Miscellany

On Embarrassment

Being bipedal animals with consciousness, humans have this propensity for remembering and obsessing, but other animals get embarrassed, too. I had a housemate, once, with a mean cat. At the start of every summer, she’d have her cat shaved so he wouldn’t overheat. I always had to watch out for Rocky, her cat. He had… Continue reading On Embarrassment

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Writing Life

Unlikely Saints

It's been about a year since I went to emergency with my hockey playing concussed daughter. At the time, all that concerned me was her head, but I instinctively sat between her and the homeless man. Beside him, on the other side, was an old man and a middle-aged woman, his daughter I assumed. I… Continue reading Unlikely Saints

Writing Life

The Gentle-Hearted Computer Scammer

Sometimes I like to toy with the scammers on the phone. It’s an exercise in quick thinking, saying whatever comes into my head, messing with them until they hang up in an outraged huff. This time it was the Microsoft scam. You know, they call and say that they’re from Windows and they’ve detected errors… Continue reading The Gentle-Hearted Computer Scammer

Mini-Fiction

The Oldest Woman’s Secret

The reporter sits across from me and asks very nicely if he can record our conversation. Video, he says. I know what video is, I tell him. My voice doesn’t sound like my voice. I’m 115 years old. I used to be the second oldest person in the world. Since February, I’ve been the oldest… Continue reading The Oldest Woman’s Secret

Book Reviews

A Girl In Hitler Youth

The Shame of Survival: Working Through a Nazi Childhood by Ursula Mahlendorf My rating: 4 of 5 stars Ursula Mahlendorf was born the same year as my mother. They were kids during WW2, teenagers by the end of it. While my mother was in a concentration camp, she was in Hitler Youth--so you can imagine… Continue reading A Girl In Hitler Youth

Mini-Fiction

Room Service Surprise

“Room Service!” I knocked again. No answer. No sound from within. There was no “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door. I checked my instructions. Nothing about leaving the service outside the door. I checked my phone. Five minutes until my shift was over. If I brought the service back to the kitchen, there would be… Continue reading Room Service Surprise

Writing Life

Part III

I've finished the first scene of the last section of my new novel, unless, of course, there turns out to be more. That's the strangeness of writing the way I do. I always wanted to be the sort of writer who can sit down and plan it all out. But I'm not. Every time I've… Continue reading Part III

Writing Life

2016 in Abstract

On New Year's Eve around midnight, my two girls and I stuck our heads out the window that's missing a screen so we could watch the fireworks, and then someone had the idea of taking pictures of the city from our window. This is my favourite. I think the curled pinkish blob is baby 2016.… Continue reading 2016 in Abstract

Mini-Fiction

Cold Hard Cash

Finding a birthday present for my mother is never easy. After all, she can make anything she wants. My sister always comes up with something inventive. She’s like that. For example, on Mother’s 125th, Maggie gave her a dozen rubies that turned into roses, which threw off a fragrance of an Italian spring, and then… Continue reading Cold Hard Cash

Mini-Fiction

What Else Can You Wish For?

It’s my birthday. I invited all my friends, but nobody came. I don’t mind. I am still having the party. A decorator came and decorated my penthouse apartment. I wish my friends had come. They would see how pretty it is. They’ve never come to see my apartment. My lawyer warned me that lots of… Continue reading What Else Can You Wish For?

Mini-Fiction

The Missing Eyephone

“The victim tried to write something as he was dying,” she said. “And how do you figure that?” I asked. “The scratch marks. I see an “A” and a “B”. He must have realized there was blood under his nails.” “So you think that he was writing the alphabet?” The victim was a teacher. It… Continue reading The Missing Eyephone

Mini-Fiction

Mary Martha’s Letter

Hi Ellie, good to get your email. It’s been ages! I’m so glad to hear all your good news. The promotion sounds fantastic, and Guy must really adore you to take you on an around the world trip in a private jet for your honeymoon. I so sympathize with your troubles renovating. I could barely… Continue reading Mary Martha’s Letter