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Author Reading Tonight, October 1st, at the Warner Library in Tarrytown, New York

Come join us for what promises to be a fun and fabulous evening at the historic Warner Library in Tarrytown, NY!

Authors Lori DeSanti, Ann Podracky, Andrea Stone and I will read from the anthology SIBLINGS: Our First Macrocosm. Works of poetry, memoir, and story explore and celebrate the mystery of those earliest relationships with those who knew us before we knew ourselves.

“Our families, especially our siblings, provide our first macrocosm. How much of that experience do we carry out into the world as part of our deepest, inchoate expectations of the world and of our self?”

If you can’t make the reading but would like to order a copy of the book, click here and use the code “Tarrytown” for free shipping.

“Toroid” Now Live and Online at Pithead Chapel

I’m thrilled that “Toroid” is now live and online at Pithead Chapel!  I could not imagine a better home for “Toroid” than Pithead Chapel, which publishes “gutsy narratives…[that] leave a brilliant bruise.”

“Toroid” holds a special place in my heart, in part because it’s an homage to those ancient emperors in spirit, of which my father was one, who create wormholes in the universe. My father was not a mathematician like the one in the story, but he was a poet – a bit cracked, shades of a tyrant, yet someone who scoured his soul in the pursuit of truth and beauty.

“Toroid” has earned its own category in my mind, if only because I’ve been writing and revising this story for five years. You heard it, folks, five blimey years (“blimey: a minced oath from [God] blind me”Wicktionary). Even a real, live baby only takes nine months. Over the years the story expanded and contracted, shape shifting and boiling itself down into the condensation you find here. Enjoy!

“Ordinary” (audio recording)

"It was April, the callery pear trees lofting soft and white, and I spotted her from down the block, a seam running up the back of her pink tights to where it trailed beneath the hem of her denim skirt..."

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“Ordinary” Audio Recording, with Original Music by Nathan Corder

The audio recording of my short story, “Ordinary,” accompanied by Nathan Corder’s original musical score, “Fabric,” is live and online at The Flexible Persona!

The Flexible Persona is the small press equivalent to the local farmer’s market, where every visit is an adventure, and you get to meet the people who grow the pumpkins or harvest the pears. The magazine features authors reading their stories aloud, and the personal timbre of each voice lends a vulnerability that becomes part of the tale being told, a perfect accompaniment to the original musical compositions that have been chosen for each piece. A special shout-out to Nathan Corder, whose composition, “Fabric,”—a high, reverberating wire pulled tight against the resonant keening of a trombone, a whale song, a hawk, stretched across the sky—accompanies “Ordinary.”

So grab your laptop, head out to a hammock strung between the trees, and click here to take a listen.

“Perfect” Selected as Semi-Finalist for the VanderMey Nonfiction Prize

I’m honored that my short story, “Perfect,” first published in the spring 2015 issue of the St. Sebastian Review, has been selected as a semi-finalist for Ruminate Magazine‘s VanderMey Nonfiction Prize. Deep gratitude to Ruminate and the St. Sebastian Review!

“Perfect” (online)

“Mom,” Henry asked, striding beside me in his corduroys and miniature Timberland boots, “why can’t boys wear nail polish?” I reached out for his hand, his pinkie finger nail painted blue.

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“Match” Accepted by The Madison Review

I am thrilled that my short story, “Match,” has been accepted by The Madison Review, coming out in the spring!

This was a rather mysterious acceptance. For one thing, the invitation came through my Yahoo email, which I only use for online shopping and generally spammy purposes, never for personal use, and for sure not for my literary correspondence. My first thought was, malicious spybot malware invader?

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LILA by Marilynne Robinson

Lila is the third in Marilynne Robinson’s trilogy of novels that takes place in the small Midwestern town of Gilead, and both Gilead (2004) and Home (2008) explore the lives and friendship of two Iowa preachers. In this latest novel, Lila, the wife of the preacher, John Ames, tells her own story, earning an unqualified spot on my Books I Love bookshelf.

Lila’s life in Gilead begins when she enters the town church to shelter from the rain and first sets eyes upon her future husband, John Ames. Flashbacks to Lila’s past weave through the narrative, and as she struggles with loneliness, belonging, and faith, Lila’s past remains potent and alive.

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“Forty Portraits in Forty Years”

The New York Times Magazine recently published an article on the photojournalism project of Nicholas Nixon, “Forty Portraits in Forty Years,” in which he photographed four sisters every year since 1975. I discovered the project when my college classmate, Rosie Reardon, posted a link on Facebook (re-posted here). The collection of images is a moving pictorial journey documented over decades.

Aging is not an easy topic, especially in a society that fetishizes youth, and the photos brought up a lot for me, the good, the bad and the beautiful, because one can see that what the women in the photos lose in the smoothness of their skin they gain in something else – but what (or do they)? It’s probably different for each of us.

The photos inspired me to jot down a few thoughts, and I invite others to share their own reflections in the comments field. I’ve heard many wise, honest, often funny insights from the inspiring women (and men) in my life, and I’d love to open the closet and bring in a community of voices to shed some light on this topic. Read more

Matthew 16:21-28

This Labor Day I was invited to share a reflection on Matthew 16:21-28 with the congregation of St. Barnabas, a beautiful Episcopal church in Irvington, New York. This is a yearly custom at St. Barnabas, and I was honored to be asked to serve in this way. The scripture I was to speak on, Matthew 16, is a somewhat opaque passage that was rewarding as well as challenging to unfold. The full bible passage as well as the text of the sermon follows.

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