‘TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS’: AN INTERVIEW WITH RYANE NICOLE GRANADOS

Sometimes you get lucky. You discover a new place, someplace you’ve never been yet it feels so familiar you feel right at home. Like you belong. That’s what Ryane Nicole Granados’ stories, part of her novella in progress, do: They invite you into the heart of a neighborhood, a place of innocence and loss, joy and pain, hope and tenderness; a place where you care for and root for the characters. You are invested in their lives, care about the outcomes. You want them to succeed because if they can, as she says, “unearth the splendor of second chances,” then maybe there is hope for you too.

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Rising to the Surface

“And after Miss Asher resisted arrest, is it true that she proceeded to kick from the back of the squad car until the heel of her shoe wedged into the right wheel floorboard?”

At this point I begin to tune out the ticker-tape of the prosecutor and police sergeant whose photographic memory rivals the accuracy of the world time clock. Adjacent to the witness stand hangs an American flag and on the other side of the judge is the State of California flag. The peculiar state bear always looks to me like he is walking off the edge of the fabric. I can relate. I want to walk out too. The alternating floor tiles of white and brown feel like a childhood game of hopscotch calling my name.

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Pop Quiz: How Flying With Your Kids Can Help Improve Your Marriage

Now that summer break has come careening to a speedy halt and my mother’s heart is a mixed drink of one part elation and three parts homework hell, I finally have a moment to reflect on the sand covered memories collected from the summer. We fared pretty well, (insert slow claps and high fives.) Especially considering my teacher’s salary also comes to a hasty halt during the summer months. Despite it all, we had day trips and play dates and amusement parks, and even a grand finale in the form of a family trip to Hawaii. The biggest accomplishment of all, however, was surviving a plane ride with the kids. It’s a monumental feat that will test your marriage and prove exactly what your “for better or worse” is truly made of. Below is a pop quiz accompanied with answers to see if your union can truly withstand this crucial test. It won’t be easy, but if you let it, a plane ride with your adorable spawns can actually strengthen your marital bond.

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Star Cruiser

My father is an astronaut, a moonwalker, a star cruiser. Prose and I are the daughters of a rocket-riding explorer. When we were young he left on a top secret mission. He said, “I’ll be back. Don’t wait up. I’m off to save the world.” Grace swears he didn’t say the last part, but she just didn’t hear him. He only said those words to me. When he left I felt a knot the size of a watermelon swell inside my stomach.

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5 Things My Sons Can Learn From Bree Newsome

I typically don’t allow my young sons to amass large amounts of conventional media. As a result, it shocked my 7-year-old when I recently told him to sit down and watch the news with me. I wanted him to see the story of a heroic woman named Bree Newsome. I made it a point to let him soak up as many images as possible of a valiant Ms. Newsome scaling the flagpole at the South Carolina statehouse and taking down the Confederate flag.

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“SAUDA” BY RYANE NICOLE GRANADOS

My mother’s best friend died today. Today, Tuesday at 4:11p.m. she died. Her husband called the house but Grace wasn’t home. The waiting was the hardest part. What do you do while you’re waiting to tell your mother that her best friend in the whole world is dead? I can’t cry, even though I feel I’m supposed to. Her husband cried so loud he sounded like a symphony of sorrow.

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Why I Don’t Lock Late Students Out Of My Classroom

As another semester comes to a close, I collapse into my office chair and let out a deep exhale. My loud sigh is fashioned from a recipe of one-part exhaustion and one-part elation, for even though I have been teaching college English for over 10 years, I always experience a little shock come culmination time. That pinch myself, how in the hell did I make it, thank goodness they actually made it feeling, all while the black hood of classism and academic achievement hangs on the back of my Humanities office door, always manages to find me the last week of the spring semester. I have to believe the heaviness is because of the hood.

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THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE

“Liar, Liar. Pants on fire. Your nose is as long as a telephone wire.” These words sung in jest as a child leave me picturing many adults walking around in bottomless disgrace. Lying, whether one wants to admit it or not, is a tricky component of one’s parental wheelhouse. Although the lies are masked behind an admirable sense of love, lying is still lying and eventually children become skillful little lie detectors.

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