Father’s Day

Father’s Day . . . brings a whole mess of feelings. This weekend turns me into a bit of a wreck.

This weekend five years ago, I’d just lost my dad. And maybe I’d have better associations with the day if those two events hadn’t come so close together.

I hate the ads. There should be a way to filter them out. Which probably already exists and I just haven’t discovered it yet. Whenever there are store displays, I hurry by. They’re hard to look at directly – not just because the rampant capitalism and commodification is beyond ludicrous.

But my dislike of the day shouldn’t color anyone else’s experience. I have an amazing father-in-law and a pretty great stepfather. They deserve the special recognition of Father’s Day.

I love them.

But I still hate this day.

Maybe in another five years we’ll be on speaking terms. I can hope.

Writing Again

You know what’s awesome?


Apparently, I write short stories, but I am not a short story writer. My brain does not acknowledge short stories as actual writing. Go figure.

And I have not worked on a novel since the end of October. Plenty of short stories, but no novel.

Earlier this month, I started a new novel project and it feels like I can breathe again. Just in time to start rehearsals for Dracula. Naturally.

Boston Travel Thoughts

So I spent a chunk of my weekend in Boston for a friend’s wedding-type thing. Boston reminded me of all the things I love and miss about living in a city, as well as the reasons I love living where I am.

There’s just no winning with me.

Being in Boston – even as briefly as I was – made me realize that a story in my head has been migrating there from NYC. Partly because Boston is much more practical for me to visit both in proximity and in the number of my friends in the area, and partly because the story doesn’t particularly care which city she’s in

Basically, Boston made me think about stories and story settings, and traveling as a writer.

The place that has provided the most setting-fodder?


More than Seattle, or Japan, or Turkey, or anywhere else I’ve been (not counting Maine, because the place I’ve lived most of my life has an unfair advantage in that department), my experiences in Ecuador have directly shaped the greatest number of stories. Weird.

Maybe it’s because I went with a specific story in mind that I knew would be set there.

Or maybe I just need to approach every place I go with an eye to how it could be used as an arena for a kind of magical Fight Club.

I think I’ll try that . . .


Lady slippers

Sun makes everything better.

Lilacs and apple trees are finally blooming. The lady slippers are beautiful!

do more when the days are longer. Things that have been sitting on the to-do list for months are finally getting crossed off. I’m going more places and hanging out with friends more often. The extrovert hat is out and having a blast.

Best of all, more writing is happening. Productivity is not what I would like it to be. It’s not what it was this time last year, but I’m working towards that – baby steps.

Sun makes me happy.

Note To Self

Dear Self,

Maybe three blog posts in a week is too much. I’m not saying I don’t want you to have fun, or a space to vent, or whatever – I’m just saying that making three posts in a week, then disappearing for three weeks, does not a consistent schedule make.

Consider this your reminder that you want consistency. It’s a goal. You made it.

Love, Me

Dear A$$hat, An Exchange

On my way to lunch, I passed this particular asshat on his way in.

AH: What’re you, leaving?

MJ: Running away; I saw you coming.

AH: Better run faster.

. . . On the whole, this would have been significantly less disturbing without our last meeting:

AH: *in a voice and manner that reminds me why young children should not talk to strangers* Do you want a piece of candy, little girl?

*Entire office freezes in horrified silence.*

MJ: Well, that’s creepy.

You found that funny. Huh.


As “Dear A$$hat” looks like it’s going to actually turn into a blog series (I will have fodder for at least as long as I am paid to interact with people), I want to take a moment to define, well, things.

There are many words I could use – some that would be less offensive – but none were as perfect. To take the top definition from Urban Dictionary: “One who has their head up their ass. Thus wearing their ass as a hat. Asshat.”

These are in no way a reflection of my work conditions; where I work is pretty great, as day jobs go. It’s just that sometimes the levels of ignorance, arrogance, and entitlement all come together in that Special Someone who needs to be shared with the world.

You’re welcome.