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.
I was listening to Neil Gaiman discuss why he waited to write the Graveyard Book until he was a good enough writer to do the story justice. He told about two aborted attempts to get into the characters. The years of thinking it had taken to try a third time, and how he’d been disappointed with that effort, too, until he’d shown it to his daughter and she’d asked for more. It’s curious to...Read More
On my side, I’d stretched across one of the war memorials on the parade ground. When I’d arrived, the stone had been warm from the fall afternoon, but now it was dusk, and colder. My Walkman played something earnest, and I’d decided to go inside when I heard my name called. I slid my headphones off. “What’s that?” I asked. “Are you posing?” he repeated. I laughed at the ludicrousness of posing in my...Read More
The summer before my senior year in high school, my girlfriend drove me to a little boutique in Honolulu and told me she was going to buy me a bikini. She explained what she wanted to the saleswoman; they both peered at me for a bit and then started going around racks picking out various suits. That is a generous word for them: suits. I hadn’t yet hit my stride as a confident nudist....Read More
I hate the word tomboy. It lands on me like a blow. Sometimes I actually flinch. You’re so determined to tell me I’m not a girl that you have come up with a word that literally means male boy. You are redundantly doubling down on my absence of girl. I fucking hate it. In that single word I see every old lady chasing me out of bathrooms since I turned six. My wife loves...Read More
When I turned 12, I took a certification class with the Red Cross, and started babysitting. All the money went into my college fund, but eventually I used it to buy one terrible car in high school, and then one miraculous one that I’d drive for the next decade. I loved babysitting. Little kids can rocket from joy to abject misery in a single sentence. They seem, always, on the edge of space travel....Read More
After my son was born, I told everyone — my husband, my mother, my friends — anyone who would listen, that I was not okay. And everyone told me I was fine. That I was fine, and doing well. Now I can recognize it as postpartum depression, but at the time it was just a long, terrifying panic attack. I was convinced my son was going to die in my care. I thought that...Read More
I thought girls actually used pencils to darken lines beneath their eyes. The same pencils we used to take bubble tests. That seemed so brave to me. Like something a pirate would do. Lined up in the hallway, waiting to march out to the playground, I could see them leaned over sinks, drawing emphasis. Girl 101. I studied it from the outside. Girls with their hair products, their Keds, their bangles. When Jimmy Stewart...Read More
My sadness is a tail that shakes out behind me. What have I ever been but certain? Watch me bring these walls down. Thrashing even as I walk from room to room. I check all the windows, and out on the porch. I check the driveway. I check my phone. And when I find you, at last, it is worse than not knowing. Startling. I want that word to be a bird. Startling To take...Read More
I met Ruly when she was still called by another name. This was in 2005, when I managed a bookstore. She had a jewelry store upstairs, and came down with a banner that she needed to hang from the air duct several stories above the main floor. I held the banner while she rigged it, and an exchange of maybe fifteen minutes led to my visiting her store for the beautiful silver she carved....Read More
When my child was three, he inadvertently squirted hand soap into his eyes. We were in the kitchen. He screamed. SCREAMED. I lifted him into the sink and ran water over his eyes, but when I had him open them, I hadn’t gotten all the soap out and he screamed again. The second time, I let the water run over his eyes for so long that I had time to watch his terrified face,...Read More