Louisa May Alcott is My Passion: The Podcast! Episode Two: Wrap-up of the 2016 Summer Conversational Series

"It's amazing how lovely common things become, if one only knows how to look at them." (from "Marjorie's Three Gifts," 1877) Welcome to the second episode of Louisa May Alcott is My Passion: The Podcast! During the next thirty six minutes I will give you an overview of the recent Summer Conversational Series, "'Finding Beauty …

Where did Louisa May Alcott’s sexual energy go? And what fueled it?

Julian Hawthorne once speculated about Louisa May Alcott: “Did she ever have a love affair? We never knew; yet how could such a nature so imaginative, romantic, and passionate escape it?” Choosing the life of a spinster Louisa made the conscious decision to remain single, preferring to “paddle my own canoe.” Much has been made …

Life restored after a season of loss: “River of Grace: Creative Passages Through Difficult Times” in word and song

This past Wednesday was a BIG day. This arrived in the mail ... But that was not all. I also got the final mix of my soundtrack CD for River of Grace from the producer. And I have to say he really outdid himself. I sent him a text back with 7 hearts - one …

Louisa May Alcott as grief counselor (on the fifth anniversary of this blog)

My obsession with Louisa played out in a rather odd way. Never a big reader until a few years ago, I’d find myself reading a biographical account of Louisa’s life (rather than read her own words) every few years. This began after reading Martha Saxton’s biography. After the reading (usually done during the autumn months) …

Why are you obsessed with Louisa? Why am I?

I pondered that question during the two years spent writing my book, River of Grace. Because Louisa was an important part of this book, I had to figure out first, why I was obsessed with her, and second, how she has acted as my grief counselor, and as a result, guiding me back into my …

Places that are redemptive, and damning: Monday presentation by Stephen Burby at the Summer Conversational Series

Note: Mr. Burby kindly gave me his presentation (handwritten notes and all) in lieu of the fact that I was unable to attend the Monday session of the Summer Conversational Series. I thank him for doing so. This is a longer post than usual as I found his presentation to be quite thought-provoking. * * * …

The pain of writing is performing the surgery, as demonstrated by Louisa May Alcott and Jo March

Over the past few weeks I wrote the longest piece I have ever written, over 6000 words. Life has been far too busy for my taste lately so I could only work on it in bits and pieces. I have my hour carved out first thing in the morning for writing, beginning with the first …

Tracing the steps of Little Women: Madeleine B. Stern’s brilliant analysis, part four: The All-American Novel makes a cherished dream come true

Little did Louisa May Alcott know that when she wrote Little Women, her classic book based upon her own family life and their “queer” adventures, she was writing the story that was on the heart of all Americans. Universal family It was time when American yearned for its own literature, its own family. The March …

Continuing to trace the steps of Little Women: Madeleine B. Stern’s brilliant analysis, part three: Can you tell what’s real and what is made up?

Little Women  has been called autobiographical because Louisa May Alcott used so many episodes from her own childhood and that of her family to create the story. But where does fact end and fiction begin? Or does it even work like that? Stern says, “Fact was embedded in fiction, and a domestic novel begun in …

Six women writers (including Louisa May Alcott) and their journeys as writers on film

There is a wonderful film online featuring the stories of six prominent women writers (including Louisa May Alcott, of course!. It is called Behind a Mask: Six Women Finding a Space to Write. Here is the summary from the website, Films on Demand Digital Educational Video: Behind a Mask: Six Women Finding a Space to …