Don’t quote me


They have been at a great feast of languages, and stolen the scraps.
from Love’s Labour’s Lost – Shakespeare

Advice I am ignoring: Read widely.

According to literary pundits, reading widely will make me a better writer. However, if you work full time and have a few kids to raise, and take seriously the other pundit proclamation that to be a good writer you must write – a lot – what’s a body to do? Continue reading


The apple doll years

Apple doll

Two decades ago a social worker told me it isn’t unusual for adoptive moms to experience grief when their daughters reach puberty. She said as our kids enter their reproductive years, many adoptive moms are approaching our apple doll years. We watch their lives blossom while we become fruit leather. The wise social worker said we might grieve again our own losses all those years ago. Loss of fertility, loss of genetic continuity, loss of the child we wanted but couldn’t have. Continue reading

How to write like Lorrie Moore

Read Self Help – Stories. Like a tourist guide. First, note the story titles, how cleverly they articulate the theme. Close the book. Sweat because you are not Lorrie Moore. Wish you could kill this yearning to write, wring its wretched neck and bury it in bedrock where it will remain harmless for the next 40,000 years. Continue reading

Buzzed at the Great Wall

A portapotty sized box shuddered side to side and bounced over cable towers bringing us to the jumping off point on the Jinshanling section of the Great Wall in northern China. We were a 10 minute cable car ride and a five minute walk away from my forgotten epi-pen which was on the tour bus in the village below. A full eleven minutes more than it would take for me to die from anaphylactic shock if one of the Great Wall wasps the size of a cigarette lighter got bugged and stung me. Continue reading