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From the day he was born, my son has been my greatest teacher. Here’s what he taught me today: It’s not the gift, but the giving that brings us joy. We are comforted and made happy by our traditions and rituals. Spending time with those you love is the most precious gift. Friend, I know this day of celebration for many is difficult for … Read More Tradition

Get used to it.

There was a little girl dressed in a costume in the check out line today. She was cute and said to her mother, “No one will recognize me.” Then she turned to me and took off her mask and I said, “It’s you! I had no idea it was you.” She turned back to her mother and said, “See? I told you.” The mother … Read More Get used to it.

“It took more than three thousand years to make some of the trees in these Western woods — trees that are still standing in perfect strength and beauty, waving and singing in the mighty forests of the Sierra. Through all the wonderful, eventful centuries … God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand straining, leveling tempests and … Read More

the unraveling

One of my beloved aunties had down syndrome. She was sweet and had funny stories about her boyfriend, Mickey Lewis (aka, Mick Jagger). She also had many endearing quirks, one of which was that she liked to clean. Whenever she stayed with us, I would come home and find all of my dresser drawers tidied, even my underwear were folded. She also had a … Read More the unraveling

THE BOOK OF LANEY (Lacewing Books, March 2015) book cover!

I am IN LOVE with the cover for my young adult novel, THE BOOK OF LANEY, forthcoming from Lacewing Books in March 2015.

Sanford, Florida

On July 12, 2000, my mother was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. We were given the news while she lay in her bed at Central Florida Regional Hospital in Sanford, Florida. I remember the date because it was my husband’s birthday and he was off by himself on the holiday we had planned together. I had not gone with him because a few days … Read More Sanford, Florida

she was okay: on finding my voice again and again and again

I just walked back into the house after dropping my son off at school. As I opened the door and walked into my mudroom, I realized I was talking to myself. Out loud. I’ve always talked to myself in my head. It’s been a near constant monologue for as long as I can remember, but this talking out loud stuff is new. I suppose … Read More she was okay: on finding my voice again and again and again

It was a moment

We worked our $5 an hour jobs. We rode through the city streets without helmets on our stolen bikes. We stood on the corner smoking and talking with the homeless men who were our friends. We drank beer on our lunch break. We stayed out all night and still worked our full shift the next day. Beyond everyone I loved then–all those who broke … Read More It was a moment

Obligatory AWP conference post

The 2013 AWP conference is this week (starting on Wednesday). Normally, I would be packing my bags and stocking the fridge for my family. However, this week the conference is a mere 30 miles from my home. You would think this would make it easier for me to get to all of the panels and events. Instead, it makes it more difficult as I remain active and … Read More Obligatory AWP conference post

Originally posted on Alia Yunis' Blog:
…There have 14,000 wars in the last 5,600 years, and at least 160 since 1945.  Children are far more likely to experience war at some point during their childhood than they are to grow up without it.”  J.L. Powers, That Mad Game: Growing Up in a Warzone That Mad Game I was rather reluctant when I got an…

Simple Gifts

My son is sleeping. He knows nothing of the sorrow from the past few days. Not so lucky are the surviving students of Sandy Hook Elementary School. Tonight they are in my heart. Their families are in my heart. Those dead are in my heart. And their families. Especially them. Tomorrow, many of us will send our young children back to elementary school with … Read More Simple Gifts

For a Common Good

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been working with a group of local people on creating a grassroots campaign in favor of a question on our local ballot that we believe should pass. Some of us are Democrats. Some of us are Independents. Some of us are Republicans. Some of us are liberal and some conservative. Some go to church on Sundays. Others are … Read More For a Common Good

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