Sunday, June 30, 2013

This year's achievements (thus far):

-Drinking gallons of tea.
-Surviving a hurricane and a blizzard, both with Internet still in tact.
-Watching the sunrise at Montauk the day after the apocalypse.
-Reading all of the Harry Potter books and seeing most of the movies (because really, what was the point of book two?).
-Watching all of Game of Thrones, though I've yet to see a particular wedding. This is intentional. Oh, my Starks.
-Making new friends, yay!
-Living off of a steady diet of Clif bars, rotisserie chicken, salad, noodles, and iced chai.
-Navigating the subways solo.
-Booking an impromptu plane ticket to New Mexico four days in advance.
-Surviving 13.1 miles and living to tell the tale!
-Obtaining an agent!
-Coaching more state and regional champions, what what.
-Participating in/hosting a pool party.
-Learning how to be an organized, less-hoarding human (still a work in progress).
-Recreationally waking up at hours in the single digits.
-Successfully ordering clothing off of the Internet.
-Getting published on a candy cigarette box.
-Paying my bills like a Lannister.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Down in Africa

Instead of insects, I like to pretend that the beating of wings against the window screen belongs to rain.

(And crikey, I've owned a smartphone for a year today!)

Friday, June 21, 2013

This is one of those nights where

if my mind's a highway, then you can count on me driving down it. Aimless but moving.

Nightlock, nightlock, nightlock

As soon as we're done with one apparatus, there's a six-year-old who always, without fail, asks where we're going next. Sure, they all want to know. But she's especially persistent.

"Why?" I asked her.

She rolled her eyes in her six-year-old way. "I need to know things."

I feel you, kid. It's all up in the air right now -- where will I be living? With whom? Where should I be living? What am I working toward? What's the right move? I'm more on my way as a writer than I was last year at this time, certainly. But as a physical entity, I worry about retrograde motion. 

Can I has home, plz?

Saturday, June 01, 2013

barefoot blue jean nights

As I backed out of the driveway under a humid night sky, I missed my old car. Bold red exterior, black fading to gray on the inside. Heavy on the gas pedal, light on the modern technology, slow to cool or heat when the weather was the opposite outside. We did all right by each other, driving over those bridges and back roads. You know what I mean. The sort of places that understand you.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


When you’re standing on the subway platform at 5:47 in the morning, surrounded by other people in numbers and neon shirts, the train comes in on the tracks across from yours. Through the windows, you see people with places to go, even this early on a Saturday, in clothing that covers all of their limbs. Reading newspapers. Taking naps. Maybe still drunk. Maybe wishing to be drunk.

You’re not nervous. Not yet. The train rolls past, still a novelty to you, country girl, and as the sparks strike against the track and the steady blue bleats against the tiled walls, you’re not sure which one is the lightning and which one is the thunder.

Friday, May 24, 2013

conquering the moon

My mind feels untethered today save one or two final strands still connected to earth. If you cut me loose, you’d find me drifting over the surface. Close enough to brush, but not close enough to keep me.

I wonder if I should make as many sweeping decisions as possible today. Take that Sisyphean boulder and knock it right off of the edge of eternity. See what happens next. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Especially the constellations

I have lived in so many places the past few weeks. Months. Years. Mental relocations. Colorado winters, working those mountain roads, bending their curves to my will. New Mexico heat and red earth, a sea of slow time burning. Pennsylvania towns that make my alma mater’s home look downright thriving. Here, the sun dazzling that water and beckoning it up, up closer to that road.

Monday, March 25, 2013


I have reached a strange nirvana in this process.

The signs: copy/paste as quickly as you can. Get a response that isn't no and say, "Okay" in your mind, not jump/gape/tell the world. Make comments in the bold/italicized/fade to gray speadsheet. Ponder the philosophical: "Can any man truly know how YA another man is?" (The answer: "NOT YA ENOUGH.")

But I have to remind myself that, hey, I'm doing it. One: I completed a novel. Two: I've revised the heck out of it. Three: I'm putting it out into the universe. (Four: the universe may just accept it.)

