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Patrick Erwin's Blog

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Last weekend, I attended a reading of a great new short fiction anthology. All the stories are about living life in the age of online communication and social media. It’s a topic I could write a whole damn book about. I got my first computer in 1997, and for most of the next 15 years, it...
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It's been over a year since I've blogged here (sorry!) and nearly three years since my last post in my blog A Thousand Other Worlds, a blog about soap operas that focused on the more traditional P&G soaps like Guiding Light and As The World Turns.  It was joyful news for many when we...
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Honestly, I can't believe I have to write a post defending someone as genuinely influential and amazing as Fred Rogers. But his legacy came under attack again last week during a now-widely discussed high school commencement speech. David McCullough, an English teacher and son of historian David...
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  At the beginning of 2011, I was comfortably ensconced in a corporate job - one I'd worked hard to get after a jarring layoff in 2008 (and after considerable handwringing and blogging during the subsequent job search). Last fall, I did something completely counterintuitive: I left my job and...
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NOTE: RedRoom'ers, sorry that it's been so, SO long since my last post.  This subject matter may be disturbing for some readers, so please proceed carefully.  A few weeks ago, on a sunny, cold spring morning, I made a journey from my urban jungle here in Chicago to a rolling hillside in...
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I haven't written about soap operas for over a year, since As The World Turns ended in 2010. So much has happened since then - most notably, the sad cancellations of All My Children and One Life to Live from the ABC lineup.  But there's also been some promising elements in the genre and...
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For the last few weeks, my partner and I have been house hunting. After renting for the last few years, my partner – ever the efficient mathematician – crunched the numbers and decided we would be paying less with a mortgage than we pay now in rent. (This is the same slightly dubious reasoning that...
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I admit it: I am not objective when it comes to libraries. In my opinion, libraries are awesome. They’re great resources of information and very democratic resources (anyone can access them). They have provided hours of entertainment (and sometimes, refuge) for me. And I love books and information...
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The main job of any writer is to make sense of the world around them. In my work, I try to help my readers think about ideas and events in a different way. If I'm lucky, I can dig deep enough in a subject to provide context and really put things into perspective.  But even the most experienced...
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I admit it: it took me a long time to get over being laid off from my job a few years ago. It was a long period of recovery, and a long struggle with my anger and resentment over what had happened. To understand why I was so reluctant to let go, I have to explain the dreams, the years and the...
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On this date three years ago, my mother lost a long battle she'd been fighting - with cancer, with her heart, with her entire body. She was 68. I've remembered her with a blog post in other years and of course, I miss her every day. This year I wanted to remember something specific about her....
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Misty snow-covered memories
Memory is a tricky thing - mostly static, but with a little elastic around the edges. It can stretch and bend and change shape and texture over the years.  I've been neck deep in memory lately; most of my summer has been spent researching my family history. That research has helped me establish a...
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For me, music is oxygen. I can't remember a time when I didn't have music playing in the background, or running through my head.  Some of my earliest memories are of music. I remember being 2 or 3 years old, baking Christmas cookies with my family and hearing "Cherish" by the Association...
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When I was in fourth grade, our teacher decided to have us all write a little biography of ourselves. Every Monday, a student would post what they wrote about themselves, and other students would add their own words and descriptions.  I'm quite sure I was the only ten-year-old in that room who...
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They put Michael Jackson in the ground today. You know already, of course, since every media outlet in the universe is standing by to share the experience and their opinions about it. It's not my intention to share my opinion about Michael here. Like most contemplations of other human beings, it's...
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