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Animal Mineral Radical book cover1

Animal? Mineral? Radical?

I’ve never played the “Animal, Vegetable, Mineral?” game (thank-godacado for visual instructions:

And I never met, during my comics-reading phase, Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man, a supervillain who can change any part of his body into, well, any animal, vegetable, or mineral—or combo thereof.

Some days I feel like an animal; more days, like a vegetable; and when the students return to my local college town this time every year, definitely like a mineral.

Which may be why I’m so captured by BK Loren’s life-affirming trinity in Animal, Mineral, Radical: Essays on Wildlife, Family, and Food :

ANIMAL, as in wild, domestic, essential

MINERAL, as in solid, crystalline, interlocked, creating a sometimes jagged bond

RADICAL, as in rootsy, of the earth, digging to the origin, resulting in change

BK Loren is one of a handful of writers whose ways of perceiving and thinking—and articulating via speaking or writing—keep my mind on high-alert because her language is vital, precise, and poetic, and, when it comes to the art and craft and biz of writing, unapologetically candid.

So, as I prepare for this month’s Guac & Chips interview (Sept. 10) and Ripen Your Writing teleseminar (Sept. 24) with BK Loren (, who will be joined by poet Juliet Patterson ( for the teleseminar, “Poetry as a Foundation for Prose,” I’ve been wondering about the world, its objects and dynamics, and myself: Animal, mineral, or radical?

Animal when I’m falling in love, dancing, eating, sleeping, crying. Mineral when I’m interacting with my twin sister. Radical when I’m writing, learning, teaching, cooking, dwelling in the languages of tarot, astrology, and dreams.

How/when are you an animal? A mineral? A radical? Share in the comment box below.


  1. Animal when I yearn to lick my children.
    Mineral when I become the bluffs above Lake Superior, standing in awe and relationship to water.
    Radical when I open my mouth about mothering and writing.

    Just ordered BK’s book. Looking forward to the interview. xoxoox S

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