Celebrating Goodreads’ Sci-Fi & Fantasy Week

While discussing post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction with an academic writer, he asked if I’d read any of John Wyndham’s works. I had not. My friend recommended The Day of the Triffids. This book was considered one of the earliest books published in the genre. What I learned In 1925 Wyndham began writing short stories. In…

Read More

Shelter of Leaves is a 2016 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Finalist

March brought a surprise: My book Shelter of Leaves is a 2016 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year finalist for science fiction! Foreword Reviews writes, “These finalists represent the best books published in 2016, and submitted to Foreword Reviews for award consideration, and were narrowed down by Foreword’s editors from over 2,200 individual titles across 65 categories.” Finalists will…

Read More

Triggering a Map of the Imagination

“I’ll draw another mental map and build a city entirely with ice-covered pink stones…” On February 3, I wrote a blog post for the San Diego Book Review, entitled “Triggering a Map of the Imagination.” Check out the excerpt below and let me know what you think! I ride in the cozy car world of dashboard…

Read More

Life in Other Worlds

“My first attempt at novel writing began in a ridiculous way…” On December 20, I wrote a blog post for the San Diego Book Review, entitled “Life in Other Worlds.” Check out the excerpt below and let me know what you think! A fiction writer joins the world they create. Occasionally a friend has suggested…

Read More

Writing: Early On

“…stories were always with me, floating through my mind, collecting.” On October 28, I wrote a blog post for the San Diego Book Review, entitled “Writing: Early On.” Check out the excerpt below and let me know what you think! My father, a jovial, patient man, made paintings, mostly watercolors and pen and ink drawings. He…

Read More

Names: Clues to Character

Names are important. In my novel, Shelter of Leaves, names carry meaning. The first paragraph below is an excerpt from the deleted prologue. Beside her swimming pool, Elaine closed her eyes against the sun. She imagined a drifting boat flanked by trees; crimson, marigold and burnt sienna leaves spun to the ground. Brilliant leaves signaled…

Read More

Writing Trauma

Flannery O’Connor in Mystery and Manners said: “The longer you look at one object, the more of the world you see in it; and it’s well to remember that the serious fiction writer always writes about the whole world, no matter how limited his particular scene.” A symptom list of PTSD will give a reader…

Read More

Survival: Dreams

Annie Dillard, the Pulitzer Prize winning essayist, in answer to a question from the audience about what is needed to become a writer, gave an answer, obvious, yet profound. It surprised me. She replied that the writer has to do more than live out in the world. In a firm voice she declared, “Our minds…

Read More

Writer’s Block

I’ve been thinking about writer’s block. Grateful I don’t have it now, yet in the early writing days I was plagued by my harsh critic. My own expectations were sky high, the need to sound writerly came out sounding stilted. A too tight pair of designer jeans. When our clothes are too tight we don’t…

Read More

Intentional Orphans

Writers often create from childhood experience. Deep, vivid memories, often recalled again and again as we age. They serve as an underlay and comparison to our current lives. My first post called “An Orphan Story” is a first grade memory. In third grade our teacher read the class The Boxcar Children and the fictional world…

Read More