We are in transit, forever walking between courtesies, forever skirting the edges of our discomfort. You stop to take a breath, to tie your shoe. I urge you on. Look, I say. Home is over the next ridge. No, you say. Home is in our hands.

This microstory borrows a line from the poem she knows sacrifice so well by Australian Indigenous poet Dakota Feirer.

Stuff and Things

Today I bought a book I don’t plan to read.

I know, all you minimalists and declutterers out there are gasping in horror, but look–I’m a Taurus. I like my stuff. Even stuff that doesn’t spark joy.

The book in question is Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott. I must have read it twenty times growing up, I loved it that much. It came in a set with five other books: Little Women and its sequels (Little Men – which was honestly my favorite – and Jo’s Boys), Under the Lilacs, and Jack and Jill. Somewhere along the way, I’d lost Eight Cousins.

I kind of figured that my mom had it. I mean, she had kept everything else from my childhood, from my old Raggedy Ann to the the notes from my high school crush. After she passed away, I found myself digging through a lifetime’s worth of ephemera: my mom was a Taurus, too.

I like my things, she’d said more than once, when I suggested maybe she could downsize.

I searched and searched, lifted hundreds of pounds of books in dozens of cardboard boxes, but I never found this one book. And if I had, chances are it would have been warped and mildewed like the rest of them, victims of a storage unit flood. Even then, Mom couldn’t stand to get rid of anything. The number of books we consigned to the town dump still breaks my heart. I eventually decided to stop thinking about it.

And then, a couple weeks ago, I came across another old favorite in the local bookstore: The Annotated Wizard of Oz. Touching the familiar, bright yellow cover was like stepping out of a time machine; I can remember the exact spot on the bookshelf in our living room where that particular volume was kept. It even smelled like my childhood: sandalwood and lemon pledge and stale cigarette smoke.

That afternoon I went home and scoured the internet for my missing copy of Eight Cousins. I found it, of all places, on Etsy. It sat in my cart for a while, and today I actually hit “buy.” It should arrive next week.

I don’t know if my mother’s things sparked joy. And I don’t know if I will ever open the cover of my beloved Eight Cousins, except to check to see if the publication date matches the rest of my set. It doesn’t matter. We just like our things.


“I will go, if you ask it.”

The lantern is turned down low. Its dim light pools on the table, glints off the brandy glass dangling from your fingers. I wish I could see your face.

“No.” Your voice drifts out of the shadows, gentle as rain. “Stay.”

News: Itty Bitty Writing Space

So I’m super excited to be part of a little anthology coming out in June called Itty Bitty Writing Space: An Anthology of Flash Fiction. It contains 100+ flash fiction pieces in every genre, and is being funded by Kickstarter. So far, the Kickstarter project has been funded at three times the original (modest) funding goal, and that’s pretty cool.

Even better, until midnight tonight (Pacific) for each pledge over $25 the editor, Jason Brick, will be donating a copy of the book to the library of your choice–over 200 libraries so far! That’s a win-win, in my opinion: a book for you and a book for your local library. But wait, there’s more! Since this collection ranges from PG-13 to R, if your preferred library is a school library, you can choose to have local publisher Not a Pipe Publishing donate an age-appropriate book instead.

I invite you to check out the Kickstarter and consider picking up a copy of the book. It includes short works of fiction from me, author and YeahWrite editor Nathan James, authors Kate Ristau, Russel Nohelty, and Debby Dodds, and many, many more!



“On my word.” The Admiral spoke without rancor.

“Yes, ma’am.” My hand hovered above the console. The bridge was silent; everyone was waiting for me. This could start the end of everything.

“Go,” she said. I pushed the button.