The Day the World Changed: 20 Years After 9/11

I wasn’t there, but I will always be there. I was eleven years old when four commercial airplanes were hijacked on the morning of September 11, 2001. Turned into weapons of mass murder, two hit the twin towers of the World Trade Center in Manhattan, one was steered into the Pentagon in Washington, DC, andContinue reading “The Day the World Changed: 20 Years After 9/11”

The Once and Future Climate Crisis

This week, temperatures in Tacoma were upward of 105 degrees—34 degrees above the average high for June—and stayed in the triple digits for three consecutive days. In a region where less than half the population lives in air conditioned homes, people suffered and as many as 100 people in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia haveContinue reading “The Once and Future Climate Crisis”

Hindsight is 2020

There is a phenomenon in psychology called “hindsight bias.” It’s the tendency for humans to believe in retrospect that events were more predictable than they actually were. It’s the feeling we’ve all had that we could have done something differently if only we knew then what we understand now. This bias isn’t always a badContinue reading “Hindsight is 2020”

My Fifth Blogiversary

Five years ago today, I started a writing blog. I didn’t really have a plan for what I was going to do once it was up and running, but it seemed like a natural extension of my dream of being a writer. I knew I needed a discipline; something that would force me to writeContinue reading “My Fifth Blogiversary”

The Writer Goes to NYC

“Prometheus, teacher in every art, brought the fire that hath proved for mortals a means to mighty ends.” – Aeschylus It’s a famous cliché — a writer goes to New York City and find inspiration. But it’s a cliche for a reason. Back at the end of June, I went to the Big Apple forContinue reading “The Writer Goes to NYC”

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”

No-Good, Rotten Liars Like Me

“Writers are liars, my dear, surely you know that by now? And yet, things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot.” – Neil Gaiman, The Sandman Last year, I read a short story of mine at CreativeContinue reading “No-Good, Rotten Liars Like Me”

Beyond the Edge of the World

In the summer of 1502, the Florentine explorer Amerigo Vespucci was sailing down the coast of Brazil in the service of the King of Portugal. He was amazed by this new continent, which had never been seen by Europeans before. It was the dawn of the age of exploration when vast swaths of the EarthContinue reading “Beyond the Edge of the World”

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”