Long Road, Small World

You know how sometimes you hear those stories from the lives of creatives about something good that happened to them because they were in just the right place at the right time? I’ve experienced one of those. It was on an afternoon this summer and my next-door neighbor was at my house using our stovetop to make pizza sauce for his dinner because his kitchen was…

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Listen

I’ve been thinking a lot about listening recently. There are plenty of examples in popular songs, Disney movies, and motivational speeches that tell us, “listen to your heart.” I’ve particularly struggled with this, in part because the verse Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things” seems to imply that the heart is something to be ignored because it tells lies. And I’m sure that…

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Season Shift

There’s smoke in the sky. Wildfires on all sides, it seems. The air is filling with ash, tinting the sun sets a beautiful weird orange. In preparation for the Christmas calendar that I make every year for the family, I sorted through digital photos, effectively reliving a year’s worth of memories: my kids playing in the snow, a beach birthday for my dad at Jetty Island,…

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Gratitude and SuperStars

“Honey, is there anything else I can do for you?” My miserable six-year-old looked at me with tears in his eyes. “Snuggle me.” The morning had begun with an announcement from my kiddo that his tummy didn’t feel good. For the next five hours, we attempted a semblance of our regular morning schedule, punctuated about ten times with rushing-to-the-bathroom episodes. This may be the sickest my…

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Notes from my First World Fantasy Con

You’ll find yourself among “our kind of people,” my friend told me as he described what it would be like to attend World Fantasy Con. Just the presence of “world” in the title was enough to intimidate me. I’ve been to a handful of conferences before, and I usually feel small and overwhelmed by both the crowds and the amount of information being poured across my…

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It doesn’t always look like success

It was a summer evening on Whidbey Island a couple of years ago. We were on a relaxing family beach vacation, and I was breaking down in tears. My sister had just shown us a video of an amazing scarf acrobatics dance routine that she had choreographed to the song Thunder by Imagine Dragons. It was stunning and beautiful and powerful and after watching it, I…

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Perspective

Lake Kachess, WA Pebbles grind beneath my shoes on a rocky beach overlooking the blue-green waters of Lake Kachess. The clouds are clean white and bunched, like someone pushed them together to bulk up their size, then puffed them up using a straw. One cloud strongly resembles a charging elephant—how long has it been since I looked for shapes in the clouds, and for only my…

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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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See the Snow

We’re in the midst of our first Seattle snow of the year. My five-year-old son’s near-constant prayer since before Christmas has been a request for snow. When the first flakes fell, he was pulling on his shoes “Just to lick it.” He had his dream come true: He bundled up, went out to our cul-de-sac and threw snow with the neighbor kids, made snow angels, rolled…

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Song of Belfair

I sing the song of Belfair Of village-towns with foreign names. Curve them on your tongue, hold them in your throat. Kfarhata, Beirut, Seattle   Belfair with its salty channels Crab pots, oyster shells that glisten Yellow-twine rope swing dangles from the balcony Grandaughter's Christmas tree stands in the basement Sturdy treehouse of round-branch walls Gazes on the wildflower bed You made them for me.  …

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