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

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.


Ah, my childhood bedroom. The place where by standing on the built-in counters I could see out my window, through the antique orange trees that still presided over the empty lot next door, across the street, to Jeff Kieffer’s house to see if he was beating up his brothers, the place where I would sometimes hide in the foot well space of my desk, rounded up like a roly-poly bug contemplating the nothingness of suburbia, the place where I would sit in my desk chair facing the full length mirror on the back of my door, responding to an off camera Johnny Carson, with a hair brush as my microphone, the place where I got migraines so bad that my father, my doctor father, would speak softly, rub his soft hand across the width of my forehead and tell me stories in his unmistakable Philadelphia accent.

I always assumed that my childhood bedroom was the longest residency. Even though it felt like forever, it was only 13 years. We moved there when I was four, I moved out to go to college when I was 17, and for the next 15 years, I never lived in one place for longer than nine months. And yet those 13 years represent stability, unwavering, unassailable security. I’ve lived in my present house, the one where I raised and birthed my babies, for 21 years.  

And I’ve got my sights on a new bedroom, a last bedroom as it were. I think I will make one of the rooms a daffodil yellow, like my childhood bedroom, to bring that sense of youth and security back into my fold. And I’ll probably spy out of my windows on a new Jeff Kieffer who hopefully will not be beating up one of his brothers.


Miss Catherine