Posted in Writing
07/14 2014

Untitled – an old story

Alice did not appreciate having the children, again, for the afternoon. It was Saturday, and on Saturdays she met with Estelle and Marilyn for coffee and toast at Humphrey’s, then went to the market. Usually she did, anyway, but here was Tom in the drivewayREAD MORE

Posted in Books, China, Travels, Writing
05/29 2013

some notes from the Shanghai – Beijing express train

Tuesday.  I’m on the Shanghai – Beijing express train and I’ve just decided to listen to music and write because my initial plan to stare out the windows and zone out for 5 hours has been disrupted my growing agitation with the combination of snorersREAD MORE

Posted in Arlington/DC, Writing
08/10 2012

Summer in Arlington, VA (what it’s like here)

This is place with hills (says the former Chicagoan).  I live here in a rented room with friends and cats.  This is a place with a pool on the roof and a sharp sun that we love every weekend.  From the roofdeck you can seeREAD MORE

Posted in Writing
07/1 2012


More than ten years ago I was a new teacher in Japan grappling with the basics of teaching, life in a new country, and a multitude of other things including learning about what carbonara is.  This came about through Nova’s Quest textbooks, level 7B aboutREAD MORE

Posted in Chicago, Writing
11/23 2011


Off I go. 

Thanks to Bob Rugh I have this quote from “Look at Me” by Jennifer Egan; “there was a freshness in leaving behind one life for the next, a raw, tingling sensation that was one step short of pain” (121).  I’m not certain I’mREAD MORE

Posted in Books, Writing
07/9 2011

My Life with Books

I don’t remember learning to read. Even before I could though, I know I carried around books and looked into them, searching for stories and for a way to connect with the world around me. Books have defined what choices I’ve made my whole lifeREAD MORE

05/23 2011

Love from Arlington and DC

Visiting friends is a unique travel experience because you can think for a moment this could be my life. I write from the sprawling balcony of Riley and Damir Salkovic’s apartment in Arlington, Virginia. I’m on the ninth floor in a u-shaped buildining checking outREAD MORE

05/4 2011

New, and pretty stoked

On a lovely trip to St. Louis, my good friend Alex Levine offered to update my blog so here it is.  Thank you Alex!

This will likely be the only post that is not related to books and travel, but it is a good time toREAD MORE

Posted in Chicago, Writing
11/30 2010

Chicago Poem – for you, Terrance Hayes

One of my absolute favorite things as a writing student was assignments to mimic other writers or pieces. I read Terrance Hayes poem “New York Poem” in the New Yorker (Nov. 29 issue, page 37) and wanted to write the Chicago version. I hammered thisREAD MORE

Posted in Writing
08/10 2010

Letter from Home, 20 years and some

This is a short story beginning, a mystery and a question.

In my mailbox a few weeks ago was an envelope with a short note from my mom that read “Jessica – make your dad and Grandma very happy and give it an ending. Grandma didn’tREAD MORE