And now to bore everyone with pictures…

Have a few glimpses of my Adventure Thursday last week.  It’s an odd collection. Things I deem picture-worthy sometimes don’t make sense to others. There are captions.

Also I didn’t take any pics during dinner or Gumbo Fiction Salon because my hands were shaky & sweaty, plus I was mildly freaking out. Galway Arms has excellent food (I had a delightful cheese & chutney plate and also sampled a scrumptious smoked salmon appetizer) and the readings were phenomenal.

You’ll have to take my word for it.

Why I took Public Transit
A shot of traffic on I-90 from Jefferson Park Transit Center, where I transferred from Metra to CTA. Drive time was 1 hr 12 min in that jam all the way. My stress-free trip: 1:37 incl. a nice walk.
Lincoln Park sign
I arrived early enough to do plenty of exploring.A lovely walk at the end of the road.
Turtle, hiding.
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is FREE on Thursdays to Illinois residents. This shy turtle lives at the indoor butterfly exhibit, in a water feature.
Atlas Moth
This Atlas moth is as big across as my two hands. He was snoozing right at ankle level.
Finch! I wish we could have birds in our butterfly exhibit at Chicago Botanic Garden.
Moar Finch
Two more finches munching on millet seeds.
Note to self: go here someday soon. Say, this summer, when it’s warmer. 
Museum from the outside. Probably more scenic when there’s foliage.
City nature. “Urbs in Horto” indeed.


This tree is made of optimism. Pretty yellow flowers of hope. 

I hope you enjoyed this vicarious afternoon with me.


Random Thoughts

Life today means waking up every morning and immediately checking the headlines for overnight catastrophes:

  • Has the country has gone to war (yet)?
  • Has a mass-casualty crime been committed?
  • Who at the highest levels of government has quit/resigned/been fired?
  • Which high-visibility media figure is doing something egregiously stupid or hostile?
  • Was there military posturing short of war?
  • What about natural disasters?

…and every morning, life goes on.

Love means waking up in the limbo between night and dawn with fear turning your whole heart into a cold, sweaty knot because your lover is sleeping so still and quiet you can’t tell if they’re still breathing. And so you touch them–every-so-gently-with the tips of your–fingers to make sure they haven’t died in their sleep.

…and every time, they’re alive and your heart relaxes and you burrow in close for a cuddle.

Pursuit of happiness means pausing to relish every sunset, appreciate every moonrise, celebrate every cuddle, taking not one second of life or love for granted.

Joy is the offspring of life and love, a precious, fragile concept born in patient pursuit and conscious effort. Chase it with all your might, every second of every day and every night.

That’s what’s on my mind today.

This post’s picture brought to you by a snowstorm walk through the Chicago Botanic Garden a winter ago, between Spouseman’s surgical recovery & the start of his radiation treatment. Still cancer free, as of the most recent test.

Not tired of my words yet? My published works are available on Amazon and all the other usual online retailers, or you can take free peeks at them on this page here. 

Achievement Unlocked

Got a fan email last week. Imma write that again so it feels real. I got fan mail. Someone bought Rough Passages at Cleveland Concoction & loved it enough to reach out personally. Yeah.

I am still processing the euphoria.

This isn’t the first vote of confidence I’ve received, far from it. That’s why I’m surprised by how much it’s affecting me. I’ve never been someone whose creative endeavors have faced massive disapproval. I’ve been tremendously lucky in my support circle.

I’m grateful for that support. That is a thing I often forget to mention because it’s so fundamental, so necessary, it’s like gravity or air to me. But I am grateful. This feels like a good time to spend a moment or three expressing that appreciation.

Some of my friends online and off have always been encouraging and supportive, and many have delivered more than their share of compliments. Thank you all! You’ve kept me going during many bleak creative droughts.

I’m even more grateful for all the friends who have taken the huge leap from telling me,  “Yeah, I liked it”  to saying “I recommend this.” I’ve made a lot of great new friends through other friends sharing their enthusiasm, and that’s a special happiness to be cherished too.

Two even call me their favorite living author  (as far as I know, I am the only living author they know personally, so take that with a grain of salt or three)  and my library asked me to get them copies to review & buy, and to keep them updated on new releases.

All big boosts. All hugely encouraging. All immensely important to me.

But an email from a total stranger, connected to me only my words alone? It deserves special mention too. I mean, I publish to reach readers, but to be gifted with PROOF that my words made someone–someone with absolutely no connection to me–laugh, cry, think?  That’s boggling.  Humbling. Exhilarating, too.

So it’s getting its own line on my list of Authorial Achievements.

**why is there a chicken in the post image? The idea of a hen mothering kittens made me smile. No other reason.