• 1878 Hinton Handbook map of Arizona mines, telegraphs

    Scene idea, abandoned towns, and the telegraph

    In The Reluctant Bandit, Wanted posters aren’t giving Sheriff O’Donnell the answers he’s looking for or needs. He has to find a different way to procure information that’s quick. Enter the telegraph. It may seem odd or somewhat implausible that the telegraph would make its way into a vast and sparsely populated expanse such as the Arizona territory, but it did. It was a boon for both the military as well as for the territory’s growing economy. Mail could take months to arrive but with the telegraph there were instant or nearly instant responses. The news could change by the time a piece of mail arrived. In many cases it…

  • Pirate Saga, continued…

    I went back for a checkup and K said to me, “Oh, I have something from L for you.” She handed me a piece of paper, which is the image above. Lol. Unfortunately, K said I was “too quick” walking from my car to the office that she didn’t have time to put on an eye patch (see parts I and II for the full story/explanations). I have to go back next week to take Chia for an eyeglass adjustment. Guess who’s getting little packets of Pirate’s Booty? Yup. The whole office. I feel like Rip Taylor bringing in snack bags of Pirate’s Booty. Arrggh, a bag for you and…

  • invite for a pop-up lead by Sage Adderly-Knox and invited guests Lynn M. Stout and Ami Hicken King. Dark blue background with light blue text and white text. Saturday, March 13, 2021 at 11:00 am PST. Dot, Line, Heart, Line, Dot gold logo and an outline of a piece of paper in gold.

    You’re Invited! Sage’s Pop-up for Writers

    Sage Adderly-Knox and Lynn M. Stout are two women I thank in my Gratitude section of The Reluctant Bandit. They, among other people and situations, are the reason I was able to get this book done. Friendly support and being seen and heard are huge. People often think that craft is the only thing they have to worry about when writing a book, but they focus on that to the detriment of the inner journey and conflict a writer goes through. If you can’t get past the stuck-ness inside you can’t write, no matter how many ideas you come up with and no matter how great the ideas are. I…

  • fluffy white blouse light up from the bottom left corner with yellow rays. The upper right corner has a faded blue sky

    Monogamy, The Novel

    I resisted downloading this book multiple times. I kept receiving emails about it and in a weak moment, I downloaded it. I somehow knew that these characters were going to have a personal reckoning that would be a painful process. In these past months isn’t that what many of us have been doing? We’ve been reassessing and re-evaluating our lives, and for many death has been a part of this. Aloneness. The reality of who we thought we were clashing with who we really are. I also resisted because “secrets” (cheating) causes physical pain in my heart. It’s a sad thing all around, isn’t it? The interesting thing about this…

  • hello-bodied parrot toy sitting outside on a dark green bench in the sun. gravel below the bench with a large succulent planter behind it and pave driveway in the background.

    So a woman walks in with a parrot in her bag…

    Two things: First of all, I’ve been excited to prank L since I left the doctor’s office two weeks ago. You can read about that here. Second, I realized that I had an earlier appointment than I did last appointment and that L comes in later…I couldn’t roll in dirty with a parrot on my shoulder, wearing an eye patch to prank her because she wouldn’t be there! To be honest, I nixed the eye patch because if someone else did happen to come at the same time (Central Phoenix Eye Care has been awesome about social distancing and spreading out appointments and adjustments) I didn’t really want to scare…

  • It’s worth the price of a parrot

    In my last post, I mentioned being in the hospital for surgery. That was in December. I feel good but I’m still recovering from it. I had a tumor removed (it was hiding under a facial nerve in the large saliva gland). Long story short, half my face isn’t functioning at full capacity. At first, it looked like I had a stroke. Then it looked like someone had used a mismatched Mr. Potato Head set to assemble my face. My ears were two different sizes–his and hers. One eye didn’t blink for a while and looked larger than the other. The facial nerve that suffered most was the mandible and…

  • The Death Star

    I was at the hospital waiting in pre-op (yes, my second surgery of the 2020) watching through the small opening of my curtain, biding my time. The staff marched around with great purpose and what looked like efficiency. Who am I to judge whether or not they were efficient? 🤷🏻‍♀️ They looked like they had a purpose and were carrying out their tasks without delay. I always knew there were different colored scrubs, but for some reason it struck me as interesting sitting in the pre-op. The brown transport scrubs contrasted more with the different shades of green/blue. It felt very much like what I would imagine being inside the…

  • super large tree towering over a pond and a house

    Finding your roots

    What do you think of when you read that? Normally, I’d think of digging into your past and seeing the places that you came from. Maybe it’s a family tree, some sort of lineage (family, work, tradition), or even your ethnic background. Roots–things that ground a plant, tree, or even a person. She moved to ____, planting roots. Stability. A sense of timelessness and permanency (as much as life can be “permanent”–we’re all on borrowed time, right?). Well, I found roots this week. They were literal and were not at all grounding–at first. We’re having two bathrooms partially remodeled. One out of necessity. The irony is, the bathroom that we…

  • 2020: the year of falling down the stairs

    I took a fall down a flight of concrete stairs the last weekend of January. I didn’t think much of it in terms of a metaphor for 2020 until yesterday. It’s post election in the US. Things are by no means settled, emphasizing this feeling of free fall. Either outcome, the US has a lot of work to do collectively and individually. This made me think about how I tend to sweat the small stuff. There are some things that happen and you must figure out how to navigate that for yourself. I don’t know why I’m so obsessive about the small stuff, but I am. Can’t see the forest…

  • Funny Pre-Op Conversations

    So I love talking to people. I find them interesting. What some people love about me is that I’ll laugh at their corny jokes. I sometimes like corny jokes. I think what I like even more than corny jokes is the relentless nature in which some people go about them. It’s like a schtick. I’m easily entertained. I try to find the humor in a lot of things, otherwise we’d be doing a lot of crying, folks. For obvious reasons, a lot of questions that you’re asked pre-op are repetitive. They want to make sure they have everything correct. Chief was my ride home. I was asked a couple of…

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