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

When a person dies

Someone I dearly loved died this week. After I found out she had passed, I turned invisible. Creatures around me became their own planets, rotating in separate orbits. Someone turned down the earth’s volume knob and the little pilotman in charge of keeping our world spinning slowed everything down. The squirrel outside my car window acted … Continue reading

Guilty Pleasure Marathon 2012

Like most Americans, I dutifully spent Turkey Day in full consumption mode. I ate more turkey and potatoes and stuffing than I had capacity to digest and so, spent the next day combating killer heartburn and indigestion. Feeling like an idiot. I did put the hurt on the TUMS, though, and downed enough H2O that … Continue reading

Bang!

I did it! Finally. After months of hand wringing and yammering on about how I need a change, I sneaked away on Sunday to one of those cheap places with Master in the name, signed in on the clip board, and a few minutes later…presto… Bangs. I now have a thick mop of fluff on my forehead … Continue reading

Hot Babes in Underwear…

…was someone’s Google search today that brought up my blog. What a raging disappointment I must have been! Aww. “sad face* To the poor boy searching the internet for eye candy: I can only apologize profusely. For being a real person. With her mind focused on something other than your penis. (Sorry for jumping to gender conclusions. … Continue reading

Look

I promised fellow bloggers Maggie at Fly Away Home and Aubrey at Write Aubrey Write that I would participate in the author tagging game called the Look Challenge. The game’s for bloggers who are also writers and is a way to let others sneak a peek at your work. Here’s how it works: Search your manuscript for the word “look” and … Continue reading

Letting my junk hang out

So I’m at this retirement party for these two guys my husband used to work with and I’m talking to this woman–another former co-worker of my husband, but also a friend of mine–who mentions she read (at least started to read) the original story I tried drafting in real-time on this blog. That story was … Continue reading

Oh, Vermont. Oh!

So it’s my last day at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont, and I’m already sad. And sappy. I’ve met the most amazing artists from all over the world, and I hate leaving them. Did I get a ton of writing done, not really. But, oh! What an experience. I met Ron Carlson, who … Continue reading

The end is near

Summer, my thirties, the pears I canned last year…so many cool things on the verge of being gone forever. Stupid finite human reality. I hate it. Now I have regrets…like  I should have blogged during August (I’m a slacker). Should’ve made more of myself during the decade of my thirties. I should have savored those pears a … Continue reading