Now, if I can just stop having heart palpitations with "Inbox (1)" appears...

(No, really, can I?)

Sunday, March 24, 2013


Am I asking the right questions?

Being back in this space, even for a few days, throws me back into the endless circle of Where do I go from here? I worry that I'm not good enough at taking chances, not interested enough in any paid task to do it all of the time, regularly, in my designated chair. Not bold enough make new highways permanent.

Am I telling the right stories, or the "right" stories? Is my mind capable of one story to lead them all and in the darkness bind them, or will they always be a little softer, more of a hum than a shout? Will there always be a hitch?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Q is for quintessential

The bones have been scraped clean. Are they muted or do they shine? We'll wait on that verdict.

I keep dreaming in scrolling text from strangers. I need new images, other sources of light.

Friday, March 22, 2013

For now

All of the monsters are tucked into their corners.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Cossacks Are Back in Russia

is the headline of the article that is opened and unread in my browser, much like the ending of The Remains of the Day, a book that I'd hoped to love but find unspeakably slow. I will finish it. I will.

I'd rather pull your gravity to mine. A spice to the hot chocolate, a lift in the arms, a search for treasure and ocean homes and dead dolphins on the sand. All of those things.

Monday, March 04, 2013

the classic

I'm driving to the same place for the same competition as four years ago. Today a constant, nearly invisible haze of snowflakes swirls on the wind and vanishes upon touching the ground. A reminder that four years ago, it snowed and I called you to ask if you'd keep the duty phone for me just a little longer. You know how this island gets when the roads turn slick. You said yes, as you always did, and told me not to rush. I slid my way back. 

Thursday, February 28, 2013

If it's me reading the signs

The universe supports my return to short forms, it seems; less than twelve hours later, an acceptance appeared. I'm permitted to play. I don't need to devote years to a story for it to see the light.

Thing is, I'm not satisfied with the majority of what I'm reading. I want emotional heft blended with stunning sentences and blazing characters. I want to reimagine what I thought I knew. And if I can't, I hope to write those stories.

Yet I have always struggled with place. Not brass and well-dressed enough to be popular, but sociable enough to hold a middle ground. An athlete and wearer of bright pink writing twisted speculative stories. More grounded in reality than these haphazard vegans, yet more fanciful than those on the 9-5. I am not on the outside, but have never felt fully on the inside, into the finite and definable.

Monday, February 25, 2013

additional related skills

A real strength is the pretense of work (not for all jobs, mind you; it's clear, in front of a group of students, if you're truly present or phoning it in). Leave the office door open although, when you peeked in the window, no red light glowed on the phone. No missed calls, no messages. Just the way you like it.

Take a stroll by the main offices. Engage in raised voice conversations so the big ones know you're there. Stride back and forth, papers fluttering in your hands with purpose. Send emails, sign them "All the best." Thank everyone. Wish them well. Dress up, move out, get on with it.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

the sky's the color of winter

You take great pride in place. I know this: your cadences steady, you show me the corners and the landscapes. I interrupt and you laugh, but then you return. It doesn't matter whether or not you like these places, more that you know them, because there is a conquering in the knowledge.

I drove by the school earlier, and it continues to exist in halves for me: the half that I work in, begrudgingly, and the half that I lived in, that I only see when I drive up the hill and around the circle. I don't do that often. Once every sixth months, I'd say, when you're here or when the nostalgia hits just enough. Work is work, but when I take in other angles, I am confident that this is a place where I have been happy.

Monday, February 18, 2013

experience a must

There are so many skills that I'd like to put on a resume and receive a follow-up call for: amateur Internet sleuthing/researching gymnastics scores (if it's out there, I will find it); energy in the morning (if I must be); most improved in backing out of the driveway, inching between cars, no longer slamming the sideview mirror until it caves in on itself on the highway.

