Friday, April 24, 2009

Please sign our petition at to urge Nancy Pelosi to support an investigation that will expose the torture and abuse committed in our name and hold the perpetrators accountable. Thank you!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Yesterday, Michael and I went to the Inland Agency Peace Festival, a lovely event centered around a local after school arts program called A Sense of Peace. The students at Santiago High School created several life-sized canvas people, stiffened with wax, each one representing a different issue--women's rights, animal rights, school bullying, etc. A very articulate young woman, one of the students in the program, led us around the exhibit and explained the different techniques and intentions used for each figure (the animal rights one, for example, was covered with scratch marks made from forks dipped in paint and charcoal, as if animals were trying to claw their way to a better future.) I especially loved how each figure's belly was open, donated items spilling out--these students weren't just exploring social issues through their art; they were also working to make a real difference in the community. So the women's issues figure was filled with clothing for women and children that will be donated to a local women's shelter, the environmental rights figure was filled with food that is going to be donated to a local food bank, etc. I always love to see how people are finding ways to bridge art and social change, and it makes me very happy to know such projects are happening in local schools.

Friday, April 10, 2009

I have some big news--much to my shock, I recently found out I am pregnant(!!!) I plan to chronicle the experience at a new blog,; I'll continue to post here (in my whim-driven, sporadic way), but if you'd like to follow this new adventure, please join me over at Mama, Redux.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

I've been meaning to let you know about this lovely new anthology for a while, but wanted to wait until my mom and daughter had a chance to read the essay I contributed. The editor of Because I Love Her, Nicki Richesin had invited women authors to write pieces about what we had learned from our mothers and what we hoped to pass along to our daughters; "Poison Pens" explores how my mom taught me the power of the written word, and how I want to encourage my daughter to claim her true boldness (hopefully without burdening her with expectation.) The piece veers into some sensitive territory, and brought up a lot of emotion when I shared it with my mom, but it led to some deep and important conversation, for which I am grateful. And ultimately the piece is a tribute to her, and I know she knows that, even if a couple of lines rub her the wrong way. So thank you, Mom, for being so understanding, and thank you again for showing me how powerful the pen can be. Thank you, too, to Hannah for accepting the essay with such a generous spirit. I am honored to be part of this moving collection.

I also have been meaning to post a link to my short story, Generations, which first appeared on in January. I shared this story during my Rhapsodomancy reading a couple of months ago, and think I may have freaked some of the audience out a bit. It's a funky little story.

Thanks to Google Alert, I learned today that The Book of Dead Birds was one of the books featured in this great article: Environmental Activism Fiction Reflects Troubling Truths. It's very cool to be mentioned in the same breath as Edward Abbey and John Nichols and Ruth Ozeki, plus I love that the author Kate Skinner calls my novel "a lyrical, edgy little book, angular, imaginative and pure." She writes "These four titles were selected to highlight in review for the way that each deals with environmental activism. Through the eloquent expression of truth in story, we explore those difficult, profound existential questions: what is personal responsibility, what is the link between what we do and what that does to the planet and ultimately: how do we live as greater (better) human beings?" These are issues I want to continue to explore in my work (and hope I do to some extent in Pears...)