Fiction, Poems, Memoir

Memoir Monday: Five Tips for Writing a Memoir

Sometimes I think I’m a scratched record, repeating the same lyrics again and again. However, I was a teacher for a few years and learned that not every student understood something the first time I explained it. Often I had to repeat and rephrase, using...

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Memoir Monday: Roller Skating

I love to watch Gene Kelly dance. He’s so smooth, so confident on his feet. When I saw this video I was totally amazed, especially considering my own experiences on roller skates. How could anybody tap dance (at the 2:18 mark) on four little wheels? My father...

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Memoir Monday: Mezuzah Boxes

For me, a Catholic boy  with fervent Catholic parents and 13 years of Catholic schooling, one of the coolest things I saw when I was about nine years old was the inside of a Jewish classmate’s house. I wish I remembered his name, but I knew him for barely a year. His...

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Monday Memoir: an Outline

I was working on a couple memoirs, hoping to post one of them here today, but it’s not ready yet. The other is for the Ventura Writer’s Memoir Contest, which I will post here after the contest. For today I have a little form, a basic outline I use to help...

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Memoir Monday: Don’t Get Too Big, Too Fast

Mistakes you’re likely to make. The past few weeks I’ve been talking about writing a personal essay or memoir essay. Memoirs that are usually short — at least 500 words, less than 15,000. For some people writing a personal essay is a prelude, a warm-up to...

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Haiku: Awareness

Today I sat down a bit longer than I thought but wasn’t thinking I don’t remember thinking about trees or birds or even breathing...

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Memoir Monday: Let’s be Honest

A couple weeks ago took part in a panel discussion about memoir writing. A big concern of the audience had to do with being honest and naming names. I think the answers we gave were adequate, but I’ve been thinking about them off and on ever since. First be as honest...

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Memoir Monday: More Techniques

Every Monday I’ll be adding a memoir related post to this blog. Last week I began by telling some of what I’ve learned about writing the memoir or personal essay and left you with some techniques to help you choose a story from your life to write about. My goal...

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Memoir Monday: Writing a Memoir Essay

Memoir writing takes guts. It’s revealing and personal – sometimes even painful to put on the page. Some people know exactly what they want to write about when they start. Most of us live such interesting lives that we often think to ourselves, Should I write a...

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Please, Please, Please Wake Me UP

I’d love to start this story by telling you I woke up, but I can’t. At the end of this I’d like to tell you I realized I was just dreaming, so I woke myself up. That won’t happen. Well, maybe it will, but it hasn’t worked yet.Please Wake Me UP The truth of the matter...

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Poem: Wondering

Talking to the car salesman I am wondering should I take it for a test drive or just write the check and get it over with Holding the can of whipped cream I am wondering should I shoot it into the hot chocolate or just spray it into my mouth and get it over...

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Memoir Monday: The Towel Market

So we’re walking down the street. It’s a beautiful day in San Salvador, El Salvador’s capital city. Leah is eating ice cream from a cup. I’m eating a two scoop ice cream cone. A taxi pulls up alongside us. I can see a woman in the back seat furiously rolling down the...

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The Blog

11 Things I’ve Been Thinking About Today

Sometimes I wish it would rain more often here. I live in Southern California where a month’s worth of rainy days are about average. I’m from the Midwest, where a month’s worth of rainy days often happen in a month. I’m not talking about...

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“Life is a process, not a substance, and it is necessarily temporary. We are not the reason for the existence of the universe, but our ability for self-awareness and reflection makes us special within it.” ~ Sean Carroll, physicist

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Quotation: It Wasn’t Me

“I’m not a religious scholar. All I know is my faith teaches me that God created only one perfect man — and it wasn’t me.” Author Ron Fournier

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Joke: I Don’t Think I Am

Joke: “ A horse walks into a bar. The bartender says “You’re in here a lot. Are you an alcoholic?” The horse ponders for a moment, responds “I don’t think I am”, and POOF, he disappears! At this point, philosophy students start to...

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When I Started

writing this blog I thought I would write about Chicago, mostly about Chicago sports, because I grew up in the Chicago area and even though I haven’t lived there for more than 30 years I still closely follow all sports Chicago (with the exception perhaps of the...

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Damn! That’s Not the Best Word Either

This New Yorker cartoon is paraphrasing Ernest Hemingway: “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Today’s writers bleed a little less thanks to the computer’s bloody word processing capabilities. I’ve also...

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“I like to think that our lives do matter, even if the universe would trundle along without us.” Sean Carroll, physicist

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Joan of Arc

At the age of 13, Joan began to hear voices, which she determined had been sent by God to give her a mission of overwhelming importance: to save France by expelling its enemies, and to install Charles as its rightful king. 585 years ago today in 1431 Joan of Arc was...

