Feeling Better: I review “Inside Out”

for AmCon: Pixar’s “Inside Out” is a charming, vividly-imagined film with terrific comic timing. Its insights are sharp and its message accurate. So why was I the only person in the theater who didn’t sniffle?“Inside Out” takes us into the brain of Riley, a buoyantly happy 11-year-old girl about to face her first major life challenge: a move from Minnesota to San Francisco. We see the world inside her head, including a control room operated by her emotions. Joy (Amy Poehler) is in charge, a … [Read more...]

W.H. Auden dressed as a beetle.

Does what it says on the tin. … [Read more...]

“Resilience and Sensitivity”

In which those who can't do teach, at AmCon! (And btw you really, really should read this piece by Michael Brendan Dougherty on growing up with a single mother.) … [Read more...]

“The Spell of the Satirist’s Skill”

my children's-book column for Acculturated:I don’t know why anyone would ever want to rule a fantasy kingdom, or become an evil wizard, when you have to deal with countless irksome children giving you backchat. It seems that almost every kids’ fantasy written nowadays has a “spunky” hero or heroine: kids who speak their mind or talk back to their elders, even when sass is clearly not the wisest move. These kids’ mentors constantly praise them for their bravery, but it’s hard to see why, … [Read more...]