Gone Lawn
a journal of literature
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Gone Lawn 37
Summer Solstice, 2020

New Works

Pearl A Griffin

Loving Arms

The day I grew my third arm is vivid in my memory.
In the hours before it happened, I stood with my back to the window and surveyed my pregnant body. My two original arms already seemed too few as I gazed over the curve of my belly and breasts. I imagined where my new arm would grow. I had heard from others that they could tell days before where their growth would come, that they could feel it, but the ache in my torso spread across my back to both sides of my ribs. Placing both hands on my tailbone, I pushed my pelvis forward, stretching my stomach and spine, then I turned towards the mirror and lifted each arm, examining my sides for any indication. Then I stood straight, and I practiced smiling the way I'd seen others smile at their growings, how a mother smiles.
The celebration at my mother's house began in the late afternoon that day. Women arrived with casseroles and gifts and said I was beautiful.
There is a glow about you, they said.
I'd say there's a grow about her, my sister teased.
I pinched her elbow and she squirmed away, laughing.
Don't be crass, Ayla, my mother said.
The matriarchs welcomed me. In between their exclamations, they told nostalgic stories of their own growings.
Oh how I wish I could go back to those days, they said. I laughed cordially and did not see their sadness.
My baby would be born soon. The women say it only takes a week or two after the growing before the body is ready. Though I, and two years later, my sister, had come only a few days after our mother grew her limbs. My mother told the story often, her two impatient daughters pushing into the world like it wouldn't turn without them in it.
Thank heavens for these beauties, she said and waved them in front of her, taking care not to wiggle the skin that had begun to hang from her sinewy triceps. The others hummed throaty little laughs and kept their own arms pinned close. They talked of their own growing days with girlish reverence.
Mothers are lucky these days, said my Auntie Bea, who had grown two arms at once for her twins. These arms grew just below her ribs and to the front. They were shorter than her originals, and she held them compact against her body, like a pair of folding chopsticks. She said her growing was a religious ritual—formal and stiff, full of prayers.
Sure is a party, now, she went on, clinking her wine glass to Ayla's and taking a gulp.
My mother sighed and rolled her beads between her knuckles.
Nothing wrong with a little ritual, Beatrice, she said. Auntie Bea was only seventeen on her growing day. She never told anyone who the father was, and my mother never forgave her for it, though she'd never say so.

When I turned thirteen, my mother sat me down across from her at the patio table. It was a cold spring day. I remember staring hard at the pinpricks of skin that formed along my arm as my mother told me how my body would change when it came time for growing, how I would become a mother. She called it a magical time, woman's greatest duty. At Church, I sang the Anthem of the Mother louder than anyone. At play, I pretended I had a third arm. Ayla rolled her eyes wide and pushed her lips to one side. But I was older. I knew better. So I patted her on the head, like a mother would. She told me I was being stupid. Who would want a third arm anyway? She hung upside down from a tree limb in our backyard, her hair tangled and frayed. I would swing myself up next to her and imagine how easy it would be to climb with four or five or six arms! I could go all the way to the top, I told her. And then we raced to the line our mother had drawn on the trunk to keep us close to the ground. She yelled from the house to be careful. You only have two arms, she said.

