Ugly Pumpkins

Aaron brought home another ugly pumpkin. “From my mom to you,” he said, plopping it on the counter in front of me. It looked like a giant brown dingleberry with a pinched off turd for a stem. At least the last ceramic pumpkin Sue gave me was close to the right color. That one was… Continue reading Ugly Pumpkins

It’s Time to Have an Uncomfortable Conversation With You

I wish there were a way I could talk to you. Somehow skirt around all the buzzwords and inflammatory memes. Avoid the phrases that cause you to relegate real events to political discussions, instead of arousing your sleeping sense of indignity at what is crushing the soul of our country and our humanity.  I want… Continue reading It’s Time to Have an Uncomfortable Conversation With You

Forming a Writing Habit in 6 Easy Steps: Carnanan Smithee is Here to Help

If you want to find the perfect system for producing the best words, don’t listen to other people. They’ll just feed you a lot of words. I say, don’t eat them! I have even tastier words right here, and I’m willing to put them on a tiny, rectangular plate and serve them to you on… Continue reading Forming a Writing Habit in 6 Easy Steps: Carnanan Smithee is Here to Help

Sleepy Seeds

I love to watch my animals sleep. I have three of them, two cats and a dog. They all have strong and particular personalities. There’s Seven the cat, who struts through the halls with a John Wayne swagger and a caterwaul made of sand paper and bourbon. But when I find her asleep in her… Continue reading Sleepy Seeds

Mother and Daughter: An (In)Complete History of (Almost) Suicide

One of my earliest memories is this: Sitting in the passenger seat of an old, beat-up blue Volkswagen, tracing a raindrop with my finger as it slides down the window and swallows up other raindrops along the way. My bare feet don’t yet touch the floor. I’m barely tall enough to see the gray world… Continue reading Mother and Daughter: An (In)Complete History of (Almost) Suicide


I work in my home office making maps all day, so when evening comes, and I’m in the mood, I’ll go write at the nearest Panera. Panera, in terms of ambiance, is somewhere between little French bakery and contemporary coffee shop. Their main sell is baked items and lunch, but they also have signature coffee… Continue reading Percolations

Cocktails For Two, and Anxiety Make Three

My husband writes for the Local Weekly and is tasked to go review cocktails at fancy restaurants. And he wants me to come. It sounds horrible; going to some hipster eatery, where I will have to look at people, talk to people, and let those people look at and talk to me. Unbearable. I have Social Anxiety.… Continue reading Cocktails For Two, and Anxiety Make Three

Good Morning Group Therapy!

“I just can’t say something good about my weekend because… you know, it’s so hard and lonely and… you know. It’s just that it’s never going to end so-“ I hunch forward in my chair with my elbows on my upper thighs and roll my pen between my hands, up and down, up and down.… Continue reading Good Morning Group Therapy!

Slow Roll

We walk Nisa around the perimeter of the hotel, cajoling her into taking a poo, so we can sleep through the night without having to take her back out. Aaron dances about with the newly filled bag, and when he pretends to fling it at me, I say, "Slow your roll, dude." "What? Slow my… Continue reading Slow Roll

Camping Alone

Have finally gone and camped by myself. Twice. The first time was a tent cabin in Big Basin. I chose a tent cabin because it seemed the least scary and therefore most likely to lead to a successful venture. It’s good to have early successes! When I first pulled up, I was like, whoa, this… Continue reading Camping Alone