Small

We came back from vacation earlier this month to find that someone else had moved in. I didn’t realize it at first—the house seemed just as we had left it, and we were busy emptying the car and starting the laundry and repopulating the house with the things we’d taken with us. It was later, […]

Redux: Draw Me a Picture of Nature

The literary critic Raymond Williams once wrote that “Nature is perhaps the most complex word in the language.” It’s a head-scratcher right up there with love, or goodness: We depend on it for survival, but we’re often not quite sure where it is, what it is, or whether we’re a part of it. Jessica Mikels-Carrasco, […]

A Shooting, a Storyteller

I was with a group kayaking and camping on the coast of south-central Alaska — seven adults, five kids from four years old to twelve. One of the adults was a muscular late-20s man named Everett, a friend who came along to get out of the city for an adventure. A street cop from Aurora, Colorado, Everett quickly […]

The Elephant in the Bedroom

Just recently, the Chinese government ended its one-child policy, telling married couples they could reuse their nurseries one more time. It wasn’t out of the goodness of officials’ hearts. The original policy, put into effect in the late 1970s, was about demographics, an attempt to control the pull on the flailing economy. The change is still about […]

March On

The first time I ever saw a marching band I ran away and cried. The band wasn’t even really marching–it was cooped up inside a small music hall. Maybe that was the problem. The timpani and the tubas, trapped in a single room, were far too loud for a little kid’s ears. When I finally saw […]

Hug It Out

There are hugs, and then there are hugs. Am I right? Hugging is not one-size-fits-all. It’s a skill, partly innate, and not everyone has it. We all know people who are huggers, and people who just aren’t. There are also people who like to be hugged and people who curl away as a hugger approaches, even flinching a little […]

Motherhood: Indecision 2015

Three years ago, I wrote a post about having children. I was trying to decide whether I wanted one. I wish I could say that writing that post helped clear the fog of indecision, but that isn’t what happened. I continued to struggle and debate. And when that didn’t lead to a clear answer, I […]

Dreams of Monsters and Coconuts, Airports and Toilets

This is my last regular post for LWON. Thank you, readers, for indulging my ramblings about mushroom ice cream, eyeless crustaceans, and transit-chasing Frenchmen (not to mention my Canadian spelling habits). And thank you, fellow LaWONians, for letting me be part of your wonderful writing community. I’ll miss you guys. Lately, my dreams have been incredibly […]