Guest Post: The Color of Hope

Oh - and he's an awesomesauce nature photographer

Oh – and he’s an awesomesauce nature photographer

My husband has got, bar none, the coolest friends. He’s not a party animal, and he only connects with a few people. But when he does, it’s a lifetime bond. And they keep cropping up. Seriously. We’ve been married eleven years now, and just last year we found a college buddy of his on Facebook.

Randal Horobik works for a newspaper in Wyoming, and he coaches the high school NFL team. (That’s National Forensics League to the underinformed, and NO Forensics doesn’t have to mean Kay Scarpetta’s on line one.) Not surprising, since he and Scott did speech and debate together in their Wooster Years.… Read the rest

Hope Was


I shut down the computer twice, but the e-mail didn’t vanish. It’s been four days now, and it still hasn’t gone away. My world is aslant. The editor wrote; she wants my book.


For the voting public, that last compound sentence probably invalidates the 33 words of first person narrative. Although I am still technically writing in the first person, I have stepped slightly outside to make generic observations. Possibly, it’s still considered appropriate or close enough for country, since the two third person statements (“The editor wrote; she wants…”) are actually my observations. But it’s too esoteric. I think it’s fair game to enter, but vote for someone else, someone who isn’t blowing their own horn, K?… Read the rest

Sharp. Hope is sharp.


It’s the worst emotion for someone like me. It’s intricately bound up with expectations and desires, and I don’t handle disappointment well. Can I tell you something? I finished a novel two years ago. I’ve talked with a potential publisher twice. The editor at the publishing house is really interested, and yet every time I’ve gotten ready to send, I’ve stopped.

I thought for awhile that I had submission terrors. That I suffered from an internal certainty that once the piece was out there it would turn out to be shit when someone else judged it. But then I realized I’ve been sending other, less polished things out, short stories, nonfiction pieces, and some have been accepted and others rejected, and I’ve been fine with it.… Read the rest

Hope is

fireynoHope is the yawning mouth of the river. It gathers desire, expectation, and disappointment into a single current. It binds me into a place where my stomach growls and my throat swells. Hope is a jailer whose prison pretends to sunshine.  It holds out bright open spaces and blinding joy, but it denies revelry. It builds its box one ray at a time, until the light is painful. It burns me until my skin is scalded.

Hope is every childhood nightmare. It is the feeling of running away from the monster down the street of faceless houses. It is the certainty of escape that crashes against the pursuing evil rounding that final corner.… Read the rest


Hope is seeing  your grandmother’s flowers in your aunt-in-law’s backyard. It’s watching second cousins who have only met once latch onto each other with ease and love. It’s eating sausages cooked by a young man who fought back childhood cancer that could have killed him. It’s taking pictures as directed by a tiny girl and complying to her demand, “Me see em!” entirely to hear her squeal “Oh my GOD!” even if you just took a picture of a water glass.  It’s watching a total of ten first and second cousins ranging from 18 down to 2 years in age play joyfully together for an entire afternoon and evening, even after rain drives everyone indoors at a small lakeside cabin.… Read the rest