Monday, July 28, 2014


Limori: Book Three, Post #5.


These keys belong to a principal /teacher who let me stay with her in Abu Dabi. She was collecting keys...and keys have always fascinated me.

   The first night I was there I couldn't sleep.I kept hearing things...in the walls. The next morning she explained :  Many families had no place to sleep safely. I had been hearing the sound of  whole families climbing from the vents in the outside hallway, working their way upward to sleep on the apartment roof.

Sadima already knows about these keys. She buried them once. I watched her do it and wondered what would happen to them. I still don't know but I will ask her soon. Maybe she knows where they ended up.......and why.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Limori :: Book Three Post # 4


Somiss has something to do with this. I think. Maybe. I can never really talk to him. He lies. I noticed that birds don't land on the struts...they don't even fly past the struts. They veer straight up and to avoid it. ((and I don't know what this means or if this will be in the book, but somehow I needed to know all that.))






Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Limori : Book Three Post # 3





Limori : Book Three Post # 3



This is the mother plant that lost her limb in the wind  storm......and it was interesting to watch her recovery.The damaged limbs were still alive but none of them ever healed over. None of them could repair themselves and  they just dropped to the ground, leaving little scars behind on the big plant and the brittle pile of thorns I saved to see how long they would last. The answer appears to be this: 
They  can last ...Forever

Saturday, July 19, 2014



Limori :   Book Three  Post #2

I have a lot of thorn plants. 

They interest me for a hundred reasons. These are old thorns I have kept for years, watching them change with age. They were broken off their tree in a windstorm many years ago. The tree recovered. These could not. They are long dead but still dangerous.  

Several of the people we all know in Limori fit that description....





Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Limori : Book Three post #1




I don't remember where I took this picture....I think in Paris, but it might have been at one of the other cities on that tour. That whole experience was amazing for me: the size of my world was suddenly and forever expanded. 

I am thinking about that this morning because I am reading and rereading the scenes in Sacred Scars of Sadima's painful waking up in South End, being trapped without her memories, her world suddenly shrinking, and unable to leave South End for several lifetimes ...until Thomas Marsham and the Eridians finally helped her free herself...

I spoke with her this morning for the first time in a long time and ended up crying. She knows she can't stay where she is without hurting the people she loves most. But that isn't the reason I was crying. It's more complicated than that. Alot more complicated. I can't/wont tell spoilers here, but I think I will keep doing this....telling you when I am talking to Sadima and Hahp and the others. It will help me remember I am not the only one who cares about the people I have come to love. And that will help me write what is true.  

  

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Back to Limori...



It's official.



I live in Limori again now. I am rewriting the first massive draft of the third book.
The City of Limori has changed for reasons I can't talk about yet. Or maybe never.

I know this much:

Sadima wants her life back. Thorns and all.




Wednesday, June 25, 2014





Sorry to be absent here but I am WRITING WRITING WRITING




In my back yard now......

Thursday, June 12, 2014

signing books.....what it means to me.





Every writer I know (and that is LOTS)  loves to sign books for people who love their work. Every time I write my name on the paper, I add little messages and things that just appear out of nowhere because I
can feel the connection that the books create between strangers.




So THANK YOU!!!!





Thanks to everyone who ever asked me to sign a book. You have made me very happy!!!

Monday, June 09, 2014

water, wind, writing and staying alive.




This is a beach off the coast of Morocco. I was there to talk to students about writing.  Sifting through pictures that would make sense with today's topic I grabbed this one because just looking at it reminded me of the sound of the water that day. It wasn't rolling onto the beach, it was attacking it, pounding the sand, roaring.  And that kind of fury is stabbing at me this morning. Most of the people I am writing about in Limori are beyond fear. All but one. And that  is the one I will follow home today once the writing is done. We need to talk.


Thursday, June 05, 2014

The long road home




This is the National Book Award reading night 2002, the night I read a three page sample of
my book SKIN HUNGER to this bookish crowd (Along with everyone else who was up for the awards.))

