Roanoke Regional Writers Conference 2010
A Summer Mantra
When I was little, the nighttime drone of our window fan propelled me out
of the heat and into my dreams.
Alone At Last
Just me and my husband, for the first time in years. Let the witty banter
Bed Bath and Broke
A massive conspiracy: Bed Bath & Beyond and colleges.
The Best and the Brightest
Defending my-son-the-geek, or, God help you if you're not an athlete and you're a student in a public high school.
Big Brother Discount
Big Brother may know my medical history and my driving record, but dammit, he doesn't get my grocery list.
Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?
People are buying Burberry trenchcoats for their dogs, and I can't afford a cup of coffee.
The China Syndrome
My son is getting married: how can we trust him with china when he broke every toy he ever got?
Confessions of a Video Trollop
We are the last middle-class family in America that doesn't have cable TV.
Possession of oregano with intent to distribute. I'm guilty.
Festival of the Book 1999
A hungry writer masters the art of the power schmooze in Charlottesville.
After a year in Paris I have to go home. Or do I?
How did "fox"get to be a classy name for a neighborhood?
Gods 'n' Generals
Suffice it to say that there was a whole lot of shooting going on and Stonewall Jackson dies in the end.
The night my heart stopped.
My daughter can go to any college she wants, as long as it's Virginia
Inside, Over Here
Is it a boy, or a girl? Ultrasound whispers the answer -- and then some.
A life-long radio fan extends the search for intelligent life out into the universe:
"SETI-at-Home" and I search for ET using my trusty iMac.
Journey To The East
Confessions of a middle-aged fan of the Dave Matthews Band.
Lights Out, Everybody
Curfews: An early-bird conspiracy.
No-Guilt Ice Cream
A free pint of ice cream or $100? Decisions, decisions.
The Virginia Film Festival: How many movies can I cram into four days?
[real audio] [mp3]
Musical Monkey on my Back
When does pleasure lead to obsession? When my husband says it does.
My Hiding Place
I've always found it hard to take a break from the world. But then I found opera.
I have just one month to come up with a 50,000-word novel. It doesn't
have to be good enough, it just has to be long enough.
A Night At The Opera
My first opera, La Bohème. A whole new world.
The Perfect Soapdish
Okay, so I can't stop terrorists from knocking down skyscrapers and
distributing Anthrax like evil fairy dust - but I WILL control my own
My son's getting married -- I'd better clean up the house before the relatives arrive.
Do I have to clean the scum off the pond, too?
Pre-Election Stress Disorder
My husband is saying, "Put down the mouse - step away from the
computer!" but there's just one more analysis about polling results I want to
check on...okay, and maybe one more after that...and did you hear about the NASA
imaging expert who says Bush really was wearing a wire?
Preparing for Bird Flu...
...when our new national motto appears to be "Every Man for Himself"
Political candidates are braying about "family values." Somebody make them stop!
How the NPR broadcast of Nine Lessons and Carols saves me from myself every Christmas Eve.
A Revolting Development
Take a hike, developers! You're ruining the countryside.
Should I Take A Bow?
My kids are leaving home, just when I'm starting to get the hang of this motherhood thing.
My first time at a Quaker meeting. No preacher - nothing but silence. Yikes.
Just because we're Catholic doesn't mean we buy the whole package.
Stars and Stripes...Forever
If I burn my American flag, will I go to Hell?
Why do all American-made éclairs suck?
I should be happy: My youngest just graduated from high school. What's wrong with me?
An American in Paris translates Thanksgiving from turkey to communal M&Ms.
[real audio] [mp3]
Thy Neighbor's Goods
They have more money and better taste than I do.
Turn Off The Lights
Light pollution in my own backyard.
Variations on a Theme
Who put the birdseed in the chocolate chip cookies?
The View From In Here
Attention Deficit Disorder is a whole other world.
A Virtual Undertaking
Restoring old family photos on my computer has become an obsession.
The Waltons Go To South Park
Psst! I like South Park and watch it with my kids. Don't tell anybody.
We Got It
Yeah, yeah, the YEAR 2000. Just call it 2000, we'll understand.
What Heartbreak Feels Like
Yikes. It's enough to make a Big Bird cry.
What Would Jesus Do?
Jesus would let the air out of his tires.
A Yankee Fantasy
I love the mountains of Virginia, but long to inhale the salt air of New England's rocky coast.