Tagged with middle America

The foulest of today

I’m in a real temper. Little things have piled up–solicitors and criminals and things that need fixing–such that I’m completely hair-pulling-unable-to-cope-with-life mega angry AAAAAAAAAH! But I don’t need to punch or overpower or behead anybody, right? I can just slump over, make my ugly face, and tell you. Ahem. Today’s List of Foul Stuff My broken-in-half pear tree … 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

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

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

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

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

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 Best Bad Book Titles EVER!

My friend Carrie Mesrobian is getting ready to have her first novel published. With a real publisher and everything. The book is YA and is going to be rad and she’s gonna be famous and all that. So yesterday, Carrie mentioned that she still doesn’t have a title for said forthcoming novel, which she’s just been calling … Continue reading

THOSE kind of people.

This week I’m reading  Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower and, of course, now I’m thinking about how I like quirky, distinct characters in writing. Also I’m wondering how best to create my own characters like Charlie, the book’s first-person narrator. If you haven’t read the book, it’s worth the read. Unless you hated Catcher … Continue reading

A cat pee kind of day.

I got home late last night from a super rad evening of music and spoken word (thanks Gray Skies Reading Series) and noticed a sour, gross smell in my office as I was checking my email. I thought maybe it was my own sweat I was smelling, which has a disgusting cat pee aroma when … 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

Extremely Incredibly Peculiar Child Narrators

As a rule I like kid narrators.  I read a lot of them. An embarrassingly high percentage of the books I read are YA and most young adult novels feature a first-person narrator between the ages of 14 and 17. This week, I met sixteen-year-old Jacob whom I accompanied on a quest to solve the mystery of … Continue reading