Hi, I'm Jill
I'm a mom, an award-winning author of 3 books, and an avid outdoor adventurer, who married a performance artist and addiction counselor renown for the best risotto on the planet.
I grew up as an Army brat, traveling the world. Now, I'm psyched to live in Spokane and adventure around the Pacific Northwest.
Nine years later, I’m still a fixer in recovery. For me, the most difficult thing is that I am paid in my professional life to fix all the things. To manage literal millions of dollars a year and abide by all the variable state and federal mandates. I’ve told you before that I’m a Faux Chaos Muppet. Or, as my wife said when we were first dating, “Don’t let her front like she’s chill...Read More
I got uveitis for Christmas. My optometrist described it as a charley horse in your eye. But it’s worse than that. Your eye burns red. Your vision is blurred day in and day out. There is radiant pain throughout your sinus and eye socket. Light hurts you. Sunlight is terrible, but indoor lights are worse. And, in my case, my eye became so inflamed that my lens got stuck, and my pupil disfigured. My...Read More
1. When were you safe in your relationship? A rubber tree cloaked us from the shoreline. Her bikini soaked into mine as she straddled me. I remember her hair in my mouth. The heat glimmered. That summer that I skipped nearly every mandatory basketball practice. That summer that I slipped down two flights of stairs at 1 a.m. to meet her in parking lots all over Honolulu. She’d pull my tampon out to fuck...Read More
In February, I tore the attachment between my hamstring and calf. In April, the outer toes on my left foot started to go numb on long walks. The nerve was compromised. In June, I aggravated the tendons in my foot and was sent, at last, to physical therapy. Physical therapy taught me that I have terrible balance. My strengthening exercises involve standing on my injured foot and shifting my weight here and there. Slow...Read More
We’d lost count of the bars. Nine? Thirteen? It was impossible to say. At first we had a pint per pub, but then there were shots. And now mayhem. I’d piggy-backed a man who had run shirtless through a parking lot, and dumped both of us onto the highway. We had bicycles somewhere. Hopefully nearby. Our numbers multiplied through the night. Where had all these people come from? I bled from road rash on...Read More
The horizon filled steadily with smoke, and I put my arm around your shoulders and walked into the afternoon with something akin to joy. You, my best running mate. My most diabolical partner. Nobody. Anywhere. Stands a chance against us. Seven years. You tell the most terrible puns. Leave laundry wet in the dryer for days on end. Drop shoes in walkways. Leave tap water running. Seven years of risotto and coffee. Of riotous...Read More
I’ve been working indoors all afternoon, and find them afterward sitting on the driveway painting. The grandkid has a swatch of orange across her forehead. “You’ve got some orange paint on your forehead, kid,” I tell her. She wipes her hands across her face several times. Now her forehead, bangs, and eyelids are smeared with red paint. “Well, you took care of the orange,” I say. They’ve painted a small coffin pink. “Hey, that’s...Read More
I. Sylvia Beach Hotel Fifteen years ago, this was your surprise for his 30th birthday. You’d hoped to book the Edgar Allan Poe room, but had ended up in F. Scott Fitzgerald, decorative gin bottles on desks and shelves. Late May, lonely and ill, you still had no context for your symptoms. You thought being vegan meant giving things up, but you are only beginning. The surgeries half a year away, the months of...Read More
The kid and I are leaving for vacation Saturday morning. I have spent the last ten days waking in the middle of the night with some vague anxiety about car tires, and swim trunks, and traffic. About a country on fire, and children in cages. About the way that stories have made me stand in the middle of the world, and feel things, while simultaneously wearing the armor of metaphor. I am predisposed to...Read More
Rick Bass has come to speak to us about writing. Chunks of emu grill beside several picnic tables of food. Bass is densely muscled and soft voiced. We’re at a cabin in the woods; the river rushing past. Dozens of graduate students on a perfect spring night talking about writing. His small daughters have hair the color of moonlight. They ask if I’m named Soap. “Sure,” I tell them. “Will you push us on...Read More