Thursday, January 28, 2016

One year

A year ago was the last normal day of the Old Life. A year ago was the last full day before I realized that I was pregnant, before I took the test and watched the double lines almost instantly appear. It was  Jan. 29, 2015, around 2 p.m. I remember walking into the living room in a fog of shock. Then getting Yogurt Park. Priorities.

I could never have predicted how my life has changed and will continue to do so. I can only embrace the wisdom of sometimes going with the hard right hook.

Sunday, January 24, 2016


Baz is with Uncle Jon and Auntie Courtney today. Sitting here at Philz, I watch a woman pull her baby from his stroller. I can feel the sturdiness of that little body, the pride at how well he holds his head. I am changed.

Writing From the Edge: LIMINAL, Feb. 21-March 27

I'm excited to announce that I'm going to be teaching a six-week workshop at The Liminal Center in Oakland. "Writing From the Edge" runs on Sundays, Feb. 21-March 27, from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. For more info, go here; for tickets. head over here. Also, don't forget to check out all of Liminal's offerings here!

The two-bit sound byte: Life proliferates at the continent’s ragged edge, where sunlight illuminates the water and a wide variety of species flourishes. Such is the case with writing, which grows most vivid at the roughest spots. Over these next six weeks, we’ll explore ways to connect with what lies within and bring it to the surface through the power of the written word. This will take the form of reading assignments from diverse authors including Persimmon Blackbridge and Mark Doty, handouts, writing prompts and feedback from me as well as from your peers.

I hope to see you there!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

From the revise

I have this weird memory of going into the women’s bathroom at some restaurant – and you know, I don’t even remember which one it was, even though it was pretty recent, Luigi’s maybe but I’m not sure – and there was a lady there changing her kid. He couldn’t have been more than a few months old. I never can tell these things. I just saw these bare little legs in the air. Even just writing those words punches me in the chest with how that made me feel. That kid was so helpless. Couldn’t even change his or her own diaper. Let’s just say it was a he. He went wherever his parents decided to take him, wore anything they thought was okay. Worse than that, he couldn’t understand when they treated him wrongly, if they did, and I don’t know, because I peed quickly and washed my hands and left, all before she finished doing up his onesie.

I feel for kids even if they don’t know enough to feel for themselves.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Never again

These pictures were taken seven years apart on this date. Jesus. The difference. 

A focus on fitness

If I went to the gym at all in 2015, it was rare and it was in January. And it was before I switched literary agents, found out I was pregnant, decided to go through with it and had a son.

Nothing much has changed at the downtown Berkeley 24 Hour Fitness. I saw some of the same characters I've always seen there. I did my typical 40 minutes on the elliptical and my bits of weightlifting. I walked out as I'd walked in, the only one who knew how much my life had transformed, and the only one who needed to know.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Before you die

On Sunday I'm taking a class at The Marsh with Charlie Varon. It's called "Say What You Mean Before You Die." This really resonates with me, not because I (cross fingers, knock wood) plan to kick off any time soon, but because there is so much I want to say and haven't addressed publicly. There's people I want to call out on their bullshit. There's truths I want known. There's challenges I want to lay down to myself.

I'm looking forward to Sunday.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


Tonight I cried until my eyes were just about swollen shut. I was standing at the entrance to our small kitchen, watching Adam do dishes as we argued. It was just an argument, but it wasn't. Baz was in the swing to my left, and for a good five minutes he had to listen to us go back and forth. We weren't yelling, but we weren't quiet.

Then it hit me. It hit at a somatic level, really, the body rather than the brain. 

This. This was my childhood.

Except my parents never thought to check on me. They neither looked left nor right. They only saw straight in front of them, and then never further than their own noses. They screamed. They threw barbs, accusations, insults. My mother raised her voice, my father his fists.

I took Baz into the other room. Then I found myself on our worn blue recliner, sobbing into Jack's fur. 

We do things differently. That's what Adam tells me time and again. We are not them. I can only have hope. 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

"A little pukey"

I posted this picture of Baz -- an hour old -- on Facebook. One of my favorite writing professors -- a man who just an hour earlier posted about how one of his main New Year's resolutions was to connect with love -- responded that it was "a little pukey."

Could it be seen that way? Sure. Have I seen kid pictures that way in the past? Sure. Have I said that outright? Fuck no. If that's hypocritical, then so are the good manners that keep us from killing each other.

Must suck to be that angry. I remember what it was like and I don't ever want to go back there.