Tag Archives: Larry Heinemann

Sunday Media

Yesterday morning, Trevor and I woke up early (early for a Saturday) to watch the Manchester United v. Tottenham match that kicked off at 6:45 a.m. CST. It was the first game of the Premiere League 2015/2016 season, and we won (although the only goal was an Spurs own-goal [the first time an own goal has kicked off the season in many many many years] so we’re not tremendously proud, and, likely, neither is poor Kyle Walker).

Manchester United Soccer Ball

Not only did I wake up to watch this game — usually for a game that early, T. will come to tell me that it’s about to start, and I’ll mumble some nonsense like “I’ll be right down” into my pillow and then go back to sleep — but I stayed awake through the whole match, not taking my usual half-time nap (from which I usually don’t wake up until hours later).

This is what usually wakes me up.

This is what usually wakes me up.

And then the match was over; it was 8:45 a.m. on a Saturday morning and I was awake. (!!) Trevor, because he is a productive human person on the weekends, started his vacuuming routine, and I figured I’d try to do my part in the cleaning game. I scrubbed our two bathrooms and then showered up to be ready for the day. And it was still only 11 a.m. (!!!) I didn’t even know what to do with myself.

T. and I decided to have an early lunch and then do some wandering in downtown Crystal Lake to enjoy the rest of the morning. We stopped by CL’s used book store, Buy Local Books.

Yay! We Have Books

Some of fiction we looked through yesterday

Some of the fiction we looked through yesterday

Buy Local will take your books, not for cash, but for store credit. And they’ll take almost anything as long as it’s in good condition. I have an account there but haven’t brought in any books in a while, so I used my remaining $.66 in store credit along with an additional $.68 in cold, hard cash for this little gem:

The best $.68 I've spent in a while

The best $.68 I’ve spent in a while

I am thankful to be starting school in a week, because I’ve spent much too much time lately buying books. And the stacks are starting to pile up. Last week I was in Evanston to get my hair cut by the Amazing Audrey at Art + Science, and, of course, I stopped in at Market Fresh Books, where they sell books by the pound. Yes. By the pound. If the summer wasn’t winding down soon, I’d be in some real biblio-trouble.

From Market Fresh Books in Evanston, where they sell books by the pound.

This stack of nine books rang up to about $38, and that Ephron alone is worth that much!

The pile above includes a bound galley copy of Chuck Palahniuk’s Pygmy with the reviewer’s handwritten notes on the flyleaf; a first edition of Nora Ephron’s Heartburn (containing a recipe for the best bread pudding I’ve ever had); and a trade paperback of Larry Heinemann’s Paco’s Story.

You might remember that I recently purchased a mass market copy of this same Heinemann book during our trip to Stone Soup Books in Camden, ME. And if you’re Trevor, then you know that I also have a number of other copies of this same book, mostly first edition hard covers.

It's possible that there's a fourth copy in my office at school.

It’s possible that there’s a fourth copy in my office at school.

I have a compulsion to buy any copy of this book that I come across. Heinemann was a graduate school professor of mine, and although I had excellent professors for every class during my years at DePaul, Larry was my favorite. And Paco’s Story is a great book, so I want to own them all. My additional excuse for picking up the trade paperback at Market Fresh is that it’s a reading copy that I’d happily lend out to any of my students. So, it’s like a giveaway book, and those are good to have (that’s also why I grabbed the mass market The Color Purple; I frequently do book giveaways in my classroom during Banned Books Week [Celebrating the Freedom to Read!], and this is a perfect copy for that use).

And now it’s Sunday. Trevor and I have watched more Premiere League games, eaten a breakfast of disproportionately sized pancakes,

Pancake Breakfast

It’s like the big pancake has a smaller pancake hat on its head.

and we’re getting ready to dive into the pile of media we picked up from the library yesterday after we left the book store.

Library Haul

The Channing Tatum movie and Eraserhead are for me, as is the Scott Hawkins book (which I started but am having trouble getting into; though I heard good things about it, so I’ll keep going). At some point today, we’ll hunker down and watch some movies. And maybe take a nap. And then watch the season finale of True Detective while following the live Twitter feeds of people also watching it and reveling in its absurdly unclear dialogue and plot.

Because the carpets are vacuumed and the bathrooms are scrubbed, and the lawn is mowed (thank you for that, Trevor). So what else is a gloomy Sunday good for?


(except, maybe, macaroni and cheese. so, yes, we’ll probably eat some of that.)

Week Seven: Online Writing Group

It’s the seventh week of the Summer 2015 Online Writing Group!

We’ve got two weeks left in our online writing group! OH MY GOD!

We didn’t have a guest blogger this week, and a few of you got me posts after Sunday, so I’ve posted this a bit late. Are you disappointed? Too bad, suckers.

Here are Everyone’s Week Seven Updates & New Goals:

  • AnneMy goal for this week is going to be something simple: I want to go through my old journal entries and see if there is anything there to add to and improve. I have some things I wrote during my time at Columbia that I want to revisit as well. I’m going to be starting a new job this week so I’m going to have to rework my schedule a bit and see how the writing goes this week. As of right now, it’s up in the air and whatever happens this week, happens, writing wise I mean. (Hope the job is going well, Anne!)
  • Anuar: My goals for week seven are the same to add three more chapters to my book and I’m a bit behind but I’ll try to write more often over this last two weeks.
  • Bev: This week I’m going to keep a journal of my trip to the little cabin near the Boundary Waters north of Grand Marais, MN for another edition of Bev and Jane’s excellent adventures.
  • Bonnie: No update
  • Curt: No update
  • DonnaNo update
  • Laura: I want to get two more blog posts done this week — a short one about the play and a longer one about my favorite band that I’ve been thinking about for weeks now. I’ve also got an estimated four to six pages left on the story I’m writing, and I’d like to finish that this week.
  • LisaOkay, I’m going to say two pages. That’s all I’m shooting for.  🙂 (That’s enough, Lisa!)
  • Mary: No update
  • Mary MargaretNo update
  • Matthew: No update
  • Mike: I have the same objectives as last week (to flesh out the first half of the story draft), but not out of total slackerness. I wound up spending more time on the second half of the story and its climactic scene instead, so progress happened.
  • RobertNo update
  • Samantha: No update
  • Steve: No update

I couldn’t decide if I should use this week’s post as a list of links or a list of prompts, so you’re getting both!

The following is a list of links that, as writers and readers, you might find interesting:

And now, here’s your list of writing prompts (these are non-fiction, but you could like adapt them for fiction if you wanted to):

  • “Write a memoir about a job you have held. Show (and tell) why this job did not lead to a life-long career” (Burroway 250).
  • “Make a list of family mysteries or things you feel uncertain about in your family history. Interview someone in your family who might be willing to fill you in” (Roney 105).
  • Write about something that’s stuck in your craw — a graduate school professor of mine, Larry Heinemann (who is wonderful and everyone should read Paco’s Story [and every Chicagoan should read Cooler by the Lake]) gave me this assignment once, and whenever a student is stuck, I repeat it. What idea, moment, argument, or observation have you not been able to shake for the last few days or weeks? What’s stuck with you? Write about it. Now.
  • Write 250 – 500 words about your worst fear. It doesn’t have to be rational (I’m scared of sharks and have been known to get the terrors for a few seconds while in a swimming pool); it doesn’t have to exist (unicorns, vampires, narwhals [wait, narwhals exist, nevermind]). But why does it scare you?

Okay, got enough? Now, get to writing! Next week is our last week; we’ll have one more list of goals, a guest post from Lisa, and more amazing content to keep you procrastinating long into the wee hours of the morning!

*Burroway, Janet. Imaginative Writing: The Elements of Craft. 3rd Ed. New York: Pearson/Longman, 2011. Print.

Roney, Lisa. Serious Daring: Creative Writing in Four Genres. New York: Oxford, 2015. Print.

*Burroway is a writer whose textbook I use in my creative writing class and whose textbook I used when I was an undergraduate learning the craft. Her approach is practical and straightforward, and I recommend reading her book for useful tips and an excellent anthology of poetry, prose, and drama.