C’est la pandémie

It’s been 38 days since the COVID-19 pandemic became real for me. That was the day I started working from home, the day most businesses in Washington closed their doors, the day my knuckles started to crack from the sheer amount of handwashing I was doing, and the day that the numbers of the sickContinue reading “C’est la pandémie”

Permission to Write Something That Sucks

It’s been one month since I’ve looked at my novel draft. Despite setting myself a lofty goal of completing a first draft by the end of the year, I stalled out. As much as I would like (and have tried) to blame my characters or my word count goals or the ergonomics of my keyboard,Continue reading “Permission to Write Something That Sucks”

The Magic of Deadlines

I have heard rumors in my travels of creative people who are entirely self-motivated. They get up early, awakened by an innate drive to create, go to their computers, ignore Facebook and Google, and complete their work in a timely manner with no exterior motivator. I am not one of those people. I’m not evenContinue reading “The Magic of Deadlines”

The Writer Does Math

I’ve spent most of my life trying to avoid it, those weird letters that are used for counting. I’m a writer, I don’t do numbers. They’re the antithesis of everything I stand for — mainly, letters arranged into patterns that form words, sentences and paragraphs. My brain has always been wired for language, as opposedContinue reading “The Writer Does Math”

A Writer and a Fraud

This month, I put myself on the line. I dusted off the play that I wrote two years ago and started sending it to theatres and new play festivals around the country. Some of these programs are known for discovering brilliant playwrights that go on to fame, fortune, and accolades. And each time I hitContinue reading “A Writer and a Fraud”

On Discipline (or Lack Thereof)

Every weeknight for the past three months, at precisely 9:00pm, a notification pops up on my phone. “Write,” it says. And almost every night, I ignore it. Back in the spring, I noticed that I was hardly writing and decided I needed a gentle prod to get back into the habit. So, I set aContinue reading “On Discipline (or Lack Thereof)”

Extremism, Compassion and Books

We live in a time of extremism. We are divided along fault lines of who we vote for, who we pray to (or don’t), what language we speak, who we are and who we love. In the news each day, I see people building walls and pulling triggers. We don’t even want to know theContinue reading “Extremism, Compassion and Books”

The Allure of Abandoned Places

What is it about forgotten places that is so fascinating? For as long as I can remember, I have been intrigued by alleyways, empty houses, and dirt roads that lead nowhere. Wherever I go, I notice the broken glass and rust of wear, tear, and memory. Maybe that explains my unending study of history andContinue reading “The Allure of Abandoned Places”

Looking at Pictures of Strangers

I don’t know the people in these photos. I don’t know their story, where they live, what their names are, what makes them happy or sad. All I know for sure is that someone left this stack of photos perched on top of the crosswalk button near the train station. Passing by them every day forContinue reading “Looking at Pictures of Strangers”

The Beast With a Billion Boxes

Moving is a lot like going to therapy. Packing your belongings requires you to go though not just your physical stuff, but your psychological stuff, too. You have to sort through the things you’ve accumulated over the years — the memories and knick-knacks alike. I’ve only been packing for a few days, but already I’veContinue reading “The Beast With a Billion Boxes”