Coming Full Circle

As promised, I’m posting a personal essay written in 2021 during lockdown, shortly after I got the vaccine, which seemed so, so significant at the time. I realize that it is about time, hope, and gratitude.

[Image is of a flowering cherry tree on the USF campus that I found on Yelp, taken around the time of the trip.]

I finally got the vaccine toward the end of March 2021. When the statewide MyTurn site opened up, I assumed I would be making an appointment for myself online at one of the mass vaccination sites, but it didn’t happen the way I thought it would. I made a “ghost” appointment at a local Walgreens in the southwest part of San Francisco, turned up at the appointed time, and was promptly turned away because my name didn’t appear in the system. It was a glitch, the female pharmacist said without much sympathy. A stressed-out young Indian American woman ahead of me in line was kind enough to tell me that she had an appointment for the same time I had made mine. It helped me to know that someone else had gotten “my” appointment. I bowed out, but shared this frustrating story on a Facebook group dedicated to people seeking vaccine slots in S.F.

Somebody saw my post, and with the lightning-speed with which things happen in America (as opposed to the glacially slow rollout in Ireland, where I grew up), a kind woman I didn’t know suddenly messaged me and told me about a UCSF pop-up community clinic in the Western Addition, at the Third Baptist Church on McAllister Street. I could get Johnson & Johnson there, I learned, and this was what I was hoping for, fearing the harsh side effects of the other two. But I still hesitated. I’d lived in that area over thirty years ago, when I first came to S.F. It had been a dodgy neighborhood then, and I hadn’t been back for many years. Was this a foolish thing to do, trekking across the city when I could make a nice, safe appointment online someplace close to me? In fact, I had also snagged a back-up appointment at S.F. State for a Pfizer shot, but something made me push forward with the pop-up.

Turned out it was all for the best! On Sunday morning I hopped on a bus in my neighborhood near S.F. State, then caught another bus going north down 19th Avenue to Park Presidio, and then the 5-Fulton, which I remembered as an incredibly slow bus in 1988, when I had lived in a shared house in the Inner Richmond for a few months before moving to the Western Addition. I had often walked about ten blocks to Park Presidio back then to get the bus to S.F. State because the 5-Fulton was so slow. Well now, here I was again, standing at the side of the road on Fulton Street, on a nice grassy verge actually, glancing up at tall Douglas firs, waiting for twenty-five painful minutes for the bus to come. One finally came trundling along; but to the dismay of myself and the exhausted-looking Indian man standing at the bus shelter, the driver slowly waved a sheet of paper at us marked “Drop-Off Only” as he approached. It was surreal… but I hoped it meant another bus was coming. And another bus did come after another watching-paint-dry ten minutes. The Indian man, myself, and a nice gay boy who told me he studied at University of San Francisco hopped on.

It took ages to get to my destination, which was less than a mile away. Absolutely ages. But I was relaxed, to my amazement. At least I was on my way. I was nearly there. I watched out the window as the bus crept east along Fulton in a lethargic crawl. We passed the pale cream stone facade of U.S.F., closed up for the semester, I assumed. I had worked there for five years in the 1990s, my longest job ever, but up on Lone Mountain and then in the former Presentation Convent on Turk Street. As the bus moseyed along, I reflected that my friend Denise had lived on Fulton near U.S.F. for a time. We’d carpooled together to school at S.F. State a few times. That had been nice for me, although Denise drove wildly. Once she drove us onto the median on 19th Avenue, I remembered. We’d met in a Memoir class my first semester of grad school, and she invited me to join the writing group that she and a few others started up in 1989. That group lasted more than ten years, during which time I wrote two novels, and published one.

They were all older than me. Denise is long gone, a Spanish linguistics professor now in far-off Chico, a tenuous Facebook connection only, whom I always expect to disappear one day. (A few months after writing this essay, I was horrified to learn from an obituary posted to her Facebook page that she had died of breast cancer.) Betty, the dynamic red-haired teacher from the South Side of Chicago who started the group with Denise, and a good friend of mine for many years, died of lung cancer a few years back. In fact, of that group, I am the only one who still lives in S.F. Two of the group have left California. And two are now dead.

At this time in my life, I am more aware of patterns, of the way life tends to be lived in thirty-year cycles. I’ve been in San Francisco so long that it seems impossible to leave. And there are some days when S.F. reinvents itself, shows a sudden bright beauty, so that you wonder why you ever wanted to go. It’s particularly that way in early spring, I have found. And in San Francisco, spring always comes early.

