Favorite prose, v. 2–Helen Macdonald

Thanks for spending part of your Friday (or after) at my blog. It’s been a good week on the business side of things, with a new agreement with an old client, an agreement with a new client, and a confirmation of matching funds matched for another client.

hawk HBusiness aside, I’m thinking about the written word, and Helen Macdonald’s remarkable H is for Hawk (2014), which was deservedly much beloved upon its release. My hardback copy has the ragged edge cut of the pages opposite the spine, so I love it all the more.

The story is, of course, about Ms. M.’s adoption of a goshawk, who she names Mabel, in part to manage her grief following her father’s death. Ms. M.’s capacity to freeze images in her memory and to translate those images into singing prose is rivaled perhaps only by her ability to dissemble as a human in order to see her world from Mabel’s point of view.  You’ll have to read H, though, to find those passages, as a paragraph on spiders inspired this post.


Sorry about the abrupt ending, but still: what a passage!




Share your work–v. 2: Insivia

Happy Friday! Here in NEOhio, the consensus is certainly that the novelty of this winter is over. See you in two weeks, spring! We miss you!

As I noted last week, I’m a fan of Austin Kleon’s Show Your Work, so I’ll do a bit of that here, now and again.


Today’s quick entry is on Insivia, a Cleveland-based company that addresses business challenges in sales, marketing, operations, and customer service. Their list of clients is impressive, and they do great work.

So here’s a short bit from a recent job posting:

Insivia is a fast growing interactive studio that thrives on passion, innovation and agility. We are a team of talented individuals who think strategically, work collaboratively and love taking on our clients’ marketing and technology challenges.

Here’s my first take:

At Insivia, we thrive on passion, agility and innovation. Our team thinks strategically, works collaboratively and loves to take on our clients’ challenges in marketing and technology.

And here’s my second take, in case Insivia is committed to “interactive studio”:

At Insivia, our interactive studio of talented creatives brings agility, passion and innovation to every challenge. We think strategically and work collaboratively to make the most of our clients’ opportunities in the digital marketplace.

Marketing copy and creative content are expected, of course, to take creative license with grammar guidelines. Still, teams usually include individuals, and one or both of those sentences cries out for an active verb.


Share your work–v. 1: Lucius

Thanks for checking out my blog. I really dig Austin Kleon’s Show Your Work, so I’ll offer here a ongoing series of my prose and edits in the coming weeks. A found-object spirit informs this page, as I find prose on the web and, well, imagine it could be otherwise.

Here’s some good news, kids! Lucius’s forthcoming album NUDES drops on 2 March. Woo-hoo! I can hardly wait to hear their interpretation Gerry Rafferty’s “Right Down the Line.” The only advance single I can find is this lovingly understated version of their track “Until We Get There.”

ILL faces

Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, or vice versa, of Lucius.

At ilovelucius.com, here’s the band’s statement about NUDES:


Here’s my hot take on this bit:

We love performing live. Whether we’re onstage at a single microphone, in the center of the crowd, or in tiny, unexpected rooms around the world, we have over the years stripped things bare to create intimate bonds with you, our fans. These connections provided the inspiration for NUDES, our forthcoming album. In two beautiful days at New York’s legendary Electric Lady Studios, we recorded a collection of acoustic songs: some are old, some are new, and some are covers we’ve always wanted to do. NUDES pays homage to our inspirations … and heralds the inspiration still to come.

What do you think?

I, too, love Lucius, and recommend you check them out if you’re in one of the lucky cities listed here.  I saw them back in March 2016, and the band was absolutely amazing.



Favorite prose, v. 1–Moshin Hamid

Thanks for checking out my blog at Cadence!

My writing life is dedicated almost exclusively to nonfiction. I manage a few social media accounts, edit marketing materials, and I write grant proposals and copy for websites. Still, I try to keep up with contemporary fiction, and this past year I secured a great bounty of recent titles. Here’s one of the many dazzling bits from Moshin Hamid’s Exit West, A Booker Prize short lister, in case you’re into that sort of thing.


I just love a well-executed, single-sentence paragraph.

I’m happy to be back in the blog-posting rhythm following a long hiatus from my book blog, for Stealing All Transmissions: A Secret History of The Clash. If you’re a devotee of punk and post-punk, click on the first link above, and the tag “(post) punk gem.” Enjoy! And do be in touch, for work or just to say “hi”!