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English is Weird to Say the Least

Here are eight sentences that are difficult to decipher, even for a native speaker of the English language. If it was your first language and you speak it every day, you probably don’t stop to think about how truly difficult and strange English can be. Each of these sentences are grammatically correct, but they will question your understanding of the language. I never said she stole my money.

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National Dance Like a Chicken Day

This is National Dance Like a Chicken Day, May 14th. Many people think this is the day they can go out in public and shamefacedly do the Chicken Dance. Although the Chicken Dance has been around for years, the first time I ever heard of it I was at a minor league...

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The Sayings of Caledon Pritz

Being Old

A man is not old until his ears are too big for his head.” ~ Caledon


If you’re not building your own dreams, then whose are you building?” ~ Caledon Pritz

For Some

For some life is a catastrophe, for others it is merely and apostrophe.” ~ Caledon Pritz

Look Out…

“Be careful Mrs. Butterworth, things could get a bit sticky around here.” ~ Caledon Pritz


Don’t let the past steal your gifts.” ~ Caledon Pritz

Caviar or Peanut Butter

A $200 ounce of caviar is no more filling that a 20¢ ounce of peanut butter.” ~ Caledon Pritz

The Day

“Either you run the day, or you run away.” ~ Caledon


Yesterday might have been terrible, but stop fretting about it. You made it to today, and that’s good.” ~ Caledon Pritz


A difficult thing about life is letting things be what they are rather than trying to make them what you want them to be” ~ Caledon Pritz

Life… Again

“Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% what happens to you, or is it the other way around?” ~ Caledon Pritz

Funny Thing

“Funny, but the more I worry about what other people think, the more I become somebody else.” ~ Caledon Pritz


“Faith is the art of holding on to things in spite of your changing moods and circumcision.” ~ Caledon Pritz


No matter how bad the problem, a little guilt can always make it worse.”  ~ Caledon Pritz


There are few things more gratifying than a credit card to put off till tomorrow what you can pay for today.” ~ Caledon


Not all those who wonder will be lost.” ~ Caledon


“I’m not cynical… I just don’t like a lot of things, so shut up about it, alright.” ~ Caledon


“Recent studies have shown that nine out of every ten Americans think they’re the one in ten with the right answer.” ~ Caledon


“Three is an especially large number when all you have is two.” ~ Caledon 



The public will believe any lie, as long as you stick it in the middle of something they want.” ~ Caledon


“Life is the mirror which reflects what we expect to see when we look into it.” ~ Caledon


“The best time to decide to learn another language is when the voices in your head become crystal clear.” ~ Caledon


“You’re less likely to lose an argument if you keep your mouth shut.” ~ Caledon


“A crack in the pavement goes nowhere in particular.” ~ Caledon


“Thinking we learn from our mistakes is often a big mistake.” ~ Caledon

The Real Me

“I just realized, long ago I should have hired someone else to write my inner monologue.” ~ Caledon


Realism is… but is it?” Caledon

It Wasn’t Me!

Recent studies have shown that nine out of every ten Americans think it was one of the other nine.” ~ Caledon

Best Foot Forward

Standing on the edge of a cliff is not the best place to put your best foot forward.” ~ Caledon Pritz


“I have no enemy’s, which is a shame. It makes it so difficult to insult anybody.” ~ Caledon Pritz

Chicago Style

“The worst thing about being a vegetarian is that sometimes I get a craving for something disgustingly delicious like a Chicago Style Hot dog and Tofu dogs just AREN’T Chicago.” ~ Caledon Pritz


“Today’s weather is as beautiful as a well tuned kazoo!” ~ Caledon Pritz


Heard this while in line at the grocery store, ‘It’s okay if  you disagree with me, but why would you want to?‘” ~ Caledon Pritz


“A Republican thinks it’s cold when his nickles are sticking out.” ~ Caledon Pritz


“Realism is… but is it?” ~ Caledon Pritz


“I love science fiction and fantasy. I also love politics.” ~ Caledon Pritz


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From:: Trails Across White

Pulling Beauty From

The tolerant hairstyle is recent hiding some of her frumpiness but it does some justice to this grumpy mean-cold woman who mumbles distant curses A gone dry long ago river smiling she admires herself in the grocery store window roughly removing a stray hair as she approves of the look With wrinkles like trenches protecting […]

After the Little Boats

was a creek ran behind my house when I was nine just the thought excited me to see and play in it with sticks and boards to race like boats crossing oceans if oceans had rocks and ran but six inches deep or a foot when rained swarmed over its banks to run full speed […]


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