Category life

There’s No Birding in Space

At heart I’m a nature girl, so it was hard to write a novel that takes place mostly on a space ship. In Endurance, Captain Lyn Randall even laments about wanting to hear bird song and feel the wind. It’s summer now here in New England and the days are long. I’ll wake up at […]

A Pause to Reflect, A Plea to Vote

I was going to post about my new book, with either an excerpt or a preorder link, but, now is not the time. The school shooting at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, adds to a far too-long list. I, like, most people, feel grief and outrage that this continues to happen. That we […]

green flat lichen on tree bark

Writing Prompt: Dependence

The prompt was random, with 30 minutes to write this time, so here’s my take on it. Not fiction this week. Dependence I knew when I decided to move to a rural town with fewer than a thousand residents that I’d be entering a new world of dependencies. Most people think of rural folk as […]

Bear's Den

Writing Prompt: Quarantine

Sometimes the prompts hit just a little too close to home. We can ignore them in our 30 minutes of writing, but I usually forget that and flail ahead. Hence… Quarantine The first definition of quarantine, the noun, is “a period of 40 days.” Who knew? Why that? Biblical? Second definition pertains to shipping—isolating in […]

Linda Hamilton holding gun and ready to fight in Terminator 2.

Writing Prompt: A Fight

Here’s what came of my most recent writing group session… A Fight There’s a meme going around Facebook where you give yourself a point for everything on a list you haven’t done. One is “punch someone.” I suppose I have. You can’t get through toddlerhood without punching someone. The only fight I remember never made […]

Pond with lily pads seen through trees

A Writer, an Editor, and a Reader Walked into a Bar

I started the following essay when I heard about the call to fill the wonderful anthology, Our Happy Hours, edited by S. Renée Bess and Lee Lynch (aka “Story Collectors”). Then I heard Cindy Rizzo was going to write about Boston in the 1970s and knew she’d do a much better job than I could […]

Stream and trees in snow

Winter Notes

In the evening when it’s dark and the stars shine bright, I like to stand by an open window and listen and breathe and look into the night. Winter air can be odorless. Or a pocket of scent might startle me, usually when walking through the woods. It could be the mild skunk-like musk of […]

Passing the Torch: How to fix the climate and everything else at the same time

Dare I say it, but I don’t think we’d be where we are without Trump. Without him, the #MeToo movement wouldn’t have taken off. As a candidate, he boasted of abusing women. Without him, climate change wouldn’t have mainstream media coverage. He pulled us out of the Paris Climate Agreement. Two devastating climate reports would […]

High voltage power lines cross a hillside

Power Lines

The hills line up to the horizon like a blanket kicked to the bottom of the bed. This isn’t the Himalayas, where continents crashed into each other, shoving rock five and a half miles into the sky. This is the result of an ice age pushing around the land thousands of years ago. The effect […]

Hollow support post and exposed header beam

Zen and the Art of Handling Setbacks

Writing a novel is a lot like building a porch. I’m not talking about planning and prep work and how conceiving and completing any project has similar steps and cautions. This is no Zen and the Art of Novel Writing (or Porch Building). This is about setbacks. It began so simply. A three-walled, roofed but […]

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