Mountains Beyond Mountains

Hey y’all,

It seems stupid and frivolous to be talking about made-up stories when there is so much pain right now. Atlanta has been under curfew for days, and my sister-in-law shares videos of protest marches on the street outside her home. Hopefully the powers that be will take note this time… (PSA: Elections are happening in a lot of places right now. Vote!)

But this morning, I went walking, and one of my neighbors set two buckets of sidewalk chalk in their driveway, with rhyming instructions to brighten our city. And when I shared my latest story with a friend yesterday, she said she was glad for it. So I’m putting it here.

Jolichanga’s Fury doesn’t really have anything to do with what’s going on now, except in that it’s about courage, and love, and change. It takes place in the not-quite-Himalayas, and it’s on the longer side. It is, I think, mostly happy, but you can decide that for yourself.

I hope you’re all doing well — even (especially) if that means a little civil disobedience.

Reading Weekend

To quote Sam Sanders, one of my favorite podcasters: Hey, y’all. (Check out his podcast “It’s Been a Minute” — it might be one of the best things you do all week.)

Since I’ve rediscovered that any moment waiting is an opportunity for words, I’ve been reading in my quiet moments more and more. One piece I enjoyed this week is Kayla Smith’s “Invisible Neighbors”. This story is  a nonfiction glimpse into rural Mississippi with a pinch of Stephen King horror. I wasn’t expecting the strangeness of Kayla’s story to linger as long as it has. The story itself tells of Kayla’s neighbors over years of Christmases, and each sentence sparks. For example, she opens the story by talking about her grandparents: “Paw Paw is practically deaf, but he still has eyes like a sniper.”

I hope your March waiting moments are happier than those of February.


Obligatory disclaimer: I make no money off this posting, no matter how many links you click, and Kayla and I are friends. (The honor is all mine.)