Ability to travel across the country, solo, and find my way. Foresight to always bring reading material. Talent for never being bored when alone (only with other people, at times). Excellent at comebacks, spoken and physical. Five to ten years experience, still going strong.

Monday, February 11, 2013

in a way, i need a change

This was supposed to be a year to ignite. Instead, I'm still pacing, waiting for the emailed answers to tell me if it's time or not. And what if it's not? There's the rub. Always, always, I have heard "yes" when it comes to academic conquests. I spread my applications widely this time around, thinking that this'll be my last go of it.

I think. I hope.

Today, as the kids eat their snacks and scroll through Instagram, I wonder if I should have aimed higher. Law school. Something with clout and the instant eyebrow raised in approval. Nuclear chemistry, I think as I scroll through the Wikipedia articles that detail too many crimes against humanity. You could argue that I am aiming high in this manner, going the artist's way, but whether or not my work will have any profound effect on any human remains be seen.

Human remains. I don't like the reverberation of those words together. Context clues. Slipping in, slipping out.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

apropos of heavy snow

I can't stop reading stories of people stuck on the highway in their vehicles, crawling into the backseat and sleeping as the snowdrifts pile around their tires. No exit, no entrance.

We're lucky out here. Maybe half of the anticipated snowfall reached us, and while a cleared driveway is a long way coming, it's not an impossible dream. I dug out the back of my car although there's hardly any clear path for it to back down. A tiny flake of freedom.

That's the most concerning thing about natural disasters, besides the obvious potential loss of life and property. Snow falls in a gentle but persistent paralysis. We are pristinely immobilized, confined to windows and icicle reflections. Time churns. My mind drums, drums.

The shovel brought back a whisper of the old calluses, padded yellow and soft orange discolorations. Flex knees, heave snow. The wind and I play catch; I toss the snow over my shoulder and it whips back into my face, sticking to my too-long ponytail. We become bolder, start playing chicken. I throw the snow recklessly. We dare one another to turn away first.

Friday, February 08, 2013

What they don't tell you about storm preparation

Buy enough milk so that you don't run out for hot chocolate. Tortilla wraps will be going, going, get yours at last. Take in the trash, one lid missing. Find the lid in the neighbor's driveway and run it back home through the slush, like a lost puppy. 

Shower while you can. Shave your legs for the days ahead. Run to the library under thick-falling flakes and obtain your finest haul, a medley of things, because when the electric sizzles out, you'll want an entity without batteries. Hug the Internet close for as long as you can. Vacuum your room, do your laundry, clean your sheets like a guest might be slipping into them tonight, a guest called windchill and cracked shingles. 

Thursday, February 07, 2013

I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each

Someone's calling my name, but they are not calling for me. The three syllables bounce across the chilly courtyard and hit brick, distorting, someone laughing.

No matter. I like it here. Black jacket pulled close, ponytail whipped by wind. I don't look old enough to have any sort of authority, but nobody seems to mind.

The Floo Network's being watched

is a phrase that keeps rolling through my mind, as such phrases are wont to do.

Two men inspected our chimney and returned with a penciled list of everything that needed to be adjusted. The word "extremely" was used numerous times, and not once in positive terms. So it goes, I guess, living in a seasonal town in unseasonable times. Straight down the floo.

But I enjoy it out here in this company. I feel I'm finally starting to get living arrangements right. Holding up the roof with the clacking of keyboards and flipping of cards. Your ace, my queen. I'm making the right moves.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Do you hear the people sing?

I miss blogging.

This kind of blogging, where every public word wasn't meant to sell something, or create a persona, or try endlessly, endlessly, to join that inner circle of inanity. It was just me, flying solo, with friends popping in and out supportively over the years to comment and occasionally break out their own blogs.

I miss playful language. Being allowed to play, to dip in and out of perspectives and up and down avenues. Ignoring the undertones of What's this mean? and Clarify here. Some of the play has been beaten out of me, whether from my quest to be published "traditionally" or from the overall calming of my emotions, I can't say.

But I'd like to try again. I know that much.