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Off Course Discourse

The next blog will happen to fall on Election Day. Many years ago, employees in the County Clerk’s office were offered the opportunity to work during election night as ballots were tallied. Our County Clerk is also the Registrar of Voters. We’d sit at tables grabbing handfuls of paper ballots, checking for rough edges, straightening […]

Fall Colors

We’ve turned the corner into fall and are emerging from yet another round of wildfires. Our skies were painted with the shades of fall leaves and the air has been thick with smoke. Tire tracks were visible in a layer of ash on a Santa Rosa parking lot. More homes have been lost; more lives […]

Why Vallejo?

Someone asked me why I chose Vallejo as the setting for my novel, Taking Root. Early on, as I began thinking about the plot and envisioning Delaney, the protagonist, a little memory bubble floated up to the surface and popped. When my brothers and I were kids, our family lived in Novato, a city north […]

Just Between the Pages and the Post

I have a confession to make. I didn’t enjoy reading until well into adulthood. My mother tried her best to entice me with The Happy Hollisters but I was only briefly interested. I resisted reading the books assigned in school, skimming them only sufficiently enough to be able to pass any quizzes or tests. Only […]

When Lightning Strikes

Last night, my attention was caught by the flame of a candle as it swayed and stretched at our dinner table. Wildfires came early this year, touched off by strikes of a rare summer lightning storm. I’ve been concerned for friends and people I know living in areas under threat, their “go bags” ready for […]

Teen Anxiety

In my coming-of-age novel Taking Root, the protagonist, Delaney, has endured panic attacks for as long as she can remember. Alienated from her mother, and trying to carve out a life for herself, she suffers in silence and has managed to cope with these episodes, most of the time, in a unique way. The number […]

Empty Desks

Heading into August, I find myself thinking about how different this year’s back-to-school ritual must seem to kids and their parents. Our local schools will begin their fall classes with “distance learning,” another new term to add to our growing pandemic lexicon. This presents so many challenges for everyone involved: teachers, working parents, families who […]

Fertile Ground

I’m grateful to be able to sink my ungloved hands into the moist soil of our vegetable garden where I welcome the dirt under my fingernails and even the resistance of the weeds. There is so much uncertainty right now it seems the only thing I can rely on is an overabundance of zucchini.  There […]


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