Southern Writer from New England

For some time now I’ve been confused over my obsession with southern writers. I get all conflicted trying to figure out if I want to be a New Englander writing in the South, or a Southerner writing about New England. Sometimes I can’t figure out if my story is about characters from my New England … Continue reading Southern Writer from New England

One of the Famous Authors from “My Island”

This video about the author Ernest Gann has many scenes from "my island" - San Juan Island in Washington state, where I lived for many years. A prolific author and artist, Gann always followed his passions - flying, boats, jumping out of an airplane in his 70's. Gann wrote numerous top selling books, including "Fate … Continue reading One of the Famous Authors from “My Island”

Bitty & Beau’s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wrzz-sibpv0 I'm thinking that every time that I wake up feeling pissed or depressed or horrified about the latest loss of life from war, forced migration, generalized hatred, environmental disasters, gun violence, the general condition of the world, the latest hateful tirade from the president of my country or something else threatening to mess up … Continue reading Bitty & Beau’s

Don’t Mess with My History

Do we really need to remove the monuments honoring confederate "heroes?" Or do we need to use them to illuminate our history as it actually was, in a search for truth and understanding of our real past? President Trump has claimed that removing these statues represents the changing of history. But of course you can't change … Continue reading Don’t Mess with My History

Writing & Passion

I am probably passionate about too many different things. It often feels like my brain is composed of a large bag of marbles, and someone has dropped them on a hard surface, causing all of them to pop, jump and scatter about, making it tough to focus on any one particular topic. I truly admire people who are so passionate about one particular subject that they zone in on it to the exclusion of everything else...

Writers’ Solitude

Have you ever had the opportunity to experience total solitude for a week? Time to focus on your writing and exist in a world where it's not even necessary to block the rest of the world out because for that chunk of time, the rest of the world doesn't exist in your life? I had this experience for the first time recently when I attended a retreat at the Ricardo Palma House...

Poverty in America

Having grown up being taught about the "American Dream," it's hard to wrap my arms around the reality of 41 million people living in poverty in my country. This UN observer, having investigated other countries in the past, now visits communities in the US where people have no income, no access to bathrooms, no place to sleep and no hope.

The UN's Philip Alston's "fact-finding mission into the richest nation the world has ever known has led him to investigate the tragedy at its core: the 41 million people who officially live in poverty."

“My role is to hold governments to account,” he said. “If the US administration doesn’t want to talk about the right to housing, healthcare or food, then there are still basic human rights standards that have to be met. It’s my job to point that out.”

The Observer – Writing in Progress

“You took the bus? Weren’t you the only non-native person riding?” Isabel is shocked to learn that the observer rides busses. The look of concern, if not outright horror, on her face makes it clear that this is one thing about the city which she has never learned. “I could have sent my driver for you. Weren’t you afraid of being robbed?” Robbed. On a crowded bus. It could happen, she thinks, remembering the young man who insisted on vacating his seat for her. The man jumping on and off busses all day to earn enough cash to survive. The old lady bending with the weight of her huge shopping bags as she climbed the steps to board. It could happen...

Zippers on Palta – or never pass up an experience just because you don’t know what it is

Living with an artist often means hearing comments that may not make sense to a “normal” person. When we first moved to Peru, it surprised me that no one seemed to know what an aguacate was. Everywhere else we had been in the Spanish speaking world, the mighty avocado was called “aguacate.” After 3 months … Continue reading Zippers on Palta – or never pass up an experience just because you don’t know what it is