The other day I wrote letters to my characters. Today they wrote back.

Dear Author Who Has Trouble Recognizing Happy Herself,

Happy is easy. It’s when I fly. Anytime I take to the air I feel happy and if something is pissing me off, I forget about it as soon as I grip the yoke. Most of the time anyway. Perfect is tougher. The day I flew my first solo was pretty close. But I think the day Edna took me up in her old Stearman was about as close to perfect as I can remember. One of those lazy summer days where for once there wasn’t a pile of something gone wrong waiting for me on the ground. The sky was clear and still and I gazed out at it from between the flying wires and wanted us to keep on flying forever. The pockety-pockety sound of the engine was better than anything I had on my playlist.

Yeah, I’d say that day was pretty close to perfect. Until we landed.



Dear Author,

Here’s the thing about bugs. If you stand still in front of a plant and just wait, the bugs will come.  Big fuzzy Carpenter bees that make you want to reach out and touch their velvet fur. Hover flies that try to mimic bees. Katydids that blend in so well with the leaves that if you blink, they disappear. Over on the milkweed bright yellow aphids cover the plant and bring the ladybugs in for a feast. If you wait long enough you might see the ants band together to protect their aphids from the ladybug.

Once you stop using all that chemical junk in a yard it’s like a whole new universe moves in. Some bugs live. Some bugs die. But things happen the way they’re supposed to happen, in a way that makes sense if you apply nature’s logic.

When the rest of my world is turned upside down, it makes me feel better to see the garden balancing things out.

Plant Kid


Dear Author,

The creep knows what he did. I’m not talking about it until I know he’s locked up or dead. And I’m not lying about my sister. It’s plain and simple. I told you what happened. I told you it was my fault. Would I admit something like that if it wasn’t the truth?

Max wants to know how you are going to make sure to keep him safe.

Max’s friend


Dear Author,

That’s not a chip on my shoulder. That’s a pile of scars from every time my dad hauled off and hit me for no reason at all.