Thank you all for taking the time to celebrate this very special day, my mother announced over the gifts. She had arranged everything carefully, a pyramid of congratulatory sayings scrolled across meticulously creased plastic wrapping and bags with images of balloons or the traditional triangle—arm grasping arm grasping arm. My mother rested her hand—the one she grew when I was born—on my shoulder as I opened the gifts. I received new garments I couldn't wait to wear. Pieces that wrapped the arm easily and gracefully so that all I needed to do was pull a tie or needle a button to let my arm free. A friend from school gave a negligee that draped across the shoulders, letting everything loose beneath. My mother averted her eyes and pretended to talk to her neighbor. Auntie Bea and Ayla cooed suggestively to a smattering of giggles and claps.
A childhood neighbor presented me with a package of colored sleeves. So you can camouflage with different fabrics, she said. She held out her third and fourth arms to illustrate.
I hadn't even noticed, I said in awe.
Why not go natural, Ayla said. Why would you want to hide it?
The others clucked and chuckled, waving her comments away in playful dismissal. They said she would understand when it was her time. I smiled and nodded, pretending it was true, that now I shared the same ancient knowledge as them. My sister shook her head and refilled her wine.
I opened her gift next—a set of new rings with matching bracelets decorated by rhinestone skulls, recalling a phase I went through in my youth. It brought back the memory of our last music festival, before Nile and I. My sister had ironed skull patches onto matching jackets and filled the pockets with flasks. Those days were over now, I thought, with only a small tightening in my gut, like a thread being pulled and then tied off. The others clicked their tongues and chewed their cheeks, but I smiled and promised to wear the rings, though it would be many years and another two arms before I did.
The other gifts were items for the baby: a sling to attach him to my body, a monitor so I could track his sleeping, a pump to feed him. The others talked of how much easier it will be to hold babies once my arm came. They told heroic stories of catching falling glasses while securely clutching their children or holding their hands while walking two dogs at once!
When it was time, the others removed my clothes and wrapped my body in a sheer fabric shawl. My mother and her mother took my arms in all of theirs, each wrapped around my limbs, warm and maternal. They walked me to the room, my own from my youth. It was dark, a red hue cast through veils along strung lights. The traditional chaise lounge—curved in the center, with a pillow to prop up my other arm, and a headrest—waited where my girlhood bed had once been. The curves of the bench rolled along with my own as I laid down. My whole torso ached, and it took me some time to realize I was lying on the wrong side. My arm was growing from the left, surprising because I had heard that the first arm usually grew on the preferred side. I rolled over, and there in front of me was the same window I fell asleep to as a girl. A sharp pain tore through my ribs; I cried out. This was not the gentle, satisfying pain from the stories told only hours ago. I listened to the sounds of the party until they began to dwindle. Without the distraction of muffled laughs and clanking dishes, the pain seemed to travel up my ribs to my shoulder and neck and head. I heard a familiar creak of the door—my sister.
What are you doing here? I tried to sound annoyed but could not disguise my relief. Mom's going to kill you.
No, Ayla said. Auntie Bea poured bourbon in her tea when she was walking you up here. She's asleep in the rocker.
Ayla sat cross-legged on the floor. She leaned her head against my bare belly, her hand curling around mine.
I woke in the morning groggy and disoriented, neck and body stiff from the night. I had heard most growings only take a few hours once they start, but mine had grown deep into the night. In the oval wall mirror, I examined my new limb. It protruded from the middle of my left ribs, an inch below the side of my breast, and slightly longer than my original. When I touched it, I felt a whole new sensation, and yet it was familiar, as though I'd dreamed that feeling many times before.

When I returned home that day, my partner loved my arm—each kiss was a moan, each caress a shudder, like I was new, innocent, open. He could barely keep his hands off of my tight, fresh skin. He told me I was beautiful and nuzzled my nose or ran his fingers down my arm. I called his name: Nile! Nile! Nile!
We spent the next day in bed. The smell of sweat and sex was intoxicating; we wanted, we came, we had more. It was hard to believe we had met only a year before.
I love you, he promised over and over.
I smiled and smiled.
Four days later the baby arrived. I cradled him with ease, and Nile praised my knack for it. We stayed at home for several days, but we had visitors. My sister came almost every day. She loved the baby and joked he was a little monster come to change everything.
Don't call him a monster, I said. His name is Kael.
Lara doesn't want me to call you little monster, Ayla cooed, bopping him on the nose and ignoring the mother-look I was practicing on her.
During those first weeks, Kael and I learned each other. He studied my eyes as I fed him, and I ran my fingers along the soft parts of his face, around his ears and across his brow. He was what I always wanted, and he was a good baby. When he cried it was because he was hungry or needed changing. The other mothers praised my good fortune, though I was sure it was a result of my calm and patient mothering.
It was a proud time. I received more attention than I had ever before. On the street, strangers stopped to compliment me, to meet Kael, and sometimes they would just stroke my arm. A strange feeling, yet not wholly unwelcome. Young men whistled and called me Mama from their cars as I pushed Kael in the stroller down the block. Women stopped me at church to give a blessing and wish me strength on my new journey, though sometimes I caught some of the older ones watching me with a covetous gaze, as though I were one of their memories they longed to return to. I would take the moment to introduce Kael, who could charm anyone with his crooked little smile.
Ayla took me shopping often while I recovered from the birth surgery. Hardly anyone gave birth naturally anymore, and afterwards there are medications that help with the pain. I felt almost normal, yet I enjoyed spending time with my sister, so I let her ferry me around.
What's wrong with this one, she asked. Ayla held up the third melon I had discarded.
It's misshapen, I said.
She shook her head, putting the melon in the cart and pushing it to the next stand of produce. From across the isle a young girl, maybe fifteen, was watching my arm. I smiled. She approached and told me how excited she was to grow hers one day, to be a mother.
No need to hurry, Ayla said to the girl.
You obviously aren't, the girl replied with a snark. She cooed at the baby then sauntered off. My sister shook her head, unruffled. But I worried the girl was right. Ayla didn't seem to even be looking for a partner. She saw my face and scoffed.
Well, you aren't getting any younger, I said.
You too? my sister asked and flailed her two arms about wildly. She laughed and warned me not to let my new limb turn me into our mother.

