Water and Music


A flit and rumble of happenings

The Importance of Being Earnest at the Globe with my friend Elise Capron. I could not stop thinking of “the love that dare not speak its name,” of Oscar Wilde and his trial, of Bosie who we only remember because of Wilde, but the play itself, with its manners and wit was well done, the staging a marvel.  And always it is great to see my friend Elise.


My friend Mark and I saw Hila sing at the Philharmonic Friday night in Salonen’s Wing on Wing and we saw Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D Major Opus 61 which I’m now buying so I can keep hearing the thrum of it.  It’s like a life awakening.

Water and Music on Saturday


Published in: on February 19, 2018 at 9:10 am  Leave a Comment  

the greatest of these is love

People who meditate know where there soul is, know its fuzzy edges and deep wetness. Some of the rest of us dismiss all that as woo woo. You can dismiss anything as woo woo. God. Exercise. Getting enough sleep. Acupuncture. Green drinks. Dreams. Tea leaves.  We know what we’ve experienced. We know what we have entered, we know what we have left. I’ve seen down a long dark tunnel, learned hard lessons, and I know that a soul must love to grow.

Published in: on February 4, 2018 at 7:42 am  Comments (1)  

To the Beach

Superbowl Sunday, I’m spending the weekend with a group of amazing women.  Women who work hard, play hard and know how to kick back. I’m walking on the beach, resting, thinking and drinking champagne.  I am willing to take leaps of faith into the imagination.  But being around these women who do the heavy lifting at their companies is a great experience.

Published in: on February 3, 2018 at 4:37 pm  Leave a Comment  


We went to Graceland.

By California standards, the rooms feel claustrophobic and the place overdone with its white furniture, the shag carpeting, the monkey statue, the walls with smoky veined mirrors. The white pillars and large gates are impressive. The room with the pool table is beautiful with an Indian couch and Indian looking fabrics on the ceiling.  Priscilla had to stay there while Elvis frolicked with his co-stars in Hollywood. The room for racquetball was nice, the planes and the stables impressive.  But Memphis is a quiet town now.  Priscilla and Lisa are now multi-millionaires, but it’s no mystery why they aren’t still living at Graceland.  It feels like a big house out in the middle of nowhere. Elvis grew up on poverty and bought that house so his mother could live in it. His favorite food was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and bacon. He did a lot of drugs and died at 42 weighing 350 pounds.  The racquetball court was nice, the pool small, the graves large.  A very American story.  A man who changed the world but was haunted by his own demons.

Published in: on January 27, 2018 at 10:37 am  Comments (1)  

Room 306

Room 306.  Civil Rights Museum today. We stood at the window looking down where Martin Luther King was shot April 4th, 1968. The whole museum was a deep experience in American history that left the three of us—Tobi, Debbie Moderow and me with layers to think about.  I can’t recommend the museum enough.  You will feel America deeply, hear MLK’s voice and see the bed where he slept, the balcony, the window, the bathtub, the jail cell.

Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever.” MLK

Published in: on January 25, 2018 at 8:19 pm  Comments (1)  

The Drowning Report/the Raft is a workshop


When you’re drowning as a writer, taking a writing workshop is a little life raft and there are other people on the raft to teach you how to swim. Join Red Hen’s writing workshops starting in February!


Published in: on January 25, 2018 at 9:52 am  Leave a Comment  

Florencia Ramirez




Party last night for Janet Fitch’s new book. The vodka! My favorite was the horseradish vodka. The reading was wonderful and made you want to buy the book immediately.  Tom Lutz and Laurie Winer are fabulous hosts, and I could have hung out for a long time at the Russian food, but I restrained myself.  Their house is so charming. I like the upstairs outdoors room.


I’m at the Guadalajara Book Fair, just hanging, I want to do something fun here in Mexico, and fortunately, my hotel has a pool and I brought a swimsuit.


Thanksgiving week was amazing. I needed the moment to breathe, to rest.  We ate a lot of turkey morning and night and even made a turkey soup.


Guadalajara is buzzing with energy.  The sky here is a light sponge, thick with smog.  I remember as a kid, thinking the sky was dark and terrible maybe because my life was terrible. Not even blue like a life of music and rice, but black and wretched with slivers of gold too far apart.


