Over the summer I finished reading Hillary Clinton’s What Happened. You’ll notice there is no question mark. It is a simple statement. Hillary knows damned well what happened. This book is her attempt to explain it all to us. From her point of view. Which is valid and instructive and heart-wrenching in many different ways. But over the years I’ve come to believe that given what she was up against, there were very few and narrow paths to electoral college victory. Read more about What Happened
I am one of the millions of women who grew up with the Little House Books, the ethics of which likely had a larger impact on me than my mother’s strictures. So that, right there, suggests the best advice I have for young parents everywhere: look for the books that your child will love and when they are grown they will not depart from them. Read more about Prairie Fires
What do you remember of 15th Century Italian history? Guelphs and Ghibellines ring a bell? The petty wars between Florence, Milan and Genoa? Yeah, me neither. Read more about GGK’s Italy
Once Upon a New Year's Day
Well, the first habit to acquire is the habit of writing. To follow Steven’s command at the outset of this journal and write it all – the real and the imaginary. Write descriptions, conversations, character sketches, imagination, ruminations. Find the means of expression. Perhaps my first and foremost resolution, then, is to become a writer.
My son, Christopher, took me to see the movie, Tolkien, for Mothers’ Day. On the way home, we had a conversation about those premier fantasy writers of our time, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien and George Raymond Richard Martin, and came to an agreement that although we have read and enjoyed both, GRRM will never be a JRRT. Not even close. Read more about JRRT vs GRRM
A long-forgotten reviewer characterized a novel I loved as “a 5th century China that never was but should have been.” Read more about Back to Africa
I’ve been writing a series of short stories, each of which is subtitled, “A Fairy Tale.” A couple of them do have bits of magical elements. Three of them are more or less down to earth. People in my writing group have asked me: In what way are these stories fairy tales?
I responded to one of them as follows, referencing my latest story that I call "Saturday Night in the Big City." Read more about What Makes a Short Story a Fairy Tale?
Another bit from THM (I'm calling his segments The Heintzelman Maneuver), my old writing buddy from the Blue Moon, gone now, but I still have a few of his papers that he gave me. I think he had a book in mind, celebrating the folks he knew from the bar. I do much the same thing in "A Dream of Houses." I didn't know T Ruth (before my time?), but I think I recognize "Molly." Read more about T Ruth