Archive for February, 2023

Loose Creatures (a brief appreciation for Ursula K. LeGuin)

23 February 2023

My watercolor of an oak branch – see my art blog for more oak drawings

My nearly-ten-year-old daughter and I have been reading a lot of Ursula K. LeGuin out loud at night before going to sleep. I’ve been meaning to post something here praising her Earthsea books, her Annals of the Western Shore series, her Ekumen sci-fi books, and also The Beginning Place – which we finished reading a couple days ago.

Last night, though, we enjoyed reading LeGuin’s short story “Direction of the Road” from the collection The Unreal and the Real: the Selected Short Stories of Ursula K. LeGuin. I first heard praise of this story on the Crafting with Ursula podcast episode featuring Isaac Yuen. It’s a wildly inventive short story told from the point of view of a hundreds-of-years-old oak tree, who tells stories of interacting with those “loose creatures,” their “makings,” and the general local “Order of Things.” (more…)