Say It: Black Lives Matter

For most of my life, I’ve resided in affluent Johnson County, Kansas. My Catholic grade school and high school classes were made up of 99% white students and faculty. I am uncomfortable admitting that. I’m uncomfortable talking about race in general. I wonder if my white, upper middle class background makes some people automatically doubt… Continue reading Say It: Black Lives Matter

Pep Talk for Disillusioned Writers

This is my entry in the writing contest, You Are Enough, hosted by Positive Writer. Dear Writers, Writing is hard, but we do it anyway. Alone, conflicted, hesitant, we write, wondering if our words matter. This is what we’re made to do. The pay sucks, if we’re lucky enough to get paid at all for… Continue reading Pep Talk for Disillusioned Writers

Great Summer (or Anytime) Books for Young Adults

Maria’s 2018 Reading Log, Part 3: Brief Reviews of The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp, Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, and The Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen   I love relaxing… Continue reading Great Summer (or Anytime) Books for Young Adults

Mother’s Day Humor

I dedicate this piece of drabble/microfiction to all of the amazing moms who never lose their cool. Moms who are nothing like me. Happy Mother’s Day!   Simmering at 6:08 p.m.   “What’s for dinner?” Something delicious. Stop snacking and turn off the Xbox. “I’m hungry.” I said no more snacks. “Fine, I’ll just get… Continue reading Mother’s Day Humor

Anxious Writer’s Notes

(Above: Me, the way my family is used to seeing me when I’m writing. Unpaid promotional note: I typed the majority of my novel in Google Docs on this little Samsung Chromebook, and loved it.) And Some Shameless Self-Promotion Is there anything more depressing than an abandoned blog? (Yes. Tons of things: war, starvation, disease,… Continue reading Anxious Writer’s Notes

Maria’s 2018 Reading Log, Part 2

Quick Reviews of Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck and The History of Love by Nicole Krauss, and a Long Review/Critical Discussion of Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood 1. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck: It’s hard to believe that none of my English teachers included this book on any of my required-reading… Continue reading Maria’s 2018 Reading Log, Part 2

Lost Letters to the Easter Bunny

Dear Mr. Easter Bunny, My mom said I should write another letter to you because I don’t like the way she answers my questions. Question #1—Are you real, Mr. Easter Bunny? My mom says, “What does your heart tell you?” My heart tells me that giant bunnies are terrifying, even if they’re dressed in pastel… Continue reading Lost Letters to the Easter Bunny

Audrey’s Rules for a Fun, Cool, Awesome Indoor Easter Egg Hunt

Easter Egg Hunt Advice from a 5-Year-Old My 5-year-old daughter, Audrey, was thrilled when I brought out all our Easter decorations this morning.  Now my living room floor is covered in shredded green and purple “grass,” mismatched plastic egg halves, Easter books, empty Easter baskets, and chick and bunny stuffed animals.  We’ve already had five… Continue reading Audrey’s Rules for a Fun, Cool, Awesome Indoor Easter Egg Hunt

Is Listening to an Audiobook the Same as Reading a Book?

An Unconventional Review of The History of Love by Nicole Krauss and How I Plan to Read More Books This Year (and Why I Love My Public Library) Apart from the books that my parents and teachers read aloud to me when I was very young, all of my reading has been done in the… Continue reading Is Listening to an Audiobook the Same as Reading a Book?

My Worst Camping Experience

Camping Downstream with Truffles and My New Shoes This true story is dedicated to my parents. (I love you, Mom and Dad. If you ever want to take the grandkids camping, be sure to count me out!) When I was ten years old, my parents decided that my younger brother and I were old enough… Continue reading My Worst Camping Experience