Learned To Let Go

My uncle, Henry, always says waves are unpredictable, like my mother. Her disappearance as he explains it or her abandonment as I describe it, still remains a mystery.

“That’s really been on my mind a lot lately,” I said.

“Get some coffee Matt,” Uncle Henry began.

His voice was deep and rough, it’s the sound of the ocean during a storm. He slid the glass door open and the cool air made me shiver. We took our coffee mugs outside on the deck that overlooks the Mendocino Coast, and watched the early morning fog drift over the water as it pulled away from the shore. Bo, his dog, stayed curled up in his bed by the fireplace.

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Orbiting The Question

A couple of things kept me from writing blog posts over the last few weeks. One is my DNA test. I had it done through Ancestry.com, after a lot of thought. Actually, what I really did was purchase the test then let it sit in a drawer for almost a year. And not because I forgot it. I just didn’t want to find out that my mom and stepfather were wrong.

When I was fifteen and feeling pretty smug about who I was, my folks broke the news that my biological cocktail wasn’t made in-house. They were in the middle of a nasty divorce, and I’m pretty sure my brother and I were being asked to choose sides. I chose my father’s side (and I use that term loosely) because we’d always been closer. He’d spent more time with me and accepted my emerging personality of follower and worshiper. It was many years later when I truly acknowledged the costs associated with that relationship. That is another story.

My mother did offer to name my biological father. She did offer a bridge over the chasm of reserve and divorce, but I was angry at the time and unwilling to allow a newcomer into my tiny circle of chaos. We left that subject behind us, like a condemned building, and never returned.

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The probabilities that make a story


Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t. – Mark Twain.

As a fiction writer, I read a lot of fiction. I also read a lot of current nonfiction material.
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Lena got the scar on her forehead after a gust of wind shattered the big front window. At the time, she lived on a street that rode a coastal ridge just south of San Francisco. Most of the year, the entire region was blanketed in fog. Sometimes it flew in on howling winds that turned her umbrella inside out. Other times, the fog curled in and around the houses slow enough that Lena felt she could outrun it.
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