Creatures of Habit–Ways to knock it off right now!

You’re driving when suddenly you realize it’s Saturday, and instead of going in the direction of the new restaurant to meet your friend, you’re headed along the route you take to work Monday through Friday. We are creatures of habit. That’s why I took Tuesday off. Crazy, I know. What will she do next? It […]

Read More

Do you feel lucky? Well, do you bookworm?

It was my lucky day. At least that’s what the neon yellow piece of paper sticking out of the library book said. Your Lucky Day Collection The medieval mystery I snagged from the New Arrival shelf just before the library closed appeared to be the perfect book for a weekend in Michigan, so, with unexpected […]

Read More

All Hiatuses (Hiati?) Must Come to an End

So this is something of a pre-announcement… As my three followers (mom, hubby, and Fido) all know, I’ve been on a hiatus from this blog. But for good reason. To concentrate on some crucial writing goals, the most important being the creation of my new freelance writing site, Word Ninja.  Think of this post as a […]

Read More

She Heightened My Awareness of the World and I Didn’t Even Know It Until Now

[Written for catapult magazine’s Sensory Experience issue https://www.catapultmagazine.com/sensory-experience/article/she-heightened-my-awareness-of-the-world%5D From across the uncleared dinner table, my grandmother feeds me stories—how she ran opossum traps in the morning before school, how she gathered herbs on the Round Bluff, how she watched her little brother die of pneumonia. I listen to the same ones over and over, because […]

Read More

Taking a Red Crayon to a White Wall

Seven teenagers sit around the table, notebooks in front of them, looking to me to teach them how words work. How words flow out of the end of that purple gel pen or the borrowed pencil and somehow arrange themselves on lines and into stories. I have barely finished a more-challenging-than-usual semester of teaching a media […]

Read More

The difference between traveling and the journey

The beauty of travel exists not so much in the landscape as in the people who make their lives in that place. When we engage with those people, if only to ask one genuine question or listen to a synopsis of their story, we carry that place back with us, not just in photos or trinkets, […]

Read More

Life’s a Beach

Only 45 minutes from our Chicago-suburban home in Illinois is a nice stretch of Lake Michigan beach over the border in Indiana. We time the day to begin with lunch at Depot Dog, which we affectionately refer to as the “weenie wagon.” Meet some of our faves: (l-r) the Razz-Do, chili dog, and Chicago-style Polish. […]

Read More

Good (and Cheap) Reads for Young Adults (and Adults)

“If it’s not good enough for adults, it’s not good enough for children. If a book that is going to be marketed for children does not interest me, a grownup, then I am dishonoring the children for whom the book is intended, and I am dishonoring books.” –Madeleine L’Engle Not only should children read, they […]

Read More

What He’ll Be When He Grows Up

At 7, my son is in earnest. Gripping the back of the seat as we drive to the grocery store, he asks, “What should I be when I grow up?” This is not a “why is the sky blue?” kind of question. The almost pleading tone in his voice begs me to answer; not a […]

Read More