Tonight, I hit 70,000 words on my latest manuscript. It still has a ways to go – two chapters and a conclusion, then it’s off to the publisher for edits – but, for whatever reason, this feels like a milestone worth noting. Could be the windows flung open, four bunnies and a robin playing Oonch Neech in the backyard. Could be the dusted-off Adirondack chairs, or the promise of a spring night under quilts, fireflies, Lyra. Could just be something in the air. Beginnings, I think.

I always said I wouldn’t write another book until I was old, or at least wise. But the question kept coming – How can you walk away from the Internet when it’s your living and your life? – and the answer kept coming – How can you not? – and it occurred to me that there must be 70,000 words between those two things.

Turns out there are.

Holding it Dear

Ah, December. My daughter’s Advent book says that this month’s name is derived from the Latin word decem, meaning ten, because it was originally the tenth month of the year in the calendar of Romulus. But I’ve got another theory. Could it also be because everything – everything! – in the month of December is

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Lifing Up

A noiseless patient spider, I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood isolated, Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding, It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself, Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them. And you O my soul where you stand, Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space, Ceaselessly musing,

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We Are Not Monarchs

My daughter tells me over breakfast that certain butterflies die once they give birth. She points to a crayon drawing she’s made: a dead monarch falling down from the sky, little Xs where eyes could be. Sounds about right, I think as I grind the coffee beans. — The baby is 1 and a half

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Who We Follow

There’s a reason there are tea rings on my dining room table, tie-dye stains on my deck. There’s a reason Ken built a ramp to slide down the basements stairs and a rock climbing wall to reach the heights of our master bedroom. There’s a reason that, just a few months ago, we bought a

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A March Ago

Want to hear something crazy? I say, sliding into the corner booth. I’m pregnant! I haven’t seen my friend Shannan in months, so we meet on a sunny afternoon for Pan-Asian in a sleepy lake town. I wear overalls. We split banh bao. She sips my chamomile tea. We chat for hours – book progress,

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Party of Five

They said it would happen like this: The baby will come and you’ll never be able to imagine anything otherwise. She’ll just fit, they said. You’ll see. (They were right.) —

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Here’s what we have: me, 8 months pregnant, balancing a laptop on a burgeoning belly with two snoring dogs under a pair of propped-up feet. The clock reads 3am. It is quiet, cozy, warm. Perfect conditions for sleeping – unless, of course, you are not. (I am not.)

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