Gloria Liu

We Swam with Sharks

For a couple weeks, my friend Ahlem would say the same thing every night before we went out: “I’m leaving tomorrow,” she’d insist, in a voice that was perpetually hoarse from shouting the night before. But she’d still show up at the dive shop well after noon the next day, hung over, her wavy, honey-brown […]

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Forces of Nature

They’re calling it the Hundred Year Flood. My boyfriend Steve is in the middle of a 24-hour shift as an EMT, trying to keep Boulder, Colorado from washing away around him. I am alone in our garden level apartment, splashing through the brown, putrid lake that our living room has become, trying to save the […]

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Take a Trip

In May, I came out here to Chamonix, France. I came for a 3-week writing workshop, but I also came to ride bikes, write stories, and satisfy some wanderlust. The plan was simply to stay for a couple of months, and see what happened. As it turned out, everything did.

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Theories on Scar Tissue

The rocks had gotten bigger, I decided. That was right before I crashed. It was the afternoon of my 31st birthday, and I was out chasing two fast girls on fast bikes off the backside of Le Tour ski resort in France, into Trient, Switzerland. I had done that descent a couple of times, but […]

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On Traveling Alone

Traveling alone in Chamonix, I’ve often thought about my 26-year-old self landing in New Zealand five years ago. How lonely she felt when she first got there. How afraid that made her. Solitude was an art form I hadn’t yet learned up to that point. Life in San Francisco was hyper-social. The calendar was booked six or seven nights […]

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Strangers in a Grocery Store

People tell me things. Stuff they don’t usually tell strangers. I went to Whole Foods today to work, but when I got there the place was as jam-packed as a ski lodge at lunchtime. I was roving back and forth, stalking lunchgoers shamelessly as they mowed down their organic tofu spring rolls, when a guy who looked about […]

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Art and Fear

I’ve been carrying around a book I might never read. The book is currently sitting on my bedside table. Since I left my job at TrainingPeaks to pursue freelance writing two weeks ago, it’s gone with me everywhere. On top of my underwear, extra socks, ski goggles and water bottle, this book gets stuffed into […]

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