Earth is an Orange

space I have been watching the news on PBS every week night for a couple years, and maybe that’s too much.

This morning I was lying in bed on the downside of a migraine headache when the following rumination entered my head: The earth is an orange. Humanity is an organism upon the orange. This organism is growing so fast it is eventually going to take over the whole orange, so much so that the orange is decaying; it can no longer support the organism. Conversely, while the organism is growing, parts of it are also destroying itself, which is a natural occurrence in nature when any organism becomes so overgrown that it begins to destroy that which enables it to thrive. In this particular case, there is almost a balance between birth and death, but not quite. The question is, how will the future of the organism and the orange turn out?

Perhaps hundreds, or thousands, of these oranges exist in the universe, all running this same scenario. On some of them, the organism burned itself out, left an orange that could no longer support it. On others, hopefully, the organism adjusted itself in order to exist with a healthy orange. Only those organisms with healthy oranges survive to leave their oranges and move on.

What organism would want one who could not even take care of its own orange to join it in the universe?

Historical Research . . . For Real

Bayou Teche in New Iberia

Bayou Teche in New Iberia

I’ve been segueing between writing two novels, one, a young adult science fiction, the other, historical fiction.  The science fiction was first, and I started the novel that takes place before and during the American Civil War, or War of Secession as it was known in the South, after I finished the second draft of Learning to Fly and put it away to stew for a few months.  Turned out to be a couple years while I was involved in Here We Stand.

After another attempt at a draft of Learning to Fly and what is going to be a major rewrite, LTF is going to sit for a while, as I, once again, return to Here We Stand.  Impossible not to return, as I am finally visiting the locations that were only learned by research two years ago.

How exciting to actually see what you wrote about! I love historical research, but there is nothing like actually being in the place and getting the feel of it. A couple weeks ago we were in New Iberia, Louisiana, the place where one of my major characters grew up. I stood on the shore of Bayou Teche, where my main character rode a steamboat with his fellow members of the 8th Texas Cavalry on their way to New Orleans.

Creole Cottage

Creole Cottage

New Orleans. I am in love with that town, especially the Creole cottages—in one of which another character grew up. I had no idea they were so lovely and colorful. This character, whose grandmother was a free black woman from Santa Domingue, now known as Haiti, passes as white and flees New Orleans to establish himself as a tobacco planter on the Brazos in Texas, never telling his “white” family of his past.

We are in Texas now, and our next stop will be in Washington County, where Part I of the novel takes place. Where the main character grows up a plantation slave owner’s son, a son who has no idea his is black, himself. In those days only 1/32nd black made you a black man.

Face Your Fears



I haven’t mentioned how much writing can sometimes be a struggle. I’ve been in the midst of the struggle fog for months now, and I could give lots of reasons why: no secluded place to write, constantly moving, family upheavals. I used to write every day and wonder why people had so much trouble doing the same.

Nothing I write is good enough.

I have always faced anything I was afraid of: backpacking alone, traveling to Central America on my own, leaping that chasm, climbing that steep cliff.

What if I publish something and no one likes it? What if I look a fool?

Time to quit dabbling a toe in the cold water and jump in with both feet. Karen Lamb’s post this morning gave me an added boost. Thank you, Karen!

Still Doing It


Child Dreaming in WindowAccording to Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Robert Olen Butler, the process of writing is not intellectual, but emotional, and it is necessary to enter our dreamspace in order to write honest, inspired fiction.

I am a writer. Mostly. I dream a lot, also dig animals, especially my tuxedo cat, Dickens.

I love to prepare food, all kinds, though soups are my favorite because I can get creative without messing the flavor up too much.

I have been a painter of pictures, and I still dabble in watercolor now and then, though writing takes up most of my time.

I love travel and adventure and meeting all sorts of people and experiencing diverse cultures, so those doings will show up here at one time or another in photos or what not.

I think about all sorts of things. Like what we are doing to our environment and why so many people love chocolate.

I like to know what other people are thinking. I hope you will let me know. You can disagree with me, of course, but please be nice about it.

The photo above? That’s me, eagerly looking out the window at the world. Many pounds and wrinkles later—still doing it.