Another Story Out in September

Last week I got word that another short story of mine will be published in September. This is such great news. This particular story is about the invisibility of motherhood. There is bloodshed. 🙂 Yay!

I am reading a lot and writing a lot lately. I’m obsessed with the story “Tenth of December,” by George Saunders. Dang. So great.

We’re reading that and “Heads of the Colored People: Four Fancy Sketches, Two Chalk Outlines, And No Apology,” by Nafissa Thompson-Spires as well as “The Lady with the Toy Dog,” by Anton Chekhov for the Short Story Club this month.

We’re always happy to have more members.

Happy summer to you.

Patreon Launch

I launched a Patreon campaign.
Is that you call it?
Well, that’s what I call it.

Find it and all its offerings at

I’m challenging myself to write one 30-word story for each day this month. Day 1 is complete.

I’m also looking forward to reading three short stories for the Short Story Club this month:

“The Yellow Wallpaper,” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1892)
“White Rat,” by Gayle Jones (1977)
“Staying Behind,” by Ken Liu (2020)

Here’s to summer. School’s out for us on June 11. And then what? Lots of finding things for three kids to do all … damn … day …

My Son and I Love Dory Fantasmagory

My oldest baby kid is in first grade. He is loud and energetic and currently obsessed with planes and robots. (Specifically, he is interested in a robot called Spot made by Boston Dynamics that can be purchased for $74,000. He is pondering where it will stay when Santa brings it to him on Christmas.)

“Honey, you’re not getting Spot for Christmas.”
“Why not?”
“That’s more than a car.”

“And they don’t sell it to individuals. It’s for companies.”
“Santa will bring it. It will stay in my room next to the RC plane.”
“Hm. You won’t be able sleep in your room. It’ll be too full.”
“That’s OK. I’ll sleep with you.”

He has high hopes for Santa. And for us (but let’s be honest, he sleeps with us more often than not).

This year has been unforgettable for so many crappy reasons. One of the good reasons, though, is that I will hopefully never forget that this was the year when my son really, really learned to read. He has been in full-time distance learning the entire year, and thankfully he has a great first grade teacher. Every day over these past few weeks the teacher has read one chapter from the fantastic Dory Fantasmagory series by Abby Hanlon.

There are five books in the series. It follows a little girl whose name is Dory, nicknamed Rascal. Rascal is the youngest of three kids and she has a wonderful, exuberant imagination wherein a villain named Mrs. Gobble Gracker tries to catch her to keep as her baby. I cannot recommend it highly enough. I bought the books from our neighborhood Wild Rumpus bookstore and watching my little guy thumb through the pages and describe certain illustrations to me from his car seat while we drove home was one of the most special moments in my parenthood to date. Because he knew what was coming, and because he knew he loved what was coming, we blew through the series. He even elected to go to bed early so that we could read two chapters instead of just one. We are done with the series and are now reading The Lulu Series by Judith Viorst and illustrated by Lane Smith.

And now I want to write a children’s book. Agh. I don’t know how to do that…

Other news:

I wrote an article for one of my friends and colleagues who runs a music therapy private practice here in the Cities. Working and Parenting in the Pandemic offers insight into a few music therapists’ lives who try to manage their clients and their kids’ distance learning when it is nearly impossible.

Here’s to the end of 2020. 🙂

Good Ancestor Podcast & two takeaways

I’ve been keeping track of the podcasts I’ve been taking in over these past few days as I’ve been re-organizing my media playlists. Especially since George Floyd was murdered, I have been seeking podcasts and hosts and media figures who are BIPOC. I’m really liking Good Ancestor Podcast with Layla F. Saad. I’ve heard two episodes so far — Ep028: #GoodAncestor Candice Braithwaite on Being a Black British Mother and Ep029: #GoodAncestor Nicole Cardoza on the Reclamation of Wellness — and I’m looking forward to more.

I didn’t know about Layla F. Saad before I heard these episodes. Of course, she is the author of Me and White Supremacy (which I haven’t read yet). From her website:

Layla is unapologetically confronting the oppressive systems of white supremacy and patriarchy, while offering important teachings and tools for transforming consciousness, cultivating personal anti-racism practice and taking responsibility for our individual and collective healing.

This! This is what I’m hunting right now.

me and white supremacy cover

There is so much in both of these episodes. Unfortunately, I can’t remember all of it. There is a lot to return to, but I can’t right now. Two items that struck me were these:

1. Candice Braithwaite and her partner agonized over the names to give their children, not because they were afraid the names were in the Top 100 lists and therefore too popular or some other nonsense but because the concern was whether or not white people would be able to pronounce and spell them. They were being careful about how the names would be read and spoken and treated in a white society.

2. Nicole Cardoza used “underestimated” to describe people who are in other instances described as “marginalized” or “minority.”

good ancestor podcast

I acknowledge that I have privilege and opportunity and advantage, relative to many. I know this. I struggle with how to use this for good. Vote, to be sure. I will certainly do that. Research the candidates for local elections, including school board. Teach my kids, somehow, to be thoughtful people. The list goes on. Engage.