Checkpoints

Safety. Somewhere to fall back on if everything else is blown to pieces. The bunker where we re-charge our life force, restock ammunition, and recalibrate strategy. Checkpoints. Video games place these at intervals throughout each level. As long as we can drag our butts to a checkpoint, we can save our progress. That way, if the alien invaders or the radioactive zombies attack, maim, and murder…

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Winter Field

December. My baby’s four month anniversary. Christmas rush. Maternal exhaustion. Guilt has no place here. It’s really the last thing I need. Outside my home, the frost sheaths the brave blades of grass that raise their heads. Inside my home, Christmas lights offer no warmth as I weep and share two huge, aching desires in my heart: to be a mother to my beautiful son and…

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Special Access Pass

“Where do you get your ideas?” The questioner lowers his raised hand, glad that I called on him. His eager eyes are glowing. I say something about song lyrics and scraps of conversation that have sparked story ideas for me. But, just once, I’d like to answer: Well, there’s this special access pass to the Great Ideas Warehouse that they give you when you graduate with…

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Facing the Storm

Like a wise traveler, I plot my course for days before I begin. I make careful plans, with a clear head, and no rushing. I then board my ship, check my charts, and run a finger along the map’s inked path from my port to the island I hope and pray to reach. It will test the limits of my endurance. The first days go smoothly.…

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Strange Beauty

On the back of my laptop is an orange oblong sticker that reads, Beauty will save the world. It’s no coincidence that my favorite fairy tale of all time is Beauty and the Beast. A young girl enters a dark stone castle in order to save her father, and through the power of her friendship, shreds the spell that enshrouded the selfish heart of a prince…

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Somewhere over the Rainbow

I was gasping through the Seattle Marathon when I saw a friendship that drew tears from my eyes. *Clears throat* To be perfectly honest, I didn’t run the full course. My husband and I joined my cousin, the real marathon-runner, at Mile 20 to encourage her. I saw a fifty-year-old man running barefoot, women chatting to keep their minds off the pain, a father and little…

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EVENING INTERSECTION – a short story collaboration with author Marni Mann

What do you get when you make two woman with very different stories collide in the middle of an awful night? This is when writing gets really fun! Marni and I met after I'd just launched Moonlight and Oranges,when she was on the verge of launching her first novel Memoirs Aren't Fairytales, a harrowing story of a young woman's struggle with heroin addiction. We hit it…

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Birth of Dreams, Part 3: Cubby Holes

“I have so much information, I don’t know where to start.” This is a great problem to have, if you’ve riffled through your Junk Drawer (Part 1) and Pinned (Part 2) the interesting bits. If you’re just joining us, this is my series on turning an idea into a creative reality You need a plan. Ahem, before anyone of you anti-planners walk away, hear me out:…

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The Most Dangerous Game

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” -Theodore Roosevelt Can you imagine having a child you love, and constantly comparing that little, fragile soul to the frightening, and competitive world around her? I’m not a mother, but seriously, that sounds heartlessly cruel. And yet, this is what comparison does to my heart (the child) every time I rank myself against someone else. I have friends who are…

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FRIDAY FIVE

I’m happy to report that my nervous twitch has subsided and I’m safely returned from beautiful British Columbia (and yes, I had a great time at my Canadian conference). This has been a week of really focusing what I have to say in my writing, and looking at my stories with the eyes of someone intent to slash out needless words. Dangerous work, when you think…

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