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Creative Non-Fiction
personal essays, etc.

July 2009

Confetti Love Miriam Zoll

At the red light I jumped out of the car into the cold December night.  We had been fighting these last few weeks. Quibbling was really the right word.  Putting our fingers on the small pulses of our life together and offering polite critiques like rabid political pundits during the presidential season.

This evening Michael was pointing out the negative ways I continued to frame the disappointments of my life.  He wanted desperately to have a glass half full but I was still half empty.

 “I will not paint a smile on my face where one does not exist,” I told him angrily as I slammed the car door.
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Parenting Teens After the Advent of the Internet by Dr. J Hannah Greenberg

It would have been safer to leave them with a loaded
Desert Eagle than with a screen tuned to the World Wide Web.

Ours is home filled with computers. My life’s work is writing and teaching writing. My husband is a software architect. Computers have long served as word processors and data banks for me. They have long served as a livelihood for my husband.

He and I used to joke, decades earlier, that he could both pop together the hardware (he had studied electrical engineering during a time when no computer science departments, per say, existed) and then create sufficient code to program his creation. I used to joke that there wasn’t a genre with which I hadn’t fooled around or a research method that I hadn’t tried (think physical file cards in physical libraries and physical periodical reference guides).
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Under the Hood by Dr. J Hannah Greenberg

When I am otherwise encased in that happy oblivion of “my-teenage-son-is-talking-to-me,”
I have to be extra careful not to be made the fool.


Driving around with a teenage son requires negotiation, especially if that lad has lapsed into the “I-want-to-talk-about- late-date-car-models-and-about- airplane-technology- and-I-want-to-be-a nuclear physicist-when-I- grow-up” developmental stage. Essentially, during that phase of growth, engineering topics are pertinent, as are discussions of nuclear chemistry, but talks about the need to sweep the salon or about why teens have to stop playing basketball on the rooftop merpesset after certain hours of the night are considered obviously irrelevant and certainly boring. A little Gemara is acceptable for talk, if you are the father, but not if you are the mother, and criticism about how the rice turned out remains a viable topic.
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updated: July 2009