Molly Gamble

Enough ways

…the things you love don’t owe you anything – not success, not plaudits, not a decent night’s sleep, nothing. You give them your effort and devotion because they deserve it, because their presence turns a light on in your dim little life and there will never be enough ways to say thank you. 



Objects & places


The first assignment in my writing class this week was to make a list of objects from a place where we feel a story unfolded. I chose the apartment I lived in during my junior year of college. Lord knows enough happened there. 1724 W. Kilbourn. Items that made the list include:

books we didn’t read

furniture we didn’t buy

all twin beds (maybe one full bed?) 

a bowl of candy corn from Valentine’s Day that lasted well into March

crutches a guy lent me when I hurt my meniscus 

ripped-out pages from an art book taped to the walls

a ceiling fan I was afraid to turn on

no clocks anywhere

Practical Magic soundtrack

That place is still crisp as a dollar bill in my memory, which it probably should be, as it was only five years ago. It was a three-story walk-up that, in hindsight, left much to be desired. We thought it was Taj Mahal, though. And the one thing it really had going for it was its back porch. That was its saving grace. We relished that porch.

This picture was taken on that beamed blessing. It was one of the first real spring days after a weird, drab winter. I’m wearing a men’s flannel shirt from Goodwill, laughing at a joke I don’t remember. Moments after that picture was taken, I borrowed my roommate’s Buick, picked up friends and drove to a vegan Southern tavern on the south side. We played Devendra Banhart’s “Lover.” We played it loud. We ate hushpuppies in a pleather booth. We drove back on the Hoan Bridge, and I still remember how much the city — from that angle — looks precisely like home.

Oh, I do

If you don’t believe in fate, my tattoo artist agreed, when I told him about you, you better believe in something.

Oh, I told him, I do.

What? He asked.

People, I said, and he shook his head and smiled, like everyone always does. But I’ve never been wrong, grown man that I am. Not once.


[SELF-MADE MAN #28: THE LION, THE LAMB, AND THE GROWN MAN by Thomas Page McBee via The Rumpus]


“They smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”

— F. Scott Fitzgerald


I read The Great Gatsby in high school, but years later, I still think of this sentence. Especially when I meet certain people or read certain news stories. It’s the perfect description for so much. 

Always defying expectations

Milwaukee is.





“I think one of the greatest gifts writers can give each other is the act of simple witness. To say to each other: I believe you and I believe in you and I want you to keep on keeping on because that’s the only way. Write that story or poem or essay or novel or play or advice column that you feel compelled to write, no matter what the market says.”

—Cheryl Strayed was one of three writers to discuss “writerly friendships” (via BuzzFeed) this week. Each woman has  brilliant things to say about supporting one another as writers, sure, but also about supporting “the whole person.” Like lending a friend clothes when she’s broke and has nothing to wear for a lunch meeting with an editor, then popping champagne when her book makes it onto the New York Times best-seller list.

That’s the only way to do it.

On the bright side

We aren’t supposed to have more below-zero temperatures any time soon.


Wednesday email excerpt

“However, we won ‘best group name’ so we got a free round of shots! Our name was ‘Ford/Christie 2016.’ We told our waitress and she paused and said, ‘I don’t get it.’ Everyone felt bad for her so we sort of brushed it off like, ‘oh, it’s a politics thing’ and she said ‘oh okay that makes sense then, I don’t follow politics at all.’ There are people walking around this country who are unaware of both the Ford AND Christie scandals?!

For shame. They’re missing out.”