Monday, November 27, 2017

Peri Park, Fairfax

I took my little boy to Marin today. It was a much-needed mom and son date.

He braved the slide, loved the swings, and played Captain Sandler by pretending to steer the climbing structure. Later we walked over to the Coffee Roastery for a cookie.

Solace in the important things.

On the Cusp is accepting submissions!

My new reading series, On the Cusp, is now accepting submissions for our debut event at The Bindery on Jan. 31! Check it out here for all the details and to buy tickets.

Or if you're link-averse, here's what you need to know:

On the Cusp: Resolutions Gone Wrong
A new nonfiction reading series based around the theme Moments of Change. The smaller and subtler these moments the better  big, seemingly important life events can work (or not work!), but were most interested in unforeseen instants that result in lasting change. For our debut event, we want to hear about your Resolutions Gone Wrong.

Submissionswhich should ideally run between 1000-1500 words, with a maximum of 10 minutes' reading timeare open through January 10, 2018. Submissions should be sent to On the Cusp organizer Allison Landa, at, no later than end of day 1/10/18.

Admission for this event is $5 in advance or $10 at the door.

Now back to your regularly scheduled ...

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Santa Cruz

Paris Review

Maybe, as a female writer, you don’t kill yourself, or abandon your children. But you abandon something, some nurturing part of yourself. When you finish a book, what lies littered on the ground are small broken things: broken dates, broken promises, broken engagements. Also other, more important forgettings and failures: children’s homework left unchecked, parents left untelephoned, spousal sex unhad. Those things have to get broken for the book to get written.
Maya sent me this. Amazing.

Addendum: Just posted this on Facebook in response to others:

In talking to Adam just now what I realized is that what I quoted above is bullshit, for me at least. Having just finished a book, I can tell you NOTHING lies on the ground broken. My kid only knows what it is like to have a mother who has passion, ambition, and something beyond him and his needs. 

I'll tell you who has shut me down the most (or tried to, at least) for daring to have a life's ambition outside of simply reproducing: other women. And I'll say it: other women who were other MOTHERS, primarily stay-at-home mothers, and primarily people who had ambitions and goals and dropped them to be mothers full-time. And good on you if you want to do that, but then don't turn around and tell me that what I'm doing is fucking up my kid, because it sure the hell is not.
Think there's some feeling behind this? 

On This Day

 Silver Lake, 2013.
 San Diego, 2011.
Berkeley, 2015.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Today's writing

Matt first turned me onto Peter Gabriel. He popped in a CD while we were on the 56 one day, headed west toward the beach. The first time I heard the guy I couldn’t stand him. He just seemed like this whiney English dude whose music hadn’t held up from 30 years ago.

Then came Track Five.

“This is the one,” Matt said, and turned the dial to the right. It sounded different from the rest of what I’d heard so far, slower, sweeter, more sincere.

“It’s from a movie,” I said, “right?”

“Just listen,” he said, and his hand lingered on my knee for a single second.

It was called “In Your Eyes”. It spoke to me, but even in that moment I knew it wasn’t talking about Matt. It was too real, too deep, too loyal to be talking about him. It was willing to go there. It wanted to see more than the surface.

There’s the difference between how I felt about Matt and how I feel about Paul: with Matt, I had to hang on to some sort of veil for protection. With Paul, protection isn’t an issue.


It was beautiful. We spent it with Rabbi Ruth Adar and many cool people. Grateful.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Day drinking

"You guys are married, right? To each other?"

"Yes. For like 800 years."

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

"It's the Landa smoke"

Adam in the Pub's Philosopher's Lounge.

The Racket

Read there last Monday, featured reader in today's newsletter!

On This Day

Facebook gives me a picture of me and my 2-month-old baby. There are not words, but I will try anyway.

I changed when I became a mother. I mean changed. I used to be so damn angry all the time. I radiated it. It was cute and funny until it wasn't. Then it shattered windows.

Baz, honey, thank you.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Today's writing

I put my phone down and lean back against the headrest, closing my eyes. Fact is, the more I know about people, the less I understand them. How can someone who barely knows me care more about where I’m at, how I’m feeling, than someone who is – was? – supposedly one of my best friends?

Two someones, that is. Matt and Tina, Tina and Matt. I find myself wanting to know every detail, each bit of stupid and gory information. When did they even start communicating in the first place? Last I checked, they weren’t Facebook friends. They didn’t have each other’s phone numbers. I wasn’t even sure they knew each other’s last name.

But these things are easy. Very, very easy.

What’s harder is coming to the point where they would agree that she would come visit him. I can’t imagine she surprised him the way I did. That’s not Tina’s style. Tina likes to announce herself. She appreciates a red carpet awaiting her, cheerleaders if they’re available. Paparazzi is preferred, so long as she has time to hide out with some hairspray beforehand. Preparation is everything.

I can’t seem to open my eyes, turn the key, get moving. I have to get to where I’m going. My father and the Spice Girl await. But I can’t make myself act.

That’s because it’s finally starting to hurt, really hurt, all of it. Everything that sunk down to the bottom of my heart is pressing against my throat. I open the car door and puke it all out onto the hot blacktop of the parking lot.