You Can’t Buy Everything at Ikea

*This post on Christmas Eve traditions originally appeared at Dances with Chaos in 2011. — Our Not-So-Silent Night I hear–first—the angel chimes. Do you know about them? (They’re sold now at IKEA.) The ding-ding-ding of bells as golden trumpeters circle the candle flames, urged onward by heat and little-girl excitement. In the air an endless loop […]

Letters for Scarlet: The Movie

PEOPLE, I HAVE BIG NEWS: No, Letters for Scarlet is not a movie. Yet. But it is on sale for just .99 until November 15th. NOW! (Edited to add: The sale has been so successful, we’ve extended it. Don’t miss out!) Oops. I meant IT’S ON SALE FOR JUST 99¢ !!! UNTIL NOVEMBER 15!!! NOW!!! My math […]

Since You’ve Been Gone

I mean, you’re not that far from us. You’re in Oregon. Our states touch. We’re one plane ride away. (If we fly direct to Portland then drive to Eugene. Otherwise it’s two plane rides with a connection in San Francisco. Sometimes one of the planes has a propeller.) So what I’m saying is, you’re not […]

When Your Duck Is Leaving the Nest

Summer vacation is over and school’s back in session. September’s the time of year I usually kick back into writing gear—start kicking ass!—but I haven’t been writing much, at least nothing new, and it occurred to me only yesterday why I can’t. Not that I haven’t been productive. (Who’s reading this? Bill? My Mom? My […]

7,305 Days

On August 17th, 1996, the wedding videographer pulls me aside, asks if I’d like to record a few words to my future husband. An English teacher and aspiring writer, I am confident; but I overdo it, trying hard to win at romance. I gush some flowery lines I no longer remember. Watching the video for […]

Missing Persons

My high school reunion is this Saturday. Thirty years. 30. Three. Oh. It’s impossible to type that number and not be awestruck by how quickly time’s passed. Despite the reminder of how long ago we graduated (!!!) I’m looking forward to hugging dear friends I’ve seen recently… …and hugging people I’ve seen only on Facebook […]

Writers Write

It’s July 1st and already I feel the apathy creeping in. In previous summers, between June and September, I had a legitimate excuse for my lack of writing progress. I was a teacher who worked hard during the school year. A teacher who had young kids. My time belonged to others. And after ten months […]

The Graduate

My insides are humming. The low-grade buzz of bewilderment mixed with nerves and how did we get here? In my head, a gaping space. Hollowness. I don’t remember. So I freeze like a statue in the kitchen while the bread toasts. Memories present themselves for inspection. Slowly at first. Then, all at once, these details […]

Love in the Time of Laundering

“How long did the contractors say you’d be out of your home, Mrs. Gardner?” The fire chief asking me this question wears a faded sweatshirt and old blue jeans. I take in his sneakers and can’t help wondering if this is how he typically dresses for work. Later it will occur to me firefighters don’t […]