Was it murder--or something serious?
Philip Marlow in Murder, My Sweet

Friday, April 24, 2015

With Conviction

One thing that becomes clear studying true crime.

People be crayZ.

No, but that's the truth. There is no limit to human weirdness. I've been watching a lot of documentaries--fascinating documentaries--but you couldn't use half this stuff in fiction. It would be too unbelievable.

The constant lesson is how very bad humans can be at communicating.

And that inability--unwillingness, disinterest--in honest communication often seems to stem from a lack of empathy.

Possibly a lack of imagination.

But definitely a lack of empathy.

The older I get, the more I believe probably one of the single most important things we can teach kids is empathy.

And it does have to be taught. It doesn't come naturally with a lot of people because it is often against self-interest.

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Song Remains the Same

It seems weird to me that I never write about music.

Almost thirty years of performing. Eight albums, countless concerts, trips, fairs, games, etc. But none of my main characters are ever musicians.

I don't even like reading books centered around the music world (okay, that's because the writers usually get it all so painfully wrong).

I've never thought about it before. But then for years I didn't want to write or read about anything that had to do with teaching or schools.

So maybe it's just that we're still performing, still doing music?

But no, because I've always written about writing and authors.


Friday, April 10, 2015

How Does Your Garden Grow?

I've made the conscious decision to let my garden die.

I think the decision process really began last summer when water-rationing started. A lot of people told me I was overreacting, but I couldn't help but reflect my decision to create an English cottage garden in the middle of the California desert was perhaps not one of my most wise or responsible moves.

But I loved my little garden and I'd worked for over a decade to tend it. So I struggled with the idea of just letting go.

In a way the decision was made for me. Because we had a number of broken lines and sprinklers, we cut way way back on watering before anyone else while we decided what to do. And of course part of what we decided to do was move -- and keep this house to rent.

So now I am considering desert landscaping. And really there are some lovely, lovely options out there. It doesn't have to be gravel and a couple of stunted palms. (That would break my heart.)

The new house (cross my fingers because we're still waiting to hear from the underwriter)  has a minimal garden. It's mostly pool and planters. Everything is well-maintained and designed for maximum ease and efficiency. There is a lawn in the front -- a gorgeous lawn, at that -- but because the sprinkler system is well-planned and water efficient, I think we're okay. At least for the time being.

I'm a little sad, but I'm also busy trying to figure out what plants could be moved from pots into landscaping. Lawn is the real culprit. Roses, wisteria...so much of the rest of the garden requires the occasional deep soak. But dichondra, lawn...those are water-greedy plants. So lovely. So thirsty.

And of course there is nothing more relaxing than planning out a garden, so I'm looking on the bright side.

Meanwhile the number of days to closing fly past....