Essays! You In?

Next week is the deadline for jumping aboard this years Essays on Childhood project. All we need is a short bio and a head shot; you have another month to decide what you want to write, and even longer than that to actually write it. Click the link above or just click this photo here to redirect to the full project schedule.

In honor of previous essayists and to get your writing mojo flowing, I am going to republish some of my favorite excerpts from previous years over the next several days. Enjoy, and feel free to send me any questions at or just post them here in the comments. I hope to work with you this year.

Ours was the third house to be built in the ‘new’ neighborhood. A subdivision of homes was being built in the woods. THE WOODS. We moved into the house in the fall, and I played in the woods around the house beginning then and through the winter. When I turned seven in April my mother sent me outside to play.

“No really, you have to go outside… and play… Go…”

So I went. Outside. Into THE WOODS.

via In a Man’s Voice: Outside by Brent Aikman | Esse Diem.

When I went to college in South Carolina, I sometimes babysat for a young family.  The Daddy went to Episcopal High School, a boarding school in Virginia, and coincidentally was roommates with my cousin Will Carter.  He told me about his trip to Lewisburg once, his first to West Virginia, with Will to meet his family.  He remembers driving into a beautiful piece of property, open and lovely in the spring green, and as they pulled in closer to the Prichard house, two young men, not much older than he and Will, were standing naked in the field playing their stringed instruments.

via For the Love of Music by Lisa Lewis Smith | Esse Diem.

Nobody had been up the road for many months, probably since summer time, so the ruts grooved by any bad weather were deep. As we descended into the Rain Forest, the driver had to make sharp left and right juts, avoiding the big pits in the dirt road. I remember flinging right and left off the back of the Jeep as the driver jigged and jagged along the path. Sometimes we had to actually stop and fill in the ruts with brush and stones in order to create a passable road. Sometimes we would stop and pick blackberries on the way in!

via Going to the Farm by Melanie Foster Taylor | Esse Diem.

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