I was just settling down for what feels like a hundreth revision of my memoir when I read this post by the living notebook. I especially like when he says, “Revision is a trade off—for every change, the novel gains one thing and loses another.” But I guess that’s true for everything; the road less traveled, and all that.

Speaking of roads less traveled, I learned a sad thing the other day. I went to grad school with journalist Jim Foley, who was kidnapped in Libya and held for six weeks in 2011, then released unharmed. I learned the other day that Foley was kidnapped again in Syria, on Thanksgiving day 2012, and has not been heard from since. The work he has done is brilliant and obviously extremely risky. When I found out he’d been kidnapped again all I could think was I doubt I’d have had the gumption to go back in the field, having been abducted once.

On this website,, you can sign a petition and leave notes for whomever may be reading, if you’re so inspired.

Onward to that revision.

3 thoughts on “Revision

  1. I didn’t know you knew James Foley! The news here was full of his re-capture and I remember his parents on the television and the anguish they were feeling. Aren’t they in New Hampshire? I thought then that I couldn’t bear it if I were his mother and how awful it all was. So sorry. M

  2. Like you guys, I can’t think of anything but his parents. Well, and him. Obviously he felt so dedicated to this work that he went back at it. Mom, didn’t know him well, he was a year behind me, but we saw each other in classes and at readings and such.

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