On being a Highly Sensitive Person. Also, mean people suck

I met a friend at the Ponte Vedra an anonymous library last month, and afterwards approached a librarian to talk about donating a copy of my book. No big deal – I just thought maybe there was a local author section. The woman behind the counter took my book and sighed very heavily. “I’ll have to see if it’s been catalogued,” she said. “This could take a really long time.” She picked up the book and started fanning through the pages, likeRead more

Worms and workouts. Memorial Day redux, again.

The day before the last day of school last week brought a terrible thunderstorm to Northeast Florida. The rain poured down in sheets and wind ripped through the trees like a buzz saw. But the next morning was clear and cool as the Tyrant and I walked to the bus stop for her last few hours as a fourth-grader. We had our eyes down because she likes to look for doodlebugs. Or roly polys, or the latin word armadillidiidae, whatever you callRead more

Clipping my own wings while Husband urges me to fly

Twenty-three years ago today, Hot Firefighter Husband married me under a gazebo on my parents’ country estate in Folsom, Louisiana. Dad had installed a ceiling fan because, in his words, “There’s nothing more unattractive than a sweating bride,” which is a fact I had not previously known. To celebrate, Husband is working a double-shift to help pay for our new car, and I am trying to convince our oldest daughter that it is earth-shatteringly important for her to know that tooRead more

Time to say goodbye to Old Blue.

Listen, we are not going to talk about my six-week blog break. Mmm-kay? I mean, I will eventually, because I talk about pretty much everything except my personal sex life. Exception: I talk quite a bit about my personal sex life in The Place of Peace and Crickets, MY NEW BOOK, which as you know is available for sale in a variety of places. More accurately, we’re not going to talk right now about the past few weeks. I’ll just say peopleRead more

The unfortunate chaos of busy-ness

The Russian spy ship Victor Leonov is not far off the coast of Florida right now, which means if I hop on a cruise this evening we could meet up by lunchtime tomorrow. I mean, not that I’d want to. I’m not a spy or anything OR AM I but apparently the Russians are our friends now, and with all their eavesdropping equipment I feel like somebody on board could help me get to the bottom of why Common Core math evenRead more

Freaky little dogs and MY BOOK

She crouched in the back of the cage, terrified and shaking, a black and white bundle all ears and bulging eyes. I reached into the cage and she snapped at me. Bitch. “Whoa,” I said. The volunteer chuckled. “Yeah, that one’s really scared.” We eventually got her out, and she stood unsteadily, looking around like she was expecting the apocalypse, tail so far between her legs it nearly reached her chest. I picked her up. She felt lighter than my purse.Read more

A Holiday Round-up for your entertainment

Dear generous readers, The worst thing about being a writer is not writing. When I’m not writing, my waking hours consist of strange and beautiful sentences forming in my head, begging to be eternalized through the stroke of a few keys. They had wanted to name her Astrid, but between the language barrier and her mother’s fledgling literacy, she got stuck with Aspic. She didn’t know it was a bad name until her fourth grade teacher helpfully explained to the class that aspic was alsoRead more

Immigrant status, and the deportation of an American adoptee

Every year around this date, I remember that National Adoption Month has nearly passed without me recognizing it, which makes me feel hugely deficient. So Happy National Adoption Month. Adoption is a beautiful, heartbreaking, complicated way to form a family, and the circumstances surrounding it are filled with joy and sadness and perpetual grief. Yay! My three little bugs, as you know, were adopted, the oldest from Vietnam and the younger two from Guatemala. They were adopted; it’s not a chronicRead more

Dear Savvy Sister: What to do about Post-Traumatic Election Disorder?

Dear Savvy Sister, What the hell do I do with my sense of anger and despair? This is unprecedented. Sincerely, Bereft Dear Bereft and scores of other generous readers, What to do, what to do. On occasion, the Savvy Sister feels as despondent as her readers, and this is one of those occasions. The idea of a President Trump defies believability; we have elected a leader who has no experience, no knowledge of government, and a devolved moral code. AndRead more

The Tyrant picks her battles, and we both learn about karma.

The Tyrant won’t clean her room. It’s infuriating, and baffling. When I’m afraid it’s infested with something, I clean it for her, and organize everything properly, and explain to her how straightening her room for 10 minutes a day is all she needs to do. “Okay, Mom!” she’ll say happily, because she likes when her room is clean. And then, I swear, like two hours later, she’s lounging around in a crack den. Last week, under the detritus covering herRead more