On the Longest Night of the Year

On the Longest Night of the Year

On the longest night of the year, it is dark by 4 pm. People move through the grocery store pushing carts heavy with food for celebrations this week. This labor of love, this warm kitchen, these hands that stir and pour and knead, this waning act in the quiet of night. On the longest night of the year, the landscape is dotted with lights. If I approach one, will I find a lamppost? A sign, a direction, some way into another world? It takes everything in me to drive where I am supposed to…Read more …
Failure and Hope

Failure and Hope

My daughter's been working on a school project this week. It's actually pretty cool: she has to make a board game based on the book Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. She had a great idea for a game, but last night she hit a wall when she realized she'd drawn out the game board wrong. I completely understand the feeling of frustration and failure, I wanted to say. But instead, I told her that we had plenty of old cardboard boxes in the garage, and I went out and got one and…Read more …
On Sex and the Church

On Sex and the Church

A little over two years ago I got the chance to participate in an open-mic type reading at the Southern Book Festival. A writer friend of mine had organized it, and I read a non-fiction piece I wrote about my tenth anniversary, sexuality, and body issues. The piece was a little humorous and little serious. It took a lot of guts to get up in front of people and talk about such topics. Yet it doesn't surprise me that I felt more comfortable talking about those things in that context than I do in…Read more …
The Advent of Unbelief

The Advent of Unbelief

Advent is upon us, and everyone seems to be writing about it. But actually my Advent started back on November 15, which is when Orthodox Christians enter into the nativity season. So like every year, we put up the Christmas decorations on the weekend of the 15th. We got out our little Advent tree and the ornaments that the kids put on it night by night. We bought an Orthodox Advent calendar with forty little windows to open. I am going through the motions, but can I tell you? Just a week or two…Read more …
Writing Lessons: Reading as a Writer

Writing Lessons: Reading as a Writer

** So I may be starting a series(ish) on writing. We'll see how this goes. I don't have a particular day of the week or length of time in mind. But posts titled Writing Lessons will be about different things I've learned from living a writer's life.  You guys know that I am an avid reader. I absolutely love to read for pleasure. But I'm finding that I'm also beginning to read with a writer's eye. I was looking through my Good Reads bookshelf recently, and I noticed that the way I am…Read more …