Category Archives: ameloblastoma

The Writing Year in Review: 2018

I did this last year and it helped me see that I had been slightly more productive than I thought. Let’s see what happened this past year in my writing life…

A look  back at what I wrote in 2018:

  • A number of pieces for Retrospect, which are listed on my Articles and Interviews page here. This was a wonderful opportunity to reach back and respond to a variety of prompts. All told, I published 32  essays on this website. Sadly, Retrospect is no longer an option for this sort of personal essay: the kind and generous founders have moved on. The links I’ve included will be good for another month or so, but I hope to find a solution to keep them available  to read.
  • I did fewer pieces for Berkeleyside than I would’ve liked, but there are several I’m very pleased with: the one about The Kingfish, and the round-ups I did this year about boozy slushies and milkshakes, and one about warm drinks for the holiday season. I do love these assignments!
  • I had a piece published in Longridge Review, called “Visions of LaDonna.” This is a story I’ve been thinking about writing for years, so I’m especially pleased that my story was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.Such an unexpected honor!
  • A  piece I wrote about a long-ago diner that I used to sneak out to visit during my senior year of high school was accepted for a new Hippocampus anthology to be published late fall/early winter of this year. The working title is Greasy Spoon: Bottomless Coffee, Homefries & Pie and Other Things We Love About Roadside Diners. My piece is called “Pancakes at the Shutter Cafe.”
  • I attended a week-long master class at Hedgebrook in the fall, which inspired me to revisit some stuff that has been “composting” for a while. It may be time to dig out the old notes and drafts to see if there is some life there. The week of living a writer’s life in a lovely cottage in the woods was wonderful, restorative, and affirming.
  • The anthology, Laugh Out Loud  (edited by Allia Zobel Nolan) made its debut at the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop which I attended this  year. The anthology brings together a bunch of funny women writers, celebrating “then and now before we forget.” My piece has to do with the old expression “putting my face on,” something I didn’t understand until I did.
  • I wrote an update on my ameloblastoma saga, which was published in You and Me Magazine. They kindly included all three of my submissions about this weird journey.
  • While sales of my book, There Was a Fire Here seem to have tapered off since its release in 2016, I was delighted to find out that one of my granddaughter’s  friends asked for (and received) a copy for Christmas. I understand there was a conversation between the two girls that included a mention of “my grandmother’s book,” so I thank Maddy for being part of the team! Sadly, last year saw many families go through what we did because of catastrophic fires from one end of the state to the other. I can only wonder if they might want to write their stories too. It certainly helped me see more clearly what really matters.


So there it is: a look at the published work of 2018. I’m hoping to write a few more pieces about the old bars of the East Bay. It’s Barstool History: a genre I just made up.

Happy New Year!

do not disturb



Another health update

The online magazine, You and Me, recently published the last of three articles I wrote about my journey from diagnosis to the present. In case you missed the first two, they are here too. Yes, there is still numbness and there are some awkward moments, and my food choices have remained somewhat narrow, but othersContinue Reading

The Writing Year in Review: 2017

I’m copying (stealing?) this idea from a new author friend, Erika Mailman. In a year where it felt like I didn’t do much writing, it’s good to look back and see what I actually did. It felt like a rather unproductive year, writing-wise, but the evidence shows it wasn’t as unproductive as I thought. ForContinue Reading

The Boys are Back in Town!

I had not assigned a gender to my teeth prior to this post. For all I know, they are girly teeth–but the point is I got my new long-term temporary obturator today, and it includes facsimiles of my dearly departed molars. I’m sure it’ll take some time getting used to having teeth up there afterContinue Reading

One Fine Day

I don’t want to forget that this happened, finally. One fine day this week, I woke up and didn’t feel different, didn’t hurt anywhere, didn’t think about the strange new arrangement inside my mouth. I just woke up, opened my eyes, and thought about what I wanted to get done that day. It was theContinue Reading

Living the Toddler Life: Another healing update

In many ways, I have accomplished the sorts of things we praise toddlers for: I’m eating solid foods! I’m using a fork! I’m getting new teeth (coming soon), and sleeping through the night! Oh, and I had to get one of those ear tubes, also known as” tympanostomy tubes or grommets,” due to a caseContinue Reading

Numb and Number: Or, Healing is Not for Sissies

It’s now been five weeks since my surgery. Although I look almost normal, with some visible swelling on the right side of my face, I still feel as though I am wearing one of these: I can tell the numbness is going away by the sometimes tingly, sometimes sharp messages I’m getting from the nervesContinue Reading

Here’s a visual

  So, yes–right down the middle. Including teeth. It may look almost normal, but it sure doesn’t feel that way! Hurts to smile, or I would’ve tried. Upper cheek and nose are the worst in terms of numbness. Kinda feels like I’m touching someone else’s face when I check for sensitivity. Weird. It’s getting better,Continue Reading

Healing Update: In Which we observe Changes That Have Occurred in the two-plus weeks after surgery

Some things are the same, and a few have changed, slightly. Same: numbness, sensitivity, eating/swallowing related challenges, and getting used to the obturator. I have been getting better at taking it out for cleaning and putting it back in, and was reminded of the story about Eeyore’s unhappy birthday. No one can throw a pityContinue Reading

An Update on the Fiendish Thingy

As  friends and family are aware, I had surgery one week ago today to remove a benign tumor from my upper jaw. I’ve written about this tumor before, a couple of times. It may be too much information, but here is a health update on the ameloblastoma that I refer to as “the fiendish thingy.”(AndContinue Reading