On Surviving an Election Season (or Life)

The Midterms are over, hallelujah! No matter what political beliefs you hold, I think we surely all must feel glad they are over. I’ve been thinking about how I’ve weathered this season and it turns out that surviving the election season is the same as surviving any time of life that we have limited control…

Have you wondered too?

I received these questions recently in my inbox from one of my online writing students. Molly, do you believe writing your memoir freed you from your past ? Did you solve your past before you wrote and use the writing to simply excise the residual pain or did writing take your pain and make sense…

A Letter I’ll Never Send

Dear Dad, I don’t remember ever writing¬†to you when you were alive, not even when thousands of miles separated us. We didn’t have that kind of father-daughter ease of communication and that’s ok. I’ve made my peace with the fact that both of us were doing the best we could. The truth is, writing this…

Books are a few of my favorite things…

I’ve started a new writing project. I often catch myself talking about it and saying that it’s hard, which it is. But it’s also awesome. Chipping away with my words and thoughts, not being certain exactly where I’m headed but going anyway – it’s the backbone of my creative life. And reading other people’s books…

And the winner is…

Congratulations to Stephanie Netzer! Her essay “Mary” won the Sandra Moran Writing Scholarship. I’ve had the pleasure of having Stephanie in class in person. I admire her willingness to go deeper with her stories and the courage she shows in being open to looking at her life. Her commitment to telling the truth will be…

The back-to-school rituals

I’ve been thinking about routines lately, especially as summer is winding down and I’m anticipating my daughters returning to high school. My oldest will be a senior! (little Emma will graduate soon!) The routines have changed a lot since they were little. Thankfully there are no more diapers but I often spend most of my…

How do we remember?

I’ve been thinking about memory a lot lately. Like, why do we remember some things and not others? I can recite how one of my customers took his coffee twenty years ago but fail to recall that we are out of dog food as I’m driving by the store. And why do the painful occasions…

A return to Topeka

I don’t remember who first noticed the nests – two of them, huge and a couple of stories above our heads. These were no nests that you sometimes see on the sidewalk fallen from the trees of my east Lawrence neighborhood; these reminded me of the ones I’ve seen from a distance on my paddle…

Self Care

Anthony Bourdain’s suicide took my breath away. Restaurant work consumed my life for almost twenty years and when I read Kitchen Confidential and The Nasty Bits, I was blown away. And then his television life – it all seemed almost unbelievable. Look, someone got out of the kitchen as a writer! And such a damn…

First-ever Guest Post by Molly Murphy

I’ve admired the paintings of Molly Murphy for a long time. I’ve bought small ones for gifts and splurged on a large one for my living room. But I’m not going to share her visual art today (although you should at least check out her website to see it), I want to share her words….