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Scott Lax Blog


What could Finn be looking at? What else; who else? His mommy.
I'll be posting soon about my upcoming writing class in the Chagrin Valley -- in the heart of the Village of Chagrin Falls. It's a new venue for me, but I'm back to teaching part-time after a respite of two-and-a half-years. The class begins in January.

The reason I took this break is pictured to the side of this post. Finn Scott. And the look on his face is what I hope to teach my students: how to look at the world with wonder, with awe, with innocence...and then write about it in a new way, taking into account all the baggage they have gathered along the way. Those two things seem opposite, don't they?

With Finn, so much is new. I look at the world through his eyes. Through my own, too, and therein lies the conflict and paradox of a writer's journey. How do you meld the two visions together. F. Scott Fitzgerald said, "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function."

This is true of any good writing. This is what I will try to teach my students. This is what any decent writer must, should struggle with.  Read More 


Finn put himself on the shelf...completely his idea.
This is the absolutely true story of what Finn did the other night. I went upstairs for a few minutes. Lydia and Finn were downstairs. I heard a fairly usual sound: books falling on the floor. Finn likes to de-shelve and re-shelve books. I heard Lydia call up the stairs: "You have to see this!" I came downstairs and Finn had put himself, completely of his own volition, on the one of the shelves of books. Scroll down to read who Finn de-shelved: literally some of the greatest writers in the English language (not to mention in Spanish and French).  Read More 


Finn put himself in very good company
Here's the partial list of the authors Finn took off the shelf that he put himself on:
William Styron, Scott Smith, Ann Hood, Pablo Neruda, William Gaines, Joseph Conrad, Larry Brown, Ron Powers, Cormac McCarthy, Roald Dahl, Peter Mayle, and W. Somerset Maugham.


photo by Lydia
Lately Finn's been jumping on my lap when I get home and writing: a series of loops and swirls and lines that I've no doubt will someday surpass mine.

To those suffering from Hurricane Sandy

Finn in one of nature's kinder moments, not long before we felt the edge of the hurricane that devastated some of the East Coast.
To friends, colleagues and others on the East Coast, I offer my thoughts and prayers. There's almost nothing to say, other than you've suffered a terrible natural disaster, one which makes any thoughtful person that much more thankful for everyday life, even when it's difficult. It must be brutal; keep going, though. We're thinking of you out here in Ohio. You in the New York and New Jersey areas have been through a great deal; 9/11, now this. Be as safe as possible. Really. Don't take chances. Watch out for downed power lines and falling branches and those random things that can be so destructive. If this post accomplishes anything, I hope it's that even one person is a bit more careful. And compassionate to those in even greater need.  Read More