Sunday, May 29, 2011

My Dog Died Today

Danny, Emma, Me preggers, 2004.

My Dog Died

Our sweet Emma Peel died today. She was thirteen years old.

She was the reason that my husband and I bought our first and only home.

She was the ring-bearer in our wedding and accompanied us on our honeymoon.

We always stayed at pet-friendly hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts because we couldn't bear to leave her at home.

When I was pregnant with my son, she would rest her head on my belly.

In 1999, she found us. We were walking near the VMFA on Grove Avenue and she was nearly hit by traffic. She ran up to us, and we carried her to our house in the fan. She was our first child, our daughter, and we miss her terribly.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

How Much is Enough? And what if it's just not coming?

I don't know how much is enough! Do you? When I was a kid, I watched that very silly movie, "Throw Momma from the Train," with Billy Crystal, and I remember that he said, "A writer writes every day."

This sage wisdom was repeated to me in my MFA program, and I have certainly taken it to heart. I try and remember that if I only write one page a day, in a year's time, I'll have 365 pages. But will they be "great" or even "good" pages? Won't I still have to revise? You bet your bottom dollar!

Some days I can't seem to get in the groove. Like yesterday, I sat at my computer, unable to stop checking my email and posting silly love notes to readers on Twitter. (That's part of my job now too.) Twitter and Facebook. I am having trouble keeping up with the technology!

Still, I am grateful for everything! Even Tweeting. Ooops, I am sidetracked.

Back to "How much is enough?" So, I threw in the towel yesterday. Walked away from the computer and collapsed on my bed--only to see my beloved and tattered journal, of late, within arm's reach. Without thinking, I continued on with my novel. I lost track of time. I wrote and wrote and didn't even think, for one second, that I was writing, that I was continuing, that pages were coming. This is the best feeling ever.

So, I don't have the answer, "How much is enough?" and I'm not sure if one should keep writing when it's not coming, but I'm guessing, "Yes," because if you just keep going, certainly some flash or glint or sliver of something worthwhile is going to surface.

If you have the time, please check out my latest guest blog, Wednesday with Michele Young-Stone at Todd Ritter's blog:

It's a fun interview. And, if you are around tonight, please come to the West End Richmond Public Library for a Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors book club. It's free and open to the public, 6:30-7:30.

p. s. Look for The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors in your local Target. Send me a pic to to win a copy of my novel. Be sure to tell me the location of the Target!


Monday, May 2, 2011


May Day! The maypole dates back to Germanic pagan ritual, possibly the Iron Age. Having survived the Christianization of Europe, the maypole is thought to represent a TREE, a symbol of spring, and every May 1st, you should dance and celebrate around the May Pole. I made this one for my friend's birthday.