Monthly Archives: November 2014

I’m a Survivor and You Are Too

Merry Survival! Merry Survival!

“Your book title tells me nothing about your book,” says the literary agent.

She sits across from me at a table in the far corner of an empty room. She flips through the pages of my book, Five Minutes For France, with nonchalant abandon.

I assume she’s a nice lady in real life. She probably packs her kids’ lunches with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches along with brightly-colored Post-it notes reading: “You’re awesome!”

But at writers conferences~agents who sit behind tables in far corners can morph into Cruella Devilles.

Not that they’re intentionally mean. But they don’t want you to get your hopes high without equipping yourself with some nice, hard truth. And there’s a lot of hard truth for a writer to swallow. read more

The Rude and Uninvited Guest


When you move to Arizona, you never think about crickets. Not at first, anyway.

Once in awhile, a bold cricket will barge into our house without permission.

This happened the other day. A rude and uninvited cricket ascended my bookshelf, which is a rather tall bookshelf that reaches almost to the ceiling. Once the cricket made it to the top, with the assistance of a harness and nylon rope, it yodeled oh-lay-dee-hooo and hollered “I’m king of the mountain” to see if it could hear an echo.

top of bookshelf

The cricket camped out and sang inside the shelf’s corbel.

Then he got down to business and began chirping his heart out. Chirr, chirr, chirr-pity-chirr, chirr, chirr….CHIRRR, CHIRRR… read more

The Major Problem With Marriage

J & B in Spain

Marriage has many benefits and one major problem. But while you’re in Spain you’re not thinking about “the problem.”

Yes, I know.

Marriage has benefits like committed love and companionship and someone greeting you with “Good Morning” as you wake up with your hair flying every-which-way and eyes half-open.

For now, though, I’m focusing on the major marriage problem called “compromise.”

He wants this. You want that.

No this! He says.

No that!  You say.

This! This!

No! That, that, that!

Finally you compromise and get what neither of you want.

I wanted to move to a charming seaside cottage in Mukilteo, Washington. Maybe live just a few steps from the Red Cup Cafe where you not only get delicious coffee served in white cups, but a view of Puget Sound and ferry boats.  I do not understand, by the way, why the Red Cup Cafe serves coffee in white ceramic mugs. I asked one of the servers about the cafe’s name and she explained the owner loves the color red. That explains it. The owner has all the red cups at home for herself, leaving only white cups for her customers. I’m off the topic. Sorry. read more

What I Suddenly Realized Was Missing From My life

The Thinking Chair

The Thinking Chair

I have a thinking chair. I got the name from the deliveryman who maneuvered my new chair into my office. “This is your thinking chair,” the deliveryman proclaimed, noticing its serene location facing a window view of our desert tree lit up in lemon-yellow blossoms.

I’ve never had a thinking chair. Or for that matter, a chair of my own. In the past, I’ve had to do my thinking in chairs other family members claimed as well. Community chairs, that’s what we had…dining room chairs, family room chairs, dusty patio chairs and uncomfortable wooden folding chairs. read more