Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A sad day for bookstores: Dutton's closing

A cover story in the Los Angeles Times: "For Dutton's books, it's the end."

I love this bookstore. My friend and author Diane Leslie has been a part of it for years. I had a book release party there (and at Book Soup, South Coast Plaza, now closed, too) when Pen on Fire came out.

Is NY and the Bay Area the only places where indy bookstores stay alive? Sheesh.

Here's the story. (You can read the Times story, but you have to register first.)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Homeward bound

Trav and I hated to leave Mammoth this morning. Already we're planning on where to go next, for more snow.

Icicles in the morning....the drive south....the temperature outside--a rarity for these Southern Californians....

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A perfect Mammoth day

Morning view

Travis on the gondola

It's just coming down. We could spend many more days here.

Snow has been coming down the last couple of days. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous.

Mammoth morning


my favorite
color, on the ground, in the
sky, through glass, divine snow

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


“The snow goose need not bathe to make itself white. Neither need you do anything but be yourself.” -- Lao Tzu

“To live anywhere in the world today and be against equality because of race or color, is like living in Alaska and being against snow” -- William Faulkner

Y'all know I love snow, right? Travis and I are in Mammoth. He's snowboarding and I'm back into my book (and loving the snow). If you don't love snow, you might as well stop reading now, because what you will find are links to poems with snow in them, and photos of my morning.

Billy Collins' on snow here and here.

Monday, February 18, 2008


A wonderful piece in Sunday's Los Angeles Times.


Did anyone see Larry King Live last night with Michelle Obama? I liked her--very much, actually. She said something I so agreed with, and it's that if Obama was elected, the world would look at the U.S. so differently. So very differently.

I just visited his web site and donated.

So, who're y'all for, and why?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Perks of publishing

One of the major perks of getting my book published is meeting nice people, many via email.

Here's one blog started on account of my book. The woman who started it says my book not only changed the way she writes, it's changed her life.

So gratifying.....

Thursday, February 14, 2008

five poems for you on this day


Billy Collins' Litany. Man.

Robert Creeley's The Rain. Listen to the reading. Slays me.

Christina Rosetti's Echo

Sharon Olds' I Go Back to May 1937

Oh, and The Lanyard by Billy Collins.

happy valentine's day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


I was starting to ask the question, "Do distractions take anyone else away from writing like they do me?" and then I deleted it. Of course they do! Distractions are the bane of a writer's life. Health and money distractions are the worst. How can you argue with someone to write when they have pressing concerns? You can't. Although I have one friend who's having trouble at home and she finds that the more she has trouble, the more she is obsessed with writing.

How nice! I said.

Nice? she said.

Yes, nice! You're writing!

Oh, well, I guess I am, she said.

The last couple of weeks for me have been a bit nerve-racking. Waiting for results to medical tests (everything's fine, it seems). But the waiting has been very distracting. So distracting, in fact, that I've done so little on my novel. Other work, yes. But fiction, no. Thinking about it, planning, plotting--yes. Writing--no.

What a waste.

When I'm distracted in that way, I do other things. Work I have to do, and I knit. I knit so much in the last couple of weeks that my thumbs hurt.

I think of writers I know who've encountered terrifically difficult challenges and got their writing done anyway. One such writer will be on my show tomorrow--T. Jefferson Parker.

What about all of you out there? Time to stop lurking. Post here. Tell me (us) what you do when faced with health and money distractions.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

That's enough about me; what do you think about me?

I have at least one blog reader who is a terror at letting me know when it's time to post again or berates me (lovingly, I hope!) for letting too many days go by without posting.

So here's something new, and hopefully not too terribly self-promoting: an interview by Sujatha Samy-Randy, a journalism student from France. We talked recently by telephone. Listening to her lovely French accent and soft timbre, I very much wanted to go to Europe--again.

You should come here, she said. You would like it.

I might never leave, I said.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

What do you see out your window?

Of course on Superbowl Sunday someone just had to have a Big Screen brought in before the game. This image sat outside of our house for an hour at least until Travis finally said how strange it was and I looked and saw the teeth.

A good writing prompt is to begin with where you are and what you see. If you have a digital camera, take a picture of what you see and write about it. And if you don't wanna, write about this one.

Friday, February 01, 2008

One of our faithful blog readers says, "Once again I have awakened to disappointment in your refusal to change your blog. So, in my efforts to move your blogging career along, I call your attention to the Calendar Section of todays LA Times and the article on Bi Polarism. Since Bi Polarism seems to be the common connective between artists, musicians and writers you might like to poll your readers who are mostly writers to see how many of them have Bi Polar disorder or if they don't have it would like to have it in order to further their careers. I think this would be a noble public service on your part. No thanks is necessary."

I think this is the story J. is talking about.

So, to please J., I must ask you .... what do you think?