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

Meeting an Elk in the Dark

Driving home last night from an impromptu going-away party for our friends’ Australian exchange student, my daughter and I spotted a male elk towering alongside the road. Without thinking, I  pumped the brakes and stopped the car right in front of him. The elk’s breath made little fog clouds that floated like a spell into the … Continue reading

Small acts of terrorism

Three days ago I was getting my hair cut when my phone buzzed. The screen flashed “Blocked Caller.” The day before this call came in, I’d run into a former colleague at the dentist. She offered her sympathies regarding my friend’s recent passing and shared that a man we both used to work with (who … Continue reading

Home is an ocean

The first time I went to NYC and told people I was from Alaska, they asked if I lived in an igloo. Unfortunately, no. I didn’t grow up in a house made of ice. That would’ve been way more exciting than our unremarkable middle-class house on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. Aside the from location–2,000 miles away from … Continue reading

I’m here, are you?

I woke up yesterday with a cold sore. My lip was swollen and blistery and I was pretty sure the world was ending. Turns out I’m still here. I think everyone else is, too. Apparently, the Mayans weren’t trying to predict anything; they just got sick of calendar-making. Don’t think I wasn’t worried, though. I was … Continue reading

God Thoughts

I’ve been thinking about God lately. I imagine a guy enamored with model trains, spending all his time in the basement painting tiny evergreen trees and rail cars carrying fake coal and those yellow and black striped crossing signs. The Big Engineer knows every detail of the goings on in Train Town. He loves the town and … Continue reading