Smahten Up

I’m told I have an accent. While I find this absurd – I am the only person I know who doesn’t have an accent – I sometimes see people light up when I say certain words, and it’s usually a cue to brace for the inevitable retort of, “pahk the cah at Hahvid yahd.” Let me tell you a secret: this most famous of let’s-sound-New-Englandy phrases does not amuse anyone from the northeast. This “joke” is a tired cliché, and compounding the insult is our disgust with you for thinking Read more [...]

(140-Character Creative Nonfiction)

The Twitter hashtag #CNFtweets, encouraged by Creative Nonfiction Magazine, is used to tell short, true stories. I'm compiling my contributions to the hashtag here. This page gets updated regularly. I'd had a crush on her years before, but as we caught up in the frozen food aisle, nothing in our conversation reminded me of why. 2-16-17 The preschool didn't refer to the students' afternoon performance as a "talent show," for reasons that were quickly evident. 2-13-17 Courtesy Read more [...]

Everyday Stories 2016 – Recap

Everyday Stories is my annual "30 Stories in 30 Days Inspired by 30 Found Photographs" writing project. If you're looking for a place to start, or want to find a story you liked, you can see all the story photos and first lines here. Thanks for reading! Cruise November 1 “This would be a great workout,” Gwen said as she slowly waddled out to deeper water. It was more of an observation than an idea, as Gwen was done seeking out exercise regimes. Road Trip November 2 Kerri knew Read more [...]


One by one they’d disappeared. Whether it was distance or death, people had been whisked out of Karl’s life faster than he’d been able to replace them. He’d noticed the phenomenon happening in his 40s – a person would pop into his head and he’d realize he hadn’t spoken to them for them for a long time – but back then, the attrition seemed unavoidable. When he and Louise took jobs at Montana State, the Indianapolis people started falling away. When he got the job at Gonzaga, the Read more [...]


Don urgently went over the song structure one last time – main part four times instrumental, four with vocals, bridge, main two times, bridge, chorus, main four times, chorus, new part in D, bridge, outro – but all Abe could think about was how he’d never noticed that Don sounded a lot like that crank from Law and Order. Jerry someone. How long had Law and Order had been on television, anyway? Had he watched it as a kid? Was it as old as 60 Minutes? And why didn’t people on that show Read more [...]


In my favorite picture of my mom, she's painting the walls of the apartment on Hemlock Ave. We moved a lot back then, Hemlock being one of seven different places we lived between third grade and my senior year. This was back when you could knock on a door and talk to a landlord instead of dealing with a property management company, so getting out of a lease didn’t have to involve lawyers. Mom never said so, but by high school, I’d figured out the reason we moved so much – it was the only Read more [...]


Agnes was still peeved about the comment, though she couldn't put her finger on exactly why. Phil had said it loudly to everyone within earshot, not to her in particular, but there was a glint of mischief in his eyes when he glanced her way. She'd seen the same expression in a student a few years prior when the kid slyly slipped “hucking fell” into his oral report on Mark Twain. The kid said it was an accident, but Agnes saw that it wasn't. In Phil's case, she was just as certain he meant Read more [...]