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 […]

The Village

When my first nephew Jordan was turning one, I went to Toys R Us to buy him a present. Bill and I planned to give him a savings bond, but I wanted to bring something he could play with, too. So I went to the 12-month-old section and chose a colorful stuffed wiggle worm. The […]

Published Novelist: The First Three Days

(My actual book in my actual hand. It’s possible I need a manicure.) DAY ONE 5:10 AM – The puppy awakens you by licking your face. She doesn’t know it’s launch day! and frankly she doesn’t care. Spend 45 minutes telling her to “go lie down” which she does in five-minute increments. Surrender at 5:55 because […]

An Abundance of Coincidence

So I have a book launching soon. Like in less than two weeks. And you might’ve heard about it once or fifty times because I keep sharing updates on Facebook. And Twitter. And this blog. And Instagram. And my newsletter. And OHMYGOSHHOWSICKOFMEAREYOU? It should be a hashtag. #toomuchjulie (But please don’t make that a hashtag.) Because things are […]

This Is Really Happening

Every once in a while I forget. I am busy with the business of life; with grocery shopping and cooking; with cleaning the kitchen and feeding the dogs; with sorting, washing, drying, and folding laundry. Putting it away. I get caught up in revisions on a new project or reading blog posts, catching up on […]