The bus trundled along McAllister, a street I’d never spent much time on, but I’d lived only a few blocks from here on Scott Street at the time of the Loma Prieta earthquake in ‘89. The beautiful old, colorful Victorians on McAllister towered over me gravely as I waited in the parking lot of the church. It was an odd modern building on a corner; presumably its facade looked more churchlike, but I was facing the other way. I didn’t even know if I’d be let in—I had never received proper confirmation—but I’d brought a printout with me of the registration form I’d filled out. Somehow, I’d acted quickly enough and I was in the UCSF system. I was waved through to a basement reception room, answered a few questions that a Latina with an iPad asked me, showed my I.D., and was soon waiting for my turn in a smaller room, sitting down in a little partitioned space where I found myself staring at a row of old gray hymnals on a metal shelf.

The solid hardbound hymnals grounded me. What could go wrong? I thought, and in fact nothing did. First, a slim Asian American woman from the fire department stood in front of me in her uniform, checking politely to be sure I was not likely to have an allergic reaction. A nice African American woman gave me the jab on my left arm. I felt the brief chill of the vaccine, which reassured me, actually: something had happened. “One and done,” she said cheerfully, a line I was sure she said to everyone, but it landed well. I was handed a vaccine card and a sticker. I waited as instructed for a little while, to make sure I was not going to pass out, in an area in the main room near a shabby old piano. I saw a nameplate for a dance school on a closed door. Everything was reassuringly ordinary. People were warm, kind, but not overbearing. And somehow it all worked. I stepped away, feeling light.

I felt relieved, grateful. I said so on the survey form they gave me before I left. But what I couldn’t quite articulate was that I knew that I was privileged to get that shot. I’m early fifties, well under the eligible age of sixty-five at the time. It’s true my high BMI made me eligible, though I’m not a diabetic. There’s a privilege here that I want to acknowledge. I was perhaps the only Caucasian person there that morning, and I worried that I was grabbing a spot that should have gone to someone else. But no one there made me feel that way. And this is America, I pondered. You have to make stuff happen. It’s an elitist place. I haven’t done “well” in this city by most standards: I’m low-income, overweight, unmarried, don’t have many friends… But by other, more basic standards, I’ve done well. I’m housed, have health insurance, I’ve been on unemployment since the pandemic started. The State of California provided for me much better than I ever could have expected. I’m grateful, and there would be something very wrong with me if I wasn’t.

In all, that day, I took seven buses. It was a joy to take the 24-Divisadero heading south back through the Castro, getting off by Bernal Heights, where I lived for almost twenty years. First, I passed Bus Stop Pizza on Divisadero, one place that I still recognized from my earlier grad-student life there in 1989-90. The bus drove swiftly past the boarded-up Castro Theatre, another place where I’d spent many, many enjoyable hours of my time starting in the late eighties. There was a crowd milling around the plaza at 17th and Castro. I spotted a drag queen. Perhaps it was the Hunky Jesus contest, I thought, put on by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. But it wasn’t Palm Sunday or Easter yet, so perhaps not… Perhaps it was a protest against the anti-Asian violence sweeping the Bay Area, or a gathering more specifically connected to the recent Atlanta spa shootings. I just don’t know. But it was a small slice of the LGBTQ community on display, a community that I’d once been deeply attached to.


In the Excelsior district, I waited at an intersection for what I thought was the right bus to take me back to Balboa Park station, where I could transfer to get the 29 bus home to the small cream-colored house with purple trim that I have shared with my ex-girlfriend, Laura, for the last ten years. I was starving. Wolfing down a slice of pizza I’d brought with me, I threw the crust to the pigeons that were gathering on the sidewalk and perching on the overhead lines on Silver Street. They looked healthy, these birds. Maybe the shelter-in-place had even made the pigeons healthier, I mused. Because everything seemed quieter and less congested than normal, and I liked that. I had time to reflect on the wavelike dark orange top of the bus shelter, which I’d only recently learned had been designed by a lovely artist that I once knew, Anna Murch, who died of cancer in 2014. A dedicated art teacher, she would have been horrified that the school she taught at, Mills College in Oakland, would be closing soon. (It has since merged with Northeastern.)

The 44 bus stopped on Silver and the driver opened the front door when I tapped. He winced irritably when I asked if the bus went to Balboa Park, but a long-haired young man walking by with a group called out, “The 49!” and he was right, I realized… the 49 would take me almost all the way back. I crossed the street to Mission, and a 49 came along in less than five minutes. The constantly passing buses in the sunshine had an air of unreality, a strange abundance given my earlier experience waiting for the 5-Fulton.

