checking in

March 24, 2021

Not much to share because my brain is a stew right now. I’m not sure how I’m even getting anything done, but I am, so that’s something, anyway. We got 20 inches of snow in my neck of the woods about 10 days ago and that was fun but now I want spring. I want to wear T-shirts outside. I want to be too warm instead of too cold.

And I’m experiencing massive, massive vaccine envy. I know I’m low priority and I’m okay with that but it’s really hard being on social media and seeing everyone posting and realizing that it’s getting to where I know more people who’ve had it than haven’t. And that’s good, right? Herd immunity! Except I’m pretty sure everyone I know is going to have a big “yay vaccine” party without me.

God I really want some nice weather.

nothing to say

January 8, 2021

Nothing I can say that hasn’t been said already.

The reason so many of us were so upset after the 2016 election is because we saw something like this, an actual insurrection against the U.S. government, coming. Radical right elements who’ve been agitating for that shit for 30 years now saw Trump as their guy. And Trump egged them all on from the start. He needs to go, now. He needs to be held accountable.

I’m just so tired.

holiday

December 24, 2020

 

Someday soon we all will be together
If the fates allow
Until then we’ll have to muddle through somehow
So have yourself a merry little Christmas now

 

Thanksgiving 2020

November 26, 2020

I’m in my pj’s drinking tea and watching the very earnest pared-down Macy’s parade which is super surreal, but I’m glad they didn’t cancel it, just like I’m glad we had virtual conventions when we couldn’t have them live. It’s all so strange but people are trying so hard and I appreciate that.

I’m grateful that I’ve been able to spend this difficult year in my comfortable home. I’m grateful for my work, my career, my friends, my family, and on and on. This year more than ever.

Happy Thanksgiving.

hurrah!

November 9, 2020

Last week lasted ten years and I stayed off the internet for a good part of it, especially Tuesday night when everyone on social media was losing their minds.

But it was a good week, as it turns out. Biden and Harris won and it’s going to feel so good to get some sanity back. Like so many others I let out a breath I might have been holding for four years. We still have a lot of work to do — as a country we’re still on the edge. But we’ve maybe got our balance back and are no longer windmilling our arms trying not to fall over.

Also, the U.S. has elected its first woman vice president, and that still hasn’t really sunk in. Might not until January. I can’t wait.

struggling

June 1, 2020

#blacklivesmatter

U.S. folks:  please make sure you’re registered to vote, then vote blue.

It’s hard watching the world right now. I have a book coming out next week, and I had all these plans to promote it, but I’m feeling small and useless.

So here is an article about all the books featuring black voices and black history mentioned in the Luke Cage TV series.

Here’s a list of black-owned business to support in Denver.

We’ll get through this, I think. It’s just really hard not being able to see what that looks like right now.

 

This brightened my day, though:  My niece has been working on stop-motion animation, and she made me this film. I love it.

 

My grandfather, Allan Linder, age 94, passed away on Tuesday. Not Covid-19 related, and that’s only one of the things that’s been very surreal about the last few weeks. Telling people, “My grandpa is sick – it’s not covid,” as a kind of verbal footnote. He went into hospice care in early February after a cancer diagnosis. (I haven’t posted about it before now out of respect for my family’s privacy…and I just didn’t want to talk about it.)

His decline has mirrored the unfolding coronavirus pandemic. As he grew more ill, the pandemic grew worse, every day, so I feel like I’ve been dealing with stressful unfolding tragedies in two directions. In both cases, it’s been like watching someone fall off a cliff in slow motion. I can see the ground under their feet crumble, I can see them tip over, I can see exactly what’s going to happen and how this will play out. And there hasn’t been a single thing I can do to stop it.

Like I said, it’s been a surreal few weeks. I was able to visit him in Pueblo on Monday, to say goodbye, and I’m vastly grateful for that opportunity. Times being what they are, that moment might not have been possible, but it was. I’m grateful.

Now let me tell you about my Grandpa. Son of a Swedish immigrant, youngest of four sons, a family of Nebraska farm boys. He turned 18 smack in the middle of World War II and joined the Navy, serving aboard the U.S.S. Matanikau in the South Pacific. After the war, he earned a Ph.D. in biology and taught at Idaho State University for twenty-five years. He spent a few summers as a ranger at Rocky Mountain National Park and was the recipient of a National Science Foundation grant. His research focused on reptiles and fish. He and Grandma celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary last year.

Grandpa taught me to fly fish, and I don’t know when I’m going to be able to watch “A River Runs Through It” again without breaking down. He’s also the one who got me into birdwatching. I still use the binoculars and spotting scope he gave me.

Yesterday, I almost stepped on a beautiful little garter snake in my yard, and it flicked its tongue at me before slithering off, and I laughed and cried because it felt like Grandpa saying hello. I will miss him.

 

state of the desk

February 6, 2020

I am in desperate need of distracting right now, so I’m going to talk a little bit about work. (I don’t suppose it’s really work when sometimes it’s the thing that makes me feel better? I’m so lucky in this regard.)

I’ve been working on a new novel since November. I passed 60,000 words on it this week. This one’s been a little strange — before this week, I hadn’t hit the wall. I usually hit the wall between 30k and 40k words — this is where the outline falls apart, I don’t know what happens next, I don’t know how to get from point A to point B and I have to stop, brainstorm, outline, make a map, whatever. Well, on this one, I’d been working on it straight for 3 months, which is really unusual.

I shouldn’t have worried, because the wall came last week and I had to take a break. I know basically what the end is — I have a really clear picture of it. But I’m not totally sure how to get there.  At least, I wasn’t. But I took that break, made that outline, and now suddenly ideas are pouring in. Part of why the first half of this went so quickly is I’d been thinking about it for a long time, I’d played out a bunch of the scenes in my mind over and over. But I didn’t really have anything for the second half.

Now I’ve got a map. Now I know where I’m going, and now the scenes are coming together. It feels good.

So, that’s some advice I very often give to people who get stuck. Instead of staring at the blank page, take a break. Take a walk. Bring some scratch paper. Draw a map. Write some notes. Brainstorm. Give your brain a chance to stretch. It’ll feel good.

 

 

Merry Christmas

December 25, 2017

Have a safe holiday season. As we head into the new year, I’m wishing for peace, safety, health, and happiness for all.

Be kind to each other, and to yourselves.

 

end/start of the month

September 1, 2017

August is finished. August, the month that would not end. So much happened, and just kept happening. Europe trip, total eclipse, Depeche Mode concert (and do check out their opening band, Warpaint, who were excellent), career strategizing, Wild Cards story finished and turned in, Too Much News…

August felt like six months long. And now it’s Labor Day weekend.

Time to hit the reset button and get ready for a good autumn.