About this blog

In centuries past, the practice of keeping a “commonplace book” was a popular way to gather private musings. These collections weren’t journals or diaries, but mental scrapbooks that included turns of phrase from published works. Author Elizabeth Smither describes them as “a miscellany of profound or light or provocative items…particularly the life of a writer as it is affected by the writings of others.”

Along those lines, I coined CommonPages to reflect the personal essays you’ll find here. Whether I’m at my day job, or simply daydreaming, it’s never long before connections emerge between life events and books I’m reading.  I prefer non-fiction, but good literature occasionally sneaks its way in.

If you come back often enough, you’ll find a few motifs, such as a proclivity for puns, an ongoing self-comparison to a Jane Austen heroine, my affinity for the outdoors – which is at least partly responsible for how I fell in love with northern Michigan – and one of the reasons for pleasant surprises in Cleveland, which I now call home.

You’ll just have to read for yourself.

Smither, E. (2011). The Commonplace Book: A Writer’s Journey Through Quotations. Auckland, N.Z.: Auckland University Press.