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Showing posts from October, 2019

My Parents Bought a House in My Neighborhood

Welcome to the West Side, Oma and Opa! My family is among many who have chosen to live closer together as the Boomer generation retires. Whether or not we have children, we want to make sure our parents are within reach so that we can help them stay healthy and free to live in their own homes--and, of course, so they can help us hapless Millennials and Gen Xers with their home renovation skills.
We need each other more than ever now that health care is a nightmare, social supports have been weakened, economic inequality is rising along with sea levels and pollution, and loneliness has become a deadlier epidemic than smoking. I believe that we are also rediscovering, after a few decades of cultural emphasis on independence, the value of family bonds across generations.

Modern science reminds us that humans evolved to live well past our fertile years to give our families the power of grandparents and that close relationships between grandparents and grandchildren are healthy for childr…

I Have Created Something!

I have completed (and rewritten and revised and revised again and edited) an epic historical dark thriller. I have written a subversive Parsival tale in contemporary style, narrated by a a teenage orphan girl of unknown heritage, raised by a hermit of unknown origin, with no particular religion, certain race, or coherent social class, a girl who seeks identity and meaning along her adventures with assorted outcasts, misfits, criminals, and trailblazers. It's a queer, multicultural, interracial, boundary-blurring brick of densely woven subplots and big themes glued together with tears and profanity and bestial love. In other words, I have produced the kind of Byzantine journey saga that only the Millennial alumnus of an urban American public school with both gang violence and a celebrated AP program could have written.

I have no idea whether this work can be packaged and sold as a consumer product (though I sure hope it can), but in this moment, I am riding that high that comes afte…

The Golden Moments

The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us, and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to visit us, and we only know them when they are gone. -George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) 

The only time this is not generally true for me is in the fall. This is the golden moment when I feel most alive, aware, and present with everyone and everything around me. This is when my daughter and I begin most days with a walk in the golden hour of the morning, in this most golden season of the year.

It's also that magical time when my little golden child is still excited about school, from our morning walks to seeing her friends at recess to the Scholastic Book Fair to riding the bus home with more friends. She has already earned another "Golden Warrior of the Week" award (for exceptionally helpful behavior) and received an excellent, glowing report at the first parent-teacher conference of the year.

I've extended my "fallow period" from working on my novel, and I'…

Ísbíltúr: When It's Too Hot for Hygge

October is here! It's time for sweaters and crackling fires and pumpkin pie and... a climate crisis heat wave. I just got out all my knits and candles and squishy throw blankets, only to endure a couple of swampy, Florida-hot days. In October. In Michigan.

This is the third year in a row we have had a sweltering heat wave in October. It does not make me feel the hygge. I feel... I feel...


...more like death metal Greta Thunberg, yeah.

So I decided that, instead of burning up fossil fuels and warming my house by cooking dinner, my family would explore a different Scandinavian concept: ísbíltúr, the Icelandic national pastime of going out for ice cream.


We ate ice cream for dinner. Outside. In October. In Michigan.

Today, it has finally cooled down outside--for now. I got out the velvet pumpkin basket stuffed with hats and gloves and put it in the foyer, by the mosquito repellent and the flip-flops. You never know what you might need on the walk to school.

No matter the season or th…