Saturday, September 27, 2008


I just finished a kitchen chore; the way I do it is incredibly efficient. My mother, a farm girl during the depression, could squeeze more meals out of the contents of the pantry, the chicken coop, and the garden than anyone else I have ever met. She taught by example. My father and his brothers grew up in a 700 square foot house. They all three graduated from the Colorado School of Mines, by alternating--two in school--one out, working full time. They lived together in a shed up the hill from the old mill.

My parents are the reason I loved all the looney places I once lived-- fishermen's cabins, tipis, adobes, old trailers, most without electricity, some without running water. If times get tougher, I will be more prepared than most of my friends.

Watching the debates, I was thinking about my parents, and when I came into my office to continue the revision of Sacred Scars, I realized why. Hahp and the other boys were raised in luxury by people who had been raised the same way. All but Gerrard. And that makes all the difference just now. Necessity is a great teacher.

The picture is a wall in Modena, Italy, the backside of a restaurant with a strip-mall-esque bricked, modern frontside. Limori is full of buildings look like this wall: A long history, in layers. One of them is an unfinished stone monstrosity begun by the last king before the magistrates took over. It is shrinking now, as people find ways to carry off the stones.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Grampa Joe

These coat hooks hung in the flour mill that my grandfather opened in Golden, Colorado in about 1925. When bagged flour became common in grocery stores, the mill closed, then reopened as a feed store that served ranchers and poultry farmers and horse breeders for another 30 years. Millet, a common feed grain, is about the size of a ball bearing. Scattered evenly across 20-30 feet of a smooth cement floor, in an enormous room that provides a long approach run, it allows a child to slide/roll/fly/rocket along until she runs out of millet.
Yesterday, on a whim, I tested this general procedure using an old asphalt driveway and a zillion pea-sized drought-year- olives that had fallen from the trees that overhang it. It worked. And it reminded me of these hooks, now on the back of my office door. So they hold Sadima's old shawl now. And her new keys.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Getting down to it....

The ending(s) of Sacred Scars are coming together. Sadima's story is nearly finished. Hahp's has a little farther to go. He is still alive and I am hoping...

Monday, September 01, 2008

Thomas Marsham's passage

It took me an hour to find this image in my files. I remembered it, the arches, the various colors of stone and brick, the proximity of ancient and modern. It is the place where Sadima is shivering, standing straight. She is becoming something I never expected, but completely understand.

I am going to be adrift and weird when I am finished with this book, which will be soon. I will have to start the third one asap.

This is Volubilis, the southernmost Roman outpost. The restored arch (brick) frames the original Roman construction beyond it. Soliders lived here. Click to enlarge.