Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Spring Snow

As we welcome winter back to the Southern California mountains before it finally departs for the year, I find the snow feels different somehow.  Maybe it's the quality of the light.

Like cherry blossoms, spring snow falls and fades perfectly under the waxing moon.

Friday, February 20, 2015


I've lived in cities most of my life, and though I try to catch meteor showers and scope out other celestial events, it can be hard, especially in Seattle, where clear skies are not the norm.  Here in the California mountains, every night (almost) is a huge celestial light show.

Look up and see
the universe that surrounds you,
of which you are a small, small part
and rejoice that you can see it and behold its wonders.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Author or book?

Today, Anne Rice posted a 2010 Smithsonian article about Lewis Carroll and his possible impure thoughts concerning the real Alice, her sisters and other children he knew.  Nobody will ever know what he (or she) did or thought for sure, because all the principals have died, the culture of the era was very different in that girls often married (big enough, old enough theory) and single men often formed close relationships with the children of family, friends and neighbors, and nobody thought anything of it.  Nude photographs of children were common, often taken by their parents, and were considered artistic.  The innocence of childhood was celebrated.  People, in truth, thought a lot more than they acted, too.
What does this mean for the literary Alice?  I wonder if, either way, it should matter at all.  Shouldn't the work stand on its own?  Interesting questions, sure to provoke diverse answers.

Can't figure out how to get my iPad to link to the article.  Will do so through Twitter -- if I am lucky.  Usually I do this on Mamma Mac, who knows how.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Ain't Superstitious

Rod Stewart and Jeff Beck -- Ain't Superstitious

The Truth album is my favorite of Rod Stewart's work.  And Jeff Beck, well, enough said.
Also check out the 1961 Howlin' Wolf version at the same link -- the real deal Chicago Blues from a master!

The lyrics to this song suggest something that seems universally true:  people SAY they aren't superstitious, but they rely on those little bits of folklore anyway.

I've recently heard a couple of new ones designed to bring snow, which California desperately needs, despite the recent NoCal storm.

Put a silver spoon under a feather pillow and sleep on it.  And wear your pajamas inside out and backwards.

Think they'll work?  They did in my presumptive cousin, author Marly Youmans',  hometown of Cooperstown, N.Y.!  (I think I've found where we cross, Marly!)

Enjoy rockin' the blues today, with some fabulous music!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Exciting announcement! (And a dragon.)

While The Toki-Girl and the Sparrow-Boy Book Two rests before a rewrite, I have discovered a way to GET MY BACK LIST ON KINDLE!

This is exciting!  I have two adult mysteries and a cookbook on floppy discs, and if I can just FIND the discs (they're here somewhere), I can easily have them converted to files I can work with right now.

Every time I read these books, I realize they're pretty darned good.  I use the cookbook all the time.  I am thrilled to find a way to get them out into the world.

This is a dragon.  Dragons use wind and water to create storms.  The greater form of the Tengu uses its feather fan to produce wind storms.  Can you see where this might be going?  My dragons aren't cute and they aren't pretty, but they sure can throw a mean STORM.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Writing in Real Life

It's easy enough to think that writers sit at their computers and cool stuff magically leaps from brain to page.  For me, it doesn't quite work that way.  I spend a lot of time thinking, researching, outlining by hand, and working out scenes in my head.  This goes on for weeks, sometimes months, as I try to figure out what happens next, and then it goes down on the page.  When I have a project going, I do make a solid effort to write every day, even if only a hour or two.
Now that the first draft of The Toki-Girl and the Sparrow-Boy, Book Two:  Chasing Dreams (tentative title) is finished, I need to catch up on all the things that I let slide during the last exciting rush of writing the last parts.
Today, I'm stacking firewood, as a cord was delivered early this morning.  I think I'll be using about a cord and a half a year.  I'm still learning how to efficiently use the wood stove.  I have a perfectly good and quite economical gas heater that works very well, but I like the feel of the heat the wood brings.  Here, firewood is almost all cleared wood from defunct orchards and fires, and also logging waste and deadfall.

The pictures show one of the great benefits of living here.  I have so many ski areas to choose from, and all have splendid and different views.  In this picture, I'm skiing a run on which I can get my turns back up to snuff, and couldn't resist sharing the wonderful views.

Came down from over there on the left, on a nice, groomed run.

And this is where I'm going.  Down, that is.  This is a stopping point at the top of a chair that serves the lower part of this (total) run.