Tagged with relationships

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chicago Was Better Than This Chair.

I know what the Bean is now. The Sears Tower is the tallest building in North America and has, I found out, been called the Willis Tower since 2009. Who knew? I do. Since I went to Chicago (for the first time!) this past week.I discovered art and architecture and facts about the Windy City, which … Continue reading