06 Feb

A Long and Long-Overdue Post on Editing

The last few months have been busy. I closed down my legal business, opened my editing business, finished my copyediting program, edited a slew of stories, proudly watched a self-published book I edited rack up glowing reviews, and started revising an unfinished novel I wrote and set aside a year ago. I also found out that the pain in my hips comes from a skeletal deformity that will require surgery, went through a ton of physical therapy, traveled to San Francisco to see one side of my family, decided not to fly to New York to see more of my family, and ate a whole bunch of tasty food. Somewhere in there, sleep happened, too. I think.

I’ve written about many of those things, but I never quite managed to post them. Much of my recent writing deals with my struggle to come to terms with my disability–typing those two words still makes me feel like I’ve been punched in the gut–and the best pieces are also the darkest. Sometimes sharing my writing scares me, and part of the reason why is below. I know I need to get over that. One day, when I’m feeling brave, I’ll publish some of those dark pieces.

I’ve also written–and not posted–about editing. Back in November I promised to explain why I’m starting up an editing business, and the short answer is because I love editing stories of all sorts. The long answer stretches back ten years and involves an unpleasant incident that many writers may, unfortunately, recognize. Read More

29 Apr

The Beginnings of The Good Ship Whimsy

My biggest writing problem is letting go of things and sending them out into the world. Ideas push their way into my head and bloom on paper, and then I shut them up in file cabinets and hard drives, where they languish for years. So, maybe it’s fitting that this story began from something floating free: a dandelion seed.

About a month ago I decided to get a tattoo. Read More

18 Apr

Playing with Photos

I’ve been sick for the last couple of weeks, and I’m very behind on all of my work–including my writing. This means I don’t have any writing to post here today. But, I did play with some photos earlier this week. It was nice to be able to create pretty things even when I felt crappy. Here are some of the results.

This also seemed like a good time to try out the WordPress galleries feature. You can click on the photos below to see the full pictures–some of them got a bit squished.

17 Mar

Finding Treasure

Stories say there’s a pot of gold at the end of each rainbow, if you can only find it–and if the silly things would hold still. Every child who ever chased a bright band of colors as it retreated across the sky is familiar with this difficulty.

Other, less frequently repeated stories say that fairy gold turns to leaves and twigs in the morning.

Taken together, these tales don’t exactly teach us to go hunting for riches in the wild. But in my years of wandering through the woods, I’ve learned a different lesson: treasures are hidden everywhere. There is a trick, though. If you’re barreling after the end of a rainbow, you may never see them. They often aren’t where you expect them to be, and sometimes you don’t notice them until after the fact.

Last August, Adam and I hiked up to Flapjack Lakes in the Olympic Mountains. Read More

13 Mar

Short Stories on the Spot

Dee has much nicer handwriting than I do.

–UPDATE–

If you would like to donate to the Hanway-Wong family or if you would like more information about the fundraiser I participated in on Sunday, please check out the Facebook page or the GoFundMe page.

Last Sunday I participated in a fundraiser for a woman who just lost her husband to cancer and is now supporting their two children, both under the age of three, by herself. The main event was a silent auction, full of amazing services and goods donated by friends and businesses in Seattle. There were two full bars and plentiful delicious food. And there was also me, tucked away in a corner of the room, writing compliments for people in exchange for donations. Read More

10 Mar

To-Do Lists and an Announcement

My mother used to haul around a fat, cloth-covered binder called a “Day Minder.” It was scribbled over with notes, paper-clipped with lists on scraps of paper, and ridged with ugly tabs. Teenaged me would roll her eyes every time Mom pulled this brute out of her over-stuffed bag to write down a new appointment or remind the family of some forgotten chore. Sure, she was managing the schedule and tasks of five people, but did it have to look so cluttered? Did she really need that many lists?

Then Mom got her first Blackberry. Overnight, the size of her purse shrank in half. The reign of the ratty Day Minder was over. Other than occasionally teasing her about it, my siblings and I quickly forgot about the old beast. Read More

03 Mar

Monsters, Part II: One of My Own Monsters

This is the second of a two-part post. In Part I, I analyzed a brave and powerful story by Lauren Fleshman and discussed how to find the monster–the thing that prevents a hero from accomplishing her goal–in a story. In Part II, I’m hunting one of my own inner monsters.

It’s not difficult to find things I’ve been avoiding in my life. As you may have guessed from this blog, I like taking pictures. But I haven’t posted any pictures of myself for the last year. Why? I’ve had a hole in my mouth.

It’s difficult to even type this, which means I’m off to a good start. Read More

28 Feb

Summoning Summer

This one is especially for my friends who are in much colder places than Seattle right now.

I love snow, but I’ll be the first to admit that winter is not my season. If I were a superhero, my weakness would be the cold. I can sit in a 60º room with a sweater on and start shivering. I look at the beginning of December like an overloaded hiker staring up at an enormous, ice-capped mountain: ugh, how the hell am I going to get over that?

Over the years, I’ve developed a few strategies to survive the chilly months. Much to my husband’s dismay, I begin wearing a minimum of eight pieces of clothing at all times. I spend the first ten minutes of every shower convincing my body that yes, it is possible to be warm again. I turn the heat in my office up past 70 on both the thermostat and the space heater that sits directly behind my chair. And when breathing outside feels like inhaling knives, when I lose feeling in my toes in the first five minutes of my run, when my shoulder muscles have braided themselves into permanent knots and my hands are too stiff from the cold to type, I like to take a few minutes and summon summer.

Sunny Surf Read More