Brian McMillan earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in creative nonfiction writing from Northern Michigan University. He is an award-winning columnist and photographer and is currently the managing editor of The Palm Coast Observer newspaper.
Winter Walking Home, his book of 27 poems, was published by March Street Press in 2010.
He lives in Palm Coast, Fla., with his wife, Hailey, and their three children, Jackson, Grant, and Elizabeth.
INTRODUCTION TO "STICK FIGURES"
If you're like me, your children say crazy and funny stuff every day. If only I could remember it all...
Here's my attempt to remember, and also to read what your kids, say, too. These one-liners or stories sometimes hurt me with laughter, and sometimes they just plain hurt, especially when I realize how much more I could be doing to make their childhood experiences happy.
Remembering my own kids' one-liners and the tender-mercy moments, as well as yours, will remind us how great it is to be parents. This is what life is all about.
Here's the first entry. It's a variation on "Stick Figures of Me," the first poem in my chapbook, Winter Walking Home:
In my hotel room, my laptop sleeps next to some stick figures of me. My son's picture books are strewn about the carpet. It's late. I shut off the light and crawl in bed next to him, his body stretching only half the length of the hard mattress. He's snoring: the hiss of hydraulics, a rake through gravel, an ordering rhythm. I could listen for hours, I think. I could listen for hours while he sleeps. I cheat the day by getting up--just for a moment--to jot down some notes for a poem, to keep this moment for another day when I'll need it again.
Check back for daily updates. I'll solicit stories from you, and I welcome e-mails of stories and one-liners, too. Send them to StickFiguresOfUs@gmail.com.