Here in Mexico, the air smells like car exhaust and carnitas.  I like walking the city and thinking.

Published in: on November 27, 2017 at 11:05 am  Leave a Comment  

Notes from travel


New York can be cold in November.


The food in New York is so good.

I had Cambodian food with my friend Ellen the first night and we had mochi for dessert. Just being with Ellen is wonderful because she has a way of making one feel great.


The second day I was at sales conference in the woods.  I saw deer and wild turkey.


The third day I went to meetings and bookstores. I met Paula Dietz who runs The Hudson Review.


The fourth night I had delicious  fish at Rin Thai.


I flew American to Miami, surely the worst of the domestic Airlines. Virgin America is the best, a cool comfortable cabin. Jet Blue is next, with their cheery chips, they make you feel like air travel is like skating across a pond. Then, I’ll go with Delta where you have the in flight movies and the food. I really would fly any of those three with almost equal pleasure.


Then Southwest with their peanuts. Spirit they just keep hitting you with fees.  You know they want to charge you for the bathroom but so far haven’t dared. But it feels like shopping at Target the day before Christmas.  A truly desperate situation.


Finally American. One of the old airlines.  Amenities unknown to them. The whole flight feels more like being in detention. You are cramped and hungry.  Overhead they have the television that you are usually shown in elevators and hospitals. In our case, it was golf.


The Miami Book Festival is hopping. It is a great book festival.


All this travel when I should be writing. I do my best to be in the thrill of it. I will get to the writing.


Miami is surreal. A preacher filling the park with people, surrounded by cops. In the harbor, more yachts than I could count, huge power boats, fishing boats, clubs, dancing, a conga line, a singer belting out “I will survive,” a crowd of people getting ready to go out on cruises. I found some Cuban food with plantains. And candy. Miami feels like a city that’s more party than anything else.  The lurid blue red of police lights, a huge shadow of a dancer against the Inter Continental, the dark wind blowing across the harbor full of filthy water. All that glow and the voice of God ringing out in English and Spanish.  I stopped for a moment to listen and a man said to me, “Are you looking for God, because I’m here. My name is Jesus.  Didn’t you know Jesus came from Mexico?”

“I heard that,” I said.


Home Monday and then Thanksgiving week.  I’m ready to make pies.

Published in: on November 18, 2017 at 6:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Hamilton tickets forever elude me


In New York, it was impossible. But then Hamilton came to Los Angeles! I knew I could see it. Back in the day, I saw Phantom, Sunset Boulevard, Lion King, and Mamma Mia. I am willing to invest in the occasional big show, but Hamilton is out of my financial reach.  I went down to the Pantages to see if I could buy tickets in person. There were no tickets under $600.  I’m sure Hamilton is wonderful, but it’s time to let go of the dream..


It’s an odd thing when it comes to wealth. There are many experiences you can do as a relatively poor person if you have a job and save your dimes or are willing to travel simply. You can go to Greece or Germany, Spain or Canada.  My son who has no material possessions, (except his two cats who live temporarily at our house), has seen much of the world. You can swim in the best oceans and scamper on the beaches, see sunsets, eat sushi in Tokyo, ride horses and make pies.


Ninety percent of the wealth on the planet is owned by ten percent of the people.  Those ten percent can go fancy hotels, drink champagne that tastes like air; they have  big cars and carriages.  I know some people lucked into good deals for tickets, maybe I will in some other city.


I like my life, I like making books and having a family, and writing.  I like reading and thinking, travelling and figuring things out. I like dreaming, and when I dream, I dream of Hamilton.

Published in: on November 9, 2017 at 7:26 am  Leave a Comment  

yarn, cats, sunflowers

When I was young, I played with yarn. I gave yarn to the cats, I made things with yarn.

Then I decided yarn was for old ladies and I didn’t want to have anything to do with yarn.

In my twenties, I bought a sewing machine and made curtains with it and sold the curtains.

When Mark and I first moved in together, I made us sunflower curtains.  I haven’t used the sewing machine for years, haven’t seen a sunflower except at the grocery store. The days of yarn, sunflowers and sewing machines may be over, but I still know how to make curtains if I need them. I still remember the clicking sound the knitting needles made. They read the Narnia stories and I crocheted little rugs for my cats.

Published in: on October 30, 2017 at 9:11 pm  Leave a Comment