books

Understanding Others: The Benefits of Romance Novels

Just as some readers turn up their noses at young adult fiction, many sneer at romance novels. But these books aren’t simply trashy bodice rippers filled with swooning and ridiculously attractive heroes. They may also increase self-reflection and empathy in readers. (There is often still swooning though. Lots and lots of swooning.) Romance novels can help… Continue reading Understanding Others: The Benefits of Romance Novels

writing

On Love and Letters: Writing for Those You Know

Though I write with terrifying frequency, I fail at an essential type of writing; letters make me fumble. They cause me to be tongue-tied and stuttery. Cards that I give to friends and family are inevitably filled with long spaces and smudges where I have paused to think or where I have decided that a… Continue reading On Love and Letters: Writing for Those You Know

Quotes

Friday Quick Quote: C.S. Lewis’s ‘The Four Loves’

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up… Continue reading Friday Quick Quote: C.S. Lewis’s ‘The Four Loves’

Poetry

Poetry Sunday: Anna Swir’s ‘The Same Inside’

Sometimes we find kinship in unexpected places. Poet Anna Swir’s poem “The Same Inside” captures the meeting of twin souls perfectly. Anna Swir (or Anna Świrszczyńska)(1909-1984) was a Polish poet who wrote about WWII, love, and the experience of women in post-war Europe. When Nazis occupied Poland, she joined the resistance movement, serving as a military… Continue reading Poetry Sunday: Anna Swir’s ‘The Same Inside’

Poetry

Poetry Sunday: Marianne Moore’s ‘Roses Only’

Sometimes the greatest thing about a person isn’t her beauty and grace. It isn’t her sweetness and softness. Sometimes a person’s strength is in the parts of her that are the sharpest. In her poem “Roses Only”, Marianne Moore captures that idea perfectly. Marianne Moore (1887-1972) was an American poet who explored the human experience… Continue reading Poetry Sunday: Marianne Moore’s ‘Roses Only’

Quotes

Friday Quick Quote: Madeleine L’Engle’s ‘The Small Rain’

“It’s a strange thing, how you can love somebody, how you can be all eaten up inside with needing them–and they simply don’t need you. That’s all there is to it, and neither of you can do anything about it. And they’ll be the same way with someone else, and someone else will be the… Continue reading Friday Quick Quote: Madeleine L’Engle’s ‘The Small Rain’