Because I’m selfish and want to feel thankful

Things are happening in my country. Bad and probably good things, but mostly big and heavy and hard to carry things. Everyone’s “taking a stand,” posting rants and heartfelt messages and quoting dead people. A few are actually doing something—walking in marches and holding candles. But not me. I’m just sitting here grinding my gears. Today, I’m … Continue reading

On Flying

A show about planes aired on PBS last night. Images of early wood-and-canvas aircrafts flashed on the screen. A black-and-white still of a World War I general. The narrator’s deep voice captured the general’s sentiment without irony: These flimsy flying contraptions have no place in battle! One hundred years later, the general seems so distant. … Continue reading

The foulest of today

I’m in a real temper. Little things have piled up–solicitors and criminals and things that need fixing–such that I’m completely hair-pulling-unable-to-cope-with-life mega angry AAAAAAAAAH! But I don’t need to punch or overpower or behead anybody, right? I can just slump over, make my ugly face, and tell you. Ahem. Today’s List of Foul Stuff My broken-in-half pear tree … Continue reading

Dear Universe, Thanks for the Sunrise

Dear Universe, Thanks for this morning’s eye-burning sunrise because when we got into the car, Only was like, “I’m so cold I feel like I’m naked in a snowbank,” even though it’s fifty degrees outside and she’s wearing a flannel, but because middle school is the Land of Extremes, she clacks her teeth, blasts the air, and splays her … Continue reading

Jimmy James Blood: An Interview with Missy Anne

Hello again, pretty blog people! The other day I met up with independent author Missy Anne Peterson at a local hotspot where they serve a mean tofu and egg English muffin sandwich and asked her questions about her debut novel, Jimmy James Blood, a dark story about a rough group of teenagers growing up in a twisted rural … Continue reading

Fault Line: An Interview with Christa Desir

Forever ago I interviewed Carrie Mesrobian about her fabulous debut (released October 2013), and I’m thrilled to report that both readers and critics are gaga over Sex and Violence. Now go buy it. Thanks to Carrie, I had the chance to gab with another fantastic debut author this week. Christa Desir’s novel Fault Line (which just came … Continue reading

Writer Girls Who Make Me Scream

Today I wanna celebrate. Partly because I’m sick of my own Sad Sackery, but mostly because there are so many amazing writer girls in my world and I WANNA SCREAM ABOUT THEM! So I’m gonna. Course I’m psyched that Alice Munro won the 2013 Noble Prize in Literature, and I love that she’s willing to share her … Continue reading

Finding a way back

Last night I was telling my husband why I’ve been such a bitch lately. I get lost, see. I get sad and lonely and feel unworthy. Then I do bad things. Yesterday I didn’t want to use the internet at my house because we were on the verge of going over our gig limit. (I like … Continue reading

Rescuing isn’t really what we do.

“Waah! OooRaaaah!” A lost child was crying somewhere near our bus stop.  My daughter’s head was swiveling. I wanted to keep walking. I didn’t want to get involved. These situations are never what they seem. “There! In that tree!” She pointed to a thick branch about thirty feet overhead in a fir tree. A cat, grayer than the … Continue reading

I met a blogger in real life

Growing up, my dad liked ferreting out individuals who routinely made decisions that resulted in terrible consequences. Like when a co-worker started dating a man who had “unfairly been sent to prison” or when the neighbor guy invested his savings in Amway. “Sure, they’re book smart, but they don’t have an ounce of good sense.” … Continue reading

Delirium Delirium

NEWSFLASH: The hottest book club in America–the Girls on Fire Summer Book Club–has started meeting again. True to form, the girls were on fire Friday to rant about the non-ending ending of Requiem, Lauren Oliver’s “conclusion” to the Delirium trilogy. We also chose the cast of the movie version (see our picks below). You’re welcome, … Continue reading

Meat Man and the Good Thought Ladies

A man’s face appeared outside the window of my office two days ago. Dark-haired. Early thirties. Startled me out of my chair. I had been sitting at the computer typing away on a story. He stepped onto my porch, silent. His body made a shadow on the floor. I turned. He stared from the other side … Continue reading

Uses for Boys: An Interview

Uses for Boys is one of those books I read in one sitting and can’t stop thinking about. Erica Lorraine Scheidt’s writing is sparse and unusual. She explores the psyche of a young girl, Anna, who is growing up without much connection or adult guidance. The voice of Anna captivated me. Her innocence is part … Continue reading

Where we put things

My mother-in-law loves Costco. For the record, I don’t want to love the two-pack cereal boxes or the vats of edamame hummus. I don’t want to indulge in so many free food samples that I skip lunch. I don’t want to pay a membership fee to a store at which I have to BUY STUFF. But I … Continue reading

Sex and Violence: An Interview

The more connections I make in the writing world, the more I have the opportunity to read early copies of novels (which I love). This week I finished reading my ARC of Carrie Mesrobian’s debut Young Adult novel Sex & Violence, and I wanted to talk about it with someone. Actually, I really really really wanted … Continue reading

Five Reasons A Person Can’t Blog

DO NOT do any of these if blogging is important to you! Ok, truth: this is really a list of five stupid things that have kept ME from blogging for the past month… 1. I got in a fight. Not like punching or anything. My mom and I drove to Idaho with my daughter and … Continue reading

Geese and the Mysteries of Migration

An abandoned dairy near my house has become a rest stop for migrating birds–mostly Canada geese–and I can’t help slowing my car on mornings after I’ve dropped my daughter at school to gaze out into the field and watch the birds. Last week, I did a double-take when I noticed white mounds scattered amid the flock … Continue reading

Year One

One year ago today I wrote my first blog post. The post stunk, mainly because I was trying too hard to be something I’m not: a writer who, on a first draft, can write brilliant online fiction. The experience taught me that like most mortals, I must spend hours and hours writing and editing and … Continue reading

Library confessional

I’m alone in one of the library’s tiny study rooms trying to write something deep and profound. That’s what REAL writers do. I don’t want to be a failure, so I try to think deep thoughts. The door is closed and even though I’ve been here only twenty minutes (distracted by texts and Facebook and email … Continue reading

A random bird and the nature of sadness

A lone red-breasted bird in my yard uses his beak like tiny tongs to pick up wet, rotting maple leaves. The leaves stick together, but he manages to flip over these soggy pancakes, and delve into the underneath. He must be looking for something–bugs, maybe–because he’s very diligent and focused. He doesn’t notice me watching … Continue reading