Writing is a solitary pursuit--the imagination guiding the hand moving the pen. I'm pretty old-school, valuing the work of good editors and the revisions process before letting my words go public. But life is short, right? And sometimes, just sometimes, we need to spout off.

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A writer, mother, teacher, friend, I love books, blizzards and beaches, music from Hildegard von Bingen to the Beatles to Bonnie Raitt to The Brood; I love medieval churches, red wine, creme caramel, and roasted beets, and walking the woods and coastlines of home. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Oh, that day again, that comes around faster than we can prepare ourselves. The heartbreak lurking just under the skin. Stoicism. Reserve. That is how my dad, a veteran of D-Day, would have it. No sentimentality, no glorifying war. My dad, dead three years now, almost to the day. He influenced me more than I can know; his influence on me grows more profound every day, every year. An example of trying to Do the Right Thing. Of not complaining, or wearing your heart on your sleeve too much--but by living, making a statement. That war is evil, that nobody wins, that people are people, and life is always, always, to be treasured--regardless of whose it is.

Two years ago I wandered along Juno Beach--the very strand on which my dad landed with his company, his brigade. My little dad, driving a tank. Blood shit and corruption, was how he quoted a buddy describing the war. Burnt flesh. The stench, the utter, utter waste of death.

The very worst thing for me, when he died, was knowing how his youth, his best years were spent on this. Knowing how he had been shortchanged. And knowing, now, how all who do battle--whether in Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, wherever--are being shortchanged, swindled of life.