Passive

My brain works in passive voice. Words fall onto the page in passive voice. I finish a first draft and spend the next 17 sweeps through it changing verbs. I never fix them all. I don’t even see them. What’s your writing bugaboo?

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The Winners

Were the winners in last night’s Emmy awards show your favorites? I was happy about some of the winners but disappointed about others. The most thrilling part of the event to me was when Margaret Atwood walked out onto the stage when “Handmaid’s Tale” won best series. Without a writer’s imagination, television would be nothing but news. What a horrifying prospect.

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In My Day

Out the door, on the bike, and gone. Go anywhere in 5 minutes and be back home before my mom knew I wasn’t there. But it didn’t matter where I was, because the town was so small the whole place was my own personal backyard. Now when I leave my doorstep and close the door on my family I walk into a crowded world where . . .

Write something. You. Yes, you.
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My Crazy Cousin

Jared, my crazy cousin, never unpacked his camping gear from the back of his van. Every weekend he disappeared into the woods with a load of fresh groceries, water, and fuel for his lamps. He told me he drove way up the mountain, almost to the tree line, and camped in a place where no one ever showed up. Except one time . . .

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Mama

“Oh, mama,” she said. The fire in the trash can flared up much higher than she expected. She stepped back. She waited a few minutes for the fire to settle down a little. She moved closer again so she could finish feeding the rest of the pages of her novel into the trash can.

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Uncle Buck

My uncle Buck was famous in our home town. He did so many good works. Everybody loved him. To me, he was just my uncle. He would take me fishing down by the dam. We caught carp. He made me throw the carp back in. If we caught catfish we took them home and my mom cooked them. The thing I loved most about uncle Buck was . . .

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Maybe

Maybe the increasing level of storms and wildfires and earthquakes are not the fault of human behavior. Maybe things will settle down in the future even if we don’t change our behavior. Maybe years from now the planet will still support human life. Or, maybe we should wake up and do something about the situation.

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Migrate

Drafting

Certain birds can fly 7000 miles nonstop to reach a different place to live for part of the year. Yet people cannot migrate to a better place with such ease. They are tied to land, houses, jobs. If a house is in a flood plain, destined to be under water because of rising oceans, people cannot just flap away like birds. Free range humans don’t exist anymore.

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Moon

The full moon, faded and dim behind the scrim of smoke from fires all around us was the only light we had. We stepped on embers still hot as we ventured out of the cave where we’d taken shelter for 2 days. Geri coughed behind the neckerchief she’d tied around her nose and mouth. I reached for her hand. “Not yet,” I said. “Still too hot.”

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Metro

1993 Geo Metro

People stared at her on the street when Marianne drove her Geo Metro. I guess they couldn’t believe the thing still ran. She loved it – great gas mileage and tiny enough for the most crowded parking spaces.

Marianne didn’t have a bit of trouble with that little car until the day she got a call from . . .

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