Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Writing Teacher in the Summer

This is the first summer in a very long time without any classes (my choice). I was tempted to go on a European journey (Wales was very appealing), but instead I find myself focused on two activities: bicycling and writing.

Ohio has an enormous mileage in Rails-to-Trails routes, and some really beautiful ones are within half an hour's drive of my home in Mansfield, so that's where you will find me at least four days a week. A thirty-mile ride in the evening sounds grand. (People ask me how long that takes. I'm a fairly slow rider, so it's 2½ to 3 hours.) The picture is an Internet image of my favorite wheels, a Giant Roam.

The other part of the summer has been writing. I'm working on a textbook for prisoners who are taking a college English course online. It's quite a project, and I have never done anything like this before, so it's a somewhat frustrating adventure. Loose papers everywhere! Notes to myself about great ideas to include—but will I find the notes when it comes time to write that chapter?

On the non-biking evenings (and many mornings) you will find me in a restaurant with a cup of coffee, a stack of paper, and a pen, working on the next chapter. People are fascinated. They have never seen anyone do anything like this before. It's like seeing someone perform brain surgery with a butter knife. For my part, handwriting just feels better, and gave me the added advantage that the computer crash of a few weeks ago didn't take away a single word of my book. Though I already have several good pens, I bought this one to commemorate the start of the project: