A Book Review

With thanks to Wendy Martin, editor of Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, and Elizabeth Fishel, writer and mentor, for honoring my book with these very kind words. There Was a Fire Here: A Memoir “Have you ever asked yourself: if my house were on fire, what would I grab?” So begins Risa Nye’s elegant, hauntingContinue Reading

In Memoriam

When I entered the MFA program at Saint Mary’s College in 2009, I had some serious doubts and fears: would I be able to produce any work worth reading? Would I fit in with the other students who were decades younger? Would I  be able to form relationships with faculty, something that eluded me inContinue Reading

The Fire Next Time?

On this rainy weekend, we accompanied our youngest grandson to the Oakland Museum of California. It’s a great place to take a two year-old–lots of room to run around and look at stuff. I lost track of how many times I’d visited the museum with my own kids: years of school field trips, rainy dayContinue Reading

Hallelujah?

What with the election and the death of Leonard Cohen, I can’t get this tune out of my head. Other people will respond to it differently, but to me this hallelujah is a plaintive wail, a cry for guidance. That’s how I hear it, anyway–especially the way kd lang performs it, as she did inContinue Reading

The annual semi-scientific trending Halloween costume report

One of the things I miss the most about the days when my kids were little is the planning and execution of Halloween costumes. We had a lot of fun, for the most part, coming up with unique costumes that we could make. I would frequently sew or construct the key elements, but as theContinue Reading

From Manager to #1 Fan

  Here’s something you probably never imagined when your kids were little: There will come a time when you, the parent, are no longer the most important person in your child’s life. Over the years, so slowly you may not even notice, you will transition to a position of diminishing influence, and will lose theContinue Reading

London: 9/11/2001

My husband and I were in London that day in 2001, when everything changed back home. We were visiting our daughter and son-in-law, leaving our older son to look after his brother here in the Bay Area. The newlywed couple were traveling the world for a year, and my husband and I decided to joinContinue Reading

September 2, 1973: one’s not half two. It’s two are halves of one

Today is our anniversary. I’m posting this again, as I have before, because I want to remember. We are different today, but also the same. This reminds me…of that long-ago day, when we were impossibly young. Our wedding wasn’t perfect, wasn’t grand–just simple and as much “us” as we could make it. I wonder ifContinue Reading

The Box

The box sits in my home office. The colorful files inside it are visible through the opaque plastic lid. Inside the colorful files are all the documents related to my sister’s estate: legal documents, paid bills, journals, a calendar, a checkbook, a passport. The papers inside represent the events of the last year and aContinue Reading

What I Drank on My Summer Vacation

Anyone who chooses to call herself Ms Barstool will not likely post photos of tropical sunsets or local flora and/or fauna when she ventures off her barstool and out into the world. While the sun set and the surf kissed the shore and the palm trees swayed, I took photos of my luscious island cocktails.Continue Reading