The 2008 Acardemy Awards

img_2248Yes, it’s that time of year: That time when the Christmas cards come down off my little wall-holder wreath and get filed away for the year. But I always take one more (long) look at each one – rereading each, as it were (because maybe a 9-year-old was tugging on my jacket the first time I tried to read it as we walked back from the mailbox). And each year (at least in my head) I give out annual awards.


So here we go. May I have the envelope please?


This year’s award for First Card Out goes to Bookclub Barbara (I’ll use first names only). Barbara, I believe, has won this honor more than one year — she’s always on top of things. (Unlike me, who is running to the post office on Christmas Eve, dropping envelopes in the rain, locking my stamps in the car. …) She always sends a beautiful and thoughtful (never rain-soaked) card.


This year’s award for Most Adorable Photo … ooh, this is hard because so many were so cute, but I’d have to give this one to Aunt Betty. Continue reading

That Song That Gives You Chills

All right, let me start this one off with a disclaimer: I am, under no circumstances, a huge Elvis fan. I don’t have any kind of velvet painting in my home. I don’t have a shot-glass purchased in a roadside stand in Memphis that says “I Brake for Graceland.” (I swear.) I don’t even know all of his songs by heart. (Well … okay … except “Blue Suede Shoes” … because Steve Porter sang that song in the 6th grade, and we 6th grade girls swooned.)

Anyway, now that my non-huge-fan status is solidified, I do have to say: There’s this one song of his …

I was borrowing my husband’s car the other day and this song came on his iPod: “If I Can Dream.”

My husband and I saw a documentary about Elvis about a year ago (because, ahem, I’m not a big fan, did I mention?). And, in it, Elvis performed “If I Can Dream” in front of a live audience. And, I have to say, I can’t remember ever seeing a more moving performance. Continue reading

People-Watching: Part of a Writer’s Repertoire

People Watching at a Baseball Game is IdealAh – that thing we do when we’re in a too-long line at the grocery store, or when it’s 0-0 at the bottom of the eighth.


People-watching has always been fun for me, but since I’ve started trying to write fiction, it’s taken on a new twist.


I used to people-watch out of habit, I think. Or maybe it was just an insatiable curiosity about people, and life’s fascinating characters. I mostly people-watched to figure out relationships: I’d be sitting in the roaring heat of a UCLA football game, when the score was too depressing to watch, and decide to watch, instead, a row of seven people, all together. Two would appear to be parents, five adult children. I’d then ponder which of the children were siblings and which were couples. Sometimes I’d get fooled: a young man and young woman would get up to go get snacks, come back together, razzing each other, and I’d think “okay, they’re dating.” But then both would lean in toward the parents with such affection that I’d reassess: “Okay, they might be Continue reading

Post-Holiday Checklist

  • The Stockings Not Hung ...Wrapping strewn on the floor; mom not caring … check.
  • Stockings no longer hung by the chimney with care (instead, strewn on the ground with the wrapping) … check.
  • Crumbs from cookies, eaten for breakfast; mom not caring … check.
  • Evidence of candy, also eaten for breakfast; mom not caring … check.
  • Children looking wonderfully satiated (might be a candy coma) … check.
  • Husband giddily playing with some sort of techno-gizmo … check.
  • Lights still lit on the tree; will remain lit until well after New Year’s; mom so thrilled with lights she doesn’t care that it could very well stay up until close to Super Bowl… check.
  • Teenagers still asking if we can have a “family sleepover” and watch movies all night … check.
  • All kinds of goodies not normally eaten at this time of year (some not even consumed yet – might even make it to the freezer) … check.
  • Three happy kids, one happy husband, very happy mom … check.

A SoCal Winter’s Day

img_21591Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. … 52 degrees: bright, crisp and sunny. This is the lake in my town, and those are our mountains (the main reason we moved here). But we hardly ever see snow on them. That’s a real treat — usually once or twice a year, in Dec. or Jan. I love the contrast of the palm trees in front of the snow-capped mountains.

Anyway, it’s just too pretty to stay inside and write. …

Must experience life today!

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