Friday Lunch! Weekly Blog

Writing My Way Home

In June, I was scheduled to go to my third ten day residency for an MFA program in creative writing and, unlike everyone else who was dying to immerse themselves in their passion and reconnect with their MFA friends, I felt ambivalent about my return. I worried that the program and my plan to be […]


All names and identifying data have been changed to protect privacy. In the four months since I was assaulted, I have managed to put together one poorly constructed, grim poem about a water bug and one song to accompany instruments I lack the talent to play. Today, in writing this, I am breaking ground, grasping […]

Breathing with My Better Angels

Every day I have trouble breathing. I am dependent on steroids. My childhood asthma has returned along with severe allergies to things like IV Contrast Dye. Two years ago I was rushed to the emergency room where I had emergency surgery for a burst appendix that the doctor said was one of the worst he’d […]

How Many Ohios?

  “…everything was marvelous and everything became gray and irrational and everything sparkled again, as when a cloud passes over the sun and the sun appears to flee, a timid, pale disk, near extinction, but now look, once the cloud dissolves it’s suddenly dazzling again, so bright you have to shield your eyes with your […]

Hail Mary

I texted the Lunch Ticket Editor-in-Chief Katelyn Keating late last night to say I didn’t know what I was going to do about this blog. Both of us are working on finishing our graduation requirements for the MFA in Creative Nonfiction this week at Antioch University. Neither of us is sleeping very much. There’s a […]

Let’s Put on a Play

In Ross Gay’s poem, To the Fig Tree on 9th and Christian, a group of pedestrians spontaneously gather around a fig tree and begin to savor the figs together. “Strangers maybe never again,” Gay writes. I think about this poem often; how good it makes me feel when I read it aloud. I love the image […]

Rain Clouds and Cherry Trees

The crowd presses around me. Hands reach up and out. Sticks hover above the fray, plastic extensions of their owners’ arms. Snap. Click. Ding. Shutter. A group of three women in front of me stop short to pose for the camera and a man collides into my back. He murmurs what I think is an […]

Dear Football, I Love You

Dear Football, I love you. You have been the love of my life for as long as I can remember. Everything good that I am, everything good that I will ever be, in part I owe to you. You were there for me when I thought all was lost. You picked me up and loved […]

Becoming Characters

I’m staring at the footage from a short film I shot two years ago. I put so much time and energy into the production—writing the screenplay, casting actors, rehearsing, raising money, planning the artistic design, figuring out technical aspects of the cinematography—only to see it shelved after production wrapped. Making films requires a lot of […]


Last year I attended a party with my mother, in honor of her friend Carolyn’s 75th birthday. The party was filled with people from my mother’s past. Most of them had met at Mesa Community College in the 1970s. They’d been part of a pilot program designed for women returning to school after taking hiatuses […]

Myths of Men

I am a myth-maker; I make myths of men. My journals and essays and mental spaces are filled with names like Jared, Jeter, and Jefferson, all of them monsters I tried to tame with a pen. My version of myth-making is a form of self-deception. I don’t do this on purpose. It’s a defective coping […]

Photo Sensitivity

I opened the door to my parents’ downstairs closet and flicked on the fluorescent lights. The room smelled like old coats and disuse. There I was again, home for the holidays and indulging in some bi-annual sentimental scavenging. My broken beginner’s Fender Stratocaster was leaning against the wall; on the high shelf sat a retired […]

A Story of Family

A line was already forming outside the glass doors of Queens County Family Court, on a grey February morning. It was 7:45. Inside, police officers milled about sipping coffee while municipal employees with key card access politely skirted the crowd, buzzing themselves in through a side door. At 8:00 one of the officers unlocked a […]

The Time of the Banshee

  On April 26, 2017, Hulu will release a TV series based on Margaret Atwood’s classic dystopian novel, The Handmaid’s Tale. Originally published in 1986, the story finds us in a North America occupied by the Republic of Gilead, a fundamentalist Christian government where women are a rigidly controlled sexual and reproductive commodity. It’s commonly […]

Why I Write About Whiteness

There was a time in my life when I entertained the idea of saying the following out loud—“I do not identify as white.” I considered saying this because in my cultural studies classes, at my liberal arts college, I had learned that race was a construct and that the concept of race was created by white people […]

