Desert Rain

Outside my window there was just a desert rain. It lasted about 2 minutes. It made dots in the dust on the windshields of all the cars on the street. It plinked on the skylights of the flat roofs. It didn’t get the ground or the sidewalk damp. When the weather forecast says scattered showers in the desert, this is what you get.

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Favorite

Emily Saliers, half of the Indigo Girls, is talking on NPR right now about her first solo album. It got me started thinking about favorite bands over the years. I loved Fleetwood Mac and Gloria Estefan and Dianne Schuur. I just loved women’s voices of all kinds.

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Process

You asked about my writing process. I work best very early in the morning. I write quickly, whatever comes to mind. I go back hours later. That’s when I look for passive verbs – I’m terrible about passive verbs. I rearrange sentences and paragraphs. I add detail. Then I leave and go back hours later and do the same proofing and editing again. Maybe by then I think it all makes sense and I move on to the next thing.

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Staying Sane

The news is so crazy, the outrage and anger are overwhelming, the situation in the country is so fraught, it makes me crazy. It makes me want to hide. How can you stay sane in an atmosphere like this? Sit outside and watch the stars at night? Watch “The Mindy Project” on TV? Go for a walk and forget the whole mess? We’ve got to take care of ourselves in this nutso time.

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Curse

My grandmother didn’t curse. When really frustrated she would spell out S-H-I-T. Maybe she cursed when I wasn’t around. But her son, my father, couldn’t get through a sentence without some sort of curse word. He used to brag that he talked like a drunken sailor. He never said a goddam thing that didn’t need a strong curse. And me, what position do I take on cursing?

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Where I Write

my office

This is where I write. It’s awfully crowded in here right now. Too much furniture, but some will move out soon. But I don’t mind because I sit in my chair and type all day long and never look at the room around me. I’m in another world. Where do you write?

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The Wildlife

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Even in the city we are surrounded by wildlife. I can walk outside my door and find rabbits, roadrunners, coyotes, Cooper’s hawks, ducks and who knows what else doing their thing in my neighborhood. It’s the tiny wildlife that bother me. The ants, the spiders, the lizards, the beetles and all the other little critters than come inside my house. I love them outside, but inside – not so much.

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Jill

All the simple names for girls are out of style: Ann, Jane, Jill, Sue. Popular names now are hard to pronounce and spelled in unusual ways. How did that get started? Women wanting something unique for their kid? Something to make them special? Bring back simple.

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Nuts

How did one of the best foods ever invented by Mother Nature come to signify mental illness? I say we reclaim the word and apply it to nutrition and heart health. Nuts are too important to be associated with an idiot like the current nut at the head of the government.

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Sunshine

We crave sunshine, light, rooms with windows. We like the warm sun on our backs on a winter day. The burning sun on our backs on a day over 100 degrees is a bit of a problem. If you’re lucky you can stay inside on days like that, hoping the air conditioner doesn’t break. That walk in the early morning is the best summer sunshine for me.

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