Month: December 2016

Welcome to Mercury Retrograde

The other night I was sitting on the couch drinking wine and eating a piece of bite-size frozen cheesecake when I thought about disengaging in the glories of my gluttony in favor of working on Rich’s recommendation letter.


Rich is a professor I had in college who created the environment where my cartoons came to life. Actually, I only started drawing cartoons after he assigned a 10-page fiction story and mine was only 7 1/2 pages. Naturally, I drew cartoons to fill up space instead of coming up with more words. Look where we are now… You just never know where life is gonna take ya…


Rich emailed me a few weeks back to ask if I would be interested in writing him a recommendation letter for the full-time creative writing position at Fairhaven College. Of course I told him I would. I mean, the guy is a major key figure in my literary career, the least I could do is write a letter.

So right when I was enjoying the glories, you know what happened? Rich texted me and ruined all the fun. He asked me how I was doing, but I knew he was really just wondering if I had even put a damn word down for his recommendation.


Nope, I haven’t. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it, though.

Sometimes when I can’t fall asleep, I listen to this astrologer’s podcast. So instead of using my insomniac phase to conquer Rich’s recommendation letter, I sat in my bed listening this stuff that causes me to think too much which then causes me to never fall asleep. Basically, this astrologer talks about what’s going on in the sky and how it’s going to influence our week ahead. Total bullshit, I know. I hate how much I like listening to it. Apparently on Monday, Mercury went into retrograde. I fucking hate when Mercury goes into retrograde. All the stupid people blame everything on it. People kill me. Sometimes I find myself blaming my shit on Mercury retrograde and then I just hate me.


I took a trip up to Bonners Ferry today with Mom and Katie. Katie is my older sister. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned her before, so now you know. We ate lunch at this hip spot called Under the Sun. I got a cup of soup and a Greek salad. Katie got a tuna fish panini with extra pickles because she is pregnant. Mom got a panini too, but I didn’t pay attention to what kind she got. Katie also got a huckleberry dessert and boy, was it delicious! She actually shared, which is very rare because Katie never shares food.

Across the street from Under the Sun is a neat little bookstore called Bonners Books. It’s a very cool bookstore. You walk in and a little bell dings and an old man with silver hair and glasses greets you. I swear, all booksellers look like Dumbledore to me… All the good ones at least. The floors are covered in old wood and there’s a little black cat that roams around the store. It mostly leaves you alone, so it’s not creepy or magical or anything. It’s just there.


I left with a few good books. I picked up a copy of Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss for my little nephew. For me, I left with an old copy of Mark Twain’s The Diary of Adam and Eve, which I didn’t even know existed. Mark Twain is very funny and I think it will be good reference for the book I’ve been working on. I also left with old copies of Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger (so hip, I know) and also Slaughterhouse-Five by Vonnegut because I’ve never actually read it, not even for school.

So that’s it, there you have it. Mercury retrograde has not destroyed me yet. We’ve got until January 8th though, so I will keep you updated.






A Reminder on the Fragility of Life.

I have a very intense relationship with my space heater.


My space heater is a universally known fire hazard, but that doesn’t mean I stop using it. Just the sound of it purring in the background induces a deep creative space for me to move into. I love how it makes me feel all warm, creative, and cozy.

When I moved back to Idaho to live with my parents so I could work on my writing gig, of course I brought my space heater along with me. It’s kind of like a cat or a dog to me—I never go anywhere without it. park

Sure enough when the cold swept through this past fall, my space heater came out to play. It spent long hours purring by my side in my bedroom downstairs. That’s all I ever really need to create anything, just me and my space heater.

Dad always comes downstairs to bother me and pick my brain when I’m writing. He’s always telling me what a big fire hazard my space heater is. loveBack in the day, Dad used to be a wild-land firefighter. He’s always had a deeper understanding of the benefits and consequences of fire. We never really had candles, incense, or anything of that nature in our home. It was pretty much a rule of thumb that unless we were at the dinner table, candles were not allowed to be burned.

But after the warehouse fire in Oakland, California this past weekend, my space heater and I have entered a tumultuous time in our relationship. This event has caused me to take a step back and rethink ways that I can be safer with fire and fire-inducing items in my home.

For those of you who do not know about the fire, 36 people died late Friday night. The fire started in an abandoned warehouse turned low-incoming living quarters for Bay Area residents. The warehouse was an unsafe maze that housed artists, a music venue, and creative space for people looking to collaborate. It’s still unknown how the fire started, but it erupted so quickly that it gave very little time for the residents of the building to find escape.

My heart goes out the victims who faced death upon the inferno. I know that puts a darker spin on things, but as funny, beautiful, and magical as life can be, it can also be a cruel teacher. As uncomfortable as it is to talk about, it’s important to address these issues and events that are very real and pertinent in our society. We aren’t invincible beings. This is a call to remind us that earth is not always a safe place and life is indeed very fragile.

So today I’m packing up my space heater and cutting it out of my life cold turkey. In addition to it being a fire hazard, it eats away at our precious energy supply. I can learn how to enjoy the warmth of winter in more layers and hot cups of tea. It’s time I bear this time of year in true North Idaho fashion: I’ll be growing some thicker skin!

Be safe out there, oklandfire




The First of December, Twenty-Sixteen.

Today was a wonderful day.

Jeffery called me last night and asked if I wanted to grab breakfast at the Cedar Street Bistro downtown. Jeffery, aside from being my coworker, is a die-hard Scorpio. Naturally, I feel like I’m talking to a cosmic alien in 90% of our conversations. Jeffery dives deep into the unknown realms so you better not be afraid to hop on the ride if you want to learn or thing or two from him. I knew the moment I met Jeffery that we were going to be friends. I’m glad it’s working out for us. (more…)