Writing Wednesday: Should I Write to a Genre, or Just Write What I Want?

Writing Wednesday This is one of the most frequent how-do-I-write questions I get. You're working on The Great American Novel you've harbored in your heart. Should you change it to fit into some genre? I'm probably not the best person to ask. With my first two novels, I just had these very specific stories to … Continue reading Writing Wednesday: Should I Write to a Genre, or Just Write What I Want?

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Forgotten Samurai Women

Forgotten Samurai Women by Margaret Dilloway One day, my dad told me, “You know your mother was from a samurai family, right?” Um, no, didn’t know that. That kind of information is good to know!My mom had said only that her family had been the royal seal-bearers (which I guess, though it doesn’t sound as … Continue reading Forgotten Samurai Women

There’s a Land That I See, that is All Gluten-Free

I never wanted to be gluten free. I like bread. I like variations of bread, like pasta. I like the, what do you call it, the toothiness of gluten. That chewiness. I’ve had digestive problems for years. When I was little my stomach would always hurt in the morning. I have a blood sugar problem, … Continue reading There’s a Land That I See, that is All Gluten-Free

The Elan of Escalation: One-Upping Meanness with Worse Meanness

For this holiday season, why don't we all take just a sec to breathe when something like this happens. Ease a retail clerk's tension with a joke. Offer to help a harried mom with her bags, or hold the door open for somebody with a stroller. Make a funny face at a crying little kid while you're waiting in line. Smile, even if nobody smiles back. If nothing else, it'll help your own mood.

Roses Book Club

My junior high school English teacher invited me to a book club at her house last weekend. A few houses down from her lives Ruth the Rose Lady. Almost every square foot of her plot, including the parking strips, are covered in roses, each labeled. Luckily, Ruth confirmed I'd gotten my rose facts right (phew!) … Continue reading Roses Book Club

Great Gatsby the Goldendoodle

A week and a half ago we became the honorary owners of Gatsby the Goldendoodle. Golden retriever, poodle. This is him after our hike and after he plunged into the black algae very low San Diego River. He has two speeds: Off, or HYPER! He's 8 months old. His previous owner had an illness and … Continue reading Great Gatsby the Goldendoodle