Smoke Gets in Your…Brain!

For more than a month, I’ve been sucking down smoke in Ashland, Oregon. The whole state seems to be on fire. Admittedly, I haven’t seen any actual flames, but the Rogue Valley, where I live, is surrounded by wildfires. No matter which way the wind blows, we get smoke. More than 200,000 acres are on…

Chai and Chi

Originally posted on Bespectacled & Bookish:
One of the most interesting parts of working in caf├ęs is the opportunity to overhear conversations. This afternoon, the background “music” for my pot of eggnog chai (total yum!) was a Portlander who was fretting over how badly his “chi” was affecting his ability to grow his business. If…

Happy Birthday!

Today is my granddaughter, Lola Mae’s, third birthday. I’m jazzed to have her in the world and in my life. See that look in her eyes? That’s the look I always want to see when a kid listens to me read one of my books…heck…any book. Those inquisitive young minds need stories that will transport…

Sketching for Writers

Originally posted on Bespectacled & Bookish:
Fresh back from teaching Mastering Setting with Kelly Going (K.L. Going), I am excited about a concept that arose and wanted to share it with my writing peeps. On Friday evening, we were fortunate to have Melanie Hall as a a guest. Melanie is an illustrator whose work I…

Sketching for Writers

Fresh back from teaching Mastering Setting with Kelly Going (K.L. Going), I am excited about a concept that arose and wanted to share it with my writing peeps. On Friday evening, we were fortunate to have Melanie Hall as a a guest. Melanie is an illustrator whose work I would characterize as musical and flowing….

Chocolate Whipped Cream

Today I’m thinking about chocolate whipped cream and that, sometimes there really can be too much of a good thing. I asked the young barista at Bloomsbury Coffee House in Ashland for “just a little” whipped cream. She proceeded to pile a chocolate whipped-cream mountain atop my almond milk mocha. I’m not quite sure why…

Join the Wild Girls

I just finished reading The Wild Girls by Pat Murphy, a writer whose work I had never read. It’s a middle grade novel about a girl who moves across country–from Connecticut to California–the friend she makes, and the stories they begin to write. It’s a book about writers and it’s a book for writers. There…

Grounded (in a good way)

What is it about moving that sets one off track for months? I was thinking about that question this morning, and how since I moved to Ashland I have done almost no writing. I’ve been settling in, trying to master the new job, enjoying the new town, trying to get my (adult) kids on track…

The Prize Egg

So…it’s been a while since I’ve blogged. That’s because I’ve been bogged…down…with…moving and settling in. I’ve just begun to feel a bit settled, although maybe the sunshine filling the valley this morning has perked me up. The hills outside my window are spotlit with morning sun. Clouds hang low, tickling the ridges awake. The puddle…

The Worst of Times? The Best of Times . . .

What happened this weekend in Arizona had me despairing about the state of my country. Will we never learn to swim above it all? The violent rhetoric, the us-vs.-them mentality that leads one human being to hate another because of the difference in political affiliation or church membership or income level or skin color? While…