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

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Yes, THE Richter scale

I wish that I had grown up in a place that I could say was a hometown to me, but I moved around a lot. 6 years in one place, 5 years in another, 1 year in another, etc. It's not that my parents were in the military or that my Dad changed jobs, but life simply had me move every few years - divorce, college, work, life. I've lived almost 30 years in Los Angeles, but I don't consider it my hometown. I don't even know my neighbors names. In my mind, growing up in a "hometown" means you know everyone, know where all the stores were of your youth, know who went out of business, know who was the trouble maker and who was the salt of the earth, know who made it out of your town and it's where you go back to for reunions. When I think of hometowns, I envision small towns, a sense of community and looking out for one another. The closest I came to that was living in a cul de sac as a kid. 13 families on that street and I think 40 kids - yeah, one family had 8 kids! We all played together, went to school together. Our Dad's were all Professors at Stanford and our Mom's were all amazing hostesses. As kids we had no idea that one Dad was a world-renown brain surgeon, or that one invented the atom bomb, or that another, was the father of Elizabeth Richter. Elizabeth bit me on the arm, rrreeealllly hard and ran home. My mother was NOT having this and marched me over to her house to confront her. The door was opened by Elizabeths' father, Charles. He invented THE Richter scale and Elizabeth got into a lot of trouble and I never played with her again. To us kids, the Dads weren't around much except for when we had cul de sac parties. And for these parties, everyone chipped in to barbecue, decorate, wrangle kids, set off illegal fireworks and be a part of a wonderful community. So maybe my definition of what a hometown is, is simply a place where you felt most at home. And for the 7 years that I lived on that cul de sac, being a kid and being a part of a wonderful and loving community, will always feel like home.

A Room With A Small View

The birds and the bees