A list fell out of a library book and into my lap the other day. Written in pen on a small piece of pale-blue lined paper, it was a list both mundane (“new movies,” “winter clothes”) and curiously poetic (“rain,” “squirrels banging on window”). It was a reminder that stories — and poetry — are everywhere, if only we take the time to look for them.

After almost 21 years at The Seattle Times, I’m taking a leave of absence, starting this month, to work on a different kind of story. There’s been a fiction project simmering in my head for a long time, and it’s high time for me to just finally give it a shot. I’m excited, terrified and enormously grateful for the opportunity. It’s been such a joy to write about movies, books, dance, fashion, and various other arty things for all these years, but it’ll be a welcome challenge to play with another kind of language. It may work out and it may not, but I can’t wait to try.

While I’m gone, Scott Greenstone (who many of you may know from his stellar reporting on the Project Homeless team) will be filling in for me, and he’s excited to try something new with arts writing. I know he’ll do a wonderful job. His first movie review, of “The Northman,” is out now, and many more stories and reviews will follow.

A few more of my stories will trickle in — I’ll have a few bylines popping up in May, on pieces I wrote in advance — but mostly you won’t see my name in the Times again until early fall, when I look forward to jumping back into a new arts season.

Though I’m thrilled to take this chance (and to drastically cut down on Zoom meetings for a while), there’s one thing I will very much miss: the opportunity to connect with readers. Particularly over the past two years, working from my quiet desk at home and missing my newsroom colleagues, it’s felt like a lifeline to hear from you: what you’re reading, why you disagreed with me on that movie, what that Sunday Best dress reminded you of, what you felt being at the ballet again after a long absence. Somebody wrote to me last year, after I’d shared some thoughts about grief after my dad’s death, and told me that I’d made her feel less alone. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a better compliment, and I want to send it back to everyone who’s ever taken the time to write to me. Thank you. I’ll miss you, but I’ll be back.

Wishing you all a spring and summer full of art and laughter and good stories and unexpected poetry, until we meet again in these pages. Take care.