"Looking for recipes? This isn't the spot..."

I’m a newly single mom of two young kids and toddler twins. I have all of the ingredients in life to make an awesome soup — come along as I tear up the recipe card, throw humor, honesty, and heartfelt hope into the pot, and give it a stir. I simmer with love as I write the unexpected story of my family.

Microfiction: Left

Posted by on Apr 13, 2014 in Fiction, Microfiction | 21 comments

I still carry her photo in my wallet. I’m not sure why. When she left, I was gutted. My skin was inside out and everything, I mean everything, hurt. All the time. I was so young. Mothers shouldn’t get to run away.

Read More

Fiction: Wrong Turn

Posted by on Apr 7, 2014 in Fiction | 9 comments

Delia moaned. Before she opened her eyes, she did a mental inventory and decided that she was, in fact, still intact. She opened her eyes a slit, peering through her lashes into the bright morning sun.

“Oh! Uh-Oh!” a worried voice clucked. “It’s awake! Oh, Victor, it’s awake!”

“Maude, be careful. It could be dangerous.”

The voices were small and shrill and oddly low to the ground. Delia gingerly turned her face toward the sound and forced her eyelids open. She was in a garden of sorts, bounded by a menacing iron fence. Two young hares, rump to rump like dueling pistols, crouched by the gate.

One of the hares squealed and cowered when it saw Delia looking at them. “Oh, Victor!” it squeaked.

Delia’s mouth opened involuntarily in astonishment. “You… you… You talked?”

“Well, of course,” huffed the hare that appeared to be Victor. “Do you think we are Mountain hares?”

“You talked. You talked. You talked,” Delia repeated herself over and over, uncomprehending.

Victor stood upon his hind legs, “Yes, we’ve established that. We all talk.” He polished a monocle and the expression on his face clearly read, “This one is an imbecile.”

Delia tried to sit, but found that moss had somehow grown into her dress, effectively making her part of the landscape.

“Where am I?” Delia’s voice carried no small amount of panic. She began breaking the strands of moss to free her arms. The moss cried in protest, at least that’s what she thought happened.

“Where am I?” she asked again, pointedly staring at the talking hares, challenging them to answer her. The moss began to wail and retreated hastily from the folds of Delia’s dress.

“The Glen,” Victor signed, wearily, as if Delia should have known that.

“No, I am not. I was at work and my boss sent me for coffee. When I stepped out of the office, the wind blew me back into the door and I tripped and fell. I landed on the floor of the lobby. But I woke up here.”

Maude peered around Victor’s back. “No one gets here by accident. Especially not things like you. You were called here.”

“What? Oh, that makes no sense. No sense at all!” Delia spat. “I hit my head. I must have hit my head. When I fell. I’ve got a concussion or something.”

“You may have hit your head, that is true,” Victor sighed, “But you are here nonetheless. And that means that you were summoned.”

“No! Why would I imagine talking bunnies –”

“Hares!” Victor bristled.

“Yes, hares. Whatever. Why would I imagine talking hares? It doesn’t make sense!” Delia started crawling around the patch of garden where she had landed, the moss receding like the tide to get out of her way. “My pocketbook! It has my cell phone. I can call Amber and she’ll get an ambulance and I’ll go to the hospital…”

As Delia searched, the terrified plants around her pulled themselves up by their roots and scampered away, some sniffling. A mother tulip herded five or six small hyacinths under a thorny rosebush.

“Here! Here it is!” Finally, she found her pocketbook. She flung it open and started rifling around, searching for her cell phone.

The pocketbook began to laugh, “Ooh! Hee hee hee! That tickles!”

Delia shrieked and flung it to the ground. The bruised pocketbook tried to stand, then vomited the contents of the purse onto the ground before collapsing with a grunt.

Delia had begun to cry, too. She gently picked up her phone with her thumb and forefinger, unsure if it was going to come to life and yell at her, too. It did not. She swiped it and the face flickered for a moment, showed that she had no bars, and then it stuttered off. No amount of coaxing woke it again.

Delia slumped, head in her hands, tears splashing onto the front of her dress.

After a moment, something soft and warm snuggled up to her side.

“There, there, child.” Maude soothed, “One’s first trip is always the worst, so I hear. We shall know soon why you have been invited here. But why not have a nice cup of tea with us while you wait for the messenger?”

Delia nodded numbly. “I might as well.”

Read More

a birthday toast

Posted by on Apr 7, 2014 in Heartfelt | 10 comments

It is Sunday night and, like every Sunday night for the last 15 months, I am writing.

I could have a cranky child in my lap.

I could be vomiting lunch from three days ago.

I could be crumbling along with my marriage.

But it is Sunday night, so I am writing.

Some weeks, I am writing fiction. Some weeks I am writing in metaphor about the worst and the best times of my life. Some weeks, I am writing because my fingers are compelled to write the words that are whirling through my head like baby spinach leaves in a salad spinner. But every Sunday I am writing the Tuesday post for the speakeasy at yeah write, no matter what else is happening in my salad.

I first came to yeah write from the blog of a friend-of-a-friend. I was fascinated by the grid, by the ridiculous talent of the contributors. By the visual appeal of Flood’s photography. By the way that, despite the grid being a competition, people were giving helpful feedback to their competitors. I lurked for about two weeks before summoning the courage to link up. My first entry got six votes, which was six more than I expected it to get.

Like a seedling stretching toward the sun, I came back. And learned. And wrote better. And learned. And sometimes I won, which made me die a little death of pride each and every time.

I never intended to be a writer. I was going to be an actress. Words and emotion have always been twined together in my DNA, but I believed that my path was to interpret them, not to write them. I always thought I was a bit loopy, that it was normal for people to think in narrative, to mentally describe every situation, sucking the marrow from the moment and filing images in the vast storehouse of barely-used brain we all have. It came as a shock to me that not everyone writes stories about people crossing the street or cats batting dandelions. I can’t imagine thinking any other way.

Yeah write freed me from the notion that I just might be a little crazy, diagnosing me as a writer, confirming that the disease I have isn’t fatal, nor terrifying, nor cause for any concern. I’m a writer. And I hang out every week with other writers, with other people who cannot process the world without telling a story.

Ironically, the growth I experienced thought yeah write is what is pulling me away from it these days. Buoyed by my success and the confidence I found on the grids, I applied for a full-time job as a writer. And I got it. And my days of working part-time and spending the other part-time on the grids have vaporized.

But it is Sunday. And I am writing. Like every Sunday. I will have the speakeasy open post done every Sunday, come illness or children or exhaustion or heartbreak.

Because it’s the least I can do for a community that held up a mirror to my soul and released the writer that was begging to be freed.

Happy birthday, old friend. And thank you.

Read More