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Glimpses of Inspiration

North Lake Tahoe

 "Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!"      Lewis Carroll


"Let your fiction grow out of the land beneath your feet."   Eudora Welty

Published

"Chicken In Turkey"

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"Tiny Tattoos"

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"Haunted By Glue Guns"

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"Smokey in the boys' room"

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(contributor, page 27)"I Salute You, Mother"

Sunday
Apr242011

Wanna See the Wild Horses?

For a full flavor of the writers' weekend in Virginia City, Executive Editor with Little, Brown & Company, Alvina Ling, posted an excellent and entertaining summary. You can see it on her blog: http://bluerosegirls.blogspot.com/2011/04/scbwi-nevada-retreat_06.html.

Friday
Apr012011

Wild Horses Couldn’t Drag Me Away—Harleys, Maybe

I’m in Virginia City for the final gathering of the mentors and mentees in the Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program. It’s so authentic Old West here that it’s hard to believe the town is not a movie set but rather an actual community with people who live, work and go to school here. Last night a group of us mentees had dinner at the Red Dog Saloon. A bar spanned the left side of the interior and probably more than a century. A stage was where the bar left off and had amps and microphones set up as if any minute a sizable band would appear. A Rottweiler sat at the base of the center mic. He wasn’t red, as the establishment’s name painted on the window suggested, but he was a nice touch, especially since he wasn’t growling.

While sipping my pint of Sierra Nevada Ale and waiting for our pizza, an old man hobbled in. His Santa meets John Wayne look suited the town impeccably. He had a cowboy hat with tufts of wild white hair sticking out the sides and circling his face in a beard. He wore a red shirt and crusty-looking suspenders and although the hardships he wore on his weathered face gave him a threatening look, his blue eyes, which were almost lost in the crevices of his face, seemed friendly.

As has likely been the case for countless years, tied up outside were the rides of various patrons. Unlike the Old West, however, the horsepower in these rides packed enough punch not only to herd cattle, but to brand and castrate them as well. Our pizza arrived and the scent of garlic was quickly replaced by Harley Davidson exhaust fumes. Then conversation was drowned out by the whinny of the revving beasts. This got me wondering about this universal trait of Harley owners. It must say in the Harley Davidson owner’s manual that it is necessary to idle the machine for a minimum of ten minutes before using it for travel. Also, owners should note that to ensure adequate functioning and bystander reaction, it is helpful to rev the engine at least every fifteen seconds during that time. If the decibel level does not cause people to cover their ears or swear at you, the revving is insufficient and ride satisfaction cannot be guaranteed. Or, the manual notes, such non-reaction should cause owners to reconsider leaving the establishment because they likely won’t find better company elsewhere.

In two hours I’m going on a wild horse tour where a guide will drive us through the Manzanita dotted hills in a Jeep to observe the animals who still roam free. This will be a refreshing change from last night’s rumble of Harleys. Even the fumes, I’m thinking, will even be an improvement.

Thursday
Mar242011

Santa's In Produce

The other day I was in the grocery store and said to my youngest son, “There’s Santa.”

Paul looked at the rotund, white-bearded man in Produce, but wasn’t too impressed. Maybe that’s because Paul is sixteen. Okay, he’s not, but the reason Paul wasn’t thrilled at seeing Santa was because Santa lives in our town. Truly. This man, whose legal name is “Santa Claus,” we see year-round. Sometimes he’s shoveling snow off the walk at St. Patrick’s church, other times he’s walking to the library. Anyway, I realized I wanted to talk to Santa about an article I’d been considering writing about him. So after we’d picked up milk and eggs and were rolling toward checkout I asked Paul, “Where’s Santa?” Paul pointed ahead and said, “Santa’s in the frozen section.” How perfect, I thought. Right where he belongs.

Thursday
Oct282010

I'm-the-Mom Moment--Sweet.

Earlier today I had another I’m-the-mom moment. Here’s how it went. I’d just finished lunch and wanted more, just a little. I looked in the Tupperware tub of spaghetti and thought, nah, not that. Then came a brain to stomach check-in. What do I want? Dark chocolate… coffee…mocha—ice cream! I think we have some. I opened the freezer. We do! Ice cream now? In the middle of the day? Wait! I’M THE MOM! I can do whatever I want—especially when no one’s around to see. And so I sat with my bowl of mocha almond fudge. Mmmm.

Sunday
Oct172010

Story Published in Chicken Soup

As of October 5th, my story "I Salute You, Mother" is out in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Mothers.