Seeing the Elephant

The phrase “seeing the elephant” or “he saw the elephant” makes me think of old war movies, especially ones with the British Army bivouacked in a remote area, with references to first combat. But as I research it, it actually originates in Georgia (United States) in 1835. The phrase “seeing the elephant” was originally tied … More Seeing the Elephant

Review: “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” by Donald Miller

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story by Donald Miller. Thomas Nelson, 2009. 257 pages. A couple of weeks ago, the University library asked me to put together¬† a list of five books that I would recommend to students. One of those books was Blue Like Jazz … More Review: “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” by Donald Miller


The following is the result of an exercise on intimacy that my Narrative Writing class did this morning. I felt it was only fair that I participate in it as well. We sit on the back porch, he and I, facing the setting sun. And the irony of it does not escape me. His face … More “Sunset”

In Search of Intimacy

It is my privilege to teach writing in a university, something I thoroughly enjoy. This semester I am teaching a class called Narrative Writing, which is a lot of fun. We have 10 students who take turns submitting their short stories (at this point; novel pages later) for critique by the class. It’s tough to … More In Search of Intimacy

Rest in Peace

I teach a class called Writing for Publication at my university, but for me, writing is writing. I never pass up the opportunity for my students to learn something new. Part of that is simply getting them to experience life–and to write–outside their comfort zone. And so this morning, I took my students to the … More Rest in Peace

Freedom to Fail

When I got up this morning, my wife Shelly was watching a new episode of “Inside the Actor’s Studio” in which Hugh Jackman of Wolverine and Les Miserables fame was being interviewed. At the end, as always, the audience got to ask questions. One woman asked what lessons he learned in his early acting years. … More Freedom to Fail