Here and Gone

Image from Flickr by Mrs eNil

Sunday was the end of a too-short spring break that left us on the verge of summer. When I woke my son on Monday morning light was already streaming through the window. On our walk to school, the sun was hot on the back of my neck. I wore a T-shirt and left my jacket at home.

I joke about having no tolerance for the cold, but around this time of year I’m always a little sad about the fading winter. I like dark cold mornings and long cool evenings. I love wearing sweaters and boots. I love burning candles, the kind that smell like autumn.

We started the break with a Lord of the Rings marathon, spent a day at our favorite outdoor mall, spent another day at an arcade, tested out my son’s homemade grill (which meant choking down a lukewarm hot dog), went out for pancakes, and spent lazy afternoons on the porch reading.

One of my favorite moments from spring break

Yep, that’s a chocolate-covered Twinkie

Swinging into spring (or summer?) at the ice cream shop

We ended the break with a trip to the Renaissance Festival, where it’s always hot and dusty and exhausting—like summer, but in a good way. Sitting around the jousting arena, drinking lemonade and fanning ourselves with festival maps while knights duel with lances on horseback against the backdrop of the Superstition Mountains has become something of a spring tradition.

Anything goes at the Renaissance Festival

I finished a new story, submitted a few old ones, and received two gorgeous contributor copies of Hunger Mountain’s spring issue, where my short story “Windows” was published. I even managed to squeeze in over 20 hours of work, dashing in and out of the bedroom to clock in hours on the computer while my son roller-bladed around the neighborhood and my daughter sketched manga.

Hunger Mountain’s spring 2017 issue

It was a wonderful week, and now the kids are in their final quarter of the school year and I’m going to try and not flinch at the Easter supplies crowding the shelves at the grocery store. Because what comes next are those big Styrofoam pool noodles and water guns and bubble blowers. And although summer brings with it one good thing—my kids are home with me—I’d still rather see Halloween displays and wake up to the dark quiet mornings of fall.

Some January/February Highlights

It’s the last day of February in what was just a brand-new year—how did that happen? The past several weeks have been incredibly busy at the nursing facility where I work as we’re implementing an electronic health and medical records system. But I’ve … [Continue reading]

2016 End of Year Book Survey

    Thanks to Jamie over at The Perpetual Page Turner for hosting another end of year book survey! Here's a recap of the best books I read this year:   Number Of Books You Read: 57 Number of Re-Reads: 3 Genre You … [Continue reading]

A Good Way to End 2016

Honestly? This has not been a good year for me when it comes to publishing. Part of that is the majority of writing I did in 2015 is tied up in 2 unpublished books. One of the books is a collection of short stories, and I hadn’t been submitting the … [Continue reading]

The Other Side of the Magic

Every December we travel north to Williams, Arizona, and ride the Polar Express. Grand Canyon Railway’s mystic “midnight” train ride is based on the classic children’s book made even more popular by the 2004 animated film starring Tom Hanks. Both of … [Continue reading]

What I Still Believe

I’ve written and deleted more than one blog post since November 9. They were too angry, too hopeless, too cynical, too sad, too bloated, too simplistic, too something. And who am I kidding anyway? I have no answers for anyone, least of all my … [Continue reading]

This Really Is the Best of Phoenix

I’ve felt so honored lately to have been part of two memorable projects. The first was as an assistant for this year’s Best of Phoenix, an annual issue published by Phoenix New Times that celebrates all that is great in the Valley of the Sun. It’s a … [Continue reading]

On Empty Journals

Early in grade school, a concerned teacher notified my mother of a problem I had with communication. This problem, the teacher warned, would need to be corrected or I’d continue having great difficulty making myself understood. The issue wasn’t … [Continue reading]

Write with Joy

In his essay collection Zen in the Art of Writing, Ray Bradbury talks about writing his classic dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451. Distracted by his daughters at home (“Father had to choose between finishing a story or playing with the girls. I chose to … [Continue reading]

Quiet Time

It's halfway through the year and for once I haven't fallen behind on my Goodreads Reading Challenge; in fact, I'm ahead by a month! Part of the reason is that I have more free time now that school's out, but I think the main reason has to do with … [Continue reading]