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The pleasure of her company

I wake Squish while it's still dark. She gets ready as the first light breaks over the horizon. By the time she's bundled up for the morning chill and ready to go, it's just light enough to see our way to the Jeep. At our usual trail, the sun's just

A van under the stars

In recent weeks, Squish has taken a strong interest in astronomy. It's a big part of her school curriculum, but not until the second half of the year. We've encouraged her not to restrict her learning to whatever's on the docket, but to chase down anything she's interested in. As

Squish at the (home) movies

Recently, for family movie night, the fam selected Dune. None of us had seen it. I did some quick research: Appropriate for a ten-year-old? I mean, she's seen Lord of the Rings, and Jaws, and other such things. I learned that there was one brutal-ish death in the movie, and

A shed in which to write, and live

Late last year, my wife and I were talking about writers and their sheds. Writers have a long history of writing in sheds, or little gazebos or cabins—give them a small room and tuck it in the backyard, or in the woods, and they're usually pretty content. (Here are

Small town

A few years back, when Squish was itty-bitty, she and Felicia built a fort together. From the outside, I could hear their conversation. Squish told Felicia about a town she'd recently visited. "What was it called?" Felicia asked her. "Small," Squish answered. "It was a town called Small?" "Yes, that's

A grumpy daemon

This weekend, Squish and I watched the 2007 movie The Golden Compass, based on the first novel in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series. While the movie is not terribly beloved, Squish was enthralled. She was heartbroken to learn that there are no sequels (and only mildly reassured by the

Morning view

Up a bit early this morning. I wasn't the first one awake—Felicia's often up before me, getting a workout in—but I was the only one stirring upstairs. I went from window to window, pulling curtains and raising shades. The sun wasn't yet up, but the horizon was tinted

The Squish method

One of the best things about my basement study, where I write: It shares a wall with the room where my daughter practices piano. Listening to her play a piece again and again, or trying to work out the notes in something she's heard in a movie, is just one

Friday Harbor

For the last fifteen or so years—I honestly can't remember when it started; perhaps with a long weekend in Cambria, CA, while writing Eleanor []?—I have taken a week off in September, then traveled somewhere alone to work on whatever project I have going.

Brothers on a hotel bed

Recently I spent a few bucks to watch a livestream of Death Cab for Cutie playing a show at Red Rocks. The band was on its first (small) tour in nearly two years, playing a vaccinated crowd; the idea of being in a crowd, regardless of vaccination status, still sets