Thursday, December 25, 2014

Thanks to everyone watching Book #3 grow up into a book.

Happy Holidays!!  Best wishes to you and all the ones you love...may all good things
come your way. Thank you so much for caring about my work...and about me.

The plant below is a survivor that comes up through the lichens in the only all-day-shade
within miles....every year, realizes it is in the wrong place and that there will never be
enough water for it in southern California for it to grow fast so it is growing slowly.

Plants know everything that matters.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Limori ::: Book Three Post # 25

Sadimas' life  has been a jumble of forgotten things. Sometimes, when she wakes up there is a tiny feeling, a stray sound, that evaporates before she can remember what she has lost. No. She has never told anyone about  this. She is afraid to. The Eridians would still be kind to her, she was sure of that, but they would step back, hold their children closer......

Monday, December 01, 2014

Limori : Book Three Post # 24

Sadima  woke up this morning remembering things she hopes aren't true.  If they are, the Eridians will never allow her in their meetings again. Thomas Marsham will never smile at her again and she will have to make up lies and disappear ...  again. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Limori : Book Three Post # 23

I made this basket years ago...long before writing took over my life. I noticed it this morning high on a shelf, and started thinking about Sadima, her childhood, her weaving, her easy connections with animals and her love for everything alive. Then Franklin had found her that long ago day when he was looking for children Somiss wanted to observe. I wish I could go back there now and when she started down the dirt road to go to Limori, I wish could catch her hand and talk her out of it.  But I can't. Not now. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Limori: Book Three Post # 21

This is a plant I have had for so long that I can't remember what it is called.  

What I love about it is that it doesn't LOOK like a plant.  It looks like a sea shell.

I showed it to Sadima and she nodded. Then she sighed and I held her hand. So 

much of her life has been guided by other people's decisions. But not this time. 

Not now. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Limori: Book Three Post # 20

Limori: Book Three Post # 20

Thorns.  The universal language used by people in every place on the planet for centuries untold. Where there are thorn hedges, there are secrets. And where there are secrets there are reasons for  those secrets. Somiss knows that..He is the only one who really understands it.

These thorns are mine. I planted them and now I fight to keep them in bounds. They are winning.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Limori: Book Three Post # 19

In Limori, the boys in the cliffs and Sadima are all scared tonight, and so am I. The gap between the centuries is closing. .... slowly, but it is closing.....and I am not sure what that means ...   

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Limori: Book Three Post # 18

Both Sadima and Hahp are sitting in the dark far away from each other. They have never met but they are both afraid of the magicians.

The boys are still inside the cliffs and have been there so long they are starting to wonder if any of their parents are still alive.

Sadima is hundreds of years old now and afraid that the Eridians and Thomas Marsham will hate her for bringing magic into their lives.

...........I wonder all of that, too....and now I will get back to Limori.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Why I am not here very often lately....

This is blurry, I know.

 Maybe that is why I never put it up here before. I am the one with the clown hair. Sherman Alexie  (in the center) won the National Book Award that year. The rest of us were runner's up. At the time I was somewhere between disbelief and fear that a guard was about to rush in and tell me they had made a mistake and that I needed to get off the stage....but that everyone else could stay there.

As I work on the last of the three books that began with the one that got me to that stage I just want to thank....everyone.  For....everything.  And now I will get back to work.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Limori: Book Three Post # 17

Limori:   People are hiding. The City is changing hands again. The old families, the magicians, the boys in the cliffs,  the people in South End and all the Eridians ....all of them are in danger now.
I am afraid for all of them.

Sunday, September 28, 2014


I love these people.  If you are a US need to know about them.

click below to see everything I have written and everything every other US writer has written...You can buy used books from the site, or just browse.....

If it won't work via this in the author you are looking for at  
(in your other browsers)  

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Limori: Book Three Post # 16

Book Three,  Post  # Sixteen

This was taken at a weird angle and that seems perfect to me today.  Cypress trees are standing impossibly upright to the right of everything else in the image and the birds of paradise are drooping down over what looks like a hidden entrance into somewhere dark and strange.  Sadima is in a tunnel this morning, walking fast.. No one around her is speaking...they are all scared. So am I.


Friday, September 19, 2014

Ok, this is odd.....I hadn't seen vultures here in along time but this morning there were thirty or  more doing the wind-circle-glide-dance. I noticed them during my first writing break and was staring upward, watching them when I  thought about this: I want to kill someone---someone in the story. Probably not the one you might imagine but someone who has ruined more lives than any of the others....

Tomorrow I might understand all this better. I will talk to everyone first. If we are going to do this, I want it quick and without pain. 

