City of Destiny

They call it the City of Destiny or the Gritty City. It is a city of contradictions, loved and despised, where 19th century steeples share the skyline with 20th century smokestacks. A blue collar city choked in paper mill chemicals and cleansed by saltwater breezes. A city of potholes and community gardens. The second city,Continue reading “City of Destiny”

The River and the Office Building

Here, at the bend in the Green River, the picnic tables sit inches above the rising waterline. The river is gorged with rain, hungrily bursting its banks. Trees that once clung to the fresh earth now seem planted in the swift current. Swallows flit in and out of a thicket of blackberry bushes, building a nestContinue reading “The River and the Office Building”

The Blur of Familiarity

The human brain is constantly in search of shortcuts. Once you learn a task, it rushes to create a find a way to skip as many of the steps as possible. For example, when you get good at reading, your brain begins to change the way it sees words. You’re probably not stopping to readContinue reading “The Blur of Familiarity”

Monsoon

In the arid Southwest, the weather is extreme. Storms build in minutes, catching drivers and hikers off guard. Roads become rivers; slot canyons flood. Hail crashes down from the sky; lights flicker. The monsoons bring life-giving rain in the driest months of summer, but with life comes danger. You can see black thunderheads form overContinue reading “Monsoon”

Winter Rains Fall

January is not a time for rain. Not in the mountains of Northern Arizona. January is a time for snow and ice, for freezing winds and frosty trees. But the rain came anyway. It turned the days grey and the nights cool. Gutters sloughed off their winter vestments of brittle ice. Running water collected inContinue reading “Winter Rains Fall”

Flash Fiction: 7,000 Feet

Much of the city is sleeping at 10 o’clock. Small packs of people wander in and out of neon shadows from one bar to the next. An astronomer has a telescope set up in the square to let the curious look up and feel small. Altitude claims its first victims of the night; sending newContinue reading “Flash Fiction: 7,000 Feet”

People Watching is Awesome

I’m sitting in the sole terminal of the Flagstaff Pulliam Airport, about to fly to Minneapolis. With no one traveling with me, I am free to observe the people around me. Some people hate flying — I love it. Every interesting character from every novel I’ve ever read or wanted to write eventually wanders throughContinue reading “People Watching is Awesome”