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I Am, We Are

As a writer, most of my work is done alone. It is just me, my computer, the wild horses running through my head, and the blank page staring back at me. Part of me wonders if it is this solitary, independent, and introspective side of writing that continues to pull me under its spell. But there is also part … [Read More...]

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Scuba Diving, Heaviness, and My People

“And did you get what you wanted from this life, even so? I did. And what did you want? To call myself beloved, to feel myself beloved on the earth.” — Raymond Carver, A New Path to the Waterfall   I’m a little scared to write today, afraid of what might come out onto the page. I […]

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Questions, Answers, and Friendship on the Internet

We hear so much lately about all the Internet trolls and nastiness on the web these days, but what we don’t acknowledge enough are the really beautiful friendships and supportive relationships that can develop as a result of the Internet in general, and writing on the web specifically. I first met Wendy Wisner in one […]

Photo Credit: Angie McMonigal Photography

Not in a Million Years

I stand at the podium, sweaty hands clinging to my notes. My right knee shakes a little. I shift my weight and it stops. My mouth feels dry and my heart is pounding. I take a deep breath, look down at my notes, and then look up again at the faces staring back. I open […]

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Have (No) Fear

“Let us go forth, the tellers of tales, and seize whatever prey the heart longs for, and have no fear. Everything exists, everything is true, and the earth is only a little dust under our feet.” – W.B. Yeats Have no fear, Yeats said. What would you do if you weren’t afraid?, Sheryl Sandberg asks. […]

Photo Credit: Angie McMonigal Photography

Only One

“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one” — John Lennon, lyrics to Imagine I’ve been quieter here, in this online space, than usual. Maybe you’ve noticed. Maybe not. There are a couple of reasons for my lack of writing. The first one is, of course, summer. Kids home from school […]

The Expectation-Free Summer

Note: This post was in response to a question posed by the TODAY Parenting Team, in which they asked members to share their summer stories, advice and survival secrets. This post can be seen on the TODAY Parenting site here. ************ In summers past, I have alternated between counting down the days until the end […]

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Friday Summer Fun: 10 Things You Might Not Know About Me

It’s summer – which means kids home from school, trips up to Wisconsin, last minute playdates, visits to the local public pool, and not much time to write. Not to mention the fact that I’m starting to maybe think about dipping my toes back into the book writing pool. Maybe. Which – sigh! – doesn’t leave much […]

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Giving Day and Holidays Gone Awry

The last thing I need is another holiday with its overinflated expectations and endless chores. So when Jackson suggested a new family holiday – that would be celebrated monthly – I was a bit skeptical and apprehensive. Like most holidays, Giving Day (as our new holiday is called) has not gone according to plan. And […]

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On Growing Up, Growing Old, and Being Stupid Together

I don’t write about my husband much. Today is an exception. Matt and I met nearly 16 years ago on a hot and muggy August afternoon during law school orientation. I could tell you that it was love at first sight, that we saw each other and the world shifted on its axis, but really […]

Photo Credit: Angie McMonigal Photography

On the Third Rail, Crying in Church, and the Next Good Thing

When I first moved to Chicago 13 years ago, one of the things that intimated me most was the CTA train system, commonly known as the L. Up until that point, my modes of transportation consisted primarily of car, bus, bike, my own feet, and occasionally an airplane. I hadn’t ever traveled by train and, […]