Recent Posts

Creative Writing Assignment

Tonight's assignment comes from Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones: Tell about the quality of light coming in through your window. Jump in and write. Don’t worry if it is night and your curtains are closed or you would rather write about the light up north – just write. Go for ten minutes.
The light coming in through my windows is blue. It is deep black-blue with a glaze of white over the top because it’s nighttime in DC and the lights are on in my studio apartment and I can see myself and the inside of my apartment better than I can see the light outside. The light coming in through my windows is windswept and rain-washed and lightning-fried. The light coming in through my windows spills over the sill, carried in on the faintest stirring of breeze – a relief at the end of this offensively, aggressively hot day. The light coming in through my window swirls and eddies around me and reminds me that I am not home. It makes me think of light coming in other windows in my life:

I remember waking up on rainy Seattle mornings in my one-bedroom apartment with Peter and stumbling out into the living room to make coffee, and the light coming in through our windows was dishwater grey.

I remember the light thrown down from the sky and bounced back up by the Port of Angeles and into my hotel room windows where I sat in my pajamas and Miller High Life and Cheezits.

I remember the light beaming down through the leaf canopy of Point Defiance and watching Harry walk through it, moving from light to shadow to light, his right ear bouncing up and down.

The sun always feels like it’s in my eyes here. It makes me cranky.

I remember the light spilling in through my windows in my one bedroom apartment in Tacoma, on the hardwood floors and red Oriental rug my parents gave me, the smell of the big thick bar of pink soap I kept in my bathroom. I remember the creak of walking across those floors, the creak of the futon that Drew gave me. The doors thick with years of painted-over paint.

I remember the light from the smog-dark sky meeting the light of the car-exhaust neon-light streets of Los Angeles – meeting and mixing exactly in the middle of the world where I was standing, on the roof of a building. Wishing I could see the ocean.

I think I remember the light coming in through the big picture window of the first house I knew on Latona in Seattle by Green Lake. It lit up the orange and brown shag rug and the corduroy chair that is very like this corduroy chair which my laptop is resting on and isn’t it funny how far we think we come only to surround ourselves with the things that remind us of home.

Bad Poetry

If this city is a light bulb,
then I am a moth.

Out of the darkness I am drawn to it.
My wings beat against the glass.
I rest my forehead against its smooth, hot surface before I begin my next assault.

And how do I feel to it?
all fluttery wings and furry body and blind wanting?

I don’t know what I want from this light bulb but I know I want it bad.
Furthermore –
I don’t know how to get it.

So I’ll just keep circling
and colliding
and pleading LET ME IN LET ME IN



Last winter, we were in love.
At least, that’s what I call it when I tell this story to myself.

We unintentionally wore the same color shirts.
I sat on your couch under a blanket drinking Rainier Beer and listening to the heater turn itself on and off.
I held your hand and tried not to trip on the uneven sidewalks.
We drove to the ocean and woke up next to each other with sand in our socks.
You shyly shared the things you loved with me, the things you wanted to do.
I left you. You looked at me through tears in your eyes while we sat on the floor of your attic.

Two summers ago, we were in love.

We hiked in the woods in silence, smiling at each other like idiots.
You drove me home in the mornings, your hand on my knee and your mind on your day.
I shared in the sadness of your divorce; you let me ruin shirt after shirt crying the last three years of my life out on your chest.
You always hugged me hello: a really big hug.
I slipped easily into your life, wearing your tshirts, using your toothbrush, eating the cereal you poured me.
You begged me to get back together over a double whiskey on the rocks downtown. I felt nothing.

Four years ago, we were in love.

I laid on my stomach on your mattress, dirty sunlight and traffic spilling in the window.
We found a bar we liked that always showed the game after church on Sundays.
I called you from work when it was slow, just to talk.
You kept a pair of pajamas for me under your pillow.
You broke me down to a state of total static. It still hurts to think about you.

At least, those are the ways I tell these stories to myself.