Doobuck’s Room

“How much is she going to pay me?” Susan finally asked through gritted teeth, still staring at her dimeless four dollars.

“Why nothing! My word.” Mrs. Peck’s face turned red. “Mrs. Oliver is a personal friend of mine; one I am proud to count. It would be an insult to ask her for money. She’s in need and I promised to help her. Selfish girl. I already pay you four dollars a week. Look in your hands.”

Nowhere Man – Novel Excerpt from Sol & Serafina & the A.I.R.

“He might have some thoughts,” was all her mom, Luz, said, cancelling early Spanish classes at St. Cecilia’s.  As long as Serafina wouldn’t get tricked by therapy into talking about stealing the mini-van at midnight to meet a boy who ghosted her at the winery—which got robbed after she forgot to rearm the alarm—before she lost the only key to aunt Julieta’s heirloom Armada chest from Mexico—she’d see the good doctor.

 Writing in Crayon: Celebrating the “Disparate”

In my writing and reading life, I thank as "family": Cervantes, whose Don Quijote battled lies with the swords of the imagination; García Márquez, whose notes from life "helped themselves to coincidences forbidden to fiction"; Isabel Allende whose magical humor lends resilience in tragedy. And as I write these days in a vein of the "fantastic" in my novel, I include Julio Cortázar, with his alternating currents of glittering worlds.  

The Search for Cowboy Broken Horse

If there’s one thing I know, it’s that going to Oklahoma is never a solution to my problems. If there’s a second thing I know, it’s that when I’m looking for a lost relative, I can probably find them at the casino, and I was looking for a lost relative I never had met. I hadn’t even known I had him until a few hours ago.

The Absolutely True Story of a Devoted Reader

I didn’t discover Sherman Alexie until well after college, but when I did, I felt at home. He was the first author I read that talked about the experiences of going to Indian Health Services, of being different from both white people and his own family and tribe, and of the struggles of modern Natives in the U.S. I laughed aloud when I read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, and then I basically demanded everyone I know read it.