Category Archives: craft

For Your Listening Pleasure

Ten of my short stories are now available as audio books on Audible!  Several of the stories were published almost 20 years ago, and the others more recently. It’s wonderful to hear talented narrators bring new life to words I first heard only in my imagination.  I’ve read many of these aloud myself, so I’m used to them as “mine” — hearing them anew makes them work as stories.  Not just my stories, but stories out there in the world.  For that, I’m grateful. Last night I drove from Rainbow Grocery to the Sutter-Stockton garage in about 18 minutes, just … Continue reading

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Crossing the Bridge

Bridge-crossing is a metaphor, of course, and a clichéd one at that.  It’s also an action grounded in regular habit for anyone who lives near water:  to get to work, to school, to home, we cross a bridge. Growing up, I crossed one bridge most often:  a world-famous landmark, its International Orange towers looming on movie posters, picture-book covers, and tourist postcards.  As a girl, I knew it as the slightly eerie, almost ghostly passage home from my grandfather’s house.  Miles of highway, city boulevard, and then, the fog-swirling bridge itself, huge lights casting the air outside the back window … Continue reading

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Story of an Ending*

Halfway through the year, a visitor appeared to a teenaged girl.  This was no ordinary visitor. The visitor greeted the girl, who was perplexed, even troubled, by the greeting.  Why had this extraordinary visitor come?  Don’t be afraid, the visitor told her, and then went on to say that the girl had found favor with God and would conceive and bear a son.  The visitor told her the son’s name and predicted greatness for him—a throne, even.  This troubled the girl even further.  She’d never slept with a man, as she pointed out to the visitor—how could she conceive? And, … Continue reading

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How Revision Brings Us Closer

This first Friday in July, I’m thrilled to offer a guest post by my friend and colleague Monica Wesolowska. Her memoir, Holding Silvan, will blow you away.  And she’s got some nifty insights here, too.  Thank you, Monica! At a recent reading from my memoir Holding Silvan, a friendly young man in the audience asked how I’d managed not to be angry or bitter in the book about the people who’d failed me while Silvan was alive. I had to laugh. I could have said the memoir just came out like that because I’m naturally a lovely person, but catching … Continue reading

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Formula One?

Before beginning the post itself, I’m happy to report that my piece on agreeing to disagree on matters of faith is in the July/August issue of Spirituality & Health, hot off the presses!  As I write this, the piece isn’t yet online, but I hope it shows up there soon.  Otherwise, you can look for it the old-fashioned print way. Here’s the post: Saved cats. Two pillars. Four themes. Three juggling balls. Eight points. A snowflake. No, it’s not a found poem, though it could be.  What these six items have in common? They’re all formulas for story structure.  I … Continue reading

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