Doing the dishes with the radio on. The orange man in the white house claims he has been affected by the sounds of children crying after he had insisted they be pulled from their mothers, their fathers. I am waiting for a new platform bed to be delivered. Because I can afford it. Because, when the world gets uglier, I often do things to make my small place inside of it prettier. (read more…)
They gave me a tiny cabin in the woods. Living room, bedroom, kitchen and bath. No TV. Spotty internet over a dial-up connection, long distance. I am a Chicago girl who was invited to be Writer-in-Residence at Interlochen Arts Academy, a remarkable high school with boarding and day students from all over the world, students with jaw-dropping talents. Music, theatre, art, filmmaking, dance. Writing. Autumn into winter, short, dark days in Northern Michigan. Quiet. Quiet. Quiet. Silence, really.
I was a little terrified.
Back to the Water’s Edge (Great Lakes Review, We Speak Chicagoese and forthcoming in And These are The Good Times)
My girlfriends always drove because they had cars, cool cars: a Monte Carlo, a Cadillac, and best of all, the Trans Am. Boy bait. And that’s what we were there for, after all, the boys. That, and a place that seemed about as far away as we could get from our land-locked suburban neighborhoods with low-slung ranch houses and two-car garages and flat, trimmed lawns. (read more…)
We were out at our house in Mount Carroll, Illinois for a quick turnaround weekend away. Mount Carroll is a small town just ten miles away from the Mississippi River, a quiet place where we try to step out of our Chicago city lives. Where we try to slow down.
So there I was in my writing room, a small space on the second floor with an artist table a great-great-great (or so) aunt stored her paints in and my mother used as her bedside table; a remarkably heavy “portable” typewriter made more than half a century ago…(read more…)
“Coffee?”, Mrs. Coates asked. A peculiar, grown-up question. I said yes, the grown-up thing to do, and she poured the dark liquid into a paper cup marked with squiggly lines and set the cup in front of me. (read more…)
STORIES & EXCERPTS
In the dream he is flying. Moonglow on his face.
We used to climb out on the roof when we were kids. Nighttime, under the stars. Big sister (me) and little brother. He was scared at first, so small and blond. Afraid of heights, afraid of falling. (read more…)
She sat behind the steering wheel of her car, hands at ten and two even though she was parked now, engine off, at the gas pumps. Cold dark. Winter morning. 1980. Iowa. (read more…)
The power had gone out. And I’d lost my keys. That’s the kind of day it had been. (read more…)
My mother was a toucher. She tapped her fingers on my wrist, and even though I was sixteen, not really a girl anymore, I loved it, the feel of her pink touch. Such small hands. You couldn’t help but notice. (read more…)
You’d think he’d be too old for this sort of thing. Hell, that’s what he thought. (read more…)
Officially it was senior prom, but Arnie said it was more like a regular party when you think about it, but a going away party with a bunch of kids we didn’t like that much all dressed up and crying and hugging—and why would he want any part of that? (read more…)
CHAPTERS & TEXTBOOK EXCERPTS
“I Go On Running”
“Taking the Long Way”