• Musings, Essays, Tips & Articles

  • The  Suitcase Man

    Micro-Version: A morning story, in which the nature of purpose and determination  is explored, while essayists and poets stick their noses in. We discover what may or may not belong in a suitcase. The Long Read: There is a woman that works at the train station. My window overlooks the tracks and I see her in the morning, after the last commuter train has passed by. She sweeps and washes

    Read more

    Cherries From Long Ago

    Micro-version: Pretend tea is served in tiny cups to children sitting on a perfect lawn. Cherries fall, while frills and ribbons sadly give way to realization. Ants and wasps go about their insect business. My grandfather had a perfect lawn, emerald green and soft like the fur of a cool animal. As children, we were to avoid playing on the lawn. We had the alleyway, and the scrubby grass that

    Read more

    What really keeps us awake at night.

    Micro-version: In which three lie awake all night pondering flower nomenclature, while a brown dog dreams. Two 1960's folk singers make a brief appearance. Thankfully, puzzled ghosts are soothed by song. It is not a duet. The long night. I have made a sleeping nest beside our bed. I have two green blankets, a white bed pillow, and a small yellow one, too. I am not sure why I am driven to

    Read more

    Lupines and Other Sorrows

    Micro-Version: A threat of bombs averted, sorrow miners light their lamps, following the tracks of a tidily dressed six-year old.  They find no shortcuts. Meanwhile, the earth revolves around the sun sixty times and lupines bloom, right on cue. The Long Road: It is the summer of my fifty-ninth year. Soon, my friends who haven’t already will turn 59, too. Others are farther ahead on the

    Read more

    Small Doves and Cowboy Poems

    Micro-version: Cowboys, cicadas, toads and a small dove ride across the page. Writers write. Bugs sing. Cattle graze. Clouds contribute to geographic identity while the sun shines, impervious, in the Arizona sky. Long Version: I am reading a series of essays set largely in the Santa Maria mountains of Arizona. The author, Amy Hale Auker, is a cowboy and her essays are like bright stones

    Read more

    Butterflies and Bouncing Balls

    Micro-Version: A traveler's tale in which a windy lake and winding trails conjure up the past. Follow we must. Creaky bellmen carry the suitcases. Aging ferns and mosses keep guilty secrets, and butterflies jauntily ignore all. Long Version: She remembers a time she came here almost thirty years ago when the freshness of recovery was still upon her. The mission was to complete

    Read more

    The Holiness of Strawberries

    Micro-Version: A church barges its way across the Fraser River, ghosts intact, while the Ladies Guild dines on strawberries and cream. A yogi appears, along with a swallow. Enlightenment is elusive. Still, a seeker seeks. Long-form version: There is a historic church in the town I live in. It is the oldest wooden church in British Columbia and it is here where we set our scene. The

    Read more

    Look for Me in the Springtime, I'll See You in the Fall.

    Micro-version: Teenagers crown themselves in the glory of the seasons, while we time travel to cheer on clumsy schoolgirls. The month of June is celebrated. Awards are given, friendships are sealed, and kindness makes an appearance in a 1960's kitchen. The long version (get comfortable). I have decided to lay claim to the month of June. It is a lush, green month, the month of weddings

    Read more

    Homeless Where The Heart Is

    Micro-Version: It is June in Maple Ridge B.C. We meet the in-between people, past and present. Trees and opinions abound, but compassion is elusive. A racoon makes a cameo appearance. In June, Maple Ridge B.C. is a soft place. The leaves on the maple trees come into their fullness. The dogwoods and chestnuts are blooming. The Fraser River swells as the freshet looms. It is an in-between

    Read more

    In the Peony Garden

    Micro-version: Fidgety Muses awaken a sleeping child, while plucked peonies reveal the secrets of selfhood. Writers and poets take the credit. At 3:00 AM this story comes to me, travelling as stories do, on the wings of restless muses up all night, fretting. Some writers have Muses as winged inspiration, angelic, full of gusto and verve. Not mine. Mine is a worrier, a nag. She likes to

    Read more

    1 of page 11