birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.


I’m going to take a broad view of this one.

My favorite outfit from childhood – I remember a blouse my mom made me with sleeves that, when I stretched out my arms, reminded me of angel wings. It was light blue. That style is back in and, sadly, doesn’t look good on me and, honestly, isn’t all that comfortable.

Parachute pants. They were in when I was in middle school. I was not. I wore hand-me-downs. From my brothers. I got a pair but they were skin tight (too small). I was plus size when plus size for teens was not a thing. Fashion Bug was a Godsend.

Summer band camp. In my own school, I was quiet, shy, and nerdy when it wasn’t cool to be nerdy. When I went to summer band camp, no one else there knew me so I was free to be my weird and wonderful self. I could wear my fashionable black pants with red hem (thank you, Fashion Bug) and wild looking tennis shoes with fluorescent orange laces and no one looked at me funny. In fact, a few were amazed at how outgoing I was and at my ability to be my weird and wonderful self without worrying about what others thought. Except I could only do that because I didn’t know them and wouldn’t see them again at the end of camp.

School pictures. My all-time favorite school picture was taken on a day that I didn’t realize it was picture day. I was wearing a burgundy wind breaker and a Van Halen t-shirt. Aside from my senior pictures, this was the only other one that I actually liked.