A Mean Place

I’ve avoided this page for too long. I can’t any longer.

My mama wouldn’t be proud. I’m breaking her rule. I have nothing nice to say, but I’m sayin’ it anyway.

A while back, I wrote about my confrontation with my neighbor.

Here it is.

I want to walk next door and confirm that the current state of my country, my world, was what she wanted.

I wish I hadn’t been right.

I wish I could go back and grow a pair.

I’d actually put the Hillary sign in my yard.

I would’ve stopped the voter suppression I witnessed at my poling place, where the man in charge intimidated the brown people in line.

“You might as well leave now if you don’t have a photo ID.”

I knew he was wrong. I knew about the court ruling. I gripped my own drivers license and turned away, disgusted at his lie, disgusted at my inability to confront the well-dressed, middle-aged Republican in charge.

So here we are:



Climate Change,


the EPA,



the subtle implosion of my health insurance,

the racist comments my Asian-American daughters have endured at school because it’s now acceptable to chant “TR**P, TR**P, TR**P” on a school bus.

I’m using asterisks because, in this era, all press is good press. I’m not about to contribute to that sinkhole.

If my words upset you, feel free to unfollow. This isn’t a one-off and done rant from me. I’m done pretending that things are OK. I’m an American. I vote. I expect more from my government than this.



In Another Life

I saw this in the New York Times and had to share. I can almost see myself living in these rooms.



Label this under stuff I don’t like.

I hate algorithms. I loved Pinterest until more than half my feed became, Picked for you.

Yesterday, I searched for red painted chairs. Today, you guessed it, my feed is mostly red chairs. I don’t want another red chair. I have one already, a sentimental ladder back my dad rescued from a junk pile. I love it. But one is enough.

Why did I type red chairs in the search box? Images. I search when I write. I want the perfect red chair to sit behind a computer psychic’s work desk. I want the perfect red chair next to the fireplace in my main character’s log cabin. I have the perfect red chair for me in my own house.

Why does social media insist I’m so meager that I can’t think for myself? What if tomorrow I need to describe yard art? A six-foot, ceramic alligator? Will the Bots-That-Be throw reptiles in my face for a month?

My Red Chair

Lonely Grouse

lonely grouse - 1
Grouse in the Wild

Do you enjoy doing things by yourself?

Jasmine Tea Schnauzer - 1
Critique Partner

By nature, writers need to be alone. Most days I’m happy-happy talking to myself in strange voices, running the dialog past my favorite critique partner, Jasmine Tea Schnauzer.

And then, I have a day like today. Call it mood. My husband, who usually fills the gas tank, leaves the car on empty. My oldest guilts me into letting her wear my new Keds to school. The characters in my book aren’t yelling loud enough for me to get them off the cliff where they’ve been hanging since Sunday.

I google people I knew in the ’80s. I find out. They’re dead. I obsess over my kids’ grades in the school’s, too convenient, Parent Portal. The meter reader passes through my fenced backyard, eight feet from the family room window. I check myself. I’m covered–albeit in a flannel pajama top and yoga pants. I scramble for cover, wondering if he’ll close the gate behind him. Will I remember before the dog runs out to chase a squirrel?

On this day, I’m a lonely grouse.

I have two choices.

A. Continue on the current path. Write nothing. Search Google for dead acquaintances. Hide out until late afternoon when I’m forced to think about school pick-up and dinner prep. By this time, I’ll be raving, cracked, and depraved.


B. Get the hell out of Dodge.

Opting for B.

Do you like to be alone or are you a lonely grouse, too?