What is it about our childhood home that pulls at us? Why the urge to step inside one more time? This is what went through my mind as I drove down the highway on my way to work, and impulsively turned onto the road that would bring me to the neighborhood where I grew up. What was I looking for? Some remnant of the past? A clue to something that I missed? [Read more]
I sat with my hospice patient yesterday. There is no typical visit between us, but events might include any of the following: An energetic greeting followed by a short, confused chat, as my patient tries to recall who I am; I play music to spark memory; We hold hands and watch TV together. But it didn’t go like that yesterday. [Read more]
I’m just coming down from a “work weekend” retreat with the fabulous Laura Davis, three full days of quiet, uninterrupted writing. The setting was a beautiful mountaintop home with windows that framed forest, mist, and sky. It’s the kind of view that muffles the chaos in my head and gives me space to dream about my next book. [Read more]
Have you ever noticed music’s ability to transport you to another time or transform your behavior altogether? This happens to me all the time. I use music to mine for stories, to jog memories while working with hospice patients, and to lift the mood after a crummy day or when cleaning the house. [Read more]
It’s funny how lost I felt when I finished writing Boot Language. I missed conjuring up the landscape of my past each morning: the scent of red earth and towering Ponderosa pines of the Sierras; the warmth of horse sweat as I removed Oakie’s saddle and blanket after a ride; my parents’ voices in my head as I sat down to type. [Read more]
My 16-year-old daughter Elizabeth stood in the open front door, red-faced and silent. She had just returned from a sleepover at a friend’s house, and was hiding her hair with her hoodie.
“You okay, honey?” With two teenagers at home, that question was always on my lips. [Read more]