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23 October 2021 -- Stage Fright

I never wanted to be the front man in a band. I never wanted to be the lead guitar player either. What I wanted was to be the rhythm guitar player and sing harmony vocals while standing over in the…

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15 October 2021 -- Reboot

It’s been seven months since I posted anything new here, and I am sorry about that. I have missed you, and I have missed doing the work. I made a really strong start of things, posting daily for quite a…

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17 March 2021 -- Inertia

It was 20 years ago today that my mother, Mary Catherine Wood Heilker, died after a long and difficult decline from COPD.  I wrote a short essay about her passing some years later. It appears below. 

This is, I think…

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2 March 2021 -- Feeling Like My Lyrics Can't Keep Up

Here's this week's reflection for my Creativity students, followed by my response to my own assignment:  

Write a reflection of at least 250 words in which you think carefully about a fear that may be interfering with your creative work.

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5 February 2021 -- On Playing Cover Songs

In March and April of 2020, as a conscious response to the COVID quarantine, in my heartbreak about not being able to play music in public, I embarked on a song-a-day challenge to both keep me occupied and to reach…

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30 January 2021 -- Be on the Side of Creation

Not gonna lie: It has been a very difficult last few months.  

I remember distinctly – after six months of quarantine and working from home and social distancing and disinfecting and Zoom sickness – six months of living in a…

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10 December 2020 -- Discipline and Creativity

I’ve just finished reading Twyla Tharp’s book, The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life, and I highly recommend it. It is self-described as “a practical guide” to creativity, and so it is: a lovely combination of…

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30 November 2020 -- My Holiday Advice for Students

Three years ago at this time, I was invited to address the students of the Honors Residential Commons here at Virginia Tech as part of their end-of-the-semester gala.  Here is the text of those remarks.

It is an honor and

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