Writing Mama

If you have known me for a few years, you'll have heard me talk about how staying home with my kids and finding creative ways to continue writing and finishing my stories has been an immense challenge. But the kids haven't been mere obstacles to my professional goals. They've changed me as a person--and for the better in many ways! Through changes to my heart and…

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Writers of the Future: My Week in Hollywood

Wow...you guys. I've returned safely from Los Angeles with a full head and swelling heart. My time was chock-full of learning, making connections, learning the craft and business of writing, and (the best part!) making friends. My week got off to an awesome start when I discovered I'd been assigned the talented and wonderful Carrie Callahan (fellow writer winner) as my roommate. My exclamation of "YES"…

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Anything but Plain (WA)

As the capstone to my participation in the Cascadia Residency this year, I and four other artists stayed in a beautiful riverside retreat center in Eastern Washington called the Grunewald Guild. We experienced warm, mild weather, created art, took restorative breaks in hammocks, and gathered around fresh meals that were prepared for us. We worked hard, really! It was a true residency—we didn’t have to worry about…

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Swim

"Put your face in the water. Blow bubbles. See? Like me!" I immerse the lower half of my face and push air through my nostrils. I raise my face from the pool in an expression of excitement. My son copies me once, then refuses to repeat the action. He needs to learn to swim. Sure, it’ll take years before he’s close to mastery, but the process…

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The Art of the Do-Over

What would you do over, if you could? My husband and I were recently talking about things we truly wished we could do over again. He’d wished he’d attended high school prom with the girl who’d asked him. I wished I’d actually dated a particular boy in my senior year of high school, despite my parents’ objections—because, looking back, I’m pretty sure he was my first…

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You, Me, Oui

A beautiful Japanese maple preens its Autumn plumage in my parents' front garden. A larger version of this tree, but with bright green leaves, had filled the broad multi-paned window of the Shoreline house where my parents first brought me home as a baby. And, to continue tradition, in the small triangle of soil that borders the edge of my townhome's communal courtyard grows a little Japanese maple…

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Those Words

“I can only tell you what my journey has been. Yours will be different,” my mentor friend, Brian, tells me as I grip my coffee cup across the table from him. We’re meeting because I wanted advice. Wisdom. The next steps. I wanted to sit at the feet of a sage and become excited about the next climb ahead of me. The reality? There’s a lot…

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Through the Valley

  One of my son's favorite places to visit is the cemetery. We walk there from our house (it's our nearest "park") and, once past the enclosure fence, my son crawls down from his stroller and pushes the stroller around like a life-size toy car. There's a fountain under a huge old fir that we call my son's fountain. Flat headstones make level ground which is…

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Work Until You Cannot See

It's purely maddening and bewildering to discover this: The longer I work on something, the more I try to improve, the more I can't tell whether I'm actually getting better. I exercise and my muscles get sore and irritated and suddenly sitting up straight is a challenge. (Oh great! Now I'm going backwards!) I add a few more spices and a dash of salt to the sauce…

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2015 Highlights

This year has truly, madly, deeply* been one of the craziest that I, my family, and my heart has ever seen. I've experienced more heartbreak this year than most of those that came before it and I've been knocked to my knees, in tears, by generosity and love in measures that have risen to meet the height of my pain.   *Truly, Madly, Deeply by Savage…

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