Free Solo

People in the outdoor adventure world and anyone who has read about it in the last ten years knows the name Alex Honnold. I’m certainly in the latter camp, an armchair explorer, strictly studying to try to understand, not actually experience. Honnold is so unique that when I came across his name along with the... Continue Reading →

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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 →

Dawn Choruses

It's no revelation that spring brings the birds. But for those of us who grew up in Houston where seasons barely exist — and therefore plants stay green year 'round and bird migration means only that the feathered ones pop over to Mexico for a quick holiday and then come right back — the bird... Continue Reading →

Stories & Sorrows

All day I’ve been asking myself why I am so upset; why the death of someone I don’t know would actually make me cry upon hearing the news. I haven't been able to shake the feeling all day. It isn’t the first time losing someone famous made me sad—even this level of sad—nor will it... Continue Reading →

Perfect morning for a non-morning person

I am not a morning person. I love to sleep more than almost anyone I know, and I am really good at it. If undistracted, I would probably naturally stay in bed until noon every day. I'm not kidding. Years ago, when my brother was a new parent, he told me — in the authoritative way... Continue Reading →

Falling in Love with Music I Kind of Hate

Recently, I attended a concert I normally wouldn't have. I received free tickets as a small part of my compensation for designing a brochure promoting the classical music series of which this event was a part, and the people who hired me were very kind and quite passionate. Plus, I am a life-long music lover, and... Continue Reading →

Bad Math

David would have been 56 today. A photo of us, my head resting on his right shoulder and our brother Tommy sitting at his left, pops up in my Facebook feed as a “memory”—as if I would forget this birthday without this visual reminder. The photo is from a restaurant in Houston called Julia’s where we... Continue Reading →

Hollywood Distraction

My mom and I both love going to the movies. Ever since I was a little kid, we’ve enjoyed sitting in the dark together — next to each other, but among strangers, watching someone else’s story unfold onscreen in front of us, popcorn in hand. The ritual has always provided a mutual enjoyable distraction from... 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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