This blog is focuses on the power of story. That includes the wisdom that comes from paying attention to our family stories. It also includes ways that people put experience into story and how those stories get shaped and used.
Fiction is story that mirrors life. The complexity of human experience can only be expressed as story. That has been true since the start of time or when the first storyteller began the first story, which might be the same.
Parts of this blog include raw material for my memoir, ideas for my fiction and additional musings.
I think short stories are harder to write than novels. Every word needs to count. You have to create a single strong impact. The short story has to be more about character than plot etc. etc. etc.
And snakes. Yes, snake will catch the reader’s attention.
I’m leading up to the fact that one of my short stories (you can read it under Fun Stuff on this website) won Second Place in the Laura Awards Contest sponsored by Women Writing the West. It’s called The Family Snake Oil and it really does have lots of snakes to...
I’m on the board of an organization WOMEN WORK TOGETHER that is trying to keep Guatemalan girls in school. The New York Times (2/12/2015) did an extensive article about that same area of Guatemala and the fact that girls as young as eleven drop out of school and are married and pregnant by age twelve or thirteen. Breaking that cycle is not easy. How does WWT approach the problem?
We have the girls interview and write their mother’s stories. How that becomes a tool for culture change is pretty amazing. Here’s the...
Because the last passenger pigeon, named “Martha,” died a hundred years ago, I’m suddenly seeing a lot of commentary about passenger pigeons.
In an 1808 journal, quoted in the New Yorker, a woman recalls the “gayety” of pigeon hunting. This was when there were still something like five billion birds left. Yet already she worries that future generations will not know the euphoria that accompanied raising a gun at a flock of pigeons so thick it was impossible to not bring one down. Reading that, I can’t help...
Last Saturday, the City of Boulder renamed the park closest to where I live. It was a big event with city officials, flags, a mariachi band, cake, flowers, a television news crew, and a huge plaque changing the name from Canyon Park to the Emma Gomez Martinez Park.
Emma was there
–85 years old
–dressed in purple
–leaning on a cane
–smiling (clearly pleased with the honor)
Everyone who knew her, seemed to like her. That included family, Boulder’s hispanic community, and her work...
Following the Trayvon Martin trial, a couple of my cousins posted things on Facebook about how it was time someone stood up for “the white guy.” They’re both from Idaho and love their guns. That said, there was a time when I was just about as dumb.
A few years ago, I was awarded a six week stay at the Hedgebrook Writers Colony on Whidby Island near Seattle. Great place. Six a-frame cottages and a farm house. Each day, the writers-in-residence worked in their cottages. Evening, we walked down to the farmhouse for a shared...
Went to my son’s latest movie–PLANES. Yes, I say that like he did the whole thing. Actually, I say that like a mother.
Ethan Hurd is an animator who has worked on a number of movies–Toy Story 2, Shek, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Madagascar, Bolt, etc. etc.
On PLANES he was an assistant supervisor. That means his name came up in the credits larger than before. Mothers notice things like that. So do dads. Jon elbowed me, “Did you see it?” Credits can roll by pretty fast if you’re not paying...
The big news in our family is that we have a new puppy–a Great Dane, of course.
When my cousin heard, she emailed: “Why?”
I answered “Because it’s better than NOT having a puppy.” I was serious. I think life is messy. Might as well embrace the mess.
Jon’s answer to the same question was eloquent.
I am in my seventh decade of life. During most of this time I have had canine companions – mutts, rescues, purebreads. They were all good friends. When my “soul dog” died...
We have a new puppy who is peeing, pissing, and urinating on the living room rug, which can get old before the dog does, so I’m kinda sorta glad I could still laugh when I saw Richard Jackson’s sculpture adorning the Orange County Museum.
Puppies will be puppies. Ours is a Great Dane. Jackson’s is a Labrador. Plenty of labradors walk their owners by my house and stop at the corner of my neighbor’s fence. When we first brought the puppy home, he wouldn’t go near the corner of our neighbor’s fence. Obviously...
Although it happened in 2010, Huffington Post recently reran the story of two seven-year old joy riders, both caught by the police, and how differently the authorities and the media told their stories. Why? One boy was white. One boy was black. Even more interesting is how the difference had been internalized by the two boys themselves.
Preston, the white boy, appeared on the Today Show. His father was happy that he was safe and thought the incident was “funny.” When asked why his hid from the police, Preston answered,...
A lady is an uptight, suburban, church-going bitch who thinks I might be dangerous.
And you’re calling me a lady?
A lady is hairspray and perfume shuffling down the Campbell soup aisle of the local King Soopers.
Do I look like a lady to you?
A lady eats salad with the proper fork and never all of it because she can’t imagine what cucumbers might do to her girlish figure.
Have you seen me eat?
A lady speaks softly. “Excuse me,” is her constant refrain.
If you call me “lady” again, I’ll demonstrate the...