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.

Jill-Malone-Headshot-Vertical

But what does it all mean?

September 16, 2016
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A friend of mine, who makes gorgeous jewelry, and has spent her career researching symbolism and spirituality, asked me recently if it was enough to make beautiful art. Is beauty without meaning enough? In December of this year, I’ll have spent half of my life in Spokane. When I first moved here, my grandmother was in physical therapy after breaking her hip. Since I was a college student without a job, I would drive...

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Spiral bound

September 9, 2016
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When I was a kid, I wrote the names of my potential children at the back of my spiral-bound notebook. The rest of the notebook was filled with random journal entries and dozens of poems. They were terrible names. Brad. BRAD? But I wrote them like spells. The morning after I delivered, the nurses told me I was an old parent. I wouldn’t be thirty for more than 2 months, but they meant that...

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I'm from Montana

September 2, 2016
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I should stop immediately. I’m watching an old fellow from my car window, and he turns as I reverse up the drive. He and I both hear the alarming sound of my car. I pause, listen, reverse again. It still sounds weird. I pause a couple more times in the next seven blocks, and then, at last, I pull over to the side of the road, jump out, and race around to stare at...

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Plastic houses

August 8, 2016
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It’s hard to describe what I find most irritating about the documentary, No Impact Man, but I think it’s the fact that extremes freak me out. Deciding, in a single year, that you’re going to forsake fossil fuels, coffee, toilet paper, electricity, plastics, new purchases, any food products outside a 50-mile radius, vacations, toothpaste, makeup, cleaning products, and that your family is going to as well, is wack. Maybe it’s especially wack because the...

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Discretion

August 3, 2016
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Until my wife was injured at work this last winter, I’d never been inside the building where she works. Confidentiality protocols for residential drug treatment are stringent. If a woman I don’t know comes up to Mary and starts talking to her, I walk away. Most of the time, the woman is an ex-client. I don’t know a single one of their names. In fact, I couldn’t pick out more than five or six...

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Somebody leave the light on

July 9, 2016
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Maybe it’s because I was raised in an evangelical household. Or maybe it’s because the first statue I loved was Michelangelo’s Pieta. Because I looked at it and wondered what it would be like to love like that. The broken intimacy. I can’t watch the videos anymore, but when I read about someone being shot to death, I imagine that I am scooping them up in my arms. I have no context for imagining...

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The boy on the stage

June 9, 2016
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My son is what used to be called dreamy. A child with worlds inside him, and a narrative always mid-story. This week, I’ve been at his school every day. A band and orchestra concert. An afternoon of running to raise funds for the school. The talent show performance. Last night, I watched the blond of his hair, cut skater style, swoop across half his face as he played Summertime on the trumpet. Each note...

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Spotless

June 5, 2016
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My friend, Matt, is telling us about a book he’s reading. How it traces narrative and memory as they develop into a sense of person. What is person? Can it exist separate from memory? Separate from the story we tell ourselves about our experience? That was yesterday. So this evening I watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. My favorite film about memory. About how vulnerable we become without it. How could we possibly...

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No ill will

May 17, 2016
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My father drops my son off to me on Sunday evening and tells me that my ex is in the hospital. A congenital heart defect, surgically corrected three times prior, is failing again. “He’s coughing up blood,” my son says casually, before telling me what he’s going to play at the talent show. My child the compartmentalizer. We come up with coping strategies because they work. For a time. As long as everything stays...

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Arbor

May 11, 2016
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Our friend spent hours in our trees on Saturday bringing down dead branches. Afterward, you could feel the trees shake and stretch and stand straighter. He zipped up and down on his rope, sawing by hand and chain. We’ve dragged all the branches into piles in the side yard to be run through an industrial mulcher. All week, I’ve been thinking about loneliness. About how we sit with it. Our loneliness. And we either...

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