Live Event Alert: July 17, the Boom Boom Dynamo Show

I am excited to be one of the speakers at the next Boom Boom Dynamo Show with Kick Ass Oregon History on July 17. The event will take place at one of my favorite venues, The Jack London Bar (underneath Rialto on SW 4th) and the theme for the evening is the Willamette and Portland's Bridges. I'll be doing 15-20 minutes on a bit of fun I'm loosely calling "The Secret Life of Bridges." I'll be joining Criminal Crafts who will be doing a group craft (classic Portland), Kick Ass Oregon History who Read more [...]

100 Word Story: The Chair

(, a wonderful very-short-fiction site, encourages readers to write a story based on a photo prompt. I am pleased to be one of the featured stories on their latest photograph. I've posted my story below; read all four featured posts here.)  When we piled stones in the courtyard, the soldiers kicked them down. We planted flowers, the soldiers ripped them out. Monuments are forbidden. Monuments are memories, and that’s what the soldiers want to destroy—the past. One night Read more [...]

140 Characters in Creative Nonfiction Magazine

I enjoy writing creative nonfiction tweets on Twitter (the hashtag #cnftweet is used by many writers, including me) and I am excited that one of my tweets was included in the print issue of Creative Nonfiction magazine. (One of 24 tweets on the theme of sustainability in issue #51.) Since it's a print only magazine, I am posting an image of the magazine here. Read more [...]


“Did you hear me, Jack?” I asked loudly. “I’m not deaf, Ed,” Jack yelled, though I suspected he was referring to my question, not to the news I had shared just before that. I smiled and nodded. I could have apologized, but I he wouldn’t have heard me. If you believed Jack (I hadn’t made up my mind yet), he actually heard everything perfectly well, but all at the same volume, so if you talked to him while a record spun on the turntable and bacon fried on the stove, the three sounds Read more [...]

Here’s My Card

(This true story first appeared at the wonderful I wear glasses . . . except I don’t actually wear my glasses. They fine tune my vision, but things within 10 feet are mostly clear without them, so I don’t wear them. What this means on the bus is that if I’m scanning to see if anyone I know is aboard, I have to focus for a second or two on each face, and that means I make a lot of eye contact. Being a friendly sort, this is fine with me, and usually, people I don’t Read more [...]


They say you can’t capture the Grand Canyon in a picture. A photograph puts borders on something boundless, puts edges on the infinite. You may take a beautiful photo of the Grand Canyon, but it will never contain the everything that’s just outside the viewfinder. What a photograph can do is trigger a small, controlled detonation in your memory that shakes loose the sensual experience that accompanied the click of the shutter. In the case of the Grand Canyon, the searing heat of the Arizona Read more [...]
November 30, 2013Permalink 2 Comments

Dinner Plans

  My guess is her parents liked knocking boots to Fleetwood Mac. They probably say her name was inspired by a Welsh legend or queen of something, but that’s just revisionist history made up by aging hippies who don’t want to be seen as having once been deeply entwined with popular culture. Not that I've met her parents, but knowing Rhiannon, I bet that’s true. Rhiannon thinks everything that’s popular is bad. I’ve never really understood that attitude. Obviously, the two overlap sometimes Read more [...]

Stating the Obvious

  He knew something was wrong. He just didn’t know what. Unfortunately, figuring out the what has never been one of his strong suits. Lucy certainly had seemed happy with the ring, which was good, because he’d taken the jewelry store radio advertisement’s advice that he should spend two months salary on her ring, a feat that would have been easier if he’d somehow been able to stop paying for food and rent and electricity for those same two months. She seemed to be happy with the people Read more [...]

Other Places

  He’d stopped counting the days. As the number crept up into the 20s, then the late 20s, the expressions of the people he told were less sympathetic and more surprised, even incredulous at his specificity, so he stopped being so specific. Of course, he was still counting the days, he just wasn’t telling anyone. Today was 33. He knew there was an unwritten statute of limitations on heartbreak, and he didn’t want to be that guy, the one who turned everything into a sob-story memory. Montage Read more [...]