graft or craft?

As I find myself ever more reliant on eLife to keep in touch with friends and loved ones, I am struck by the quality of writing in blogs and emails: I longed as a teenager to be able to pen the kind of letter that Miss Bennet or the Miss Dashwoods would have found engaging, witty, interesting even and upon which they would lavish critical energy and repartee; perhaps once or twice I managed a phrase or sentence worthy of Austen’s heroines.

Despite the immediacy of the medium, achieving a well turned phrase or epithet in electronic correspondence requires every bit as much effort and often without the thinking time afforded by the sharpening of a quill or the preparation of ink and paper. But clearly people are investing that energy to good effect, other people that is, and I am once again inspired to write thanks to reading their words.

While I get back in the swing please take the time to make yourself a cup of strong French roast, play Gershwin’s American in Paris and peruse the beautiful writings of a dear friend and Honored alumna of the UNC writing program, Laura Smyth Wells, whose observations on her sojourn in Paris and the maternal tectonics of her growing family are as good as anything I have read by an American on the most aloof yet enticing city on the planet.

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