Currently, I am in the middle of an intense writing class. When I came across this article (via Boing Boing [Link]) this morning I was struck by this well crafted introduction:

I didn’t want to go back.

When I began reporting from Iraq in 2002, I was still a wild and somewhat naïve twenty-four-year-old kid. Five years later, I was battle-weary. I had been there longer than the American military and had kept returning long after most members of the “coalition of the willing” had pulled out. Iraq had become my initiation, my rite of passage, but instead of granting me a new sense of myself and a new identity, Iraq had become my identity. Without Iraq, I was nothing. Just another photographer hanging around New York. In Iraq, I had a purpose, a mission; I felt important.

Read the rest here [Link].

As far as a personal essay goes, the first sentence gets the reader into the story by asking “why” and presents an authentic voice that hooks the reader into the story.

Blotter Blurbs & Words: June 16

The Traveling Bonfires invade Durham

The Traveling Bonfires prepare for their first appearance in Durham. Read the press release below:

Blotter Blurbs & Words: June 16: FAME: Summer LUAU
FAME is having it’s first “open reading” night! We look forward to this as we celebrate popular local magazine, the BLOTTER. Special guests poets Pasckie Pascua and Matthew Mulder from Asheville and his friends female songwriters Sally Spring ( and Ophir Drive ( We look forward to hearing what they have to say!

Join us at RINGSIDE: 308 West Main Street, Durham.
Doors open at 10pm: 18+

Urban Gardening

Three months ago I pushed words and metaphors into the ground and despite the drought the ground broke with lovely green things and white flowers.

I think I should name them poems, but my children call them basil and tomato and peas and peppers.