Portals Writers Conference

art, Christianity, editing, teaching, writing

Have some free time on June 20-23? Join me in Salem for the Portals Writers Conference. I’m teaching workshops in poetry and creative nonfiction, giving a reading, and playing some disc golf. #Portals13

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Pursuing Justice launches today

Christianity, reading, writing

Ken Wytsma’s book Pursuing Justice officially launches today, and it’s got a brand-spanking-new trailer to go along with it. Check it out.

What It Was Like: Bible Class Sex-Ed

Christianity, teaching

My Bible teacher is cool. At least I think he is—I’m not the coolest kid in middle school, so my judgment might be suspect. But I’m not the nerdiest, either, and if I compare Mr. Scott with the rest of my teachers, he comes out near the top. He likes to stand in front of his desk and lean back against it, legs crossed and locked, and smooth his thin tie over and over, pulling it flat and taut against the stomach of his short-sleeved shirt. His shoes have pointed toes, and the thinnest laces I have ever seen…

Continued at Magical Teaching

Saint Ephraim teaches creative writing

art, Christianity, writing

I was reading some essays by Scott Cairns recently, and came across this 4th century prayer from Saint Ephraim.

Lord and Master of my life, grant not unto me the spirit of idleness, of discouragement, of lust for power, and of vain speaking.

Grant, rather, unto me, thy servant, the spirit of chastity, of meekness, of patience, and of love.

Yea, O Lord and King, grant that I may perceive my own transgressions, and judge not my brother, for blessed are you, unto all ages. Amen.

After I read it two or six times, I realized it was about the writing life. I don’t know anything about Saint Ephraim, but I’m glad he knew what a creative writer in the 21st century might need, and might want.