Saturday, May 21, 2016


Another gray morning. Rain smacks the roof, a sound I once loved but have become immune to. Just as January signifies a new start, so does this month as school winds down, summer looms, and the season of leisure begins in a few short weeks. This year I worry about the tomatoes and the berries—will they ripen? One year when I lived in Massachusetts, summer never showed up. Many plants never bloomed, fruit never set, it was that cold.

One of my graduate students flew the coop this week. She is a brilliant young woman, an ambitious one, but most of all, kind and compassionate. Her parents flew from Taiwan and I met them, gracious people and proud parents. They are the lucky ones—they get to claim her forever. My student will start her new life in Boston, where she wanted to go, working with a colleague that once was my student. She will do well there—her new work group does important work and they are great folks. I feel pride and joy for her, but also sadness because we’ve worked together for almost five years, and there’s a little hole in my heart.

At work, soon I will shed old roles and take on new ones. Exhilarating and petrifying…

My dear daughter got into the high school program she applied to—bio-medical sciences. She wishes to be a forensic anthropologist. Truth be told, she'll be an amazing scientist: curious, seeking, persistent. In a few weeks my dear son returns home after nearly two years away at private school. He enters his senior year, though we’re still not sure where. I feel grateful and excited that my nest will be full again. And then… the nest will begin to empty again. I see families with babies and toddlers and I yearn for those times, long for the first words, first steps, first every things…

In three weeks I’ll fly to Denver for a week of writing. I’ll meet up with my good friend Barbara, an amazing writer and my soul sister. We met three years ago in Taos, and bonded immediately in the line for drinks at the opening reception. Another writer friend, whom I’ve not yet met, will also be there. We’re taking a juried workshop with Jenny Offill, author of the phenomenal Department of Speculation which managed to touch every nerve I possessed and rubbed it raw. I’m excited, and nervous; my own book, still in process, touches on many of the same themes.

My friend and writing colleague Jacqueline Bach has a cool blog called THE PROCESS PROJECT, where she interviews writers about their approaches to the craft. I'm up this week, so please take a look and read the wise words from over two dozen other writers.

What’s new with you? What’s old?