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The Sun Magazine

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

On Writing

For one week in July and one week in August I teach at writing conferences, and the other fifty weeks I am a full-time writer, more or less. No, this is not quite true — the fifty weeks part — because I never get any real work done in December. December is traditionally a bad month for writing. It is a month of Mondays. Mondays are not good writing days. One has had all that freedom over the weekend, all that authenticity, all those dreamy dreams, and then your angry mute Slavic uncle Monday arrives, and it is time to sit down at your desk.

The Heart Of Understanding

If you look into this sheet of paper, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in it. Without a cloud, there can be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow; and without trees, we cannot make paper. The cloud is essential for the paper to exist. If the cloud is not here, the sheet of paper cannot be here either. So we can say that the cloud and the paper inter-are. “Inter-being” is a word that is not in the dictionary yet, but if we combine the prefix “inter-” with the verb “to be,” we have a new verb, “to inter-be.”

What To Do About The Past

Thursday, 10 October. Once I dreamt the inscription on my tombstone: “Here Lies Annie, Who Never Did Anything.” In the dream, I was walking with my friend Margot, a woman I met soon after settling in England for Chet’s last tour of duty. We were on our way to someone’s house to meet with other women and talk about recipes. The picture of the tombstone flashed through my mind.


Mama's Story

I’ve warned Mama nor to tell her story today. Mama has a visitor, a Mrs. Thompson from her Sunday School class. First Baptist believes in staying in touch. You could fit two of Mama into the green and orange knit that strains to cover Mrs. Thompson’s ample body. No wonder, the way she puts away the cookies, loads her tea with three sugars.

The Disappearance Of Baby Dinosaurs

The light is off in the hallway. It’s been off for a month and the first floor tenant, Mrs. Gaynor, has complained to the landlord. Over and over. She has sciatica and the beginnings of glaucoma, and believes every story she reads in the papers about muggers in the dark. She says that I don’t care because I’m young. Young people read only the headlines about Russia, she says. Movie reviews. Dear Abby.

*NOTE: Original copies of this issue are no longer available. Unbound, laser-printed copies will be provided for print orders.

Readers Write


Progress brought people like Leon Johnson to apply for jobs in the boat-building company where I worked. He came from Louisiana, where he had been a farmer all his life. But something went wrong, and he could no longer make a living in the country. He and his wife sold their farm and moved to Florida.

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸


Worshipping the teapot instead of drinking the tea.

Wei Wu Wei

More Quotations ▸
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