Storytelling Lives: Just Keep Flying

Something has been missing. I’ve been looking for it since the election. Amid the noise of national politics I’ve felt an underlying void. There’s something that is bigger than my fear of the current administration or its impact. It’s bigger than Kellyanne Conway, Sean Spicer, and Michael Flynn. In my life, it’s bigger than whatever […]

The Model World

I think I’ve been to Disneyland twenty times since November 2016. I live in Orange County, about fifteen minutes from the park, and most days I wait till school is out so I can take my daughters with me. But I also go alone. I’m thirty-six. As kids growing up in San Diego, my sisters […]

Press Start to Continue

As a video game producer, my job is to address problems that arise in development. Whether it is to make a boring level fun, or to create a plan to moderate the penises that players inevitably create (using in-game text, player animations, or level editing tools), I work with my team to find solutions. And I’m […]

A Negro and a Hot Tub

The day begins with me realizing I am sore. My legs, butt, lower back, even my torso feel like I’ve been in a professional football game. Which is something I know a little bit about; once upon a time, though not for long, I ran with footballs for money. Presently, my soreness is the result […]

My Lover is Killing Me: Trauma and Writing

    I lost my mind again. I lose it frequently, to varying degrees, but it generally returns quickly. Lately, though, my mind has taken longer trips, leaving me alone with my body for weeks at a time. In its place, there is rage. I have stared blankly at the ceiling, contemplating suicide. I have […]

To My Past Selves

This is a love letter from me to you. Why? Because you deserve one. Because I miss you. Because it was just Valentine’s Day. Because I need to know what it was in you that always demanded an audience, that so craved connection, that sought relief in everything from loud music to medication. I created […]

Middle School is for Monsters

all names and identifying data have been changed to protect privacy My friend Rebecca and I, both writers, have been invited to lead a creative writing and empowerment group for girls at a local middle school. Our own adolescence is a distant country, but we both remember discovering our writing, our creative process, at that […]

The Wishful Dread of a Career in Art

I used to ghostwrite erotica novels. It was lucrative and consistent work doing something I love—telling stories. I could embarrass myself here trying to justify why I had a penchant to write drivel, but my point is to illustrate that ghostwriting erotica was quite literally the only thing I could will myself to do for […]

The Beauty of Release

For two years and five months beginning in 2006, I lived in a 3000-square foot home—a sprawling suburban dream. It was a contemporary Spanish colonial with a red tiled roof and a series of sloping arches that surrounded the white stucco façade. My mother thought our house was the town library the first time she […]

Rituals of Kindness

                … for all our outward differences, we in fact all share the same proud type, the most important office in a democracy, Citizen. ~President Barack Obama I have an aging mom. She lives in Brooklyn, New York while I live in Los Angeles. We talk almost every […]

Americans: Seeing Ourselves Through Growing Darkness

We all seemed small in the shadow cast by the Los Angeles Federal Building on Wilshire. The building, which is in an area known as Unincorporated Sawtelle­­­­—a parcel of land, surrounded by LA that is not part of LA County—is a white monolithic structure with columns that the eye follows from ground to sky. I […]

Rest Up and Wake Up

Last week, while walking a lazy lap around Echo Park Lake, I overheard a lady scolding her dog as she fed the ducks. “No, that’s not for you. Stop that,” she said to her boisterous companion: a handsome black Lab with a puppy’s playful eyes. The lady’s hair was bleached blonde. She wore cat-eye glasses […]

Notes from the Daughter of a True Believer

The many voices are taking over the mono-voice. For fuck’s sake, let them. ~Lidia Yuknavitch, December 2015, speaking at AULA   I was raised under the prism of an American myth.              My father taught me what it meant to be American. He was an officer in the United States […]

Exit Manual

You have a waking nightmare, one that is recurring. You find yourself once again among the crowd at Disneyland pushing your small children before you in a double-wide stroller. (No, this is not the extent of the nightmare.) Everyone is steaming; everyone has theme-park fatigue and the solution is always to find a nice long […]

Not Fade Away

I’m beyond your peripheral vision / so you might want to turn your head ~Ani DiFranco The night before Thanksgiving in 1995, while driving home from college, my friends and I were pulled over in my ’73 VW Bus. The State Troopers claimed to smell pot as their probable cause to search. Though we had smoked […]