Archive for October, 2011

I was listening to my favorite podcast the other night.  The woman being interviewed, Joanna Brooks, came from a traditional, conservative family but she is quite the outspoken liberal.  The interviewer asked if this caused any stress in her family.  She replied, “No one ever asks to have a writer in their family, no one.”

That is true in many ways.  For Ms. Brooks, it was taking a public stance as an outspoken, liberal, feminist Mormon that caused the heartburn in her parents’ lives.  For anyone near me, it’s a matter of putting up with the grammar police.  I can’t help it.  English is a confusing enough language, what with all of its rules that were meant to be broken and crazy homonyms, but when you throw in an utter disregard for punctuation, you are flirting with disaster.  Punctuation makes this language sing.  It makes it comprehensible. (more…)

After spending a year writing a journal and now finally giving myself permission to extend that to this blog and a novel, I am truly feeling the freedom and joy that comes with allowing myself to be me.  It is heady.  It is invigorating.  It is what gets me out of bed in the morning.

If you ever read any books on the craft of writing, the first and best advice you will receive is to be a writer you have to… (more…)

Stephen King has a new book called “11/22/63” in which someone is sent back in time to prevent the assassination of American President John F Kennedy.  What an interesting concept!

What would the world be like to today if JFK would have lived and served out his full term?  Or a second term?  And Bobby Kennedy had lived?  And Dr. King?  Those three assassinations were defining moments in my young life.  I remember all of them vividly.

I would like to think that the world would be a better place, that civil liberties would have taken a giant step forward.  That our race riots of the 60s and 70s would have never happened.  I would like to think that Vietnam would have wound down more quickly.

I would like to think that the best of things of the 60s and 70s would have gotten even better, and the bad things never happened.   That we could all have lived in that Kennedy Camelot for a lot longer.

Can you imagine what Kennedy’s speech would have been like if he had been the one to announce that we had landed on the moon instead of Walter Cronkite?  What other grand initiatives could he have spurred us to champion?  We’ve been to the moon, created reusable vehicles for getting us to the international spacestation, and many people are planning to go back to the moon, maybe on holiday this time.  Cruises to the cosmos instead of the Caribbean.

Where were you when Kennedy died?  If you are too young on remember, what did you learn about him in school?

If you could rewrite history for the last fifty years, what would you change?

I know nothing of Stephen King, other than that he is a wildly popular and successful horror writer.  I have never intended to read any of his work.  I don’t read horror, feeling that there is too much of the real thing in this world already.  Do we really have to create more?  I just don’t like putting my head into that kind of energy.

That might sound a little hypocritical from someone who is writing murder mysteries, and I suppose it is.  Just a little bit.  My mysteries are of the type called “cozy” mysteries and don’t have all the gore, violence, sex and swearing of the more hard boiled type.  Like I said, just a little bit hypocritical. (more…)

My friend, I want to share with you a quote I found today.   It’s on the blog of my new friend from Kenya, Veeh.  The quote is:

Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain.

Please take a moment to jump over to her blog and see the picture she is using to illustrate the quote.  It will bring a smile to your face.

I love the rain.  Some days I will just go outside to stand in it for a while.  I am fairly recently transplanted from the high, dry climate of Denver, Colorado, where we lived for thirty years, to the sea level wetness that is western Oregon.  The rain starts here in September and continues through June.  In the winter we average 5 inches of rain per month.  After having lived for many years with drought in Denver, it’s wonderful to be in rain.  It renews, refreshes, energizes me.  My happiness definitely comes with dancing in the rain.

How do you dance in the rain?


Dear friend, my writing is dragging today.  I seem to have acquired a bad head cold that kept me up all night.  It’s hard writing with a noggin full of nasty stuff.  Slows down the thinking process a wee tad.

So instead of writing more (I’ve already done 2000 words today) I’ve decided to talk about writing two books at once.   I’ve been doing a little web surfing, looking for good blogs about writing, and came across a discussion of writing two books concurrently.  (Oops, I almost said simultaneously instead of concurrently.  The grammar police would have gotten on to me for that one.  I don’t think it would be physically possible to write two things simultaneously.  What?  Both hands moving at once?  That would be a trick!) (more…)

We’re started to watch this reality tv show about artists.  I forget what it’s called.  Something clever like “The Next Great Artist”.  Neither one of us does anything with art, at least not the paint and brush kind of thing.  So this is a little different, a perspective into another world.  They have a bunch of young adults, give them some sort of inspiration and then turn them loose to create something around that theme.  It’s all magic to me, since I flunked finger painting in kindergarten.  I don’t know how some of them come up with their ideas.  Others of them, I’m glad I can’t see into their heads.  It doesn’t look like it would be a fun place to be.  You can tell there’s a lot of trauma in their background. (more…)