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

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Luminous

With most people, you don't get much sense of their personality if you spot them in a crowd. With LW, the warmth and engagement come right at you even before a "hello" thanks to her bright, easy smile and the brown eyes that take you in with a sense that you, upon meeting, hold all the potential in the world to be the most wonderful person she'll meet all day.

She's tall, maybe 6-2, and she'll pop from a sea of people at a concert or a busy airport, especially in sunny California or Arizona, where her dark hair, in long curls that cascade past her shoulders, easily contrast with the busy landscape of blondes and lighter-hued woman around her.

That hair! It's sometimes straight, but mostly it's worn in lush rings that beg recruitment for a shampoo commercial. It's so much a prominent feature that people often remark about its maintenance and ask to touch it.

Her frame, though tall, suggests that of a fitness instructor or perhaps a onetime dancer. She's 54 but suggests someone only in their 40s. She often looks tanned, though she's never spent much time working to acquire it; rather, it comes via her love of the outdoors. She grew up with horses in Colorado, and still owns one today and tries to ride when she can.

If you're lucky enough to spend time with her up close, perhaps over a cocktail or glass of wine, you'll see how those features come into play to illuminate her eager receptivity and interest in you and the world around her. She smiles readily, not one of those acknowledging, gently nudging smiles but one that comes deep from within. She wants to see positivity, and her smile and laugh arrive readily when she finds it. She leans into conversation.

She's a city-dweller in practice, but you can see rural ease in her attire, which always looks sharp but unforced, and affords her ease of movement. Jewelry: maybe a pair of simple earrings, sometimes a necklace with a brightish stone.

When she hugs you to say goodnight or goodbye for the moment, you can catch a bit of perfume or bath scent, always just a hint, never forced.

It's like that smile and her demeanor in general. And, perhaps, her outlook on life.

Tom

 Double Down