Month Three in Málaga – Turning Seventy

Flower pot garden of geraniums and other plamts

June is my birthday month and though I’ve never been one to celebrate for an entire month, I thought that because this birthday was doubly significant— hitting the very big Seven-Oh! and doing it in Spain—that every day this month, I would write down something that made me happy. That intention lasted a few days.…

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Month Two in Málaga—People to Meet, Places to Go, Spanish to Learn

Main avenue in Malaga Span with fountain in front of three buildings

Month two in Malaga has been all about people and places. And, of course, the vicissitudes of Spanish-language acquisition. People Since my second week here, I’ve been attending a weekly writers’ meetup of mostly expats, seasonals, and short-stays. Regulars and semi-regulars include a pair of very smart and affable former Seattleites who are co-organizers of…

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Month One in Málaga

Acrobat figurines suspended across two buildings

It’s been a month since we left Seattle for Málaga, Spain, thanks to my husband’s perseverance through the gymnastics of the visa labyrinth. Once we got here, I could no longer be a detached bystander. In our first two weeks, we found an apartment, arranged for electricity to be turned on, opened a Spanish bank…

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Farewell, Seattle (After AWP)

My husband and I are moving to Spain. Soon. Like next week. The idea had been in our heads for a year and the actual visa process was in the works for months. But when the visas arrived in the mail sooner than we imagined and we realized we needed to apply for our residency…

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My ears are bigger than yours

Profile of brown woman, eyes closed, with focus on ear.

Lend me your ears? I wrote a little essay about my ears and other body parts. It’s called “What I Know About Dismemberment” and it will appear in one of my favorite literary journals The Museum of Americana at the end of this month. But I thought it would be fun to talk a little…

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Moments from 2022

Rear view of child leaning against adult while sitting on the beach

Writers always look for the surprising in the mundane, trying to squeeze meaning from every random little moment. A lot of my random moments happened in Northern California and New York City where I spent a good part of the year visiting with one or another daughter and grandchild. Here are a few of those…

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When agents say no and no and no and…

Text banner that says, "I'm sorry to say that OFELIA AND NORMA is not a match for my list. Please remember that the publishing industry is very subjective, and another agent may feel differently."

A year ago I began querying agents to represent my recently completed novel OFELIA AND NORMA. In the book publishing world, an agent is the first tier of gatekeepers, the ones who decide which manuscripts to select to submit to the next tier of gatekeepers, the editors at publishing houses who then decide which to…

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The PALABRA Archive—what it is and what it means to me

Library of Congress page that features recording of writer Donna Miscolta

Like most writers, I submit stories to journals, apply for residencies and fellowships, and query agents. I get far more rejections than acceptances, and sometimes feel as if I’m writing and speaking my words in an unlit corner of a vast empty room. And then one day out of the blue, without having to submit,…

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