Tagged with human desires

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

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

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

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

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

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