For Sale: Everything You've Ever Lost

"Reunion," a story from Ms. Yamada's Toaster, is up at The Kenyon Review Online. Features vacuum cleaner parts, smelly beetles, a shell game, and the opportunity to buy back Missing Things.


Apropos of nothing: "Prairie" was the word that lost me the school spelling bee in fourth grade. Stupid extra i!

I'm spending the next two weeks at the Ragdale Foundation thanks to the Frances Shaw Fellowship. It's a wonderful place. A little weird to do a residency in "the Chicagoland area," since though I am getting away from it all, I am also going back to it all, to the place I grew up and went to college. We'll see how it goes, balancing work with the desire to see family and friends.

There is something magical about the prairie. On first glance, it seems such a uniform space. But if you stare for a moment, it's overwhelming how much is going on. A bullfrog's croaking, butterflies of different colors whirl through the air, a red-winged blackbird couple flits past. Illinois clouds come in different shapes than California ones. And on the prairie you can feel the wind speeding in ahead of an afternoon thunderstorm, see the clouds piling up.

It's here I hope to find the title of my novel. The book is ready to go, finally, but those last few words that sit on the first page remain elusive. Maybe they're out there hovering between the blackbirds and the cumulonimbus.