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I haven't written in here for quite a while. There are reasons. I am feeling a bit discouraged by the whole writing endeavor. It's a cumulative thing. Let me list the ways.

"Can I borrow your copy of (insert book name here)?" Please, buy the book!

"I'm waiting for the book on loan at the library." Libraries are great, I know, but you can afford to buy the book!

"Here's my list of recommended reading" (My book isn't on my friend's facebook post)

"Here's the books I gave five stars to" (My book isn't on this list of my friend's stars)

"You haven't made back... Read More...

I recently went to my first live event for my books in two years. I'm not going to lie. It felt deeply weird. So many people! Crowds of people. Masked people, and everyone had to be vaccinated or have a negative test, so I wasn't too worried about Covid as much as I was worried about so many people! I'm out of practice.

I felt like Spruce, our pandemic puppy, who didn't get a lot of socialization. As a result he views people, especially loud children, with suspicion. On the other hand, Frost, the other pandemic puppy, is overjoyed when she sees new people. A true extrovert dog, she... Read More...

I feel like I've sort of given up on writing. I am not pushing my books, I haven't done any events (but we really can't right now anyway. My county is back in a mask mandate and nobody wants to gather), and I haven't sent out any queries or done any writing. I might be done? I don't know. I don't think so, but there aren't enough hours to do everything. Instead, a friend and I went hiking at Mount Rainier National Park. Our backpacking trip was six days, the longest hike I've done since 2019 (the last normal year). It was so peaceful to be away from email, work, responsibilities, and the... Read More...

I was hiking with a good friend. She would never knowingly say anything hurtful. But she said, "Your other books weren't pageturners, but this new one is." I have to admit, I didn't say anything at the time. After all, everyone has an opinion, people don't need to like my books. I don't set out to write "pageturners" even. So why does this still bother me? It does. I think there are sometimes better ways to say things.

Take another example. I was by strange circumstance, camping with some near strangers. We were chatting away. One of the younger ones (late 20s), said, "I haven't... Read More...

Returning from a hike with the dogs, I noticed a smoke column in the distance. The fire was blowing up, as evidenced by the height and boiling cumulus type cloud above it. I feel the same mimxed emotions I always have, but different. I loved being a firefighter. I mean, I really loved it, more than anyone else I know. It was years ago, but that doesn't matter. Does it matter for any memory, how long ago it was? It hasn't been tinged with rose-colored glasses. I remember it all.

I mostly worked on the line, not at camp, though I did end up doing some radio stuff later on. That wasn't... Read More...

I sent out a query letter! Just a couple of days ago I was wondering if I was going to give up on writing altogether. It isn't a profit making venture. People don't want to buy books--they will go to great lengths to get one from the library or borrow one. You would never do that for a work of art. It gets discouraging.

Also, my novel queries have gone nowhere. I think I am facing a major revision. So I thought, is it time to stop? Do something else? Stop feeling guilty when I see my computer?

But I couldn't resist and took up my seasonal work in the national parks collection... Read More...

After lots of complaining, I finally got my Covid shots. As I was expecting, because I have a really strong immune system, I was sick for a couple of days. But that is better than getting Covid. All around the land here, nobody is wearing masks. I could go on about the risk of that in a county with only 44% of people wanting the vaccine. But that makes me too ragey so I won't go on.

My life isn't my own anymore, which you won't understand until you are taking care of someone. Friends are great, but friends don't come at all hours to help. They have their own situations. My days pass... Read More...

Hello friends,

So it's been a year. I remember how innocent some of us were back in March 2020. Some of us made funny backpacking videos in our yards. We debated over whether it was ethical to drive to Cow Creek to hike, fifty miles away. We were frightened of the grocery store. People were kinder then.

In many ways, I've been fortunate. I've been working at home for ten years, so that didn't change, but instead of phone calls, where you could pace as you talked, everyone leapt on the video conference bandwagon. Looking at faces all day is hard, especially if you lead the... Read More...

Dear Vaccinated Friends,

I am happy for you. Seriously. I'm glad you are protected, though for how long we don't know. I'm also glad because everyone who gets vaccinated may make up for the deniers who have been gathering all along. So go ahead and celebrate, post on Facebook, whatever you need to do. But please. Think about the rest of us before you go on. Before you go on to say, "I'm vaccinated, so I am going to travel here." "I'm vaccinated, so I'm going to hug anyone who is vaccinated!" (I guess the rest of us are out of luck) "I'm vaccinated, so I am going to visit vaccinated... Read More...

I have a love/hate relationship with social media. It helps me get the word out about my books. I love it when people write to me about what they felt when reading them. (Go to the contact form!) But...

I remember when Facebook started. It was exciting because here, some of us thought, was a way to connect with our far-flung friends, share our lives, especially because nobody really wrote letters anymore. But other stuff seemed to creep in. Pretty soon, people you never knew in real life wanted to be "friends." Ads appeared. People began to argue with strangers. I do like some of... Read More...

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