Wednesday, August 11, 2004


My standard joke is that I study history because I prefer that any people I read about be long gone, dead, and buried, lest they tell me that I've gotten my facts wrong, or that my interpretation is off. We the living care often care deeply about how the dead whom we love are portrayed. (Pat Nixon would make a fascinating subject for a biography, but I think it will be impossible to write one until her grandchildren have been dead for a while.) After a few hundred years, though, some of the raw emotion dies down, and research and writing are easier; indeed, for some subjects, writers are driven by the compulsion to give a voice to a formerly silent part of the record.

All of this is a long-winded way of saying that I wrote for nearly two hours yesterday, and saved none of it. (I did add a missing word, so progress of one.) The current section necessitates writing about the autopsy of a child who died a horrible, painful death. I have no genetic or familial connection to this little girl, yet it's painful going.

Words Written: one
Lessons Graded: three

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