Friday Lunch! Weekly Blog

Artists in a Divided America

It’s Thursday, November 10th and I’m in downtown Salt Lake City listening to women, queer, American Indian, black, and Latino folks speak on State Street. It’s seven o’clock and completely dark and the city lights twinkle around me and my wife. We’re here for one reason: On Tuesday night, Donald Trump was elected President of the United […]

Wednesday’s Children

Dear Lunch Ticket Readers, On Fridays, Lunch Ticket always publishes an original blog, written by someone from the blog team. We try to blend the idiosyncratic with the universal. We talk about how we live and write. Today, in the aftermath of the election, in lieu of our usual one-author essay, the blog is a […]

Where the Women Are

How do I say this? I’ve been trying to say it for years.  Wait, let me think. Yes. Years. I can’t say it in conversation. I am never very articulate in speech. I get over-excited and miss my meaning. I swing hard but the ball flies past me, through my bat, snaps into the catcher’s […]

Thank You, Donald

According to Darwin, the earthworm is an essential player in creating the fertile conditions for the perpetuation of plant life. I remember the earthworms of my Brooklyn childhood. Slimy and gray, fattened on a diet of dirt and decay, they crawled to the surface through cracks in the sidewalk. In a display of girlish torment […]

The Cone of Uncertainty

Felt the lightning / And we waited on the thunder / Waited on the thunder ~Bob Seger Monday, 3 October St. Johns County has been placed in the 5 day forecast cone by the National Hurricane Center. A workshop submission is due today for my MFA residency in December. At 5:00, I send it away […]

Moths to a Flame

In July 2012, my teenaged daughter Reiley and I hiked into the San Gorgonio Wilderness—a landscape of rolling foothills, canyons, and steep slopes that marks the eastern boundary of the Los Angeles Basin. Our destination was Mt. San Gorgonio. The 11,503-foot peak, fondly called “Old Greyback,” is the highest mountain between the Sierra Nevada mountain […]

The Over Under

I’ve always loved the ocean. When I was a child my family visited friends on the Jersey shore in the summers. We spent most of that time on a small stretch of beach a few blocks from the summer home the friends all shared. The adults would set up their beach chairs for the day, […]

No Other Loss Can Occur So Quietly

I used to pray a God was listening I used to make my parents proud I was the glue that kept my friends together Now they don’t talk and we don’t go out I used to know the name of every person I kissed Now I made this bed and I can’t fall asleep in […]

Best of the Net 2016 nominations

Lunch Ticket is honored and proud to nominate the following two pieces in Fiction, two in Creative Nonfiction, and six Poems from our Winter/Spring 2016 and Summer/Fall 2016 issues for Sundress Publication’s Best of the Net 2016. Do read these wonderful pieces! 1.HONOR’S JUSTICE by SABRINA FEDEL ISSUE: WINTER/SPRING 2016 2.RUIN by LENA KHALAF TUFFAHA ISSUE: WINTER/SPRING 2016 3.DOWN […]

On Apples, Walnuts, and G. K. Chesterton

This month I am struggling with my writing. I may be falling into the trap of trying to write “well.” In my desire to improve my work, I leave the world of honest reflection and search for beautifully descriptive language instead, trying, perhaps too hard, to be good at it. I recently discovered the English […]

The Dog Days are Over

… I never wanted anything from you / Except everything you had / And what was left after that too… ~Florence Welch & Isabella Summers   With tonight’s Harvest Moon and next week’s equinox, autumn is upon us. I’m not sorry to see this summer go: my once-disciplined practice of writing first thing each morning […]

Home Alone

In June, my husband took our daughters to Kansas City for two weeks. We thought it would be a good time for them to travel without me because I’d be at my MFA residency in Los Angeles and it’s hard to coordinate child care for the four and six-year-old in my absence. It’s hard to […]

Back to School

Back to school arrives so early now—often weeks before Labor Day, the unofficial last day of summer. Thanks to my teaching schedule, which doesn’t begin until late September, and home-schooling history, I routinely extend summertime for my children. I teach summer school in July to fund late summer road trips. Instead of posing for pictures […]

Seed to Cup

My job is as a roaster and green buyer for a coffee company. I roast the coffee but I also source the green (unroasted) coffee beans (technically green coffee is a seed and not a legume), and so it’s my job to taste samples and figure out what roast profiles work best for each specific […]

Finding Voice

My parents were not joiners. Mom was a healthcare worker. Singing on the church choir and attending occasional PTA meetings was the extent of her activism. My dad, employed as a transit worker, occupied his free time trying to out run his despair. Though both of my parents were members of labor unions (Local 1199 […]

Cor Exaudientis

He whispers again, dragging the listening heart of the young nurse beside him to wherever his mind is, into that well of memory… ~Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient I owe a debt of gratitude to middle school Latin. I could already pronounce and spell many words in the language of medical terminology when I started […]

The Right to Write

“Isn’t it her right to write her experience in the way she experienced it?” My friend and I were having a heated discussion about the New York Times best-selling novel, All the Bright Places, and I’d said that I thought the portrayal of one of the main characters reinforced negative stereotypes about people with mental […]

Mommy, What if It’s Terrorists?