At home, I was queen. Nile made plenty of money as a lawyer, and home became my job. My mother had always advised me to settle with a partner who could support a family. Ayla had urged me to go back to my job at the bank. She worked up the street from where I did, and we often got lunch together. I told her not to worry, that we would still be able to go out whenever I could get away.
With my new limb and my new baby, my body became a practical tool. Laundry was nothing, now! And I could hold and feed Kael while cooking a meal with relative ease.
Nile hurried home each evening and praised my new skills.
You're amazing, he said at the dinner table.
You're amazing, he said in bed.
I smiled and smiled.
Most days were busy, talking to my mother on the phone and sweeping the floors while Kael napped. And when he was older I walked him to the park, where he could sit and throw rocks while I swapped stories with others about the wonders of motherhood.
My Nile seemed happy to go to work and return to a clean house and a warm dinner. I was happy to provide. With my new arm came a power.

When I learned of my second pregnancy, I felt inspired.
Are you ready for this? Ayla asked me the evening that I told her.
Of course! I replied. Why wouldn't I be?
She explained that she had heard that the second time around could be much harder, that she was worried it was too soon.
Oh, how would you know? I asked, taking Kael from her arms. He was nearly seven months old now and weaned.
Ayla held her hands up in front of her.
I just...it's really soon, she said. And you have options.
Ayla grimaced, and for a moment I didn't know what she meant.
Ayla! I gasped. How could you even think that?
It just seems like maybe it was an accident, Ayla said. Am I wrong?
In school we had learned that if you wanted to get an abortion, you needed to do it right away to avoid a growing later. But our mother told us it was never an option.
You have a duty to your baby, she'd said. It's a privilege to be a mother.
Ayla would roll her eyes when mother turned away, but I never imagined she would ever suggest to me that I end my pregnancy.
Ayla was fourteen the first time she told me she might not even want children. Soon she announced it to the family at Sunday dinner. It seemed at the time a rebellious fantasy, something to match her baggy clothes and messy hair. Now I worried that she would never know the bliss of motherhood. It made me angry with her.
You don't know anything about anything, I said. Grow up!
What's that supposed to mean? she asked. I'm just trying to help.
Maybe you should mind your own business, I said.
Ayla threw up her hands with a few hard shakes of her head and grabbed her coat from the back of the chair. She stepped forward to kiss Kael goodbye, but I pivoted away, making my way to the door. Ayla forced a wry smile and toggled his foot on her way by.
I told Nile our good news later that evening.
Oh. He nodded. Good, good.

