From Essays


The Letter

THE LETTERS Erica’s in a rectangular room with one-hundred and four strangers–people sitting in a semicircle, some in chairs, some standing against the walls, all facing Sobonfu Some, “keeper of the rituals” of African spirituality, traveling the world on a healing mission. Sobonfu talks for a few hours and people ask questions, discussing grief and…

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Starry, Starry Night

It was a clear October night.  My sisters and I piled into the old red Chevy with our stepfather Dan, and headed outside of town for the hospital where my mother was in the mental ward.  None of us spoke; we hardly ever spoke in those years.  Dan kept his eyes on the road, chain-smoking…

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A Moment with Grams

It was a late Spring afternoon.  Mike and I sat across from grandma on the back porch in the shade, the hanging baskets of mixed pansies   fragrant on a gentle breeze.  I remember it so clear–she was wearing her light blue jeans and her pastel yellow, short-sleeved blouse with the white flower basket across the front, a lace collar.  We were enjoying the moment I remember, it was quiet between us–a gentle kind as sweet as Spring.  And then she said something to both of us that I’ll never forget. “I want you two to know something, what happened…

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An Old Essay

I found my flashdrive from college back in 08′ and I found this piece.  I wrote it when all my essays and poems and stories began spilling out in college like a damn fever and this, oddly, is before the PTSD hit full-force.  And it describes my current nightmares.  Weird, eh? Amy Sprague Eng 360 04-08-08 Meditative The Nothing Caper  It came in the night.  We were all sleeping in the creaky house and I woke to it lifting my sheets; it made my nightgown bleed.  My doll saw it all so I ripped out her eyes the next morning before breakfast.  Then it…

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Be Prepared

I read a beautiful essay in Huff Post Parents on The Blog entitled “A New Season” by Lindsey Mead (on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and her blog–A Design So Vast).  And it struck a nerve.  A big nerve.  And I’m now going to confront exactly what I’ve been avoiding for a while now–my Emma is growing up. You know what my trouble with parenting is?  I’m always so prepared TO BE prepared, I plan for the worst and hope like hell for the best–the idiotic thing about this is no one can control everything.  ESPECIALLY with children.  Emma surprises me daily…

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Found Something

I was going through old writings and essays from college and I found a paragraph I just might use for my book’s intro (oddly enough, my book is going to be called “Small Parts”): She’s pushing me hard. I want to say, “What is there to push?” I have nothing. She’s convinced someone is buried inside—some scared little girl. I’ve heard this shit before. I’m convinced whoever I once was is dying, because I’m trying to kill her. She doesn’t need to be anywhere around me. I enjoy watching her choke out and dim. I want to tell this psychotherapist,…

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Free Write w/ Kellie Elmore

Better late than never–I missed Kellie Elmore’s “Freewrite Friday” November first, and as I can’t sleep I thought I’d give it a go. Kelley Rose was her guest host last friday and you can read her free-write HERE. The free-write challenge: What was a pivotal moment for you, and most importantly, how did it change you? Hmm, so many… It was a clear October night. My two sisters and I piled into the old red Chevy with our stepfather and headed outside of town for the hospital, where my mother was in the mental ward. None of us spoke; Steve,…

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Eleven Years

I was coming back from my appointment at my psychologist’s this afternoon. Its a fifteen minute drive along Lake Superior in the country, through the changing leaves of fall, sun and shadows flickering on the windshield. I was trying to remain calm, noticing my hand squeezing the seatbelt, the sweaty palms (just ’cause, this always…

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Free Write Friday with Kellie Elmore

Join in the fun at Kellie Elmore‘s Free Write Friday!  It’s fun and great brain exercise for all you writers out there looking for inspiration.  This week the inspiration for the Free Write is a beautiful summer picture with this quote from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Then followed that beautiful season…Summer. Filled was the air with…

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I’m About to Get Personal Whoa Shit

Getting Intimate with You Guys.  Thanks for listening/reading: Tonight I’m wondering about what love really is.  Did I have it?  Are there different kinds of love?  I’ve always avoided writing about love, because I have this outer shell that believes it’s ridiculous.  Hmmm.  I had someone.  A keeper.  I grew into loving him.  Is that…

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Fragile Things

At some point everything becomes clear. That doesn’t necessarily mean a good clear, but fact is preferred over fiction when you’re locked up in a mental ward. Again. And it’s snowing out–and worse–it’s New Year’s Eve and you’re thirtieth birthday is coming and you’re little girl must be looking for you. It’s all you can do to decipher the shell-shocked woman looking back at you in the tin mirror bolted to the wall above your sink. Here you get your own sink because this time, this trip into the bin, they knew it was much more serious than they had…

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