Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category


September 21, 2017

Finished the Book!


When I was a child I often wailed “What can I do?” My father wailed back at me “The perpetual cry of youth: what can I do?” Irritated me no end but there you are. I am feeling a little of that angst this month because I am between quarters so no choirs to direct  Read the Rest…


June 11, 2017

Memorializing Whidbey


It’s been another contemplative ten days on Whidbey Island. I guess I have become one of those hothouse artiste types: “Oh, I can only write on my island.” Except I’m home now and I’m writing this. I need to memorialize the week. Memorialize. That’s a word we all know now—those of us that follow the  Read the Rest…


March 25, 2017

Writing and Wildlife at Windhorse

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I’m always struck by how cold the vernal equinox is.  Spring may usher in the warmth of summer on its far end, but it begins with Aries riding through the world, directing the whirlwind, waking up hibernating animals (like me) and splashing cold water on our faces.  During the week of the equinox, I was  Read the Rest…

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December 29, 2016

Winter on Whidbey Island

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I’m up on Whidbey Island writing a novel.  I have no idea how to write a novel.  This novel actually began in 1997 with a very long short story that I thought would develop itself.  I thought a novel would spool from my imagination without my having to think about anything like structure or an  Read the Rest…


September 8, 2016

Letter From Whidbey

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Last May when I was two weeks away from my trip to England, I started a folder called “Stuff to Do When I Get Back” and began tossing notes quite liberally into it.  After spending an idyllic June in England, I came home to my life, which includes wonderful friends and neighbors, my two cats  Read the Rest…

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September 24, 2014

Journal of My Plague Year–Part One

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Feb 5 I hear scratching and scurrying sounds in the ceiling above my bed. It must be birds on the roof. Feb 10 I find a pile of sunflower seed shells dribbling from a bag of bird seed in the sun room. Outside the door is a fat squirrel innocently nibbling under the outdoor bird  Read the Rest…


February 7, 2014

Beyond Animal Farm

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I was going to subtitle this post “The essays of George Orwell” but then no one would read it.  I’m afraid it would have the same result as something Orwell says in Poetry and the Microphone: “Arnold Bennett was hardly exaggerating when he said that in the English-speaking countries the word ‘poetry’ would disperse a  Read the Rest…

BooksLiteraturePoemsThe Norton AnthologyWriting

August 26, 2013

The Dappled Poet

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It’s a good idea to know the definition of dapple (cloudy and rounded spots or patches of a color or shade different from their background) before you read Gerard Manley Hopkins because it’s a word he uses a lot and nobody else does. Not ever. I have a dappled relationship with him. Music, painting, and  Read the Rest…

BooksLiteraturePoemsThe Norton AnthologyWriting

August 16, 2013

Steady the Buffs: I Love Kipling

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Rudyard Kipling. The few of his poems featured in the Norton reminded me that I had an old copy (1899) of Plain Tales from the Hill that has a swastika embossed on the front. In India in 1899, the swastika was a revered symbol, however between the swastika on the book and what we today  Read the Rest…

BooksLiteraturePoemsThe Norton AnthologyWriting

August 3, 2013

Rapturous, Boisterous Robert Browning

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Disclosure statement: I used to grammar check this post because I wanted to see what it thought of Robert Browning’s 19th century English usage: not much. Actually I took the bait of using Grammarly to enter a contest. So here we go: In Victorian Lit class I was told that Robert Browning was set  Read the Rest…