When I was in college I took a geology class. I learned about igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks. I learned about formations and their layers of sand and stone. Whatever their scale – the immensity of a cliff or the insignificance of a pebble – I saw them as inert and objective, separate from or…

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One evening the week before Thanksgiving, my husband and I were sprawled in our opposite corners of the couch, watching the evening news. “Next week isn’t Thanksgiving, is it?” he asked. “Nah,” I said. But it was. And we had no plans. He decided to try to book a table at a restaurant, but the…

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Congratulations to Patty Enrado, winner of Week 3 of the #UnaFamiliaInPhotos Twitter contest!  Her photo of her, her father, her sister, her aunties, uncles, and manongs is captioned “Family get-togethers always involve pig roasting.” It’s a photo that conveys family ties, tradition, and celebration.   The runner-up is Michelle Peñaloza who submitted a photo of…

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I share several things with my father, deceased now for twenty-three years. One is the daily crossword. My father did it each afternoon when he came home from work. That’s my habit too. Each evening I log in to the New York Times and do the crossword. I can check my stats page to see…

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Thanks to those who entered photos in the #UnaFamiliaInPhotos contest on Twitter. A panel of three selected Lana Ayers  as the winner for her photo captioned “After dinner disgruntlement.” The winner will receive an Hola and Goodbye keepsake and a chance to win a copy of the book. See other great entries below. A new round…

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This February marks the thirtieth anniversary of the People Power Revolution that ended the Marcos regime in the Philippines in 1986. That year, from February 22-25, two million Filipino citizens, joined by political, military, and religious groups, occupied Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, a main thoroughfare in Metro Manila. It was a remarkable non-violent revolt…

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Among the pleasures of an artist residency are the artists you meet there. During my recent Ragdale residency, I landed among a most congenial and talented bunch. It was great learning about and from them. If you don’t already know these artists, let me introduce you to them. Virginia Bell—Poet and author of From the…

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It might be an addiction—the Port Townsend Writers’ Conference. For six of the last seven years I’ve gone. Before I started the run at the PT conference, I’d been to others and enjoyed them all—Squaw Valley, Napa Valley, VONA, Bread Loaf. Two summers ago I attended the Taos Summer Writers Conference. I loved that one,…

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I couldn’t write. My desk was a mess. Books and papers and really all kinds of crap were smeared across, under, and around it. It’s taking a month of weekends to pull everything from the shelves, off and underneath the desk, and out of sloppily stacked boxes to sort and file, recycle and toss. And…

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When we’re wishing hard for something, we feel that the universe can grant only so many wishes, that one must prioritize, perhaps weigh the greater good against the personal gain. During Super Bowl Week earlier this year my family, like so many others in Seattle, was caught up in Seahawks Fever. Who doesn’t like a…

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