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Scott Lax Blog


Car washing time
A few days after making daffodil soup, Finn wanted to help his mommy wash his car. The sun was shining brightly (for a welcome change) and we couldn't find his little cap, so I tightened my Cleveland Indians cap as much as I could and it worked fine.


"I making soup, Daddy!"
Finn has discovered one of the joys of boyhood: mud. And what better way to enjoy it than to find some hapless daffodils and make his version of soup.


Early this week I took Finn out to our little garden. It's got straw from the winter that will break up the hard clay NE Ohio soil. Finn loves everything outside, and loves working in the garden. He grabbed his little shovel... or as he calls it, "my tiny shovel," and began digging. And digging. And digging.

"Get Daddy shovel and you dig too Daddy!" he said. So I took the larger shovel and made a few dents in the soil, but mostly wanted to watch him. Here his face shows his late grandmother's determination and concentration. He looks like my mom sometimes. She loved gardening too, as does Lydia, as I do.

I'm so grateful to see the world through his eyes. The wonder of digging in the dirt. The joy at seeing birds -- jumping up and down singing out, "Fly, birdies, fly!" I catch glimpses of nature the way it really is, unfettered by adult experience, fully adored by a two-year-old little boy.  Read More 


photo by Lydia
We walked in fields of gold.
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Finn, deeply thinking, which all aspiring writers do... .
For the past eleven years, as a speaker and a teacher, I've emphasized one thing again and again: that to be a good writer, you don't necessarily have to believe in yourself. You only have to believe in your story. If you keep believing in that story -- be it fiction or nonfiction or a poem, a play or a screenplay -- you'll get your story out there. The power of story is often stronger than we feel at any given time.

Your fortunes may rise and fall; your confidence may come and go but your story may still be told; perhaps must be told. Don't give up.  Read More 


Today was a fine hint of springtime. Lydia took the boys to Frohring Meadows in Geauga County. (I'm nursing an injury and will be back hiking soon enough.)

My first novel, THE YEAR THAT TREMBLED, begins and ends in a meadow. The first chapter is called, "Meadow," and the last is called, "Meadows." I'll have news about the novel soon. That's all I can say for now, other than another generation of Lax men seems to love meadows. Read More 

Nurturing Yourself as a Writer

Finn fitting some nurture play in between sword fighting with his wood sword (made by his Uncle Marc Bobro) and pounding the drums.
Writing well is difficult. Some don't agree with that. They're wrong. (How's that for a simple declarative sentence?)

But it's true: to write well requires some nurturing -- from yourself. How do you nurture yourself as a writer? To me, there's never been a better piece of advice than Ernest Hemingway's: “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”

Burn that in your mind and keep at it. Walk away from that sentence, or keep writing, it doesn't matter. But you'll know you wrote one true sentence and you can stop beating yourself up.

That is nurturing yourself as a writer. It doesn't involve treating yourself to a cup of coffee or going out to a restaurant, but it's creative nurturing. Read More 

The Drummer

The joy of drumming
I've played drums my entire life, and began playing professionally when I was 13. It's been more than a decade since I retired from playing out with bands, though now and again I sit in.

Now it's Finn's turn. He really is that fast with the sticks to create that blur. No matter if he joins the ranks of Buddy Rich (the best ever), Ringo Star (who is underrated) Uriel Jones (probably my biggest influence) and the rest of the greats (Bonham, Elvin Jones, Gene Krupa, Tony Williams, so many others), I don't care. As long as he keeps that joy of drumming as evidenced on his face in this photo.  Read More 

President Barack Obama

Congratulations President Obama
"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. "
--Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. King would be proud, Mr. President. My family and I wish you every success on this historic day for the United States and the world, and wish you and your family good health and continued happiness. You have made us proud and continue to give us hope. Read More 


Finn at the library (photo by Lydia)
One of the best things about living in our village is that we're a few blocks from our local library. Finn loves the library and never wants to leave. Here he's made friends with a stuffed gorilla and is examine the toy train tracks. Right after this he made some friends and, well, we closed down the joint (at 6 PM), but not before we stocked up on videos and books. I borrowed biographies of Hemingway and of Thomas Jefferson and his later years.  Read More