anythingbutthenovel, writing

A ‘rona update

I want to tell you that everything is starting to fall in place and I caught COVID at the same exact time. Life remains hilarious.


Roll Your Joints Out

The most important thing I’ve learned this semester is all chi we can feel is defensive chi. It’s what creates our energy bubble. I knew that last bit, but it never occurred to me that the energy I use in Reiki is by default the same defensive energy. I learned this weeks ago and my… Continue reading Roll Your Joints Out


Scott O’Gara’s Art

In my defense, I did try to think about ways to talk about how much I love everything this human does, but I think his work speaks for itself. I'm opening this blog post with my favorite series he's done so far. This is his Male Gaze series from a few years ago. Every time… Continue reading Scott O’Gara’s Art


Sunday Drive Designs

Have you ever met someone and in the very instant you meet you know this is a lifetime friend? Becky is such a person in my life. We spend holidays together. During COVID, travel was too complicated and dangerous for her, but I went to her family for the December holidays and updated her on… Continue reading Sunday Drive Designs


“It takes calm to live a life on the edge”

My copy of Said No One Ever by Gregory Crosby is well loved with notes in nearly every margin, including full poetic responses, most loosely connected and responsive to the text. Generally, this is an act of love and goes unshared, but I wrote the author and shared a few of them. As the politest… Continue reading “It takes calm to live a life on the edge”


Twelve Ways to Serial Killer a Visola

I promised my friend T I would write this, but not in the way I actually ended up writing it. For that I am sorry. For the rest, oh yeah I'm absolutely sorry. This is the most ridiculous thing but maybe I can't write serious things anymore. They are in the particular order of not… Continue reading Twelve Ways to Serial Killer a Visola


BASS 1998; Harlem, 2005

This summer, all summer, shootings have been on the rise. I am working on vignettes about the present. But also, I think about Bob Owens all the time. Our last hug as I left the city in 2009, presumably forever. How I pulled back after squeezing tight to ask, "What the hell is wrong? You're… Continue reading BASS 1998; Harlem, 2005

anythingbutthenovel, dumb (poems), writing

Self-destruction is so played out/So is self-pity and self-doubt

So, I impromptu read at an open mic on Sunday. It was the late-oughts last time someone got me on a mic where I wasn't rabble-rousing or just stalling for time. I thought about my Kung Fu test when a board member asked me to do a form as though it was a poem where… Continue reading Self-destruction is so played out/So is self-pity and self-doubt

anythingbutthenovel, writing

Sly updates without social media notifications

Here's a flash piece written for a contest I did not win. I incorporated two pieces of feedback in this update. What you need to know about those pieces of feedback: I still can't keep track of time. It's nothing new, but maybe it's new that I understand how it connects my writing and my… Continue reading Sly updates without social media notifications


Meditations without Focus

I call a friend to let them know I’ve read too much news. One hour is fine, but anything more is dangerous. We jokingly say, “Call a friend.” I remember it being connected to a gameshow, but I have no idea why it’s still funny. Whenever worry strikes, I think of who I know is… Continue reading Meditations without Focus


I have been so busy.

Whew, that July/August/September/October whirlwind. I am so glad it's over I'm considering making neon FOCUS signs to help get back where I was with life goals. While I'm making them, please enjoy this chapbook now available through an old Square account I had for knitting stuff. If you need a dish scrubber or a… Continue reading I have been so busy.


Can’t ever go home.

I waited sixteen years to get my Reiki 2 certification because I was afraid of healing emotional pain. This isn't a story about doing everything except healing. It's a story about looking at the scars and the open wounds. The way we tell ourselves they are too much. How we find someone else to heal… Continue reading Can’t ever go home.

anythingbutthenovel, dumb (poems), writing

Crush Collage

Over the years, I've had a series of fantasy crushes. Like love poems I share with dear ones, they're tinged with longing for something. In the spirit of avoiding a photo collage of my cat, here's a collage of snippets from such a period of my life. Fall in love and tell me all about… Continue reading Crush Collage

anythingbutthenovel, writing

How do you set a trap for your future self?

If you catch her, what do you do if she's not who you expect? Friends keep asking how the novel is going. I'm working on it enough to think it's terrible, again. So, it's going well. Progress isn't always pretty. A long time ago, a friend and I had an argument about my writing. He… Continue reading How do you set a trap for your future self?


