A one-lane road in the blue evening in Tennessee. A crescent moon hangs high in the sky. A porch light shines mid-foreground.

On my residency in Tennessee.

Last month I attended my first in-person writing residency in Knoxville, Tennessee. On my way out the door, I told my spouse that I wasn’t interested in updates while I was away. During the few trips I took pre-pandemic, I would begrudgingly spend an hour on the phone listening to him detail the minutiae of what chores were completed, which kids had a tantrum, and other everyday mundanities. Now it was my first time out of the house in over a year and the thought of these calls strummed the thick bands of tension around me. I didn’t care what happened while I was away, short of death or explosion. I didn’t want anything to detract from the little sliver of freedom I was claiming for myself.

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Person wearing a golden yellow sweater holding a bunch of sunflowers

On Leaving Some Things for Yourself

This is the third draft of this blog post.

Halfway through the first, I realized it was getting a bit too personal and its proper place was in the journal I have yet to write in since late September. The second draft turned into a great essay idea for a parenting journal or magazine.

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On Legacy and History

In January, which seems like eons ago, legacy and history were abstract concepts crystallizing in my mind. I wrestled with what they meant to me and my 2020 goals. I couldn’t quite distill what I wanted to say, but for the most part, I thought about them in terms of my writing career and how to best serve my local community.

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On Hauntings and Awakenings

I’ve always imagined hauntings to be a great chain-rattling affair with dim-lighting and a heartbeat racing so fast it feels close to bursting. Hauntings are most often written as spooky, unsettling moments that drive main characters out into the street or tumbling off their balconies, succumbing to their insanity. But that’s not my haunting. And it has nothing to do with ghosts.

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On Trying My Hand at Hope

A few weeks ago—back when we were complaining that Black History Month was cancelled and we should move it to June; back when our anxieties were high but not astronomical—I was scrolling Twitter and saw a tweet that asked writers to share the most hopeful poems, essays, and stories they had written. I didn’t post anything. And I didn’t bother reading the responses. Off the top of my head, I didn’t believe I had written anything that could be classified as “hopeful”—at least not how I saw it as the author. It’s always different for readers.

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On Working with What You’ve Got

The weather in Las Vegas hasn’t been magical lately.

The winds bluster against my house and whistle through the windowpanes. They threaten to lift my house from its foundation and blow it to a strange land. I’d much rather have the snow that a close friend of mine in Georgia is experiencing. In the videos she sends me, she timidly peers out of her apartment window and, later, steps outside, the world blanketed in freshly fallen snow. Baby blues, blood reds, and pine greens peek out, hinting at the hidden world below.

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