Spark what?

Marie Kondo’s Netflix show on the transformational effect of tidying up has blown up. I’ve heard NPR shows about the effects of the decluttering craze (a thrift store bonanza), seen countless posts online about goals for emptying out closets and garages, and heard pushback about some of her advice (especially about books). Full disclosure: I…

I’ve Got a Bone to Pick with Malcolm Gladwell.

I’ve read several of Malcom Gladwell’s books (Outliers is my favorite) and respect his thinking and writing ability. However, a former writing student took his online Masterclass recently and wrote me in shock over what he’s teaching about writing about our own lives. Here’s what she wrote to me after watching his teaching – I’ve…

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…

Sadness, writing and readability…

A writing student sent a question to my inbox that I thought you may be interested in: Hello Molly, So exciting to see you “ in the arena”. Fighting the good fight!.  I have something I need a little help/ push with. I’ve noticed how deeply sad all my stories are at their core. I…

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 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…

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…