An Update before a Brief Hiatus

It's possible the weirdest conversation I've ever had in life was with my youngest brother.He was in his late teens and building a life. I was back in Iowa and we were watching TV. We had an uncomfortable argument about something we were watching. It was awkward. I asked him to explain Brittany Spears. He… Continue reading An Update before a Brief Hiatus


Hiding in Plain Sight

I watched Sex Education this week and was fascinated by how the entire show focuses on sexual dysfunction while treating attachment disorders of the primary characters. Things I sent to friends this week: This Letter Isn't for You by Erin Arata Amarylli Daceae by Sheila Black The Moment Your Life Crashes and Burns: On… Continue reading Hiding in Plain Sight


A Week in the Air #idunno

Friday: Rewrite my dating profile as a black magic healing spell I’ve sung before. Saturday: Ruminations on schedule. Do you remember the time I tried to like beer? You figuratively held my hair when I refused to leave the toilet. You made out with the cute, large-breasted woman. I was bleary, but it was hot and I’m still not mad. Eventually,… Continue reading A Week in the Air #idunno

Uncategorized, writing

Skirting the edges

My biggest achievement in 2019 so far? Three people have asked for writing advice and I’ve been able to help. Yeah, I batted an eye, but I answered the questions. Also, some guy on Tinder tried to impress me with his literary taste. I scared him away with my three favorite author’s list. I didn’t… Continue reading Skirting the edges


A Strange Moral Compass

I’ve been struggling to write about the rest of my trip. Not because it was uneventful or I don’t think anyone will be interested. It’s too personal. Writing about my body and what happened while I was on the road, the emotions of seeing so many family members and close friends; that’s some of the… Continue reading A Strange Moral Compass


I’ve got highways for stretch marks, see where I’ve grown?

Yesterday I woke up certain I knew who I was and where I was going. I wanted to write lists of details. This is who I’ve been. At 6 am I fought with my alarm, acted out “that crazy, annoying American in my hostel” and made package camp coffee before leaving for the bus. I… Continue reading I’ve got highways for stretch marks, see where I’ve grown?


This is the stretch of highway Freddy would get me

Slipknot released Iowa after they moved to Los Angeles. Now most of them live in gated communities in our home town. Whenever I come home, it feels like everyone my age has a Slipknot story. For sure everyone has an opinion about them. My friend has been telling his most recent stories about them this… Continue reading This is the stretch of highway Freddy would get me


Is Chicago, Is not Chicago

My earliest memory of Chicago happens in Homewood, IL. My cousin and I are ten years old at the public swimming pool. He bets he can swim under water longer and farther than I can. We race. He has goggles, but I’ve forgotten mine. I don’t remember which of us won. I've always been certain… Continue reading Is Chicago, Is not Chicago


Moving backwards was never the plan

I told my ex-husband this story once at the end of our marriage and he was shocked. It was strange because I’ve always been a bit too upfront about all the people I’ve been in my life. I told him about a night I went clubbing at seventeen in Minneapolis. We drove up from Iowa,… Continue reading Moving backwards was never the plan


When I try to be safe, this happens (still at Glacier)

So, illogical thinking cleared, I continued to wander around town. Part of my thinking was if there is no shuttle to the train station, I knew I’d have to leave before dawn to walk back. It was only two miles, but two miles in the dark of a national park can be a scary place.… Continue reading When I try to be safe, this happens (still at Glacier)


Some days it’s okay to sit and watch the world burn.

My head space had been getting better up to where we left off, but what you need to know about my illogical thinking is I put my tent together backwards. I managed to undo it and fix everything fairly quickly, but this is the simplest tent I’ve ever owned. Most tents follow the same order:… Continue reading Some days it’s okay to sit and watch the world burn.

Pre-move Travel

San Francisco and the Redwood Forest

Someone let me schedule a trip and it was extra Shall we go in chronological order? My therapist and I spent 2018 remembering I am not a very concrete person. She was right every time she reminded me. I’m going to try to keep this short, but we’ll do it in three sections. Museum of… Continue reading San Francisco and the Redwood Forest


Are you ready?

I have three blog posts to write for catch-up, but I'm about to skip town, and they honestly might be finished on my way to Portland, OR. So, I'd like to take a minute to say hi, we're here. This is the week I jump off a cliff and figure out how I want my… Continue reading Are you ready?

Mt. Vernon

The Perseides

There's something about August. Every year I spend the first four days reminding myself my father's birthday is coming. Then it's August 5th and I'm surprised to realize it's my father's birthday. Some years I'm able to deal with it, but this was a year where he got a frantic voicemail late in the day.… Continue reading The Perseides

Pre-move Travel, Texas

I forgot to take pictures in Austin.

You’re in Austin, TX. It’s a place you’ve wanted to visit since you learned about Jim Hightower in 2002. For a while after, you didn't care about it. This year when a work opportunity came up, you thought about your friends and said sure. Now you are here and unsure if this is a work… Continue reading I forgot to take pictures in Austin.


Bloggish Starts

August 2018 is a busy month and like every busy period in a person's life, it's not very different from any other month.  With each lost friend reconnect I make this month, I am tangibly closer to moving back to New York City and readjusting my entire life. I've been joking about being a mid-westerner with… Continue reading Bloggish Starts