I recently spent eight days in the Philippines. That’s eight days out of 64 years of my life. I’ve made a list of over a dozen topics I want to write about. Is it arrogantly absurd that the topics number more than the days I was there? How do I swoop in and out of …

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“Like reading a soap opera script,” opines sacintl, a user name that faintly suggests the word “succinct,” in keeping with her six-word review of my story collection Hola and Goodbye. Sort of like Hemingway’s six-word story (For sale: baby shoes, never worn) – tragic and sad, but without the tenderness. We are advised not to …

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I’m going to the Philippines in November for the first time. It’s past time. The scenes in my first book When the de la Cruz Family Danced that were set in the Philippines were wholly imagined. They could’ve been based on first-hand experience if four decades ago I’d chosen differently When I finished college, my …

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A “Las Vegas virgin” is what a fellow guest at The Flamingo called me when he learned that this was my first visit to Sin City. I had sidled along the hallway after depositing my bag in my room to avoid photobombing the selfie with his companion. They turned around and saw me and we …

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The clothes were smashed together, compressed like prom roses in a scrapbook, faded and musty. Slacks, blouses, jackets, sweaters, and skirts crammed two tiers of rods. Hangars bowed from the years of weight. There was something guileless in the arrangement. My sisters and I gathered in the room to dismantle the still life. There were also …

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It was my choice to spend Christmas alone. Early Christmas morning my husband flew to L.A. to spend the holiday with our older daughter Natalie. She had just returned from a trip to the Philippines and getting her jetlagged self onto another plane to come to Seattle was out of the question. I’m heading to L.A. …

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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 Jennifer Munro, the winner of Week 2 of the #UnaFamiliaInPhotos Twitter contest! Captioned with “I owe everything to my mom,” Jennifer’s entry is a lovely expression of family connection. It also happens to reflect the generational theme of Hola and Goodbye. Jennifer will receive an Hola and Goodbye keepsake and a chance to win a …

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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 runner-up is  Dizzy Freedom shown below with some of the other great entries. The winner and runner-up will receive an Hola and Goodbye keepsake and a chance to win …

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