Filed under On Fear

Agonizing Toward Publication

I was all dreamy over Ooligan Press after pitching my book at the 2016 Write to Publish Conference. Then this happened… Ooligan’s amazing Acquisitions Editors, Molly and Bess, emailed in March that they were excited about Conspiring to be Meri and wanted to pitch the novel to their executive committee. I had no idea what that meant, but … Continue reading

How Disney’s Magic Kingdom is like Publishing

I try not to make a habit of wanting things, especially the desire-in-my-loins-can’t-sleep-until-I-have-it kind of want. Because wanting something THAT bad creates the possibility of profound disappointment, and like most humans, I’m averse to being let down. Take my recent trip to Florida. I kept my expectations for Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter in check—that portion of the vacation was … Continue reading

The Theory of Brilliance

I’ve come to greatly admire my daughter’s cello teacher. The woman is unrelentingly positive. And good at playing cello. During the teacher’s lesson my daughter’s fingers move deftly over the cello’s four strings, as if under a spell, and I’m shocked at how the sounds often don’t match those made at our house. I don’t know squat about playing an instrument, but I … Continue reading

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

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

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

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

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

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

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