By Claire Carey Deering

Claire Carey Deering believes less is more, in writing and in life. She’s not too fond of makeup (much to her mother’s chagrin) or clutter, but can’t get enough of clean sentences that cut to the heart and interesting people that others overlook. She spends her days dreaming up characters, writing YA and memoir, and enjoying the grace of a second chance. Claire currently lives in Seattle, but feels most at home wherever her husband and son happen to be.

Homesick

There is a field behind our new house, with an invisible stream buried under all that tall grass. I know–from a map–that this little swath of hidden blue becomes the Lacamas River, just east of where I can see. In the morning, I watch the cows, gathered in circles, gossiping in voices that sound like…

Candle-Makers

From the freeway, the empty wagon bows straddling the Oregon Trail museum look like the giant ribcage of a prehistoric whale left out in the sun. Inside the museum, we join school children as they watch a documentary in which dramatic voiceovers of settlers talk about their run-ins with the “Red Man.” A few minutes…

The Ghost of Joy

We’ve just returned from Hawaii, specifically Ko Olina, a stretch of land named for joy. Literally: the fulfillment of joy. I’m not great at joy. Empathy? Yes, pretty solid. Introspection? To a fault. Raucous, made-you-look-joy? Well, let’s just say it isn’t my default. We’ve recently moved 143 miles from Seattle to Vancouver, and I’m in…

Blind as a Bat

As I left work in the afternoon, I felt my contact lens bunch up into the corner of my eye. I blinked a few times, contemplated getting off the freeway to fix it, and then decided it wasn’t that bad. By the time I was on the 520 bridge, both eyes were watering. I squeezed…

Bedtime Stories

We begin and end our days in darkness right now. Seattle is in full-blown winter mode, and so am I—hunkered down and hibernating in this long season. Just getting myself and my three-year-old dressed and out the door in time for work and preschool feels daunting. To top it off, he is especially clingy right…

Disarmed

On Friday, I woke up early, put on my jeans, a long-sleeve shirt, my wool jacket, and a pair of thick-soled tennis shoes before grabbing Dan’s ski gloves from the closet. The campus-wide invitation said to bring a pair, and, if there is one thing I’m good at, it is planning ahead to avoid pain.…