The Hiatus

FeetSo, it’s been over a year and a half since I posted anything of any substance, here — from October 2012 to March 2014. This feels like a long time. It is, actually, a long time — which is probably why it feels that way. Those of you with subscriptions to the RSS feed are probably surprised to remember that I am alive.


What have I been doing?

A variety of things. I wrote the Joe Bell piece for Salon — a story that touched me immensely, personally — and which ended in tragedy with Joe’s death on the road, only a few weeks after the story was published.

I’ve also been helping to raise my kids. This means a lot of middle-of-the-night awakening, a lot of lifting and hauling and cleaning and generally doing thankless labor. It is — as I’ve noted elsewhere — completely worth it.

Oh, and VQR has brought one of my favorite things I’ve written outside of its pay wall. Which is nice. Here is a link! It’s an essay about going back to Latvia to try to find the family’s silver and jewelry that was buried — in haste — by my grandmother in the basement of the house.


Writing is a process, of course. And a lifelong commitment. I am working on a number of things — and looking for clarity as to what to do next. It will come. I’m 37, but I still feel like a young writer. I still feel like I’m learning.

What I would say is this: To my friends with books coming out — be careful of how much you do, surrounding publication. I wrote so many essays, and traveled so far, that I emptied myself almost completely. It has taken this long to replenish. And what did I find?

Nabokov’s Speak, Memory:

“An inexperienced herbalist resembles a medieval traveler who brings back from the East the faunal fantasies influenced by the domestic bestiary he possessed all along rather than by the results of direct zoological exploration.”

2 thoughts on “The Hiatus

  1. Pauls,

    Good to see you writing here again. I’d say a one year hiatus is acceptable with the amount of energy bouncing off the walls in your house! If you ever catch a break, it might (will) be worth watching Cano. Let us know if you’re back in Seattle.


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