"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Friday, April 1, 2022

The countdown has started

The fantasy trilogy is nearing completion. All three books are written. The first is ready to go, the second is in the hands of my fabulous editor, and I'm completing the edits on the third so I can hand it off to her for her valuable insights (and corrections).

I've also figured out the release schedule, far apart enough for my sanity while being close enough to keep readers captivated--I hope! 

So look for Blood Dragon Rising in October 2022.

Moon Dragon Falling in December 2022.

And New Dragon Soaring in February 2023.

Color me excited.

Sunday, December 19, 2021

The annual card

 The Christmas cards have been mailed to as many addresses as I have collected. I began writing a Christmas letter when Marcus was around six, I think. I realized I was writing the same news in each card and decided, hey, maybe I could write a letter instead.

Little did I know it was a gateway drug to my career as a professional writer.

But for those of you who have not given me your address but want a card just the same, here you are:

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a GOODnight!

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

What do I do with the silence?


I'm trying to think of the last time I was completely without a pet in my home. I may have been in my twenties...my early twenties. I have had many pets, and have felt the pain of their passing, but this time feels different because in the past, there was always a pet waiting for me at home.

This time there is no muzzle for me to caress, no ears to rub away the grief.

The Lady Spazzleton, our rescued golden retriever was old, so old that I feared every morning she would not rise from her bed. Duffy, our corgi was middle-aged and I expected he would live for at least another four or five years.

Nothing of course happened the way I thought it would. Duffy had a degenerative disease. Lady Spazz had a cancerous growth. Lady died at home on her own terms. I had Duffy put down when I saw the resolute sadness in his eyes.

And now there is silence in my house, a silence that has stolen my purpose.

When I get up in the morning, I don't open the door to let dogs out. I don't fix doggy breakfasts and add Duffy's medicine and set the timer. I don't put the bowls in different rooms and close the door and wait for them both to finish. I don't coax them into the yard with cookies to keep them from arguing about each other's food and who got more.

When I'm out of the house, I don't worry about getting home to let them out. I don't worry about being gone too long and having them miss me.

In the evening, I don't have to feed them again, or coax them into the yard, or leave the bedroom door open so they can sleep beside my bed.

Now that I don't have to do all these things, what do I do? I brush my teeth and fix my hair and meditate and plan and feel adrift.

Once the holidays have ended and I quite feel the newness of 2022, I shall fill the house with fur again--perhaps a cat and a dog. But at the moment, I wonder how I shall live in such a life without pets.

Monday, September 6, 2021

I'm fired up!

 Last Saturday I taught one of my workshops to the California Writers Club - Orange County Branch. I've taught this workshop a fair number of times. It's called "Rhythm, Pace, and Amusement" and I'll tell you a bit of a secret: I didn't originate this workshop. 

I mean, I did, but sort of the backdoor way. I was pitching workshops to Michael Steven Gregory, director of the Southern California Writers Conference and he said, "If I gave you a workshop called 'Rhythm, Pace, and Amusement' could you do something with that?"

Of course I can, Michael.


So I put the thing together and the first few teachings felt shaky (to me) although the workshop participants said they enjoyed it. I got into the rhythm of it, eventually.

So when Mary Vensel White of CWB/OCB asked me to teach that workshop, I got my charts out and updated them (I always do this for every workshop), and...

OMG, this is the BEST workshop I've ever taught!


It is chock full o' practical information, and the kind of info that leads to discussion and that's a great workshop. The best part is that I get to update these charts again and teach it at the Southern California Writers Conference in Irvine in less than two weeks!

I'm also teaching my newest workshop, "What's the Point? Story, Subtext, and Plot." This workshop is my passionate plea to writers everywhere to ask themselves WHY they want to tell THIS story. Oh, and how to let the reader know why they want to read it. I pitched this idea hard to Michael and he said yes.

So the conference is September 17-19 and I'm completely fired up to teach and I SO HOPE you'll join me!


Here's the link: https://writersconference.com/la/

Friday, August 27, 2021

You are cordially invited

Dear Writers,

There are a couple of events I simply must invite you to in September. And by "Writers" I mean if you are a writer who is currently plugging away at this or that, or if you are someone who would like to be a writer but hasn't a clue how to start the process (hint: by writing).

First, I will be teaching a workshop on September 4th at the California Writers Club Orange County Branch. It will be a Zoom session so you can show up in your jammies. 

I will be teaching "Rhythm, Pace, and Amusement," a workshop that delves into the nuts and bolts of how to tell whether your writing is engaging, your story well structured, and if you're injecting humor, some helpful hints about that.

Here's the link to their Meetup, where they will give you the Secret Handshake for the meeting, which starts at 11:00 am:


If you want to learn more about organization, here is the link to their website:



After that meeting, you're going to be all fired up and wanting more, yes? And if you can't make it to the September 4th meeting, you're going to be kicking yourself and having a severe case of FOMO.

Have I got good news for you!

September 17-19 is the Southern California Writers Conference in Irvine, California. It's two-and-a-half days of writing immersion. Learn about it, talk about it, feel for a moment that writing is EVERYTHING.

And then meet us in the bar for a lot of laughter.

Here's the link:


I could wax poetic about this conference, but I'll just point to one of my many blog posts on the subject to try to convince you to attend.


I'm teaching workshops there, too. One of them sounds familiar--"Rhythm, Pace, and Amusement." Do not be concerned about hearing a replay. Each time I teach a workshop I rework it so it's never quite the same.

The power of editing, peeps.

I'll also be teaching a semi-new workshop, "What's the Point? Story, Subtext, and Plot." I taught this last February in (virtual) San Diego and got a lot of good feedback on it. It was fun and exciting to teach, so I'm excited again!

Please invest some time, if not some money, in yourself as a writer. I'd love to see you!



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