When the Tooth Fairy Finally Came

When Poppy fell
on Leo and knocked out
his very first loose tooth
he sprang up from the ground
sweeping the carpet with his hands
searching, as if for a silver coin.
Finding it he rose,
triumphant, a ribbon of blood
separating his lip from his bottom row
of remaining teeth, his entire face
a gap-toothed smile.

That night he placed his tooth
in a small plastic box where it rattled
when he shook it and when he took it,
nestled it under his pillow, perhaps
a little bit afraid of
what it meant for the tooth fairy
to visit him while he slept.

Two mornings later (because his tooth
fairy is tired and feeling the gray February
days deep in the bones) Leo woke to find
a crisp, folded $5 bill in the place of his tooth.

Yet

he cried, because a piece of him was
gone forever
and what use does a 6-year-old have
for $5?

I wonder about the pieces of us we have lost
in the last year, and if we will ever find value
in what we’ve received in exchange.

I kept his tooth in a small plastic bag under
my bed, didn’t have the heart to throw
it away. And I meant to replace it
the next night with a note
from the tooth fairy, explaining
how he could keep this one. But, alas,
I am tired and feeling these gray
February days deep in my bones,
so I forgot. And
after another day,
so did he.

So now there is a tiny tooth, a little piece of him,
in a small plastic bag that I keep
beside my bed. A reminder, I suppose,
of the things we lose, the pain
of loss, and how quickly
life moves on.

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Did you know Maile and I are offering a fiction-writing course called The Nine Month Novel? If you’ve ever wanted to write a novel, or have a novel you haven’t been able to finish, we’d love for you to join us. Check out the details HERE.

NEW EPISODE! S4E11: That Thing Our Family Tried in January

Shawn and Maile talk about the Great January Experiment–what it was, how their kids reacted to the idea, and the results they saw. They also revisit the idea of setting expectations, goals, and dreams, and then making sure your life is aligned with the direction you’d like to be heading.

Interested in their new course, The Nine Month Novel? Check it out HERE.

Kate Motaung’s wonderful community, Five Minute Friday

And this was the first episode we discussed expectations, goals, and dreams: What Do You Want?

If you love the content we’re creating, or if you’d like access to some bonus interviews and other material, or if you’d just like to help us feed our six children, you can contribute $5 / month over at our Patreon account to make all of that happen. This podcast depends on listeners like you! Thank you!

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As always, there are a few ways to listen: click the play button in the image above, go to our webpage to hear this and all of our other episodes, or head on over to Apple podcasts or Spotify!

And keep writing!

NEW EPISODE! S4E10 Beth Stedman and the Art of Getting Unstuck

“At the beginning of the year I felt like everyone else was moving somewhere, and I was stuck.” Beth Stedman joins us today to talk about rejection, choosing to write no matter the results, escapist literature, and the role creativity has played during the last ten years as her husband has continued his journey with cancer.

Also, check out the two episodes when Maile and Shawn were each guests over at Beth’s podcast, Fable and the Verbivore. Maile’s episode is HERE, and Shawn’s is HERE.

Music by Lucy Leigh.

If you love the content we’re creating, or if you’d like access to some bonus interviews and other material, or if you’d just like to help us feed our six children, you can contribute $5 / month over at our Patreon account to make all of that happen. This podcast depends on listeners like you! Thank you!

* * * * *

As always, there are a few ways to listen: click the play button in the image above, go to our webpage to hear this and all of our other episodes, or head on over to Apple podcasts or Spotify!

And keep writing!

NEW EPISODE! S4E9: This New Thing We’re Doing

Maile and I talk about what we’re currently writing and then get rather excited as we describe this new journey we’re inviting you to join us on. 

Music by Lucy Leigh.

If you love the content we’re creating, or if you’d like access to some bonus interviews and other material, or if you’d just like to help us feed our six children, you can contribute $5 / month over at our Patreon account to make all of that happen. This podcast depends on listeners like you! Thank you!

* * * * *

As always, there are a few ways to listen: click the play button in the image above, go to our webpage to hear this and all of our other episodes, or head on over to Apple podcasts or Spotify!

And keep writing!

NEW EPISODE! S4E8: Janelle Stoltzfus and Walking the Valley of the Shadow of Death

Last fall, our good friend and fellow creative Janelle Stoltzfus discovered that she had breast cancer. Weeks later, soon after her lumpectomy, she received the news that her mother had a brain tumor, a glioblastoma, and had weeks to live. Today, we hear her story and, as always, try to discover the role that creativity might play in these difficult days. 

Visit Janelle’s beautiful creation, Millstream Home.

Shawn reads from the book The Reed of God, by Carol Houselander.

Maile reads the poem “Breathing Underwater” by Carol Bieleck.

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As always, there are a few ways to listen: click the play button in the image above, go to our webpage to hear this and all of our other episodes, or head on over to Apple podcasts or Spotify!

If you enjoy the podcast and would like to see it continue, and if you’d like exclusive access to Maile’s writing and other bonus material (including the one where we talk about our very favorite book of 2020), please join our Patreon community at the $5 / month level HERE.

And keep writing!

NEW EPISODE! S4E7 Jamie Harrison on Memory, Writing Mysteries, and Why She Never Wanted to be a Writer

Jamie Harrison joins us today to talk about all kinds of interesting things, like how reliable she thinks her childhood memories are, what her process is in writing mystery novels, and what it was like growing up the daughter of writer Jim Harrison (author of Legends of the Fall). 

A talented writer and a kind guest, Jamie brings us along on her writing journey. I know you’ll enjoy this one.

Jamie Harrison’s new book, The Center of Everything.

An interview with Jamie over at Literary Hub. Continue reading “NEW EPISODE! S4E7 Jamie Harrison on Memory, Writing Mysteries, and Why She Never Wanted to be a Writer”