art

I only let myself do jigsaw puzzles on occasion and in the winter because once I start them I cannot do anything else. I find it difficult to make dinner, read a book, talk to my family or even sleep because I so want to find that next piece. The puzzle virtually consumes me. But… READ MORE >>

The microphone shook so hard in my right hand that I had to grab it with my left hand to try to steady it. I felt all the usual nervous symptoms–nausea, heart palpitations, and my face was a lovely hue of flaming red. I closed my eyes so I wouldn’t see the faces in the… READ MORE >>

I am not like Stephen King. (I bet you are not surprised.) I know this because I adore stories without horror that instead have sweet characters and even sweeter endings that hit me straight in the feels. Wishtree is one of those stories. A few years back I wrote about The One and Only Ivan… READ MORE >>

Last weekend, I went to Western Washington University for the first annual Poetry Camp. After the end of the sessions and right before Jack Prelutsky, the first Children’s Poet Laureate, gave his fantastic reading of ‘Rat for Lunch,’ I went for a walk around the campus where I once went to school. I was hunting the… READ MORE >>

On Sunday, I drove across the Cascade Mountains to sunny Yakima for a three day teaching conference. In this city my grandparents once called home, I let the sun melt away my everyday stresses and felt my curiosity perk up. While strolling the neighborhood, I discovered churches with large blocks of  dark stone rising above the city… READ MORE >>

Jessica Lewis, the trombone soloist in our band, reminds me of Marci Kobayashi-Smith, my good friend in high school. Jessica is tall, with cropped dark hair and skin like the color of vanilla ice cream. She plays in the toasty church where we practice, wearing a knit hat in a quirk that Marci did not have but I wouldn’t… READ MORE >>

Over ten years ago, I took a class on adult psychology in a small classroom on Pill Hill in Seattle. The professor stood in front of us in a button up shirt with slacks that blended into the dark background of the room behind. As he described his experience of a wrenching divorce, he said he… READ MORE >>

The other day my son said, “You know you’ve got a LOT of books on writing on your bookshelf. Have you read all of those?” Mostly, I told him. (He wasn’t particularly impressed — just astounded that I could stay focused for that long on reading books about putting words on paper.) And he doesn’t even… READ MORE >>

Want to get notified about new posts? Yes, please!