What does your bookshelf say about you?

It's almost my birthday, and my mother needs ideas for a present. She loves books and book-shopping, so I go straight to my Goodreads list, thinking, Easy! I'll just grab two or three titles and email them to her.  There are currently 98 books I've earmarked as “Want to Read” on my virtual bookshelf there.... Continue Reading →

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On Retreating

retreat noun re·​treat | \ ri-ˈtrēt  \ 1 : an act or process of withdrawing  2: a place of privacy or safety  3: a period of withdrawal for prayer, meditation, study, or instruction For five days, I woke not to the alarm on my phone, but to sun pouring into my room at dawn accompanied by the musical conversation of birds in a gingko tree outside.... Continue Reading →

Find your tribe

I've been thinking about the idea of community a lot. There is so much in life that makes us feel separate, other, and alone that finding a tribe of people that makes you feel included, valued, and understood is worth a great deal. This is why clubs, churches, teams, and such exist, I'm sure. Though... Continue Reading →

I didn’t want to write about this.

I said to a friend at a party recently, “I would never have chosen to write about this subject, you know. The subject chose me.” I'm grateful I've been able to do something productive with my compulsive literary musings on death, loss, and grief, hopefully turning them into something helpful or poignant. While it certainly... Continue Reading →

Open Tabs (not the bar kind)

I read an article about taking a day off for rest. Another about why we should spend time doing nothing. I save a quote about how I am not being behind schedule to reassure me, even though I know I am always behind schedule. Another: “Reduce the noise; focus on the essentials.” I save a... Continue Reading →

Baby Dolls vs. Stuffed Animals

Today I read a story in a back issue of Creative Nonfiction magazine by Brenda Miller that revolved around the National Toy Hall of Fame (who knew such a thing existed?). Though Miller wrote about all kinds of memorable toys—Etch a Sketch, slinky, Legos, and the like—there was a significant focus on dolls, as they seem... Continue Reading →

Matrimonial Making

This arctic chill is getting on my nerves. I want to take a long walk with my dogs more than ever, and we can barely stand 10 minutes outdoors in the sub-zero weather despite all of our bundling, just long enough to take care of “business” if we're lucky. But being trapped inside has cultivated... Continue Reading →

Fits and Starts

I turned 44 just before I attended my first Juniper Summer Writing Institute at the University of Massachusetts last month. Almost exactly 22 years before — half my life ago — I graduated from Hampshire College, just down the road from UMass, having spent the previous four years studying, writing, breathing, eating poetry. Degree in... Continue Reading →

Coincidences, Connections, the Cosmos

A week ago, I returned from my first AWP Conference, a massive writing and publishing event, which took place this year in Washington, DC. While there, I found out that a triple celestial confluence had occurred: a simultaneous full moon, lunar eclipse and comet appeared in the sky that Friday night, which, despite my reticence... Continue Reading →

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