My fourth arm grew lower than my third and on the other side. It was a little smaller, though, and didn't reach as far. I felt lopsided. And this baby, a girl, arrived the very next day after the growing. Zella was the name I had picked for my future daughter when I was just thirteen. But somehow saying it out loud, now that it was hers and not mine, was sticky in my throat. My birth scar ached and itched whenever I moved my new arm, like the skin was being stretched too fast and too far. Zella cried loud and often, like it was her right and duty to do so. Ayla laughed and called her Yella. I buried my head in my hands and tried not to move.
At home, Kael quickly began to match his sister's cries. He pulled on my clothes, tried to climb my arms, and spilled anything he could get his hands on.
Oh, for the love of mothers! I shouted at him. At first he was surprised, and then he plopped on the floor and cried. Zella joined in. I wondered what would happen if I just left, went to the store, or a movie and came back when it was all over. I picked up the phone to call Ayla, then paused. My mother. No. And then I dialed Auntie Bea, only to hang up on the first ring.
I counted the hours until Nile returned from work. Last time, he took time off to be home with me and Kael. This time he said it just wasn't possible. As the children screamed, I paced around the kitchen and through the dining room. My new arm smacked the sides of counters and door frames as I skulked through the house.
That day, or several days later, weeks even, Ayla came to see us. She brought groceries.
Why didn't you come and get me? I asked.
Oh, I just thought this would be easier, she said. Ayla unpacked the bags herself. She made dinner, and while it baked, she cleaned my house with her own two hands. She focused on each task like a drawing, intent.
So what's the gossip? I asked.
Ayla said she had none and went quietly back to work.
Did you hear about the amp trend on the west coast? Not a bad idea if you have one of these stubby things! I said, waving my fourth arm.
I meant it to sound jovial. Instead it came out bitter, sour, like the smell of milk spit up dried stiff on a shirt.
Ayla hummed and nodded.
Really? I goaded. Nothing about going natural, loving yourself, and all that?
My sister stood straight and focused on me, her brow wrinkled.
Where's Nile? she asked.
Working late, I said. Extra mouths!
She turned her back to me so I couldn't see her face. Her backside seemed wider, and her clothes fit tightly around the waist. Ever since we were young, Ayla had tried to get me to eat healthier. It was vindicating that even her salad-a-day approach couldn't stop the mid-twenties ballooning that the rest of us went through. After dinner, Ayla scooped up both children to her lap, a pillow on either side to hold them on.
I barely listened as Ayla told stories to the children. When we were very young, Ayla and I reacted to these very same dinnertime stories from our grandmother. They were as familiar as the lines on our hands.
Then, my sister whispered, the mother wrapped her arms around the Earth to sleep. She kept one eye open though, to watch over her children in the night. Ayla squinted one half of her face to mimic the mother in the tale.
Moon! Kael shouted, the story already so familiar. Zella let drool fall from her mouth as she watched Ayla's face.
I thought you didn't believe in all that hocus pocus, I said, mimicking the words she used as a teen when she rejected religion.
It's just a story for the kids, Lara, she said. Her tone was sharp.
When the children began to fight on the floor after dinner, I barked loudly for them to behave. My sister cleared the table, quietly, before picking up both children to say goodbye. They seemed so heavy in her arms. It was satisfying to watch her hoist them onto her hips and lumber to the couch. I stretched my arms out wide in triumph.

One day I turned all the clocks around so I couldn't see the time.
But without the clocks, I ticked my minutes away with snacks instead. I never watched much TV before, but the higher the laundry pile became, the more channels I surfed. If the children were sleeping, I found the sauciest ones, or the violent ones. Not because I liked them. Just because it seemed like the best use of my time. I used my hands to slather jam or butter on crackers while surfing channels and picking at the acne that had returned to my face. The hormones, I read, sometimes changed with the fourth arm. Weight began to cushion my face and belly and pool a little around each arm like water around a rock in the sand.
I sometimes forgot to wash my fourth arm during my ever shortening shower time, so it appeared greasy and sometimes had a slight odor that matched the baby's after too many days without a bath. I would never notice the smell until I stood right next to someone at the grocery store or library, so I stayed home more and more. Or else I went to my mother's. She and Auntie Bea spent their days playing bridge with the neighbors or arguing about small town politics.
You can't keep things the same forever, Auntie Bea said. She flourished all her arms and stomped away into the kitchen.
Bea? Bea, come back here. My mother hoisted Zella higher, close to her ribs, and followed. It seemed the only time the baby stopped crying was when mom or Ayla held her. Even Nile could get her to quiet on the rare day that he wasn't working.
The sun shone into the room as a column. Kael stood with his hands plastered firmly on the glass. He was watching a squirrel race along the branches between yards. I crouched down next to him and leaned my head against the window.
Lara, dear, what are you doing? Auntie Bea asked. My mother was behind her with a tray of sandwiches.
Nothing, I said.
You don't seem yourself, dear.
My aunt and my mother sat next to each other on the couch in similar fashion: backs straight, legs together, hands on knees. Zella between them like a comma.
I opened my mouth to protest, say I'm fine, just tired, mothering you know. Nothing came. Instead, I pictured a rubber glove blown full of air, but then let out a little so that it's somehow bloated and limp all at once.
Oh, this will pass, my mother said. You have to trick yourself into being normal again.
Normal, ha! Auntie Bea scoffed. There's no going back, dear.
Back to what, I asked.
Anything, she said.

