Monthly Archives: November 2008


We tell ourselves stories. Stories of our own achievement, of our limitations, of our potential. Stories to keep the monsters in the shadows on the walk home at night. Stories of love and devotion, stories of the winner in a particular argument, stories of our … Read more

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The Lottery

This month on the New Yorker podcast, A.M. Homes reads The Lottery by Shirley Jackson. Homes calls Jackson’s piece an iconic American story. Why American? Because the writer’s American? Because the work is read prevalently in America?¬†

I read The Lottery in junior high, high … Read more

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Playing Mom

Val McDermid said that characters don’t tell stories, writers do. And, of course, this is true. The characters are a writer’s creation, after all. But, my impulse to bicker with this statement comes from a difference in writer brain. I’m going to divide writers neatly … Read more

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The Anti-Climax

At a lecture by the poet, Jack Gilbert, years ago, he said that an editor had once advised him that perhaps his poems had big endings too often. I’m intrigued by that criticism. “The Great Fires” is a masterful book of poetry. I carried it … Read more

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Auntie’s Open Mic

I’ll be reading from my soon-to-be-published novel, A Field Guide to Deception, at Auntie’s Bookstore (402 W. Main) in Spokane on Friday, November 14th. ¬†Come support some writers at 7 p.m.… Read more

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Warrior Poets

More than a decade ago, my grandfather told me that no one was going to pay me to sit around and write poetry, and he hoped that I had a contingency plan. I didn’t actually believe him. Why couldn’t I make a living writing poetry? … Read more

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These three things

If you had to define your childhood by three things, what would they be? On my hike this morning with the dogs, I thought one would have to be my haircut. It has always informed my world in specific, and powerful ways. But, I just … Read more

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For me, voice comes first. I see an incident—a girl dangling from an airplane, laughing—and I wonder, what’s that about? What’s going on there? I have to know more about that. For this second novel, I opened the door to a woman covered in blood, … Read more

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