  French National Day commemorates the July 14, 1789 storming of the Bastille by a mob of enraged Parisians looking for ammunition in the fortress-prison that symbolized the tyrannical Bourbon monarchy.  The Bastille’s fall marks the beginning of the French Revolution. On Bastille Day this year, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel drove a nineteen-ton white Renault truck […]

Making Art from the Everyday

When I was sixteen I read a Christian men’s book called Wild At Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul. The book was about how to unleash the inner William Wallace (from the film Braveheart), and live a life of adventure and danger (within, of course, the bounds of traditional gender roles and conservative, evangelical Christianity). […]

Subway Home

Home is that accumulation of memory and sensation, not always sweet but invariably familiar. The familiarity is a gift which never ceases to orient me to my place in the world. As a memoirist, I draw on the abundance of this gift to excavate building blocks of story buried deep in my subconscious. My long […]

In Service of Writing

The restaurant buzzes. She might as well be on Mars. / Where did it all go wrong? ~John Berryman, “Dream Song 4” Next year I will turn forty. Thirty-nine feels dire some days, at the edge of oblivion. I walked away from my career last year to start grad school and focus on writing, and now […]

Thank You

This is a letter of gratitude. Gratitude for having had the opportunity to serve as Blog Editor here at Lunch Ticket for two issues. Gratitude for my peers in the writing community. Gratitude for being given the privilege of editing and writing among such a talented gaggle of writers (an inkwell of writers? a creed […]

A Recreational Use of Self

When I arrive at the DMV at eight in the morning, the line is already out the door. A woman wanders person-to-person managing the queue with a clipboard of forms and checklists. She asks me what I am here for and when I say “Name change,” she congratulates me. “Thank you, I’m glad it’s over […]

It’s Always Harder than it Looks

    Recently, my son Quentin called to report that he’d summited Mt. Rubidoux and would be home soon for dinner. I chuckled. Mt. Rubidoux is, more accurately, a hill that rises 500 feet above the Santa Ana River in Western Riverside. Under most circumstances, “summit” would be excessive, though that was not the case […]

Now More Than Ever, Kendrick Lamar and Beyoncé

(What the white man say?) A piece of mine’s That’s what the white man wanted when I rhyme “Untitled 3,” Kendrick Lamar In my small mountain hometown of Bailey, Colorado—filled with rednecks, conservative Christians, new age hippies, construction workers, adventure enthusiasts, and commuters to Denver, most of whom, like me, were white—I grew up knowing […]

It’s All Uphill (Unless It’s Downhill) From Here

When I graduated from University of California, Irvine in 1980, with a BFA in theatre, I didn’t stick around for the commencement speech. The day of my last class was the same day I boarded a plane and flew back to New York. I hadn’t been in Southern California by choice. Six years had gone […]

The Antioch Review: Our Response

Dear Lunch Ticket readers, The literary community has circulated a letter criticizing The Antioch Review’s recent publication of a piece by Daniel Harris, titled “The Sacred Androgen: The Transgender Debate.” If you haven’t read the piece, I cannot in good conscience recommend that you do. However, many of us have. Appalled at its ill-informed and insensitive […]

Lighter Than Air

There are only two interesting structures in Tustin, California, the city where I now live. They’re a pair of identical military blimp hangars, built in 1942 from Oregon Douglas fir. The city is tearing them down. These are among the biggest wooden structures on the planet; indeed, they contain the largest covered, unobstructed open space […]

On Empathy and Race

My grandparents, Henry Bullock and Lucille Ford Bullock, were farmers and owned their land. They grew corn and tobacco. As a child I helped remove eggs from the chicken coop and heeded the warning to stay away from Henry’s old mule. Lucille canned peaches, pickled cucumbers, made applesauce, jellies, and strawberries stewed in sugar. She […]

At the Junction of History and Fiction: A Family Reunion

Last summer, my brother and I met a first cousin for the very first time at a café called L’Improbable in the Marais in Paris. She shared the feminine form of my brother’s name: Frédérique. She was a journalist and arts lover, about to turn fifty. We had been playing e-mail tag for a few […]