David Bowie Death 5 Year Anniversary Essay – David Bowie’s Legacy in 2021

But if his greatest contribution of all was to give a voice to the outcasts and misfits, to speak for those on society’s fringes and provide them a valued space in rock & roll, then the question is where do those freaky kids now turn?

David Bowie Death 5 Year Anniversary Essay – David Bowie’s Legacy in 2021

Please click through to read this thoughtful article from Esquire.

State of the Author: Struggling

I wrote this on FB a little bit ago, and decided to share it here as well.

::deep breath::

While this is probably no great surprise to either my husband or our housemate, I am struggling against depression right now. I am counting myself victorious if I bathe, get dressed, and accomplish one thing beyond feeding the cats.

I know that I’m not alone, for a variety of reasons. For me, I know it’s situational. Even as an introvert, the very necessary shelter-in-place is getting to me. I can’t focus on anything for very long. Work tasks are taking longer than normal as a result. I would rather take a little longer and do it right than employ my usual level of alacrity and possibly miss something.

As I heard so many times in Italy a year ago, “Piano, piano. Slowly, slowly.”

I ask for patience from all. Making decisions is difficult … even for something as simple as “What shall I eat for lunch.”

Thank you for being such good friends that I feel safe to say these things.

Winter Promotion After-Action Report

Hi, everyone. First, thanks to all who selected my titles during the Smashwords promotion that ended yesterday. Here is how it all went.

No one selected any titles that were discounted at 50 or 75 percent. Many selected titles that were free of charge. In order of popularity:

With 27 selections, Clytie’s Caller was the most popular title. In second place, with seven selections apiece, came Through the Opera Glass and It Happened in Memphis. Down on the Corner of Love and Brief Interludes had six selections each. Five people chose Flowers of Europe. Two Days in June, Hard-Boiled Blues, Yellowjack and The River Man, and Last Stop: Storyville, each garnered three new readers. Finally, 2010 Hindsight, Les Pensées Dangereuses, and His Beloved Infidel were each chosen once.

While it’s obvious that a lot of people enjoy the sweet, Regency romance of Clytie’s story, it looks like the most popular works were those in the Pocketful of Stories series. Thirty-four people added those titles to their libraries.

Thanks to all who chose my titles. I would love it if you were to review them and share your thoughts on your favorite site. Much appreciated.

2020: The Year in Review

Hi, everyone. I was fascinated to discover that I didn’t do a year in review post in 2019. I am sure most of my long-time readers recall that I lost my dad in February that year. I was also sick as a dog in December, with multiple trips to the doctor to find out why I wasn’t getting over the cough and bronchitis. An epidemiologist friend is convinced, based on the course my disease took, that I had one of the early, mild cases of COVID-19 that has since been confirmed on the West Coast. I haven’t been out for an antibody test, but I’m unsurprised by her analysis.

2020 is a year which almost doesn’t bear thinking about. After all, we’ve spent most of it sheltering in place — except those folk who believed that partying with friends was more important than a public health crisis, of course. I lost two good friends during the year, one of them to COVID and the other to a lengthy non-related illness. Both of these men were kind and gentle, and the world is a darker place with out them. Far too many of my friends lost someone near and dear to them in the pandemic, or had the virus themselves. One of my friends is now a long-hauler, despite being in perfect health prior to her housemate bringing the virus home.

It wasn’t all bad, though, lest you get me wrong. In January, my mother, my best high school gal-pal, and I went on a trip to Pompeii and Herculaneum. It was my friend’s idea, and kind of a dream trip for her. I went along to keep company; my mom had never been abroad before at all. My mother and I wound up having a wonderful time. My friend, not so much (she didn’t prepare well for how physical the trip would be, and wound up in the emergency department in Naples for several hours). I fell utterly in love with Campania, which was unexpected, and found inspiration for my current work-in-progress, Pompeii Fire.

While I had truly hoped to have a first draft finished by the end of the year, that simply didn’t happen. Like so many creative people, I struggled with focus. I still have a day job, and I was doing that job from home rather than going into the office from March 16 on, and will be doing so until April 1, 2021, at the earliest. So, I’m a third of the way through Draft Zero and am okay with that.

I was moved into the presidential slot of my local Sisters in Crime Chapter after my predecessor’s resignation for personal reasons. While this has been, and will be, a challenge into 2021, I am proud to say that the Coastal Cruisers were able to pivot quickly to Zoom meetings rather than in-person gatherings and keep some momentum going.

The less said about politics, the better … but overall I am pleased with how the election came out and look forward to doing what I can to help repair the damage of the past four years.

So, now you know. Please have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve celebration, and I’ll see you in 2021.

My Year in Books, 2020 Edition

I know I’m not alone in this, but I read less in 2020 than in 2019. I had a hard time focusing.

My goal was to read 100 books, and I succeeded, if only just. I finished 103 books this year. The titles ranged in length from 58 to 1,710 pages. Twenty-five of them were by or about BIPOC, which is quite an improvement from last year’s rather paltry 13 percent. I admit to being somewhat bothered that the percentage wasn’t higher, as I made a concerted effort to find and read such titles. However, this does point to a problem that many BIPOC authors have cited: they are not published as often as white authors.

You can find my complete list of titles here: