise — As a literary form, biography appeals to many readers precisely because it avoids lots of thorny discussions and difficult challenges about the meaning of a text. Modernist and post modernist literature want to disrupt the reader, it wants to challenge us with difficult questions about authorship and authority and truth and reality.  books

In bookstores filled with magical realism, science fiction, surrealist, futuristic and fantasy worlds populated with magic, muggles and vampires – in such a range of literary options, biography stands out as a safe haven, a place where readers can be confident that they’re entering into a real and knowable world.

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© 2017 kathy * writes