Category Archives: personal

Rainbows of Youth

As this year’s Australian Football League season reaches its conclusion, and my beloved Essendon Bombers look all too likely to miss out on a finals appearance yet again, I’m reminded of one of the reasons why I chose Essendon as my team when ESPN started airing VFL highlights shows on Saturday mornings (just before my cartoons came on) in the eighties, and I became so fascinated with this strange sport unlike anything I’d ever seen in America. I had basically no knowledge of Australian geography…

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Storm Junkie

A love of thunderstorms runs in my family, or at least on Mom’s side of the family. From my earliest days, before we even had cable so the Weather Channel could let us know what to expect and when (as much as weather forecasts are ever accurate), the arrival of a thunderstorm at our house often meant gathering in the living room, so we could look out the big windows as the clouds darkened and then flashed with lightning. Especially in the years before the…

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The Air Up Here

Mom was, by anyone’s standards, extremely devoted to those of us in her blood family. Although her parents were hoping that she could turn her musical talents into a full-time career when she was in her teenage years, that never really came to pass, especially after she became pregnant at nineteen. I can’t speak much to the first ten years she was a mother, because I hadn’t been born yet, but she often did everything she could, and usually more than she should have, to…

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The Toner Prices Are Too Damn High

Although I try to write as much as I can every day, some days, and some years, just turn out better for me in that regard. At the beginning of 2010, when I was in the middle of a period of peak productivity (including writing the short story that would eventually become my first novel, The Prostitutes of Lake Wiishkoban), I quickly realized that my old inkjet printer was costing me a mint as I kept replacing ink cartridge after ink cartridge when they ran out.…

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Holding On to Dreams

Dolores O’Riordan, the Cranberries Singer, Dead at 46 (Rolling Stone) Kurt Cobain’s body was discovered on the final Friday of my last spring break in high school. I can still remember waking up late that afternoon (it was spring break, after all), and turning on MTV when they were supposed to be airing their daily top ten video countdown. They were in the middle of Nirvana’s Unplugged performance of David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold the World,” which was certainly a great song and video, but…

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