Writing Ghosts

The picture on the book cover at the upper right was taken in 2005, on a tiny cross-country road in England, not far from Bodiam Castle. I was taking a shortcut off the main road from Hastings, had just driven through a village the size of a postage stamp, past a thatched cottage with a Thomas Kincaid flower garden, and came to a halt here, right in the middle of the road.

"I'm in Hobbiton," I thought. "Down the rabbit hole and through the wardrobe. The England of my imagination still exists. And here it is!" If you want to know where stories come from, visit the land that imagined them. Read more about Writing Ghosts


A long time ago, I took a summer course in something, I don't remember what, but it sounded interesting at the time. On the very first day, the professor started a discussion about heroes. Who were our heroes? And why? Read more about Heroes

Our Mother's Daughters

Conversation with friends this weekend. One of them says she is having trouble finding herself again. Ever since she helped her mother from incapacitation through illness and finally death, she feels she has become someone she didn't know existed.

I know how she feels.

Neither of us were close to our particular mothers. Both were women who found meaning for themselves in the church. Both were women we were certain judged us harshly. Neither were women we tried to emulate. Read more about Our Mother's Daughters


At any given time, there might be 6-8 squirrels - grey squirrels, I'm afraid, but I don't really like apologizing for the existence of any given creature - running around in my yard. I toss a little mixture I call Critter Food - peanuts, corn, sunflower seeds - you get the drill - out the door for the ground feeders. The big birds who can't access my squirrel-proof birdfeeders and, of course, the squirrels. Read more about Squirrel!

How Do You Know?

I knew this guy once who used to say, when he was angry with the world in general, that if he had a gun he would just "walk into a bank and blow them all away." He had great admiration, at the time, for most any and all of the current rabid responses of the American left-wing "revolutionary" armies. Read more about How Do You Know?

April Green

The garden is green. In Seattle, the garden is almost always green, but the green changes. Wintergreen is dull green, tired green, green that's just barely keeping up appearances. Summergreen is deep green, fat with green, so replete with chlorophyll that on rainy days the city is drenched in it. Autumngreen is olive green, camo green, blending into the background, knowing our attention is on the splashes of red, yellow, and orange, holding what green it can for when it is the only color left. Read more about April Green

Why We Leave

My sister-in-law stopped by yesterday, and when I say "sister-in-law," I mean my ex-husband's wife. She had some things my daughter had left at their house. We are friends. These last couple of years, we have all celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas together. We were laughing about something else my ex had said or done - something that proves to us that he is, generally, averse to trying new things or going somewhere he hasn't been. Read more about Why We Leave

Pick a Pundit

Does anybody actually watch the news anymore? Do we have to? Does anyone actually have to turn on the TV at 6:00 in the evening to find out what's going on in the world? Don't you already know? Hasn't your New York Times update sent you the morning's headlines? Hasn't it sent you any crucial updates and breaking news items of which one should be aware? Don't you have a radio? E-mail? Twitter? Facebook? That shooting in wherever - aren't you already talking about it at the office, assuming you have an office. Read more about Pick a Pundit