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Broadcasters sometimes speak of the ‘driveway moment’, that impulse to keep on listening to a radio show that is so compelling, the listener will sit on their driveway in their car to hear the rest of the show rather than go into their house. I’ve had my fair share of driveway moments but I’ve also had ‘pull over the car while driving or else I’ll slam into a tree’ moments too. One of those moments was not so long ago when I was listening to an interview on NPR with an historian of World War Two who talked about the…

1. Take a break: before you start, stop. Put your initial drafts aside for a while. It can be for a few hours, or a day, or a week — or, you know, a decade — but no matter how long you leave it, your editing will always be better for it.

2. Get a stiff drink ready: it can be tea, wine, coffee, bourbon — or all four mixed in a pitcher. In my house these days, La Croix counts as a stiff drink. It doesn’t matter as long as it will fortify you for the road ahead.


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California poppies

Poppies sway by her

‘Carrot flowers?’ she says, ‘Oh!’

Bright fire of summer

Haiku for #NationalPoetryMonth #WCApril2018

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“I need to tell you something.”

“OK, what is it?” she said, sitting down on the bed.

“Well. It’s very sad. I don’t know if I can explain.”

“Take a deep breath and give it a try.”

“OK. Well, see, Mommy, there was a tragic aspect to that game I was playing,” the boy began, gulping in air that half-choked a sob and strangled the newfound words. “It made me really, really sad.”

Tears began to roll down his face.

“What happened?”

“Well, the little guy in the game, when he gets to the bank of the river, he meets…

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It’s been a while, Rain. Too long. You and I go way back. We grew up together. Some of my earliest memories are of you. That time when we had to move my birthday party indoors because you showed up. Or when I was supposed to walk in our town’s annual Corpus Christi procession, decked out in my First Communion dress, flowers in my hair, walking with my classmates in rows of heavenly innocence.

But you wanted to come along.

Marching inside, down the church nave, just wasn’t the same.

I resented you back then. You weighed down all my…

Moira was made to be a mother. It was in her nature, they had always said. A good girl, always helpful. She took care of others. And the babies. She had so much love for the babies, their round little arms that felt gentle as butter. She loved the crowns of their heads, soft as eggs.

Her sister had six of them. Six. How, Moira never knew. The husband hardly had a pick of fat on him. She never had seemed the type when they were young either. Six, you know. She had her hands full, they all said. Not…


Writer / Reader / Reaching out to keep my brain alive...

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