Gloria Harrison

Location Portland, OR

About Me

I’m originally from the desert southwest (all of it) but have lived in Portland, Oregon since 1999. I and my six year old daughter moved here with a boy when I was 22 years old. I then married the boy and we had twin sons and became grown ups and then got divorced and now we parent our wonderful sons (who we’re madly in love with) together to the best of our ability. Amen. My daughter has since grown up and had children of her own and yes, that makes me a 37 year old grandma. But, that’s g-mom to you.

When I was a very little girl, I discovered that if you put a mirror under your chin, face up, and look down into it, it looks like you’re walking on the ceiling. I would spend hours and hours navigating my house on the ceiling or by turning somersaults on the floor. I don’t do that anymore. Now I work in an office. But one day I hope to work as a writer full time and I will have all of the floors of my fancy office made out of mirrors, and all of my words will be projected onto the ceiling in reverse while I type.

My roots are still in the desert, but my branches grow in the Northwest. I love tacos from food carts where the owners hardly speak English. I also love nachos and miss green chiles very much. However, I love Trader Joe’s and recycling and all the bridges and never getting sunburns.

When I am an old woman, I will wear second hand kimonos and keep my very long, white hair in braids. I will have a silver ring on each finger and twenty feral cats in my barn. I will live in a house on the outskirts of a small town in the desert and the children will all believe I’m a witch. I will live alone until I can no longer wipe my own ass or chop my own wood, which I will be able to do well into my nineties. At least, that’s what I tell myself now.

If you’re interested in reading or hearing more of my work, you can find me on The Nervous Breakdown, This American Life, The Weeklings, Fictionaut, Other People with Brad Listi podcast, and Sweatpants and Coffee. I’ve also had the honor of telling my stories live at Back Fence PDX, The Moth Story Slam, and YARN. I have a mostly abandoned Twitter page.

Currently, a filmmaker in Australia is working on a short film version of the essay featured on This American Life. You can track the development of the film project by visiting the Facebook fan page (

If you want to keep up with the other cool developments in my writing life, you can like my author page on Facebook.

Why do you write?

I write because I express myself better in writing than I do in person. I write because I have a lot of stories to tell. Because, when everything is flowing its best, writing is a creative and cathartic art. And, sometimes, I write because I have no choice - words and ideas come out of nowhere, land in my head, and I have no choice but to write them down.

Any favorite authors? Books?

I love anything that's well written, compelling, and engaging. This includes genre fiction, literary fiction, biographies, nonfiction of all sorts, tomes, treatises, children's books, Dr. Bronner's soap bottles - you name it. Some of my favorite authors include Stephen King, Sarah Vowell, David Sedaris, Christopher Moore, Earnest Hemingway, and Maya Angelou. My favorite books include The Dark Tower series, The Red Tent, The Kite Runner, Life of Pi, Fool: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal, On the Road, A Catcher in the Rye, Attention. Deficit. Disorder, and The Chronology of Water, and Running with Scissors.

If you've never read Lidia Yuknavitch, you might want to stop everything you're doing and begin that journey now.

Gloria Harrison's Wall

Carol Reid – Oct 16, 2012

Hi Gloria and thank you very much for the read and kind comment. I hope to read more of your story!

Robert Vaughan – Jul 19, 2012

Welcome, Gloria!

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