It was late again when Nile came to bed. His breath on my neck smelled of smoke.
Are you awake? he asked, grabbing my hips from behind and pulling me into him. I rolled over and arched my back to make my stomach look flatter, my breasts perkier. He didn't take long, and I didn't at all. But it was arguably better than the fights we'd been having for days, weeks, maybe months. I lay flat, staring at the ceiling as he slept. I pretended I only had three arms, then two. When I did sleep, my dreams were scrawled in bright, reddish colors and made me sweat. In the morning I pulled the covers back and watched the perspiration dry.
It was in the middle of the afternoon that I saw the commercial for eMBody. Feeling down on your arms? Call Today! The product, a garment designed to hide arms close to the body and out of sight, wrapped tightly around the model's torso. Easy! Slimming! Versatile! The woman, four-armed like me, smiled brightly and velcroed two straps across her front, tamping down her lower arms. Full line of dresses, shirts, and jackets available for additional purchase. Spinning one way then the other, a different garment appeared on the model with each twist. The number flashed below.
When my eMBody package arrived two days later, I flung the crumbs off my belly and rushed to the door, only to peek out the window until the delivery man was safely gone. Inside, the eMBody and each detachable strap was wrapped tightly in a thin plastic sheath. On the inside of the box flap was the company logo along with picture directions for how to wear the eMBody, only just like the model on the commercial, the directions featured four very symmetrical arms. I dug in the box for more configurations but found none. I pulled off my bathrobe and then my shirt before ripping the plastic off each mini package. To my dismay, the construction seemed cheap—seams crooked, velcro askew, fabric stiff. I pictured the model from the commercial as I attempted to slide the contraption onto my torso. It caught on my lower left arm, and I struggled to get it to rest comfortably before I realized it was upside down. The second try went easier. It felt much like a giant seatbelt on my bare skin, but it was on me and fit just good enough.
Next the straps. Because my third arm grew in below and just to the front of my original, the strap crinkled in several places when stretched from front to back. And my squatty fourth arm pushed uncomfortably against the strap so that there was a slight bulge. I arched my body side to side and hoped it would all be more comfortable once it broke in. The tunic that came with the eMBody hung from my shoulders and covered it all well enough, so I called and ordered more colors and pieces.
Everyone noticed my new attire and told me how nice I looked, that I seemed myself, again. I smiled and agreed. Even Ayla refrained from disparaging my new fashion choice.
I put my hands on my hips when I saw her at mother's. She seemed not to notice a difference, so I spun around and asked what she thought.
Fine, she said. Ayla walked out of the kitchen so she could watch the children play.
At dinner, Ayla twirled her wine around in circles and took small tasting sips. She poked at her food with a fork as our mother told her about the new young dentist.
He's just the sweetest! And so good-looking! she said.
Maybe you should get a cleaning, I said, elbowing Ayla in the shoulder. Auntie Bea chuckled. Even mom smiled a little.
Ayla looked up like she just realized we were all there.
I'm pregnant, she said.
When we were teenagers, my sister had sex first. She was sixteen. After she told me, I warned her not to do it again. What if our mother found out? What if the boy got what he wanted then left her? Was she ready for a growing? She said I was just jealous because she did it first even though I was the oldest, so I told our mother. Ayla wasn't allowed to date for a long time after, and she had extra church duties for months. When I had sex two years later, I didn't tell her for weeks, but when I finally did she high fived me and jabbed my shoulder, proud.
How could you be so stupid? I said.
Lara! Auntie Bea interjected.
My mother just shook her head solemnly, the same way she did when we were young and came home after curfew or brought home poor grades.
Who's the father? I demanded.
Ayla sparked, lit by that ancient sister-fire.
None of your damn business!
Ayla! My mother said. Language!
What are you going to do? How are you going to be a good mother without a partner? I asked, my voice sharp.
Like you? Ayla asked, standing. I stood too, but when I went to push myself up, I tried to use my bound arms, which resulted in a wobbly gesture. I didn't notice that Auntie Bea had also risen and was standing behind me. She steadied me, then forcefully pushed me back down with all of her arms. I couldn't see her face, but Ayla quickly looked away from it and sat back down.
You are mothers, not children, Auntie Bea said. Even our own mother stopped and looked up. Bea returned to her seat and quietly continued her dinner. And after another auntie-look from her, the rest of us took bites in unison.
The house was dark when I arrived home. With both children asleep, I got out of the car quietly, and tried to unstrap myself from the eMBody, but the velcro grabbed the fabric of my tunic with each minute movement. I mumbled curses into the dark street and looked around for any sign of neighbors, then I hoisted my shirt up and held the hem in my teeth. The contraption fell to the pavement, and I arched my back into a laborious stretch, arms free.
I waited up for Nile. Ready to rant to him about my sister and her poor choices and her rude behavior. At some point late in the night I fell asleep. In the morning I saw signs of my partner—wet towel on the floor and shavings in the sink, a sock balled up near the hamper.

