Rides in India


We were riding through Rajasthan in our tour bus when I took this photo of a camel tied outside a house. It was just hanging around, being a camel. People mostly ride in cars, trucks, autocabs (which are basically enclosed three-wheeled scooters) motorcycles and scooters, but there are a few unusual vehicles, like camels. Camel taxis. Elephants.

Rajasthan is a state in the northwestern part of the country, Jaipur is its capital. It’s one of the seven cities we visited, a city with a friendly feel to it, homey. I don’t know why I felt that way about it, because it was very different from any town I’ve been to before. Jaipur is where the Sun Temple is, a long hike up a hill where the main beggars you meet are monkeys, but the cows and goats drop hints, too. The pigs are more standoffish, but will happily accept dropped food offerings. The Monkey Temple is a separate thing, it seems, but we didn’t go there.

The Sun Temple is a place to go for the views. I’m sure some in the group took photos, but I didn’t. I didn’t take many photos at all on the trip, preferring to experience things rather than record them. But the memory of an experience will fade, and a photo can wake it up, warm it up, all over again. I want to see all the photos, everyone’s. All of them.



I went to India for a family wedding. I’ve never been there before, and it was a fantastic trip. I saw things I never dreamed I’d be able to see. Fabulous. Above is a photo of me and my kids at the Taj Mahal. It is just as amazing as everyone thinks it is. Sometimes I have this little thing in my head where I think I don’t want to see something or do something because it’s such a cliché–but I’m here to tell you that popular things are popular because they’re good. If you go to India, you go and see the Taj Mahal, whether you think it’s a cliché or not. Just do it.

The food. Oh, man, the food. And the driving! Have you ever played that game, Crazy Taxi? Yeah. Well, they have the real thing over there. But the food. Oh, yeah, baby.

I thought maybe I’d write in a journal every day, but I didn’t do it. I was too busy being overwhelmed, and late in the day I was tired, too. I did write down a few notes to help my memory later on. I may well post about some of the sights and events things later on, the things that sparked my mind into writerly directions.


Okay, so my life’s a flower plant

I dreamed last night. It was a vegetable garden, mostly. Someone wanted more room so I offered the spot where my flower plant was. “Just let me pick these last few good flowers before we throw it away.” I thought the flowers would be hard to pick, as the stems looked tough. But as I picked, I found they came easily to my hand. And although I thought there were only a few nice flowers among the wilted ones, the more I picked them, the more there were. The flowers got better and better, and bigger and bigger, and more colors appeared. They were vibrant flowers with big soft, soft petals full of joy that delighted to be recognized and mine. Amazed and humbled, I kept picking. The someone faded away, the someone who had somehow decided that my flowers were at an end.


Flowers in my garden in Oregon, 2009

Two Bad Re-words

Resentments and regrets.

Everyone has some of each. Both of them stink.
I was thinking of this terrible twosome, how they can go together, odds and ends about them. Then I looked up the words in the dictionary and found that resentment is based on the old French word ressentiment, which would mean feeling again. Which makes sense — thinking of old injuries and old harms, causes the feelings to come back, the indignation, insult or affront felt before. Possibly long, long before.

I looked up regret, too, but have already forgotten what the cool root word was for it, so apparently I wasn’t so impressed with it.

At any rate, both of these things can be real pains in the ass. Both of them can be reasons to avoid being alone with yourself, to avoid your mind, to avoid thinking. To turn to food or drink or games or TV or whatever aimless thing occupies just enough of the mind to keep you from regretting the past, to keep you from resenting — refeeling — the things that got you down before.

All of this stinks. Being with yourself is the best thing ever, if you are a person you like. And I hope that you are. If I spend too much time remembering what a jerk I am, what a jerk I’ve been in the past, then I don’t sleep and I don’t write.

And here I am, back to writing. I enjoy having well-rounded characters. I think I’ll put in a little bit more of these two bad re-words to make my characters more well-rounded. More doomed and conflicted. More like me.

Happy New Year!


Any day can be the first day of a new year, if you start a new year that day. There can be no end of new beginnings.

But eventually everyone has to finish some things–this is a sad truth, one that I am attempting to face right now. For instance, I want to finish moving. We moved to this place a year ago and there are still some things in boxes. I want to finish a lot of stories. People are asking me for Tempo, the story that tugs at my heart that I started writing during NaNoWriMo 2010, likewise Piper’s Private Writing School. My oldest daughter wants me to finish Johnny Angel’s Halo and Accidental Immigrant, two funny stories I wrote a long time ago but haven’t yet finished the edits on. I want to finish Her Thirty Percent, too, a humorous and naughty tale that was also a NaNoWriMo in the beginning.

I have finished a few things since October, when I started my account at smashwords. I’ve got a free cookbook there for fast meal prep, a couple of stories, a flash fiction collection, a novel I’ve published before.

Beginnings and endings, yeah, but there are a lot of things to take care of in the middle. Instead of working on those troublesome middles, I spend a pile of time playing games. My favorite one lately is Torn, a text-based crime game. I know I look like a nice little old lady (a facebook friend actually told me that! I sure as hell am not little or old) but I am in actuality a tough black-market flower and plushie dealer. Check me out and join me on Torn.

If you have read some of my stuff, I’d love to hear from you. Let me know what you’d like to see more of. It might influence me for getting busy in 2016.

Photo above is of Mount Rainier in Washington with a lenticular cloud above, taken at sunset. Lenticular clouds mean that precipitation is coming within 48 hours. I got this photo on a site that gives away free desktop photos and no photographer credit was given.