ebook finally available 

The Power of Thirteen revised ending ebook edition is finally available – FREE


When the book was first published in 2003, Paul Quarrington wrote, “The Power of Thirteen cuts straight to the bone. This novel is compact and disturbing, written in prose that has been pierced and tattooed.”


alive in an eara where platitudes won’t comfort

channel 790

I’m just a girl. Right? Aren’t we all just girls and boys?

Here we are standing at the edge of a whole new world, together.

And although we fight and remain stuck in our identities as caretakers and protectors and lovers and parents, if we look just above, we will see all of us holding hands, bravely facing one of the most beautiful beginnings together.

Because we’re all just girls and boys here in these bodies, with parents and friends and frenemies and beloved ones and lovers, spinning us in circles, tying us in knots over what is no longer real, but has affected us just the same.

Here we are in our bodies wrapped like mummies in the coal mine dark miasma of our pain and our ancestors.

Here we are sunk by our own thoughts, the ones that tell us we’re not good enough.

Here we are shoulder to shoulder craving a better view, completely lost to the solid comfort of life together, trying to erase the fears that leaked down into our hearts when we were looking somewhere else, not quite able to believe yet that when we do look up, that is us.

All of us. You, me, that guy over there who is certain he doesn’t get nature, the woman who keeps missing the bus.

Here we are together just up there.

While down here we’re caught on heavy strings, because even though they are just as invisible, we feel the weight more easily than we feel the light, the buoyancy of our higher connections.

Here is me in my body walking just far enough to sing a clear note. Here is me in my body stopping every few steps to write another lyric. Here is me in my body flowing with the power of love even as the crows caw mercilessly.

Here is me wondering why I ever believed a merciless person would arrive one day with grace.

And there we are, just above, graceful as we’ll ever be. Patiently waiting for each of us to look up and believe what we see, gently encouraging and supporting us along the way.

Never knowing true peace in life, it feels impossible to believe its real, never mind possible.

Never knowing true buoyancy in our bodies, we seek what feels real rather than what could be beyond these hurts.

Not trusting yet that it takes one truly loving moment, beyond what human love can bring, to open us up to that curiosity like floss between our teeth, that instinct that knowing and craving that never leaves us.

Even when we have spent years wandering without that desire up front in our minds and hearts.

What is lost will be found and what is promised will be delivered.

If we ever feel alone or in need, walk with us, loves. Take a moment to breathe inspiration into the deepest fingers of our lungs. Let’s make ourselves proud.

sunny side up


Cooking on a gas range top for months as the valve seems to slowly break.

At first, it was the eggs. I’ve had this stove for years, I know how to work with uneven heat.

Some mornings I had to throw them in the garbage and start again. I mean, eggs. I began to lose my patience.

But I can’t afford a new stove. The money just isn’t there. So, I do what I always do. I work with what I have.

In the middle of the night a few weeks ago, after three days in a row of giving up on breakfast and going to work hungry, I laid perfectly still, waiting for the breeze to reach my sweaty forehead.

Eyes open, looking at a stucco ceiling in the dark as the light from street lamps play with the ruffled leaves and cast certain shadows, shapes that feel familiar.

A desire to give up cooking eggs altogether rising up from my chest, from somewhere behind my heart, but there’s nothing else for breakfast. That’s it. That’s all I have. Eggs that are delivered to my door each week as part of the communal fresh food project I signed up for. It was supposed to reduce the grocery bills.

But now I can’t remember how to shop in a store. On the third day without breakfast, I tried to find something in the cereal aisle. Picking up boxes with shaking hands. Reading ingredients out loud, hoping a nice old woman would come by to offer help.

The store was pretty bare that morning. And nothing on the boxes made sense. I couldn’t figure out what I would have been ingesting, so I put the boxes down on the floor and walked out without anything.

Watching the blotches of light on my ceiling and how they don’t bleed into the shadows. Wondering what is the purpose of light that remains separate.

Going to the bathroom at four in the morning, splashing water on my face to wash off the sheen of sleeplessness. In the mirror, in the dim light afforded by a lamp I had left burning in the other room, I look at myself.

There I am. There is me. The me that I am right now. The me that is a harmonious collection of each moment I’ve lived so far.

If harmony exists, then so must discord. And this sets my tired brain cranking the handle that starts up the cogs.

Parts of me hurting parts of you the way they hurt me, the way you reacted to them.

Parts of you twisting parts of me the way they twisted you, the way they tied me down.

Parts of us working together to kick parts of them in the back of their knees, felling them the way they once tore us down.

Parts of them laughing at us, picking us up by the hair, flicking us back through the air.

Parts of them leaving us the way they were left, the way they would, so long ago, discard a stale, half eaten butter and sugar sandwich even though they were starving.

None of this makes sense to me at four oh nine in the morning. But there it is, a jumble of ideas flowing through my mind, coming out as words that might make sense later.

Back in bed, reluctant to close my eyes, hesitant to allow time to march forward.

To face another morning trying to make eggs when failure seems likely feels like too much.

I want to curl up under my blanket and stay all day, forgetting about everything, letting whatever needs to be done be put on hold.

Have I reached the summit, I wonder. Could this possibly be what the summit feels like?

I always imagined the highest point to come with elation.

And then I remember, almost eight months ago, how I climbed that steep hill and stayed with the breath that filled and then left my lungs.

At the top, I threw my hands up in the air like I had won the lottery. I knew somehow this would change things. And my nerves spoke gently to my mind. Somehow, I believed the accomplishment would bring a need to be more cautious.

Maybe this giving up on eggs for a day even though there is nothing else for breakfast is a low, not a high.

I can’t tell anymore, because so many summits have felt like pain and so many valleys have felt like relief.