Friday, May 13, 2011

Four Days Until "Day Trips From Portland" Release!

My travel guidebook Day Trips From Portland: Getaway Ideas For the Local Traveler will be available Tuesday May 17.

And...Announcing my new and improved website, and new home for this blog,

See new site for book tour info and all details, including excerpts from both Day Trips and my second book, Chance of Sun: An Oregon Memoir, due out in August.

Blooming Eventually will continue at the new site....see you there!


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

OQ Essay Contest Reading Tomorrow!

I will be reading my essay "The Friday's Trilogy", which won the 2011 Oregon Quarterly Essay Contest, tomorrow night on the University of Oregon campus, Gerlinger Alumni Lounge, 7 p.m. The event is free and open to everyone! See here for details.

P.S. Two weeks until the release of my travel guidebook, "Day Trips From Portland"! I'm on! Far out.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"Day Trips From Portland" Actually Exists

The doorbell just rang.

There is nothing quite as exciting as receiving a box of books with your own name on them.


The actual release date for my book "Day Trips From Portland: Getaway Ideas for the Local Traveler" is May 17.

There are two events scheduled so far.

May 24, Camalli Books in Bend, 7 p.m.

June 20, Powell's on Hawthorne in Portland, 7:30 p.m.

More to come!

Monday, April 25, 2011


Captain Daddy and I almost didn’t get married based on vastly differing spiritual beliefs. All of that now seems like the sort of completely irrelevant nonsense that young people fixate on when making monumental decisions like who to spend the rest of their lives with, unaware that it’s actually anxiety, boredom and the laundry that will do you in, not God.

Religion rarely comes up around here. But it does have its moments, and it’s true that the Chickens get vastly different results depending on who they hit up for information on the subject.

Friday, Chicken Noodle approaches:

“What are we doing for Easter, Mom?”

Captain Daddy was nowhere in sight. This one was mine.

“Going to Grammy and Grandpa’s for an Easter egg hunt.”

Her face crumpled. “But we have to go to church!”

Curious. Where on Earth could she have gotten this radical idea? I doubted it was Captain Daddy. He doesn’t actually go to church anymore, just occasionally frets that he’s failing as a parent and going straight to hell because he doesn’t.

I looked at her inquisitively.

“Maddy said!” Ah. Maddie. In her Kindergarten class. Whose father is a minister.

“Hmm.” I considered. “Well, it’s true that Easter is actually a religious holiday. It’s about Jesus.”

“Who’s Jesus?”

I told you religion doesn’t come up much around here.

Knowing that if Captain Daddy were here, this conversation would now veer confusingly into talk of the flesh of God, and perhaps, gruesome-yet-apparently-necessary description of the crucifixion, instead I delivered up the child-appropriate version of what I actually believe about Jesus.

“He’s a famous and really wonderful man from history.”

Noodle contemplated this.

“So we’re not going to church?”

“Well, sort of. We’re going to the church of Grammy, Grandpa, chocolate and love. It’s quite nice, really.”

Friday, April 15, 2011

Thought For The Day

"Nothing happens, and nothing happens, and then everything happens."

--Fay Weldon

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Coming Soon - Day Trips From Portland, Oregon

Publishing May 17 is my travel guidebook, Day Trips From Portland, from Globe Pequot Press.

Rediscover the simple pleasures of a day trip with Day Trips from Portland, OR. This guide is packed with hundreds of exciting things for locals and vacationers to do, see, and discover within a two-hour drive of the Portland metro area. With full trip-planning information, Day Trips from Portland, OR helps makes the most of a brief getaway.

Stay tuned for more news about release events and more!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I Won the Oregon Quarterly Essay Contest

I won the Oregon Quarterly Northwest Perspectives essay contest.

I had to write that twice because I still can’t quite believe it.

Yesterday I received a very unusual phone call, especially in these days of ubiquitous electronic conversation.

“This is my favorite phone call of the year,” said the magazine’s editor. “You won the essay contest.”

In response, I said nothing. I was too shocked.

I’ve entered this annual literary contest maybe seven times and never even been a finalist. And I won! Hot damn.

My essay is titled “The Friday’s Trilogy” and it’s an excerpt from my book, Chance of Sun: An Oregon Memoir, to be released this summer. It’s about one of the worst periods of my life, when I bottomed out in Portland 16 years ago.

Here’s what judge Debra Gwartney of Pacific University’s MFA program said:

"(I chose) The Friday's Trilogy, which I found to be fresh, alive, exciting and bold writing. I had some trouble following the first few sentences, but once I was in, I was in. A compelling piece of writing, heartbreaking and redemptive. Hard to pull off without being sappy, and yet she does."

“I’ll come back to earth soon,” I said to Guy Maynard at the end of our conversation.

“Well, don’t come back down too soon,” he said. “Moments like these are too few in our world.”

