Month Four in Málaga—Sun, Spanish, and More

Rooftops of Malaga with view of cathedral

I recently utilized the Spanish healthcare system and had blood and urine analyses done. Todo bien. Everything within normal levels with a few things slightly above normal. Like Vitamin D. The doctor asked if I took vitamins. I hadn’t for months, not since I ran out of my multivitamin and fish oil tablets soon after…

Read More

Month One in Málaga

Acrobat figurines suspended across two buildings

It’s been a month since we left Seattle for Málaga, Spain, thanks to my husband’s perseverance through the gymnastics of the visa labyrinth. Once we got here, I could no longer be a detached bystander. In our first two weeks, we found an apartment, arranged for electricity to be turned on, opened a Spanish bank…

Read More

There’s Gnome Place Like Home

Potted plants with garden gnomes

Much of my fiction is set in a place that resembles my hometown of National City, California and some of my characters live in a house that resembles the National City house I grew up in. I’ll argue that these similarities are due not to writerly laziness or lack of imagination, but to an emotional…

Read More

Shrinking our spaces, but not our selves

Window with view of neighborhood and cat perched on couch

I’ve written about the house we used to live in both in fiction and for a live performance (2018 Ampersand Live, minute 18:26). It was our first house, which was also our last house, the fixer-upper that never quite got fixed up enough and in the last years that we occupied it, lost many of…

Read More

Some Things I Read and Did in 2019 – A Mash-up

This past year I read good books and experienced good things. Here are a few of each of them matched up in a semi-random, teeny bit calculated way, introduced by a few lines from the featured book. From “1989” in How to Write an Autobiographical Novel, a deeply perceptive and intelligent collection of essays by…

Read More

Hope in the World

When I was pregnant with my first daughter Natalie in 1986, the Chernobyl reactor exploded and the threat of a nuclear cloud passing over the Pacific Northwest and radiating the six-month old fetus inside me freaked me out. Later, when I was pregnant with Ana in 1989, tanks rolled over Tiananmen Square, scattering protestors, killing…

Read More

Donna’s Excellent 24-Hour Literary Adventure

Jane Hodges picked me up at 1:30 last Thursday afternoon at my North Seattle apartment to drive me to Mineral, a small community in the foothills of Mount Rainier. In its Wikipedia entry, Mineral’s amenities are listed as “a post office, two churches, one general store, one tavern, a log lodge (in the National Register…

Read More