Sometimes the city seems like a bunch of different communities who dislike each other, who compete for scraps. But my experience that Sunday in early 2021 made me feel that at its best (its Sunday best?), San Francisco is still the tolerant, quirky multicultural city I came to in 1988 as a depressed and alienated twenty-one-year-old from Ireland. It is an unpredictable place, to be sure. Just when you start to view it negatively, stereotypically, it smiles on you, hands you a gift. Sometimes that gift is just a good memory to add to the other grab-bag of memories and experiences one has acquired over the years. One thing is for sure: putting down roots here is difficult, but amassing memories and experiences is not!

 Waiting at Balboa Park as the teen skateboarders did their thing in the skate-park nearby, I hopped on my last bus. The one that would take me home.

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December Thoughts

The last month of 2022 is somehow upon us! The weather is so cold and dreary, I can’t get warm. However, I found a winter image I had never seen before, a Marc Chagall painting of a church in the snow. It was so unexpectedly charming that I thought I would share it here. Perhaps it is the deep blue of the sky that I love most.

After trying to get a BookBub promotion all year, I got one for December and it is still ongoing now: My latest ebook, The Knight’s Return, is 99 cents on all platforms until midnight Pacific time on Friday. I ought to have blogged before, but better late than never.

You can find it on Amazon here; on Apple here; on Kobo here; and on Barnes and Noble here.

If you missed the promotion and would like to check out the trilogy, all three books will be discounted during the Smashwords End of Year Sale which now starts December 15 and runs all the way through New Year’s Day.

I appreciate all my readers, especially the ones who take the time to leave a thoughtful, balanced review.

This has been a hard year for friends and family alike. (Even Twitter has come perilously close to imploding.) Personally, I will be glad to leave the Year of the Tiger behind and enter another Year of the Rabbit. The year I started self-publishing, 2011, was the last Rabbit year. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that it all kicked off that year, when I uploaded The Leaving to Smashwords with a homemade cover. (What a long strange trip it’s been, with Smashwords now owned by D2D.) So 2023 could be a good year, a creative year, even though I feel far from that now. One never knows.

Thanks for reading, and see you in 2023.

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Just a Quick Note

To say Happy Fall!

The birds were out on the backyard tree this morning as if they knew the season has changed, which they do, of course! Warblers, finches, a junco, and a hummingbird.

I will be back soon to post a personal essay that I wrote last year but has never found a home. It seems like a good idea to put it on the blog. 2021 was all about getting through the pandemic, while this year has brought other, unexpected health challenges for me, as I know it has for many people.

Back soon!

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Roll up, roll up…

For the Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale, which is an annual monthlong event that spans the whole month of July.

banner announcing sale

You can purchase ebooks in mobi or epub, or read on the online reader. The first book in my medieval Knight’s Tale trilogy, A Knight’s Tale: Kenilworth, will be FREE, and books 2 and 3 will be 25% off. So it’s a pretty good deal!

Can’t wait? A Knight’s Tale: Kenilworth is currently 99 cents on Smashwords only.

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I finished a trilogy!

There is an especially good feeling about writing the third book in a trilogy. Confession: I’ve only done it once before, with my Elsie Street series.

But a few days ago, I finished up the third book in the Knight’s Tale series. It is called The Knight’s Return, and it begins in April of 1275.

The novel ultimately takes Will and Stephen, young Eleanor, and Amaury de Montfort from their peaceful refuge in France to a ship bound for England, where fate catches up with them in the Bristol Channel (then called the Severn Sea).

Instead of a peaceful homecoming, Will and Stephen must instead navigate court life at Windsor Castle, where they are essentially prisoners. (In real life, Eleanor de Montfort was held at Windsor for three years before she was allowed to marry her Welsh prince, Llywelyn, and go on to her own short, tragic future.)

The novel takes Will into what was then considered middle age. He is thirty-six when the book ends, in 1282, and The Knight’s Return has more bisexual content than the previous novels as well. Will is also forced to fight in Edward I’s Welsh war of 1277, an embittering and eye-opening experience for him.

However, I’m glad to say that Will does take Wilecok‘s advice to “trust Stephen… in the end.”

You can find The Knight’s Return ($3.99) on Amazon and Google Play now, and on Apple, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble as well.

