Wednesday, December 31, 2008


May all good things come to you and your beloveds in 2009.

Monday, December 29, 2008

beautiful day


A warm and lovely day. I am still cutting stuff down, trimming trees and chopping back things that grow over each other...

But only in short breaks. I am goingthrough the the copyedits for Sacred Scars. It's good. I think. I am pretty sure...The copy editor is brilliant and loves the book, so the comments are really helpful...

These are succulents. Cold rainy days (like all of last week) bring out more color in them for some reason.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Spiders were involved, yes...

.... but in a strange way.
The leaf happened to float into two sharply angled web anchor strands. They had crossed in mid-air, each one leading to a spider's web 15-20 feet away--in opposite directions--from the accidental (Or maybe spiders plan these things) touch-and-stick juncture that the leaf happened to intersect as it fell. Such a sweet, unlikely coincidence. I just love things like this.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Gravity: there is a way around everything

...walking outside, I glanced up when a crow squanked, and saw this. A silk oak leaf, questioning, no, refuting gravity. On a still, breathless day, it hung, about 15 feet over my head, with nothing between it and the sky. I stared at it for five or six minutes before I went to get the camera. Click the pic to see it more clearly....
I figured it out, but it still seems impossible.

Friday, December 12, 2008

 These are bird of paradise blooms, starting to fade...

I remember the first time I saw one. I was 17, and had hitch-hiked to California from Colorado, where I grew up. I just stood in front of it and tried to square it with any other life form I had ever encountered, and couldn't.

They are as common as roses here. There's a giant variety, too, that blooms white. I have a few. The biggest is 25' tall. The seeds are fringed with an insane orange fuzz...They are African natives, but seem to like California weather well enough.  

I started thinking about them because of this night's work. A boy, raised in confinement, has found a way out. He is starting across the chaparral desert--and will soon see a bank covered with these blooms. And he is going to have to stand in front of them and try to believe that they are real. I hope he can. He is so damaged. So isolated and hurt. This might be the angriest story I have ever written.

Friday, December 05, 2008

My Parents

My parents in 1941.
They were part of the "greatest generation"--the incredibly hardworking people who pulled this country out of the depression and onward, through WWII.
My father was a young teen during the depression. My mother was a tween. She used the same 6 bobby pins for five years. She learned to sew her own clothing. Her family owned a dairy. My grandfather just kept delivering milk to the families who were not able to pay their bills until he went broke. They never recovered financially.
My father worked two after school jobs at 17. His father owned a grist mill and he worked there, too. So, three jobs, really. His two brothers worked just as hard and they all made it through The Colorado School of Mines in about six years, taking turns: two in, one out, working full time.
I keep thinking about them lately. How they managed.
One Christmas, when I am sure there was very little money, my mother bought a few small gifts and hid them all over the house. When we woke up Christmas morning, there was a green string for me--and a red one for my sister--each tied to a branch of the Christmas tree. We followed the string, winding it up as we went all over the house, out into the yard, the porch, the garage. Sometimes the string was overhead, or wound in a back and forth pattern around chair legs... it was a great Christmas. It took an hour or more of laughing and complaining and teasing and criss-crossing and untangling, to open two or three presents--none of which I remember at all.

Monday, December 01, 2008