NaNo & GIVING IN

  All this month, I have been writing for National Novel Writing Month (NaNo). My early goal, before November began, was to complete a science fiction novel. I had written 15 k in April, and hoped about 7k of it was worthwhile. But as November approached I lost confidence. I have written several novels—seriously. The [...]

THE ODYSSEY

Translations are a bitch. If readers—especially those with no great interest in other cultures or mythology—want a fast-moving, understandable fantasy tale, this might be just the ticket. I want history and truth and anthropology. I want art. This translation is modestly literate and probably relatively accurate. Despite imposition of semi-iambic pentameter and use of modern [...]

HERE! ROVER! THANKSGIVING!

This morning Gary and I walked the length of the beach to the north. We were out for two hours. A little more. We started early, but it is a holiday weekend, and there were many people on the beach we didn't know. Most of them had loose dogs with them. Several of the dogs [...]

TIME OFF

We went away for the weekend. Such a simple thing to do though rare for us because for all of our marriage until recently, we had the animals to consider. There were dogs, usually five or six of them. There were the cats, only one at a time. Zora bit. Leakey pined. This recent trip [...]

BURNING

The West is burning. In 1975, Canadian friends picked me up in Seattle to ride with them to Colorado. The driver was Jeff, and Jeff smoked cigarettes. At one point, he tossed the lit butt of a cigarette out his window. It was early September, the end of a long, hot, dry summer. We were [...]

VETERAN’S DAY

We watched birds on the beach this morning, but it is Veteran's Day, so Gary and I talked about our dads' military service. Gary's dad joined the Army during World War 2, but was mustered out as a result of a hernia. He joined again, this time the Army Air Force and spent the war [...]

RELATIVE

When my husband was young, sometimes he would sit on the back steps in a parched Arizona payday waiting for his dad to get home with groceries. Another family of four children was left alone for the weekend that turned into a week or maybe two. The woman who told me about her childhood was [...]

FOOD for the HOLIDAYS

When Gary and I were in college at the University of Washington, Starbucks was a brand new store at the old Public Market, Pike Place. We did not drink coffee, but I shopped in Starbucks for spices and chocolate at the original store, and then later at University Village, at their second store. Spice and [...]

LETTING THINGS GO

My step grandmother gave a mandolin to Gary many years ago. He had the instrument cleaned and repaired but then nearly sold it after she died because somehow an essential family connection had slipped by him unnoticed. When I explained it had belonged to Genevieve's father, he took it out again and held it. "Then [...]