Meet the friendly college leper!

[Now with all-important footnotes]

Eww, gross, no thanks…okay fine, I won’t be rude, but seriously, I’m not shaking her hand.



I am SO ANGRY right now.

At the universe, yes, and perhaps the universe should bear the brunt of it, but my sister is such a convenient target. I am angry with my sister.* My beloved, older sister who is 16 years my senior.

I shall slay her. No, I won’t. But I will murderurdle her. (A term coined by my former roommate to make expressing anger sound cuter.) Continue reading


Readers, I need your help!

The second edition of Al(m)as is here! A heart-wrenching tale of sibling love in a broken family, Al(m)as explores the power of the imagination to overcome all obstacles.

I promise it’s a short story — less than half an hour to read, and in convenient PDF form to read on or offline on all devices. Read it by clicking the image on my blog’s right sidebar, or

READ IT RIGHT HERE: Al(m)as, 2nd edition

This project is very close to my heart and I’m looking for any and all kinds of critiques, as I mentioned when I first published it. If you read it, I’ll love you forever. If you read it AND give feedback, well, we might just have to get married or something.

Happy Father’s Day


If you say he’s a guy who is not often sad,
If you say he is usually slow to get mad,
If you say that he can overreact just a tad,

Well, then I wouldn’t be sure. But…

If you say his personality’s totally rad,
If you say all his jokes are a little bit bad,
If you say he’s the best father the world’s ever had,

Then I’d know. You’re talking about my dad.


Dear Wad,

I am so lucky to have such a cool dad as you. While being a stressed-out surgeon, you’ve still managed to be there for me — not just to watch softball games and choir concerts, but also to hit extra fly balls and pluck out the song’s melody on the piano. You work 12-hour days (and that’s when you’re not on call) and yet you still do the dishes and crack your infamous “dad” jokes. You had all the skills to go through medical school and become a great orthopedist, but that didn’t mean you couldn’t learn to cook, bake, play the guitar, sing, and be a handyman too.

As a college student halfway through my program, I’m terrified by the idea of dedicating my life to a single career path. You’re living proof that being excellent in a profession doesn’t mean leaving behind family or enjoying other hobbies and talents as well. The love and kindness you show to your family on a daily basis, and your dedication to the church, are an inspiration to me and I hope I can follow your example.

I love you so much, Wad. I can’t wait to see you — only a couple more weeks!

Lots of love and hugs,

Your daughter


Photos from

Read my short story, Al(m)as!


DA DA-DA-DA DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! [insert loud, obnoxious fanfare here]

Al(m)as has arrived!

Here is a promotional blurb from my Number 1 Fan:

I was glued to the story from the start.

A simple “fairy tale” story that the brother told over and over for various reasons — i.e., comfort, helping to fall asleep, hiding from the reality of their father’s addiction — turned into a powerful reality for the little girl who will not be held down.

The end gives a sense that she will thrive in life and be a inspiration to all who meet her in her future life. In spite of a tragic occurrence, the ending of this uplifting tale creates not despair, but optimism.

That, my friends, is a good story.

Continue reading

Al(m)as, Part 7

New to this story? Read Part 1.

Patrick rubbed the sweat from his brow with the back of his hand, leaving a smudge of bike grease above his right eyebrow. This was ridiculous. They had been at it for hours — the “quick” bike repair was proving to be anything but. He was opening his mouth to tell Mark he could not stay much longer when his cell phone rang. It was his father. Patrick grimaced and flipped his phone open.

Continue reading

Al(m)as, Part 5

New to this story? Read Part 1.

Nellie sobbed into his shoulder. Patrick hugged her tightly, his pulse still racing as he sat on the dark play structure with his sister in his lap. “It’s okay, Nells. It’s okay. I’m here. It’s okay.” He repeated the words for seconds, minutes, hours — he didn’t know how long — until they both caught their breath.

“T-t-tell me a story?” Nellie pleaded, teeth chattering. Her brother took a deep breath and closed his eyes.

Continue reading

I’m hugging you, Mom. Can you feel me?

My dearest Mom,

Today’s Writing 101 challenge was the easiest question I’ve had to answer in a long time. Well, except for “Are you hungry?” to which the answer is always, unequivocally, yes.

The question was this: If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?

Like I said. That’s the easiest question in the world, because I’d be with you.

It’s not just that I’ve been living halfway across the world for a month now, though that’s certainly part of it. It’s not just that I miss you, though I miss you more than anything or anyone. It’s not even that the thought of being so far away from you for yet another month makes me shiver with homesickness.

It’s because I know you’re grieving, and can’t be there for you. They told you he’s in a coma, and I can’t be there for you. Your only brother is dying, and I can’t be there for you.

You’ve never been good at coping with death. Why would you be? You have such a big heart. You have no concern for yourself: you pour your essence into everyone you love, holding nothing back. Of course it hurts when a loved one dies. You’re losing part of yourself. I wish I could spare you, but I can’t, because your capacity to love is your greatest gift, and its price is your greatest pain.

I know you better than you know yourself, and I know you’re suffering. Politely, quietly, and utterly alone. My heart has ripped itself to shreds trying to escape its confinement and run to your side, till all that remains is a bloody pulp.

It’s okay to cry. You don’t need to be strong, or stoic, or embarrassed. You know me and I know you, and there is nothing we need to hide from one another. Give me your sorrow and let me carry it too, because you shouldn’t have to bear it alone.

You’re more than simply the woman who gave birth to me, more than just a mother. You’re a friend, a best friend, a soulmate. You mean the world to me. That’s why it’s so hard for me to know you’re in pain. Your pain is mine, and my shoulder is forever yours to cry on.

I’m here, Mom. Can you sense me? We’re sitting next to each other on your bed. The door is shut, and no one’s home. Just us two. You’re telling me how hard it is. I’m listening, Mom. Can you see me? You’re telling me how hard it is, and I’m telling you I love you. I love you, Mom. I love you so much. Can you hear me? You’re crying, you’re apologizing, but you shouldn’t, you should never apologize for being human. You’re crying, and my arms are wrapped around you, tight, tighter, squeezing and holding you together so you can let everything go. I won’t let you fall. We’re holding each other, hugging each other in silence. I’m crying, too, sharing the pain, an outpouring of love for your brother, my uncle, that can only resolve itself in grief. I’m here for you, Mom. Can you feel me?

There’s not much you can do except pray, fervently, for your dear one, and continue to live. Continue to love, even though love brings pain. And remember that love also brings comfort.

I wish I could be there with you, to hold you tight and tell you everything will be alright, but since I can’t, the warmth of my love will have to suffice. I love you with all of my heart and every fiber of my being. You know that. I hope you can feel it too.

I love you all the way to Planet X and back.



Al(m)as, Part 4

New to this story? Read Part 1.

Patrick was lying in bed staring up at his ceiling when he realized the rain had stopped. The sun had already set, cloaking the house in dusky twilight. He stood up and cautiously emerged from his room. He had to eat sometime, and he’d better make sure Nellie had eaten, too. He crept downstairs, praying to the god he hadn’t believed in since his mother died that his father would be somewhere, anywhere else.

He wasn’t.

Continue reading