When you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.

That’s the best piece of advice I got in college. It came from my favorite professor, a man who happily called himself a wizened old gnome. He did research in Chernobyl half the year and spent the rest of the time relaxing. To a tiny cult-like group of followers he was everything, to the other students he was a weird prof to be avoided.

This post is a day late, and my Dec 20th post may also be late. I’ve made some decisions lately – large, personal life decisions – that I’m not sure about. Sometimes it takes years to see you made a mistake or months to congratulate yourself for having avoided disaster. In writing I deal with heavy topics, life and death situations, dangerous choices, and loaded guns. In real life the distinctions between a great decision and one that leaves you filled with regret are much more subtle. I’m trying to see that subtle difference, and it’s taking a lot of my time.

In the middle of all that, my editing goes on and, as usual, takes more effort than creating a wildly rough first draft of a story. I always miss writing when I’m editing, but I also see the way it makes my work better. So while I don’t always know where I’m going, I can see progress as I move down the road. For that I am grateful.

I am deeply sorry to for the delays in blogging, reading,  and writing new drafts. I promise to get back on schedule soon.


Editing, the holidays, and December’s Random Thoughts

I used to think I was a fast writer, now I know I’m a faster drafter. I can crank out a first draft in no time, but the editing process takes ages. Worse, the more editing I do the less I like my work. My vision for the characters gets muddy, the plot gets sloppy, and I find myself wondering why I ever wrote this nonsense. Obviously that’s not how editing is supposed to go, but despite an internet full of advice on how to write there’s precious little out there on how to edit. (Someone please prove me wrong.)


Experiencing a death in the family just before the holidays completely changes everything. At this time of year my life fills with joyful celebrations, wonderful holiday baking, and the magic of the season but this year long naps, quiet afternoons, and phone calls to friends have replaced all of that. Oddly, I don’t find myself missing the noise and the busyness.  Perhaps I’m growing older, perhaps it’s the loss, but a quiet holiday feels just right.


Shopping for the Christmas Angel I took from the giving tree brought me more joy than anything I’ve done this holiday season. On Christmas morning my Angel will unwrap a new winter coat, soft fleecy pajamas, a huggable doll (with at least one hug from me stored inside), an art set with pastels and crayons, and six books (2 science, 2 fantasy, 2 biographies of strong women). I wish I could have included a letter telling her how much it meant for me to be able to help her, and reminding her that poor girls change the world just as often as rich girls.


I won a baking competition using this recipe. On the same day I received an award from my gym for being the ‘biggest participant’. I’m trying not to see the irony.


My rabbit editor removed his page from Facebook this week. The constant demand for more pictures, more status updates and more Facebook-ing in general got to be too much for him. Thankfully, he doesn’t mind the fame so I can leave you with this photo:

(The demonic glow in his eyes is not photoshopped.)