Blog

Inventory

At some point every January for the last ten years, I’ve taken an inventory of my books — the books I’ve written — for tax purposes. This is a little random, as I have boxes of my first poetry book in my shed from when the publisher closed its imprint, and I never count those. […]

Some Medical Adventures

I spent more time in and out of hospitals this past year than I have in decades — a week as the patient and then many months as a sister of the patient. My personal adventures were a little scary but mostly diagnostic, without much pain involved and lots of welcome sleep. The diagnosis was […]

pink flowers

Abundance

This year California had a record amount of snow and rain, which was a problem when trees fell and creeks flooded but in general cheered everyone up. Long droughts are wearing like any chronic illness, and the relief is wonderful. The snow collapsed parts of my cat fence, which I haven’t had time or money […]

scotts flat

Lake Season

If you know me — have read my work, are a friend, hang out on social media, etc. — you’ll know that for the last 14 years I’ve been swimming in Scotts Flat Lake, a reservoir near my town in Northern California. At first, when a friend brought me to the lake, I swam every […]

A Working Vacation: The North Coast

Before the Pandemic, I was slated to do a poetry reading in Ukiah, CA, but the virus put paid to that idea. Four years later, they invited me again, and I said yes. I hadn’t done any out-of-town readings since the world opened up, and felt as though I needed to practice being in public […]

Adventures: San Francisco Bay Birthday

Sometimes I envy my sister Sarah’s vacations, but this year when I discovered she was going to Fiji for Christmas, I did not: I was only delighted. I wanted to borrow her apartment. You can see this wonderful place in a previous blog post here. My friend Susanna was having a birthday, and both of […]

Gardening: Plum Season

I didn’t know that fruit grows in cycles until I moved to this house 19 years ago and started a long-term relationship with fruit trees. Some years are stone fruit years (plums, in my case, but elsewhere peaches, nectarines, apricots, cherries) and some are not. Here, it’s an every-other-year pattern, and this year is an […]

Adventures: Little Local Museums, Part 1

I’ve always had a theory that a town or city’s resident doesn’t frequent the tourist attractions of that town or city unless guests come for a visit. This was proved once again when my friend of 40 years, Ellen K., came to see me over Labor Day Weekend and mentioned that she loved little, out-of-the-way […]

nevada city coffee shop

Community: A Reincarnated Coffee House

As many people know, I’m of the “café society” ilk of writers: I work quite well when seated in a bustling coffee house. I say that this comes from being the eldest of four kids, where family action took place in a big kitchen and I learned to do my homework surrounded by lots of […]

nicasio school

Travel: Small Town, Christmas Day

As a person with no immediate family, my Christmas traditions vary widely. Sometimes I snuggle up to other people’s children, grandchildren, pets, and turkey dinners — sometimes I wander around by myself, or stay home in front of the fire and read a good book. Usually I have figured out what I’ll be doing by […]