• A book, its pages fanned open

    Is there a reading version of a double take? I suppose instead of a turn of the head, it’s a flick of one’s eyes back over what they just read. It’s a jolt of familiarity, a sense of déjà vu. In that moment, you feel all your synapses light up, forming new connections of understanding. ...
  • A book, its pages fanned open

    When I tell someone that I want to read all the books, they often respond with a polite chuckle followed by a good-natured remark about knowing I am a nerd. If they are avid readers, they may nod in understanding and companionable agreement. I could leave it at that. I would have communicated that I ...
  • Dan Gruden and Lindsey Gruden, Ohio State Vs Michigan State 2015

    I hate football. The fans lose their minds and endure crowded stadiums to watch their teams run back and forth on a field. My first experience with the sport was in the high school marching band. Being forced to perform at halftime shows for my small town was not what I enjoyed doing on a ...
  • Scattered tree branches, coconuts, and other debris on the backdrop of damaged cars and trucks.

    It took only a few hours to obliterate the country. Then the skies cleared, and we crawled out of our houses on shaky limbs, fearful of what awaited us. The year was 2004, and our tiny island had been safe from catastrophe for over fifty years. One of the most destructive storms to cross the ...
  • Early 1900's picture of my Dad's father-my grandfather

    Once again, the eight-year-old me is standing under the mantle staring up at that serious, soft-eyed person in the picture. Sometimes, when passing through this room, I glance up and smile. Other times, I fear he is watching me as if he is judging. When no one is around, I return his gaze and try ...
  • ocean waves at sunset

    During my youth, planning my future was a full-time job. I dreamed of every detail. I knew I wanted to be a mother. God’s plan was never in doubt for me. I created timelines in my head for my perfectly normal life. The straight path we would follow. Instead, we are on a twisty, dark ...
  • A story playing out on top of a book

    Have you ever read a fantastic book and struggled to return to your reality afterward because you could not stop thinking about said book? You may think this is an awesome problem. The book world captivated your attention. You didn’t want to leave. It’s an author’s dream, but a reader’s worst nightmare. A condition that ...
  • red rose and glimmering background

    The Mother of Gothic Romance Anne Radcliffe is considered the mother of gothic fiction with her work, The Mysteries of Udolpho, published in 1794. This monumental book—the first widely popular gothic novel—encompasses Romanticism ideals with gothic concepts of the sublime and the supernatural. The eighteenth-century author introduced readers to specific tastes. Her gothic prose won ...
  • Johnny and Freddie

    A HAWAIIAN MANICURE A week-long cruise around the Islands in Hawaii was decided by the Turkey group, a Bell Labs softball team. It is a non-stop fun time. On-board cultural classes are offered. I have opted for hula-dancing lessons, while others enrolled in ukulele classes, or the art of stringing leis. On the first day, ...
  • Little girl hugging woman

    I have a tough job. Many say it’s the most difficult job out there. It’s demanding. It’s time-consuming. It’s thankless. And I don’t mean my career. I’m a parent.  Well, I’m a step-parent. They say parenting is the most difficult job there is, but I would add that step-parenting is just as, if not more, difficult. ...