I got back a bit more than a week ago from a family vacation in the San Francisco Bay area. Glorious sunshine, lemon and orange trees, green lawns and flowers in bloom. Drought? There’s a drought going on?
Oh, no, it’s going to RAIN! the locals freaked out while we were there. I’m so sorry, but there’s RAIN in the forecast, too bad about RAIN while you’re here on vacation. Rain? That five-minute sprinkle? Ha! My family and I are Midwesterners—you call that “rain?”
A hike by the sea, a stay at Half Moon Bay, and my husband and I were marveling at local flora like Dorothy dropped off by her tornado in the land of Oz. What are these trees? we wondered (wind-sheared cypresses on the coast). What are these orange wildflowers? (California poppies) And these flowering succulents on the beach?
|The Internet identifies these as "iceplants." Not actually native to California, although they grow all over the coast.|
|Iceplants on the beach at Half Moon bay|
Visits with family and friends. My youngest holding hands with her baby boy cousin. And snuggles with the newest cousin to join our family, an infant girl who is all fat rolls and edible cheeks and round softness and a heavy, sleepy weight in my arms.
Then back again, from technicolored California to gray skies here in Michigan. The trees are still bare. Spring flirts with us here, peeping out with sunlight and birdsong and then retreating again under veils of rain.
I’m still writing when I can. I’m playing with flash fiction. I finished a flash piece and sent it off to my critique group last night. It’s a dark sequel to Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid.” It’s basically Little Mermaid fan-fiction. LOL.
I’ve been reading heaps. Real, complete books, not short fiction on the Internet. Books on real paper, with real covers. I’ll be writing reviews.
I’m reading Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities now. It’s strange and beautiful and delightful and keeps making me smile.
I’m also the subject of a mini-interview by the online journal, The Future Fire. I talk just a little more about my short story, "Disconnected," and current work.
I hesitate to ever call myself a fiction writer in the "real world." But I call myself one here.