Why I Quit Church

It’s been two years since I quit the table— and the pew; since I’ve pinched the broken piece of bread between my fingers and dipped it in the crimson cup. The body and blood of Jesus, given for me . . . and promptly declined. At first, it wasn’t on purpose. (There was a global […]

Why are you in the Queue?

Here in the queue, time stands still, like the rest of us— whispering of a million things to do but THIS. I ignore her taunts for the brush with greatness I’ll find at this line’s end. A man ahead of me presses for some Marlboros. The one after inches forward with a six-pack of microbrews. […]

What We Waive

Here, between the corners of this flat, concrete square— is the crushing weight of contradiction, everywhere: Cameras, hidden, in pedestrian plain sight. One guard pats me down at the fence with steely, cold precision— while a second scolds a tiny toddler squeezing through another. (The one that protects the towering monument above from an onslaught […]

The Unlived Life

You go there. I do too, sometimes. Here’s mine: I’m in a packed-out bar sitting at a table, elbow-to-elbow, with my closest friends. The burly man on stage does tap-“check-check” as he tiptoes around some electric guitars, an upright piano, maybe even a few drums, and then slips into the spotlight. “C’mon down!” he proclaims […]

Podcast: Through Thorns of Belonging

The walk on the narrow path towards belonging means scraping past a million thorny thickets. Writer and poet Prasanta Verma feels your pain. She meets us in The Mudroom after navigating the twists, turns, and pinpricks of belonging in ways few of us can imagine. Join us, today, for a way forward on the path […]

Under this Same Sun

It wasn’t cued to play today. It’s been years. But somehow between My Chemical Romance, Green Day, Imogen Heap, and all the other music encroaching the playlists of parents with teens, it surfaced: This fragment of life Lora gave me a lifetime ago. I listen to The Weepies, as the Steve Tannen from 16 years […]

Podcast: The Secret to a Life of Words

Writer Nicole Walters meets us in The Mudroom today to share some highlights of her journey of words. She elaborates on the absolute necessity for collegiality in her writing life and describes her strategy for theme writing.  References: The Bluest Eye by Toni  Morrison Nicole’s most recent Mudroom piece: “Grace in the Middle” http://mudroomblog.com/grace-in-the-middle/ Mudroom Podcast, Episode 5: Finding Grace […]

Podcast: What Are You Afraid Of?

Season 1, Episode 4 Catherine McNiel is asking this question of herself and others: “What are you afraid of?” Why, she asks, are we, as Christ-followers, often taught to fear our neighbors, withhold hospitality from strangers, and vilify the “others”–those whose beliefs, appearances, and lives look different than our own and perceive them as a […]

We’re Doing a New Thing!

We Turned 7! Today marks the 7th anniversary of The Mudroom!   It started with a dream I had to create a space where everyone was welcomed, whether you were a published author or submitting for the first time. It was going to be a place where writers weren’t competing for spots in a spirit […]

Christmas Unabridged

A light glares in my eyes as I’m lowered into position. Handheld torture devices encircle my head. I am at the mercy of my interrogator. There is no mincing of words in THE CHAIR. There is only cutting to the quick:  “How was your Thanksgiving?” she leans in. The dreaded loaded question. (You know.) How […]

Whispers from the Side Door

She scuffs over sidewalks toward heavy high school doors, (always locked) with dauntless steps that prick my heart. One thing I know: Her feet will forever fall on roads in want of wear.1 Frost – he got to choose. But not my girl. Neurons woven together in secret places— before she drew breath— birthed a […]

Here Lies Fear

Coming of age in any epoch means WEATHER.           Doing it as a burgeoning evangelical in the late 1900s (as my kids love to remind me) was like sipping a tempest in a teacup. There was no smoking, no parties or swearing for this sold-out Jesus-freak. There were—instead—bad perms, sub-par Christian rock, and not-so-subtle-sweatshirts like this […]

Where Truth Lies

You’ve seen it. In rush-hour traffic or the drop-off lane. Bumper Sticker Theology: Big letters. Bright backgrounds. Bold and brief statements . . . About eternity. A precursor to the Socials’ holy eye candy, Christian bumper stickers pack the one-two punch of VISIBILITY and IRRITABILITY for captive audiences. Like their political counterparts, critics have responded […]

Hollowed (Out) Halls of Justice

My daughter excels at catching insects with her bare hands. This skill set is on par with her fluency in “meme” and her ability keep up with Daveed Diggs’ light-speed verses in Hamilton. I am in awe of these aptitudes, and that she wields them despite sharing DNA with me. So, I wasn’t surprised when […]

True (Ghost) Stories

Dear Reader, There are those songs we all have in our heads . . . Some come and go. Others settle in for a season. Then there are the few that linger the longest—part of ghosts from the past, perhaps, that we can’t quite shake. This month’s theme, the virtue of simplicity, conjured up a […]

These Three Lines

Creepy Lines His classmates trickle into school, trapped Brady-Bunch style in their respective squares. Each boasts a customized backdrop: outer space, Minecraft, background blur, a zoo . . . and Mom-zilla fixing to eat her offspring for breakfast. “Your mom must be thrilled with your background!” my son’s teacher types in the chat. I read […]