There will be a public reading of winning essays on the University of Oregon campus, May 4, 7 p.m.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Things I Learned This Week

Listening to Lady Gaga with the kids is super fun until you drop the little one off at preschool one day and she belts out to her teacher: “Let’s have some fun, this beat is sick. I want to take a ride on your disco stick.”

If you are feeling beaten down by grown-up life, a super upbeat movie about the rise of an underdog teen pop star is just the ticket. Especially if you get to drink two grown-up glasses of wine beforehand. (I LOVE YOU JUSTIN BIEBER!!! EEEEeeeeeee!!!!!!!)

Taking small, temporary mental vacations throughout the parenting day is fine, but becoming so spaced out that you hit your child in the head with the car door will only escalate your problems.

March and Spring don’t necessarily have anything to do with one another.

If your child poops on the booth seat in a restaurant, you will feel obliged to leave an extra-large tip.

While juvenile, it is actually quite satisfying to correctly guess the answer to the trivia question printed on the cheese stick.* (Take what you can get—it’s the simple pleasures, you know?)

*Q: What city is the largest in the world by area? A: Greater Los Angeles

Friday, February 25, 2011


“All marriages are happy. It's the living together afterward that causes all the trouble.” –Raymond Hull

“One study found that simply having a husband creates an extra seven hours of housework a week.” –Newsweek, “I Don’t: The Case Against Marriage.” June 21, 2010.

Overheard at a 50th wedding anniversary party. A guest: “How did you two make it this far?” The bride: “Well, we never wanted to get divorced at the same time.”

Overheard at a 70th wedding anniversary party. The bride: “My, those first fifty years were hard.”

“My opinion of gay marriage is exactly the same as my opinion of straight marriage: It’s impossibly difficult and sure to end in agony.” –Kate Braestrup in “Marriage and Other Acts of Charity”

"If love is blind, than marriage is a real eye-opener." --Unknown

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Raise Your Hand if You're a Deviant

Remember when you thought your parents had done the dirty deed twice—once to make you and once to make your sister?

And then at some point the illusion shatters. Too bad it’s usually far before the whole concept can be, ahem, appreciated.

A friend shared this story with me last week and I have been laughing ever since.

She and her nine-year-old son were driving in her car. They passed a billboard promoting safe sex. “Mom, what’s that about?” he asked.

“It’s about birth control,” she replied, being an open and honest sort of parent. “I’ve told you about it before. It’s what you use when you are having sex so that you don’t get pregnant.”

“I know,” he replied. “Which means you are doing it just for the fun of it, which is weird.”

She said she thought she'd remind him of this story on his 21st birthday. I say--wedding toast.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Central Oregon Magazine

Check out my article Shooting Stars: Central Oregonians on the Rise in Central Oregon Magazine. I love writing profiles and had a blast writing this one about some truly inspirational people.

Monday, January 17, 2011

My Favorite 2010 Holiday Memory, By Far

That's Noodle. This photo exactly summarizes her personality.

What's with the Angel sticker on the car, you ask?

For Christmas, my sister pimped her husband's ride. A 1990's era Honda Accord done up in dragon, skull/crossbone, and angel/devil motif is one hot ticket, let me tell you. The stuffed animals in the back window were priceless, the Hooters tee-shirts pulled over the seats a stroke of brilliance.
I wish she were my wife.

We laughed so hard we cried, which, maybe this is just me talking, really should happen more often during the holidays. Perhaps pimping a ride should become a Christmas tradition, far more tasty than eggnog, far more productive than getting drunk and yelling and sobbing.

Not that we've ever done that.

And we've never really liked eggnog.

Yep, that's how we roll, from now on. Keep an eye on your car on Christmas Eve, unless you have been longing for your own set of fuzzy dice....

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Unparalleled Allure of an Imaginary Brother

Chicken Noodle: Mom, we’re playing princess castle and Little won’t be the prince and I want her to be the prince.

Me: I’m sorry, baby. But she gets to be what she wants.

Noodle: If our brother were alive, he’d be the prince.

Me: Yeah, maybe.

Noodle: And there would be more of us to play when we play Crazy 8’s.

Me: Yes.

Noodle: It’s not fair.

Me: (Thinking a: big brother might actually be more inclined to make her be the slave in the dungeon in his own masochistic play than be her prince, and b: if he was alive, she would never have been born, instead I simply say…)
(Because it isn’t, really)


In related news, at the Christmas dinner table…

Chicken Little to Grandpa (sadly): Our brother died.

Grandpa: I heard.

Little: He was born too late.

Grandpa (lovingly): I know, I heard.

…and here all along I’d been thinking that I was the one born too late. Am I the only child of the 70s who wished she was born in time to enjoy the freewheeling 60s?

I always wanted a big brother, too.


This all makes me think about how pining away for the impossible brings with it a powerful element of fantasy. You can project whatever you want onto that blank slate. Kind of like writing a novel. Hmmm….