hummer in my hand

Today I was in the living room by a big window and heard a soft thump. I realized that a bird flying outside had hit the glass. I went out and spotted a hummingbird lying on its back on the ground. I picked up the tiny bird and gently coaxed it back to consciousness for a few minutes. Then it flew off, wonderful. … Yeah, Tucson. Now I’m going to put stickers on the window so birds can see the glass better (I already put stickers on the sliding-glass door a while ago).

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my process

My process begins with ideas, of course, and listening to the words. Deep into it, I’ll print out a draft of a novel, then I’ll reread and rewrite, then I’ll print out another draft for another round of rereading and rewriting, and so on. I’ll do some doubling-back to see what I had in some previous draft, all of this for draft after draft until I need to stick my head in a bucket of ice. Sometimes the writing feels as good and easy as singing. Sometimes it’s like digging up rocks with a pickaxe, still kind of enjoyable because it’s solving problems.

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montana blues with tom zoellner

A nice surprise — my new novel showed up in the hands of Tom Zoellner during Tom’s August 9 online talk for the Border Community Alliance. Tom is based in the L.A. area, and I was watching his talk on my computer, enjoying his remarks about his eighth book, Rim to River: Looking into the Heart of Arizona. Suddenly he’s recommending my novel to the audience, saying that Montana Blues is “really outstanding fiction … a fast-moving, suspenseful story.” Tom is an Editor-at-Large for the Los Angeles Review of Books, along with teaching as an English prof at Chapman University. Kindness is one of his traits. Thanks, Tom.

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