"One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book . . . give it. give it all, give it now."
-Annie Dillard, in The Writing Life
When you're in Sister Pancratia's fourth grade, writing a book report in iambic pentameter is, well, expected. It's also a heck of a way to fall in love with the craft of writing! The first three novels and twenty or so short stories came in my twenties -- and they stayed there, thank God! But I was hooked, even though raising a family and building my practice as a psychologist and teacher took most of my time. Still, when I got a chance, I'd try again, decide that what I'd written was fabulous, re-read it a week later, get sick, and hide it away.
Till life slowed down enough and we moved out West . . . I got serious five years ago, wrote maybe thirty shorts, and one day wrote one that, a week later, I still liked. A month later, I still liked it! But it was too big, too many things going on. It needed to be a novel. The seed of Climbing the Coliseum was sown, and I decided I was now a writer. Don't tell Sister Pancratia.
Climbing was named a Finalist in the 2014 Forward Reviews' Book of the Year competition, and in 2017, it won "Distinguished Favorite" in the New York City Big Book competition.
My second novel, Nobody's Safe Here, the second book in the "Monastery Valley" Series (Climbing was Book One), won two "Distinguished Favorites" awards: the first in the Independent Press Awards and the second in the New York City Big Book Award competitions.
Book Three, The Bishop Burned the Lady, follows the main characters of the "Monastery Valley" series as they grapple with new mysteries in the valley.
Where I write in north Idaho