Contingencies

Lately I am thinking of contingency. Standing in her office, my editor recently reminded me that writing is a job just as ditch-digging is. The ditch must be dug. Must not also the writing be written? She is right, of course. The ditch-digger goes to work and digs her ditch; so must the writer go … More Contingencies

Maddie and Motherhood

Healing Maddie Brees and I are headed to another book club tonight. I am very much looking forward to it. It’s tricky, though: when invited, I always tell my host that I recognize the liability. Having an author present for her book’s discussion can decidedly hamper dialogue and limit expression: how many attendees will be willing … More Maddie and Motherhood

Words Over Coffee

His email arrived sometime in May, or maybe late April. An invitation. He’s a writer, a someday filmmaker, and he wanted to talk Art. I’ve known Joel since he was born, I guess. His family and ours go to the same church; his age falls just between that of Everett and Emma. I’m sure they … More Words Over Coffee

Field Day

It has always been the field at the bottom of our neighborhood, the backyard of the community pool. Earliest memory finds us there with baby William at his first Easter, eight months old and unable to walk and sitting in the sand that is the volleyball court. We were late for the egg hunt, but … More Field Day

Window

This is the picture window in our breakfast room. It hasn’t always looked like this. I don’t think we wrote on it–ever–until Emma was home-schooled in the 7th grade. That’s when she helped me see that this window would make an excellent substitute for a white board. And so, throughout her three years of home-school, … More Window

Two Questions

The text had two questions, the first from the daughter, who is ten: “Are you related to Robert Louis Stevenson?” And the second from the mother, who is old enough to be a mother: “(The Daughter) is reciting her most favorite tomorrow… ‘The Swing.’ I’ve been coaching her to try to recite it without the … More Two Questions

You Coming?

“I only have six more months to be a kid,” he said. Out of the blue, just standing there in the living room. What was I doing? Passing through, I suppose, on my way to the next busy-ness, the way it usually goes with me. But I was arrested by the question, and then made a … More You Coming?

Dreaming in Babies

Lately I dream in babies. Almost always they are my own, earlier incarnations of these same beings who, even now–at eighteen, and sixteen, and fourteen–do much to order my day. A week ago it was Emma, suddenly arriving while I visited with a friend who was in the midst of moving house. Boxes and displaced … More Dreaming in Babies