Sometimes

I was walking the dogs when the siren started to wail, the three of us directly under a speaker, the sheer intensity of the volume nearly caused me to drop the leashes and cover my ears. But we were close to home, unlike the last time I remember the emergency warning sirens going off maybe…

Pics from my trip to SE Asia

I was fortunate to take a three-week holiday over Christmas with my family to Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. My time there made an enormous impression on me. I’m writing about it (coming soon!) and hatching new plans but for now I thought I’d share some of my favorite pics… The Grand Palace in Bangkok…

The Year of the Cup

Throwing a shoe at them seemed like it should work. But it usually proved to be either too heavy to actually reach the ceiling or too light to dislodge the target. And if it was a boot or clog, it could cause some real damage on the way down too. I really didn’t get the…

My Next Book…

My next book features a teenager named Addie Queen. Addie is struggling – her dad is in jail for a white-collar crime, her boyfriend is acting weird, her mom is stressed out, everyone at youth group seems to be fake and her few times of peace are while practicing her violin or with her little…

A Very Special Interview…

I often get asked what my family members thought about my memoir Float On. I wrote of some pretty personal family experiences in it that many people wouldn’t share, especially with strangers. For me it was important to tell the truth and be open about experiences that I had been through that I had hidden…

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…

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…

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…

My Dad’s Ashes

Once I became a mom I realized that the reason why my own mom was the only one who could ever seem to find anything in my house growing up was that she was the only one who ever actually looked. So even though she wasn’t trying to find them, leave it to my mom…