Category Archives: books

Bookcases and Hot Air Balloons

  This past weekend I drove across the mountains to spend some time with my daughter, T, on her birthday. When I left home on the coast, it was raining, sprinkling when I reached the pass. Even with the sprinkles, … Continue reading

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Keep on Learning.

Monday morning, and Jane, one of my favorite clerks at QFC, was scanning my baby spinach and ground beef and avocado. “How was your weekend,” she asked. “Good. I went to Write on the Sound.” “Oh!” It was an upbeat … Continue reading

books, Edmonds, writing , , , , , ,

Summer Spotlight

Today I’m a guest on Jill Weatherholt’s “Summer Spotlight.” Jill is a real inspiration. Despite the fact that she has a full-time job, she’s found time, working only in the evening and on the weekend, to write and publish a … Continue reading

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Journal Jottings on a Coup d’état

  I have stacks of steno notebooks, a.k.a., my journals. Writing in them has been my way of paying attention to the world around me and saving my observations for the future. In recent years I haven’t been journaling much. … Continue reading

books, expatriate life, Philippines, Tiger Tail Soup, writing , , , , , , ,

An Assassination, Martial Law, and a Revolution, Part 2

  The phone call came at five in the morning. It was my husband’s secretary. “Turn on the radio,” she said. “Marcos just declared martial law.” That’s how it happens, without warning. For the next two hours, my husband sat … Continue reading

book reviews, books, expatriate life, family, Philippines , , , , , , ,

An Assassination, Martial Law, and a Revolution, Part 1

  In 1983, when Senator Benigno Aquino was assassinated, we were there—not at the Manila International Airport where thousands of supporters waited to welcome their hero back from exile in the United States, but at our home in Manila, watching … Continue reading

book reviews, books, expatriate life, historical fiction, Philippines , , , , , ,

What Writers Can Learn from a Carpenter’s Workshop.

Writers like to show pictures of their work spaces–their shiny or messy desks, comfy or straight chairs, desktop or laptop computers, bookshelves filled with books, plants, and personally meaningful knickknacks. According to Virginia Woolfe every writer’s room ought to have … Continue reading

books, Creativity, family, writing , , , , , ,

Meet John Kang, my Online Chinese-American Friend.

After publishing Tiger Tail Soup, my novel about WWII China, I’ve made quite a few online connections with writers with a focus on China. John Kang is one of them. Born in the US, John had to grow  into his … Continue reading

books, China, Culture, Xiamen , , , , ,

Privacy Is a Moving Target.

  From public phone books to hummingbird drones. For most of my life, my phone number and address could be found in the fat public phone book everyone received once a year. When I was a kid, we even had … Continue reading

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Elena Ferrante Isn’t Who I Thought She Was.

  And I’m glad she’s not. Elena Ferrante is the pseudonym for Italy’s most famous author. For twenty years her true identity has remained a carefully guarded secret. Then, on October 2nd, the New York Review of Books published an … Continue reading

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