I was one of five finalists in a category we would call YA now. I didn't win the big prize,
Sherman Alexie did. That made sense to me then and it does now. I love his work.
 I spent the evening meeting people I admired, some of them people I had
wanted to BE when I was still in school.




Three years later, I finished the second book in the trilogy.  And then, there were two !!!!




Skin Hunger
Sacred Scars


And now I am working on the third book. It is taking a long time.

I speak to the characters often. I listen when they tell me why they want to die. Then they tell me why they want to live. I can't imagine how strange their lives have been, how long they have lived and all they have seen and felt.

But they will tell me that, too...someday soon.





Click below to see the five finalists: I can't tell you how I felt standing beside them.
http://www.nationalbook.org/nba2007.html#.U5CrIfldVNz


if you copy the link, then click it into a browser, you will see the amazing writers I was with....







Saturday, May 17, 2014




The wind and heat in Southern California have been terrible for days. Many homes lost, many people hurt and it isn't over yet...

We thought we had our usual 6 months to prepare. We were wrong.  Raking heat-smashed weeds this morning while the wind was still and the air wasn't isn't thick with smoke I noticed this..the smaller plants know where to hide. And that will guide my work this morning. Sadima grew up on a farm. She already knew this, and I just needed to be reminded. Back to Limori now....




Wednesday, May 14, 2014







This is the trunk of a tree that I love.  It came to me when it was a child. It is now 20' tall.  It's blooms are bright and look like butterflies when they fall.  And yes, it is getting a bit part in the day's work today. Doesn't it seem like something that Somiss would want?   Yes. It does. If he is alive. I can't find him yet, but I will. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014




Books for young readers:  

Both of these are series.  Both are built on dreams I had in gradeschool. I am putting them up here because I got five fan mails this morning from young readers just discovering these books. ((happy dance))  









Sunday, May 04, 2014





SPRING!!  The trees are dancing!!




and the sky.....




I am just getting home from a fabulous writer fest ((scbwi Chicago)) and will be in deep writing mode for a long time....the smaller project is starting to amaze me and the BIG project continues to eat me alive.


This tree would be a poet if it were human. An angry, amazing poet. Since it isn't I have promised it a bit part.....probably in the big book. Or maybe in Russet when I get back to it. Russet is still hiding. A heedless angry tree like this one could save him.








Monday, April 28, 2014



It's springtime here. Which looks a lot like summer and fall . All of my dangerous plants are waking up.....






This one has made several bit-parts in my books. It is about seven feet tall now and fifteen wide. I think it will be perfect for the small story this morning. The little seed pods drop off in full summer, but the spikes just get bigger and bigger...  it is the kind of plant that the Makers are now using in their experiments.




Tuesday, April 22, 2014






I love graveyards the same way I love sunsets. They both remind me that nothing lasts forever.
This shot was taken in Boston ....but it is now part of Sadima's story.








Friday, April 18, 2014

Ferns...and cycads are waking up now. I always wonder what they are thinking.







The best thing about ferns and cycads is that they look like Aliens.....  and that is all I have to say today.
 (I should be writing.)
( I mean NOW.)





Friday, April 11, 2014



This wall is in Morocco. I stood in front of it for a long time, amazed at the layers, thinking about the history of all the people who had lived inside the building over time. I asked people walking by if they knew how old the building was. No one knew. Most of the them laughed.  Today, Sadima is standing before this wall.  She is scared and waiting.  And so am I.

Thursday, April 10, 2014





If you are not a writer and have never done a full book revision, I just wanted you to know that it feels like this......and now I will go back to work. THANKS to everyone waiting for book #3


Image from a collection in Colorado, my home state, a blend of brilliant brains and mixed nuts. 

Add caption

Sunday, April 06, 2014




My great grand parents. Once in a while I think about them and realize that if either of them had not survived the Civil War....I would never have been born. 

My great grandmother was Cherokee/African. My Irish grandfather fell in love with her. So he fought for the North, lived two years in a  starvation prison in the south....then came home stick-skinny and sad ..... and found her waiting.