Fantastical Wolfdog

How to Keep a Human, my first and still most loved book, landed back on my desk with a thump this week. Inside, a handwritten note from the reader who wasn’t. She had tried but found it impossible to focus on what seemed a fantasy, and expressed a dislike for people’s speaking for animals. She might be surprised to know that every one of the five related stories in that book really happened. Notes in the book’s last pages even ask anyone who might have pictures of the high-noon human-and-dogfight in Dawson City to get in touch with me. I… Continue reading

How Short It Is!

Two years ago, as I lay, virtually helpless, day after day, in the bed in the library, I would apologize every morning to Lord Tyee. He would come to me for the morning nuzzle and I would wonder if I would ever again be able to climb the stairs to our spacious, comfortable bedroom under the eaves. Too weak even to pull his ears or return his affection except through my voice and eyes, I would pray to survive for at least the rest of his lifetime—because…who the heck would take on a huge, bereaved wolf? Two years later, my… Continue reading

The Boiling Frog

I’m blogging about my current bout of illness over at The Law of Love. This is my first post.   “Suddenly I found myself in hot water. Boiling water!”   It seems like that when illness suddenly strikes you down.   I had returned from a once-in-a-lifetime trip Down Under in tiptop shape, nicely tanned and relaxed from the Cook Islands and more than ready to tackle my many projects afresh. After all, the writing of at least nine books awaited me, from ten to ninety per cent complete. Let the postponed year 2015 begin!   Granted, the old body… Continue reading

Grape Power

A bottle of wine winked at me; said, “You need me today. I am from California. I have an edge and I am on sale.” I choose to believe its slick green surface; cradled it “home” with a companion or two and stacked them all, willy-nilly, in the fridge. The realtor arrived. The friend came. Since they inhabited only one body, I offered a glass of green glassy wine, a libation to stories with an edge. Somewhere between glasses two and three, a buxom idea joined us; crossed her legs, seated ever more easily on the third chair. Clouds lifted;… Continue reading

Condo

This lovely building, with its pool and hot-tub, gym and workshop, pub and crafts room, gardens and fountain, woods and salmon stream, Skytrain and City Hall, arts center, college, miles of shopping and doctors, police and politics, schools and churches, all a mere block away or even ensconced in the building, security and all—oh! How I loathe this lovely building! The rhodos bloom uptight against their fence, afraid to drop petal or leaf in the paths of the masked men gunning away all signs of rot with black noise drawn from Earth’s sleazy past. Inside their plastic suits they are… Continue reading

Broom

My ancient apple tree, who likely refers to me as her latest human, somewhat less elderly than she, has a sense of humor: Wherever I have swept, she drops a small green bomb or shrugs off a bit of the moss infesting her trunk, which turns as gray as foot fungus the minute it hits the concrete. “Be nice to me,” I growl, “and I’ll spray you with that elixir once again, that stuff that took twenty years off you, last summer.” But I don’t mind her meddling with my morning meditation, the broom a choir of straw sussurating over… Continue reading

Is Anybody Using This Chair?

“Is anybody using this chair?” she asks, slim smooth hand already grasping the thing by the scruff of its neck. Of course I am using that chair at this table for two, crowded against a friendly wall. That chair supports both past and future— only the present sits empty. Tony, for one, is due, my fellow birthday-holder, the man whose cellphone remembered to invite me. This intimate table’s surrounded by forty sky-happy people I don’t know, chattering, clattering friends in a future I may not ever enter. Have you watched old men or women converse in a corner with companions… Continue reading

Ordinary Courage

Receiving somebody’s blog on the nature of direct action, I seem to hear the megaliths of destiny moving around to better positions. I’ve long said that ordinary courage requires witnessing and, for some, telling what was seen. As I contemplate the writing of Pale Criminal, the final book in The Falling Sky Trilogy, the mind keeps straying to drastic actions certain characters might take to deal once and for all with the psychopathy stalking their lives. Naturally. Suddenly I get it: the three stages of ordinary courage needed for the conquest of evil are witnessing, articulation and direct action. The third… Continue reading

the morning after WORD

The morning after a book event, the effort required to crank up a writer’s life is simply too great. I take refuge in the simple and mundane…and single-image poetry.   six a.m. At the hour of silver and gray, before tricky color seeps into the day, a crimson electric curve cradles the kettle, a smile of reassurance: shortly there will be hot tea. Humanity persists. Continue reading