By the time Nile moved his things out of the house a few weeks later, Ayla and I still weren't speaking. My mother took the children for the week, so I could find a job and rearrange the furniture. Instead, I turned off the phones and the lights and tore the sheets from my bed. I curled up as small as I could with four arms. I dreamed I was out, shopping and laughing with all the other mothers in their eMBody tunics. We stood in colored clumps, like tulips in a field. Away from home and children, we felt realer, more solid, material.
A laugh from behind startled us all. I turned towards the sound and let out an audible gasp. A woman, not in the store but a field. She wore nothing—naked as her growing day. Several small children ran about her with ribbons like she was a maypole. She laughed again—a deep and throaty thing, her face full of brisk energy. A smile lingered, and when she looked my way, I had the sudden urge to push her, to see if she would catch herself with one of her unfettered limbs, or if she would pull everyone down around her as she fell.
Sometime later, I woke drenched in a cool sweat. I peeled the clothes from my skin like wet bandaids and rummaged through the half-empty closet for something dry and roomy. The dirty hamper was heaped with all the loads I had not done. I reached into a nearly empty bin on one of the top shelves and pulled out an old flannel. With it came a shirt my sister had given me. I had packed it into a box deep in my closet. Never worn. It had only two sleeves and was open down the side, a tie at each hip.
I tried on the shirt every few days only to take it off in a huff and strap myself back into the eMBody. Soon, I wore the shirt around the house, with the blinds closed. It was the most comfortable thing I could remember wearing since before my first growing. I opened one set of blinds every few days, skirting by the windows when neighbors walked past. My arms could wave free if I chose, or I could comfortably tuck them inside if they got cold. Eventually I started calling Ayla, but there was never an answer. So on my last evening without the kids, I drove to her apartment and banged on the door until she opened it. Ayla looked tired, and more pregnant than I thought she would, but then I realized I didn't actually know how long it had been.
I'm sorry, I said.
Ayla nodded and motioned me in. Her place was small, cramped, like an envelope. I slouched my jacket off my shoulders and tossed it on a chair. When she saw the shirt she gave me, my arms stretched wide in contrition, Ayla laughed into a wide smile. She nodded her approval.
You're coming to live with me, I said.

Ayla was beautiful on her growing day. She joked that hers was even better than mine since it wasn't at our mother's house. Ayla had insisted that the children be allowed to come, and the men too if they wanted. Our mother grumbled her disagreements into bites of cake at first, but soon she chased Kael around outside or watched Zella as she bopped up and down the stairs.
I stayed with Ayla for her growing as she had for me. We cried and laughed and barely slept. When the baby came, Ayla named her Cecilia--we called her Cici. She was a quiet, thoughtful baby. We often thought she must have known something we didn't.
Little wonder, I called her.
Soon after Cici came home with us, I went to the doctor for a pain in my chest.
It feels almost like a growing, I said.
Hm, the doctor said. It's very rare, very rare.
What? I asked.
That was the day I grew my fifth arm. It grew from the front of my right shoulder. It was long and when it rested, it lay across my chest and lightly gripped my left shoulder, an embrace.
Hormones! other women said.
Science! Doctors said.
Love, my sister insisted.
When I cradled Cici, or Zella, or Kael, I used this arm to caress their head or pet their eyebrows while they slept. I built strength each time I scooped all three of them onto my lap. They hung from me like I was a tree and they were wild monkeys.

Pearl A. Griffin is a writer and teacher from Vancouver, Washington. She holds an MFA in fiction from the Pan-European program at Cedar Crest College as well as a BA in English Education and Douglas Honor College minor in Humanities from Central Washington University. Her writing draws from a deep love of travel, an ever increasing feminist perspective, and a personal history of hardship. Oh and she likes to think it's funny, too. She can be reached on Facebook.