I usually have other things percolating and going on in my brain, and it turns out people like to read them. You’ll find links and excerpts here.

 


Columns

Maggie McReynolds headshot as a Huffington Post Lifestyle bloggerHuffPost Lifestyle “The Blog”

Here is my profile and archive page as a Huffington Post blogger. Follow the link above to sign up for the RSS Feed. Below are links to my columns:

Why New Year’s Day Is an Illusion / 12/30/15

Why Rom-Com Chicks Eat Chinese Takeout / 1/21/16

 


 

Fiction

Crazy Like Me, a novel in progress

CHAPTER ONE

When I got home, I found my father leaning against the front door.

For a sideways slip of a moment, I was eight years old and it was Dad’s weekend to drive downstate and take me back with him to the city. Even though I’d know to expect him when I got home from school, my stomach would still give a giddy lurch when I rounded the corner and saw the sun glinting off his landau-roofed red Plymouth in our driveway. I’d run the last two blocks, heart pounding, in order to fling myself into his sweaty, oversized embrace.

This time, this day, I wasn’t expecting him. There was a box, wrapped in brown paper and addressed to me in my grandmother’s crabbed hand. I figured maybe it was an early birthday present, so I picked it up and shook it a little, dismayed that whatever was inside appeared to be broken. But then, without ever having heard the sound before, I recognized it as fine bone chips and ash—what was left of my dad—sliding from one end to the other. It had the incongruously serene susurrance of a rain stick.

My grandmother had sent my father—without warning, without insurance—by parcel post. I think my dad would have thought it funny…

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Non-fiction Book Excerpt

Story Wrangling: How to Create and Craft the Stories that Shape Your Life

Stories? I got a million of ’em.

So, as it happens, do you.

I work with clients every day on the power of their conscious and subconscious stories to shape their experiences, their reality, their lives. Our individual and collective ability to use the gift of storytelling as our way to process and make sense of the world around us is a magical thing. But like all magic, it trends both bright and dark.

The stories we tell ourselves and others about our lives can make the difference between surviving and thriving, between happiness and despair. Even between life and death.

In one of the group exercises I do, I show random photographs to my clients and ask them to tell me the story of what’s happening in the picture. A seemingly homeless man with a dog cradled under a blanket in his arms becomes, depending upon the storyteller, a scam artist who uses a dog to manipulate strangers out of money, a jerk who selfishly allows an animal to suffer with him on the streets instead of giving the dog the safety of a shelter, or a symbol of pure love, a man who, in extreme and desperate circumstances, still tenderly cares for his companion.

Which one of them is true? I don’t know, and neither do my clients. The photo is like a Rorschach test; we project our belief system onto it and see what we expect to see.

***********************

It is the summer of 1967, and I am in my own front yard, hanging about at the end of our driveway. My best friend, Bobbie, is playing with someone I don’t know well from the neighborhood out in her front yard, right across the street from my house. I’m terrified of being rejected if I invite myself over to join them, so I am simply putting myself on display, standing on the big landscaping rock and looking off, self-importantly, into the sky; swinging on the mailbox and humming a tuneless song; drawing with sidewalk chalk at the very very tip end of our driveway.

I am hoping desperately that my friend will invite me over. And I am crushed…

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