Postcard from Metz

The kids have gone through the advent calendars and left the empties on the floor. Laurent is cooking a chapon for Christmas, which he translates as a castrated cock, good and greasy. Eight kids aged 4-11, seven of them girls,… Read More ›

Meet The Eye

There’s always more to life than meets the eye. Sorcerers, artists, the criminally insane: they all see the hidden meaning in daily life. You can open yourself to the world’s mysteries or drift through it like a ghost, with no… Read More ›

Just Right

When I was living alone and first writing, I used a Smith Corona manual typewriter I bought on Capitol Hill. If I got stuck, or didn’t like what I was writing, I pulled the sheet out of the roller and… Read More ›

Last Import

The screen has gone white, and snow is expected to return. The commuters are back, and make sounds like waves against the wall, below. It is just me and the heater, with the tick-tock of a clock, the Christmas tree,… Read More ›


I bought a collection by Rilke at Darvill’s bookstore on Orcas Island, hoping it would free me from a year without writing. The store is small, warm, and jam-packed with books. A chime goes off when the door opens, and… Read More ›


Two days in France, eight kids aged 4 – 11, seven of them girls: the 10 and 11 year-olds are allowed to drink Champagne. We eat lunch just before 4, then dinner at 11:15. They all drink coffee afterwards, about… Read More ›