Rereading that:  Authors are not as loony as we sound, but ending the life of a character is still a jolt, a very painful thing for me. 

If anyone wants to guess, feel free, but I won't tell.....

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Limori : Book Three Post # 14

This is the German cover.....And I love it too.

Everyone who worked on these books did such an amazing job of making the covers match the feelings of the story. This  last story is slowly emerging and almost nothing is happening the way I thought it would. Limori has changed. Somiss has a library the size of a stadium. I will follow him there soon, it scares me to think about what he might be researching now.

* More interesting things today......Limori is really changing.  I am starting to think there are people  waiting for a chance to ruin the city.  Not sure....

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Limori ; BOOK THREE Post #13

Another tree, this time in Winter. Snow and ice and freezing wind....  it is cold and dangerous in  Limori now..... in every way and at every  moment.  No one knows where Somiss is. I am hoping to find out soon and I am hoping he is dead, or has gotten bored after all his years of  using children to prove his theories about fear and magic. I am just afraid for Sadima...that he will find her...

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Limori : BOOK THREE Post #12

Like so many of my pics, I have no idea where I was when I took this... but it seems like the perfect jumble for what I am writing today. This is how it feels to me anyway--almost impossible to sort out. Limori is an old city. The cliffs where the boys are struggling to stay alive have housed so many other boys over all the many years and all the magicians who left behind thousands of books along with the blood stains on the stone floors. Somiss is sliding past any kind of humanity...desperately trying to find something, anything, that he hasn't already seen, felt, loved, hated...

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Limori : Book Three, Post# 11

The  French  covers of the second book........

I have  always loved these. And Sadima looks so...beautifully French!

In English  the cover reads:

The Price of Magic.........

OK. Back to Limory for me. A lot to cut today. .........    and re-arrange.........

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Limori Book Three: Post #10

This one was shot in Bologna Italy during a huge writing/book/event.  It was wonderful and the FOOD will stay with me forever.  If you have read the  first two books in A Resurrection of Magic you know what the boys in the cliffs have been through, the insanity of the teaching "methods" and how they were  starved, then  winnowed out, disappearing one at a time.  I talk to Somiss like I talk to all the people in my books and I both hate and pity him. Never forget this:  When he was about 6 years old  his parents gave him a boy as a gift to keep him busy and to amuse him.  .......  A boy.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Limori : Book Three Post # 9

This forest is old.
On a quiet day you can hear the river far beyond it.
The people who live here were driven out of Limori, Sadima among them. They have built a meeting house, the one that Hahp saw on his way to the cliffs.  The trees know they belong by that river. Sadima has no idea where she belongs. She is sure of one thing..she can't stay here.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Limori Book Three Post # 8

If I had to write a synopsis of the book today, this would be it.  I don't remember where I took this picture. I have no idea what the building behind it is or if it is even a building. The pitchfork shape of the shadows on the trunk look like a Hallow'en mask. I have no idea who is hiding just behind the tree on the right side ...I think it might be two people arguing or about to fight or kiss?  The dappled shade on the path to the left side seems like the door into another odd wall. If you follow it to the right very carefully, you will see a tiny flec of red that makes me wonder if someone is climbing the fence, scared, sliding over it fast enough to get cut. But more than anything I can see snakes. Shadow snakes, Quiet snakes,  Limb snakes,  Word snakes.....

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Limori  : Book Three, Post # 7

I don't  know why I took this shot (probably at Dragon Con)  but I am glad I did. I run across it in the piles of con pictures now and then and it reminds me that people are endlessly enchanted by beauty..... with or without a purpose. It is the definition of beauty that varies.

 The boys in the cliff have been separated from everything, except a continued barrage of  pain and fear. Somiss is a mad man damaged by his parents.  Franklin was a toy they bought to amuse him. All of them have lived in the dark, carrying little lamps, memorizing  paths and songs (that aren't really songs...) all this time.

 Sadima is the only one to escape, surrounded by the Eridians. I spoke with her last night.
Nothing is what I thought it was.   Nothing.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Limori: Book Three, Post #6

When I  gave Limori it's name (which means "graveyard" in a gypsy dialect) I gave it a sea, too....which ended up being a river that connected to the sea beyond it.  I wanted it to be a city with many kinds of people, from many places, with water-weary sailors to tell stories and start fights and  magicians doing impossible things and wars being fought over money and pride and street children like the ones I have seen this country and every other country I have visited. I wanted it to be real. And it is. To me anyway.

These two pictures were taken in ...Morocco......on the coast of Rabat,  just a few breaths
apart on a day with clouds running the show, not the sun........

at 4:23 PM

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 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 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.


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.

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.)