This essay originally appeared on City Church of Baltimore’s blog in August 2017.
Although I call myself a writer, I’ve struggled to put thoughts into words for more than four months. That kind of stalling usually means I’m trying too hard, that I’m complicating something basic — something that should be told plainly.
So here it is: I want to tell you a story.
The story is simple — a service event and an unexpected conversation. It’s a quiet, unhurried story. It’s not glamorous. …
My book turned one on Saturday.
Now, I don’t have any kids — a fact my students remind me of frequently — but this feels significant. Or, actually, it feels like it should feel significant. Mostly it just feels weird and factual: One year (and two days) ago, my writing found its way into the hands of a lot of people all at once.
I should say something more about that, right? Or maybe I should run some kind of timely promotion like any good seller of stuff. [Okay, that I actually did. Check it out.] Or maybe I should address the many questions people ask me like, what’s next? Are you staying in Baltimore? What are you writing now? …
October 11, 2014 | 3:13 am A mouse trumps almost any other problem.
Any and all thoughts or prayers I have about my writing or relationships or lack there of either: gone. I am only worried about a mouse tracking me, finding me, transforming into some kind of amazon anaconda and eating me. One ran across my person once, so that’s pretty much the same thing.
Everyone keeps saying: he can’t hurt you. The mouse can’t hurt you. The same way radiation can’t hurt you? I mean what are we talking about here?
Everything starts to look like mice: clips on the floor, bookmaking tools. Even impossible things: ink pens, my own feet. …
So listen. I was going to surprise you and fly to Lafayette, but Ashlie beat me to it. And what’s worse, she brought an adorable grandkid. I can’t top that. (Although, if I came home with a grandkid, you would be surprised.)
Then I thought I’d make you a book and mail one page at a time for 60 days. That seemed grand. Except, I started calculating the postage and it added up. It’s not that you’re not worth $29.40, it’s just that I also don’t have 60 envelopes.
After that, there wasn’t much time because I’d put all my thought into the buying a plane ticket and the piecemealed book idea. And The Walking Dead is back on, so that ate up some time (pun intended). …
We met at opposite ends of life — I was an infant; he was an almost-dead cat — but he’s a Junot legend, and so I must begin here.
He was an orange tabby that my toddler sister called Bwat because her tongue lived in her mouth all wrong. Molly and Matthew carried Brat around like a floppy pillow, like he couldn’t know pain.
But then he turned up sick like most living things do, and the vet said Brat needed experimental surgery, or he needed to be put to sleep. …
My birthday is kind of a big deal. I’m obnoxious about it, really.
When I was four, my parents made the mistake of bringing an almost-five-year-old to the happiest place on earth: Disney World. I spent the entire trip asking about my birthday party that would take place back in Louisiana at the end of the week. I was looking forward to homemade chocolate cake and the Happy Birthday song (which I now hate) and my nanny.* I couldn’t, or wouldn’t, shut up about it.
And now I’m 25.
Twenty years later, I still felt that same kind of excitement surrounding my birthday. …