Till Chapbook

I didn’t get a free write done this week but did attend the launch party for the 2017 Till Chapbook. This local organization supports writers, builds community and hosts a writing residency at Smoke Farm each summer. Last June I attended the residency and spent several days reading books on craft, floating down the Stillaguamish River, attending workshops by the likes of the Jane Wong and Claudia Castro Luna, ate homemade fare by our fabulous chef and wrote, among other things, my first published poem Instead, which you can find in the 2017 Till Chapbook. I’m grateful for the talented writers I met and enjoyed hearing several of them read their work at the release party this week. Here’s to Till and the writerly community they cultivate.

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Mothers in Medicine

I’ve long been a fan of Mothers in Medicine, a collaborative blog of supportive mama docs. Many of the contributors are still in medical training and the community is made up of various different specialities. I’m delighted to come onboard as a regular contributor to MiM. You can find my posts under “MP.” I’m so grateful for this community of mama docs who get it. If you’re a mom or momma-to-be and at any point in your medical training or career, I recommend checking out Mothers in Medicine as the candid posts are honest and instructive about the challenges of holding these two important roles. 

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Free Write Friday: Cafe


The glass door swings open awkwardly; it easily gets stuck. It’s slow today, rainy outside and indoors is a refuge. Roasted coffee grounds suffuse the air, I breathe deep for the caffeinated aroma to wake me. Glass display case houses delectables. I like the cinnamon roll scones, butter and spice infused pastry crumbles at the touch. 

They know me here. “The usual?” One barista dark haired, glasses, someone I might be friends with if we were contemporaries in college. She usually has her hair pulled back, a ready smile. She inquires about my kids, about my weekend. The other is more quiet, still friendly but I find a kinship in her introversion. They trade off working the espresso machine, making the savory crepes and manning the register. They work well together.

Music is varied, dependent on the day. Today it is soft, vibratory melodies, barely perceptible. The other day it was David Gray, flashbacks to the 90’s and early 2000’s. I liked the melancholy music; it triggered memories of a transitioning millennium, a time of before and after, when we were all ushered into a dark and divided new norm. 

They remodeled the coffee shop recently, adding wood panels, copper lighting. The concrete floor rings cold and is polished roughly. Anywhere else it would chill me, this floor, but here the soft bare light bulbs overhead, the steam rising from the espresso machine, the friendly conversation between neighbors, the head down seclusion of the newspaper reader: it warms me.

I like the quiet, the bursts of gentle laughter, the sound of sipping coffee, of cups resting on square tables, of tip-tap typing, of a clanking of dirty dishes as we each take a morning pause, collective and caffeinating into the new day.

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