Signing Off on the Galley

To proof a galley for the last time, just before the manuscript goes to print, is to say good-bye to the world I made and filled with people I love. That world is going on without me now, and I’m going on without it, into the next made-up world, and the one after that. If, […]

In Defense of Fearlessness

  Arizona Rain I think about fear a lot. Many of us do, I suspect, with a world-wide pandemic barely in the rearview mirror; a likely Republican candidate who tried to overthrow the government; and a planet that rages against us more each year. Fear can inform and protect; it can also limit and hold […]

POLITICS AND POETRY

        My poems sometimes take a political turn. My prose seldom does, and if so, it tends to be less blunt, more circumspect. Confined in real-world time and place, the plot of a story or novel will address what concerns me, particularly the plight of women, but always as part of the […]

Random Thoughts On Nearly Four Decades Of Writing

  River in New Mexico In a few days, I will be sixty-five. Got my Medicare card a few weeks ago. There aren’t many other tokens of this milestone, except being called a senior citizen. Which I’m not. Citizen, yes. Senior, no. In any case, I look ahead calmly and look back wisely. At twenty-seven, […]

A Novelist & Poet

I wrote novels, then poetry, late in my career. Up to then, my focus was on short stories. I produced one after another for about nine years until finally, one found a home. It took another seven or eight years before I was regularly publishing them, and my first collection, All The Road That Lead […]

Poetry & Image

cottonwood tree reflected in water, Lavinia Studios 2021 POETRY & IMAGE Poetry is a visual expression, even when it’s about politics, or feminism, or how nasty people can be. In poems, words evoke both what we feel and see. This is important to me, I’d say even crucial. Since leaving the urban mess of Seattle […]

I Wanted Brothers

I wanted brothers. Two, maybe three, but one alone would have kept me safe from my sister’s abuse, her never-ending rage at my being born. This necessary brother would be in the middle, between us age-wise, a willing defender. He’d always take my side. This brother would be taller than I but not smarter. I […]

In the Beginning

My first short story was written on brown paper using a second-hand Underwood typewriter I picked up at an antiques store. I felt so writerly, perched on my stool at my kitchen counter, banging away. My husband was studying for the bar exam and had trouble concentrating with the noise I made. Luckily for him, […]

Revising—A Primer

  First drafts are rotten little beasts. They just don’t behave. They do what they want, and give you lots of lip in the bargain. Revising tames the beast and can, with work, make a beauty. So how do we affect this glorious transformation? First, we drop the hyperbole and focus on three issues: informational […]

My Other Keyboard

Staying home means finding ways to stay happy and sane. Even with cold summer weather, there’s the garden; another book to read; not to mention another one to write. But sometimes I need to get away from pages and screens and stretch my brain another way. So, I practice my scales on the piano. I […]