Tagged with desires in conflict

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My first time getting paid for it.

Usually I give it up for free. Now I feel used and I haven’t even held the check in my hand, just a contract promising me $250. (I hear that’s good money for what I just did.) Yeah, that’s right. I sold a piece of myself…A piece of writing. I thought it would feel better, but … Continue reading

Crashing the Tin House Writer’s Workshop

Of course I couldn’t officially attend Tin House’s writing extravaganza this past week—it’s like $1,100. And of course I’ve been plotting for months to go anyway. The thing is, I’ve been to enough of these writing confabs to know they’re a bit like weddings. Everybody’s slightly drunk and blissed-out and wouldn’t know if you’re a cousin of the groom … Continue reading

Haircuts and other acts of bravery

I need to cut my hair off. It’s long and heavy and ridiculous. But I don’t want to. Maybe long hair reminds me of being young… That’s the problem, see? I’m NOT young. I’m on the verge of forty, and the locks need to go before I “cross over.” So today I went back to … Continue reading

The fine art of a Party Cat battle

I’m not sure why I love this mural. It’s painted on a building along Seattle’s busway in the SoDo Urban Art Corridor. Maybe it’s the absurdity or the tension or the cat’s pink party hat or the red star on the girl’s pocket. There’s something about the look in that Girlie’s wild cartoon eyes that draws … Continue reading

One ticket, please, for that other Earth.

Offline. What a weird concept. It didn’t even exist back in the eighties when the most we could do to “disconnect” was take the phone off the hook. Which I never did. That was back when I was the social version of myself. Now I’m more a hermit version, but I still can’t totally hang … Continue reading

The Deadly Sin of Patio Furniture Envy

Plenty of people have stuff I don’t have–big houses, expensive cars, jewelry, and whatever else excessive disposable income buys. My budget has more limits. But I’m no saint. I’m not immune to the cult of buying. Plastic picture frames, cheap throw rugs, and other unnecessary hoarder-in-training debris are scattered about my house. Believe me, I DO aspire … Continue reading

What I do when I’m depressed about writing

I just read my last post about creating quirky characters and groaned. Out loud. And made that hideous pig-snorting face reserved for people who have just done something stupid. What kind of an idiot makes herself into a cutsie fake character on a blog? To make matters worse, I read this passage by Charles Baxter … Continue reading

Writing A Magical Story

This week I’ve been obsessively searching for the magical ingredients of successful story writing. Not like the obvious stuff that we always talk about–character, theme, plot, blah, blah. And please don’t suggest I go read Joseph Campbell. I’m talking about the magic! Secret somethings that pull you in and keep you reading (or watching or listening), … Continue reading