“Small Lessons:” An Essay about 7-11 in Japan

If you’ve ever wondered how 7-11 can be dear to your heart, you can read about it in my essay, “Small Lessons,” recently published in Tales to Go by Traveler’s Tales!

The magazine does require a subscription to view the volume, but the essays found there are well worth a read!


Here’s a small sample of my essay:

I have a confession to make. I think I’m in love with a 7-11. Now, before I go too much farther, let me try to assuage your appropriate horror by saying that this newfound love found me, not here in the United States, but in the little lakeside town of Yamanakako, Japan.

Our meeting was sudden, and we met each other through Valerie, one of my new classmates at the school we were attending together. It turns out that Valerie, having lived in Japan for ten years, was an old friend of 7-11. I watched her gleeful expression, the face of someone holding a present behind her back, and wondered why she couldn’t wait to introduce us. Perhaps she didn’t realize that I had been burned before by a 7-11, that there was a long history of road trips to Texas, to California, and to everywhere else stretching between us.

If you like, read the rest here: Small Lessons at Tales to Go

Steampunk (A Mini Manifesto)

: space and time travel, steam, Victorian sensibilities, and various other diverse rudiments melded into anachronistic combinations

: a subgenre of science fiction and fantasy literature emphasizing steam-powered and clockwork technology

: a past built from known history and what might have been to create a world that never was


Steampunk—as a genre, aesthetic, fashion, lifestyle— is difficult to define. Perhaps this is because unlike other terms, it can be any and all of those listed items at once. It’s recognized by the popular image of top hats and goggles, Victorian dress accessorized with practicality (or impracticality just as often). But it is much more than this. Steampunk is a realm of explorers, artists, airship pilots, scientists (mad and sane), tinkers, librarians, dreamers…anything you can imagine. Continue reading

Hope and Freefalling


: to cherish a desire with anticipation

 : to desire with expectation of obtainment

 : to expect with confidence

 : trust

Hope is a word we are well familiar with. Too often, it shares the same corner of our linguistic minds as the word “love.” Often used, it often slips into casualness, sweat pants and shortcuts rather than the complex richness and romance we associate with the words found in the above definition. We find ourselves saying things like, “I hope you have a good day” and “I hope the weather will be nice tomorrow,” but if you consider the manner in which this sentiment is imparted, would you say that you’re expecting with confidence that that person’s day will be a good one, or that you’re cherishing a desire for fine weather with the anticipation that it will happen the next day? Continue reading