Pretty

  [photo “Nikki” by Susan kae Grant]     When I was younger, all I wanted was to be pretty. * Mother looks at me, concerned: Are you sick? No, I say. I just don’t have makeup on. All day she is suspicious. * At the Women in Business conference in the tiny rural town […]

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Maximum Capacity for the Writer

As I prepare to teach my first, full-length college-level fiction writing class, I think back on the writing advice that resonated with me over the years. I remember Mary Oliver’s advice: “Writing is like a date. Nothing happens if you don’t show up.” I remember the Willamette Writers Conference session where I grasped the subtleties […]

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Do Something About It

Fourteen months ago I wrote an essay that appeared on Gawker.com as a response to the Newtown shootings. I wanted people to know what it felt like to be shot while you were at elementary school, as I was subject to a drive-by shooting at my elementary school in 1995 orchestrated by teenagers—teenagers that actually […]

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Home School

Every mother, every father, every person, judges everyone else. That’s just the way we do. I don’t think that’s necessarily bad. We live in a competitive society and being successful does actually mean that sometimes we see each ourselves in a pretty damn fantastic light and others in a dimmer one. So am I being […]

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