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. […]

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 […]

coffee and flowers

How to Write an Occasional Poem

If you’re a poet, you already know how to write a poem. There are about two thousand methods, and you’ve been using at least five of them. There’s the wake-up-at-3-a.m. method, when either a poem pulls you right out of bed or some bodily function wakes you and then the poem attacks. There’s the pull-over-into-the-next-gas […]

stone house

Under New Management

Two interesting things about living in a smaller town intersected in my mind this week. One is how much I form relationships with buildings. People do this in cities, too, but because there are so many options in cities, it can be overwhelming. In smaller places, your choices are more manageable. There are five buildings […]

womens marchh

Women & Other Humans: United We Stand

About a month ago there was a big demonstration, which you may have heard of or attended. The Women’s March was originally focused on Washington, D.C. in defense of women’s rights, human rights, and press freedom, the day after our 45th President’s inauguration. In the end, protest rallies were held in over 30 countries around […]

yuba river in winter

The Weight of Water

As many of you know, we’ve been wrestling with drought in California for the past several years — I think officially the number is five years. Here in the foothills, our usual natural disaster is wildfire, and drought makes fires more likely, more dangerous, and harder to fight because water reserves are low. This means […]

sierra coffee roasters

Where to Find Me: Sierra Mountain Coffee Roasters

Every morning for the last several years I have jumped out of bed, raced into some clothes, and driven on automatic pilot over to my favorite café for breakfast. “Breakfast” =  coffee, some sort of protein, and a whole wheat bagel or equivalent. “Coffee” = a latte. The food plan I follow asks me to […]