This recent 5-star review on Amazon really hits home:

The Knight’s Return is a thoroughly compelling story that rings with emotional truth and historical accuracy. I can’t imagine a more perfect conclusion for this outstanding series.

Ten years have passed. Simon is dead, and Will, Stephen, the aging Lady Eleanor and Wilecock are living in Montargis, in France. Young Eleanor, the great-granddaughter of Eleanor of Aquitaine, is now 17 and on the verge of womanhood. Suddenly, Stephen announces he is leaving to study as an apothecary in Italy, even as both Lady Eleanor and Wilecok take a turn for the worse. Will is left feeling isolated but also confused as he realizes he’s attracted to young Eleanor. But soon Will, Stephen, and Eleanor will all need to contend with historical forces changing their lives as well as personal loss as they leave the safety of Montargis while a new English King plots against a rebellious Wales.

It’s interesting to have read this and Alex di Campi’s The Scottish Boy within a few week’s of each other. Di Campi’s book occurs during the period right after when West’s “The Knight’s Tale” books take place. West’s series deals with the Bishop’s War and the English war against the Welsh, while Di Campi’s book deals with the English war against the Scots. Both authors have done their historical research, though Di Campi’s writing puts story and characters first and history second. West’s books feel much more embedded in history, and it’s a delight to encounter 13th century words and facts in her writing, from the details she provides about locations and conflicts to her inclusion of things such as fewterers (keepers of dogs), leather tankards and Lady Day in her narrative.

The author is a careful, keen observer of inner life, of our emotional worlds and how our emotional wiring is vastly different from one person to the next. In this third novel, Will and Stephen have been emotionally and physically involved with one another nearly twenty years. While their love for each other has been a constant, it’s also ebbed and flowed, taking on different shapes and textures as they’ve grown as individuals and been forced to respond to the greater tides of history. Both have explored relationships with others, men and women, and have experienced their sexual attraction to each turn from passionate to perfunctory. Yet their bond, a deep, intimate connection regardless of however else it can be described, persists.

Throughout the trilogy, Will has found himself torn and divided in his desires, his passions, and his loyalties, and in The Knight’s Return he finds himself at the crossroads of desiring both Stephen and two of the women in his life. Moreover, he finds himself the object of desire for an older, significantly more powerful man. In these relations, despite being so often torn between others, we’re reminded that he sees being a man as something essential, the sine qua non of which is that a man is never penetrated or receptive. Will seems haunted in this last book, though he’s unsure exactly by what and seems to experience it as a lack, as something missing in his life. It’s as if he’s lived his life catching glimpses of himself and his manhood in a mirror, first in relation to this person and then in relation to another, but what does he look like on his own? His old friend Wilecock seems to be the closest model he has for seeing himself, but he’s still looking for a sense of solidity on his own terms as the world, the old Countess, Wilecock, and even Stephen all become unstable and fleeting.

So, while the genre this series fits into might be magic realism given Stephen’s ability to see the future, the author, Gabriella West, is a gritty psychological realist. She seems to imbue Will with a kind of latent idealism, and he measures himself against vaguely grasped gender and emotional ideals – and, in his estimation, he often comes up wanting. Stephen is a stoic, resigned to enduring futures which he can see but rarely influence. More than once in the series, he finds himself having to risk giving Will up in the hope that his visions will play out in a way that brings Will back to him. He also rides a fine line between manipulating Will and honoring his freedom of choice.

Another author might have given Will or Stephen a more solid psychology, say, by giving one of them an unwavering loyalty or sense of direction or a boundless faith, to ease the troubled waters that West stirs up in these emotionally honest, memorable and beautiful novels. While that might make for a more feel-good story, it would also make these books less compelling, less authentic in mood, tone, and the reality of inner life. An actor friend of mine, who is also a former National Storyteller of the Year, has often said that what he does is “living or responding honestly to imagined circumstances.” Will and Stephen’s story is vibrant and memorable, living inside me as a treasured experience, precisely because West is that paradox we hold dear as a literary aesthetic: an honest storyteller.”

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Read an Ebook Week Starts Tonight

Starting at a minute past midnight tonight, the annual tradition continues at Smashwords of taking a week to celebrate ebooks with deep discounts…

Find my sales here! Best value is my Irish historical, Time of Grace, only .99 for the week!

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Ukraine in Crisis—Time’s Running Out

Did you know the national animal of Ukraine is the common nightingale?

I have been riveted and appalled by the invasion of Ukraine by its neighbor Russia. What’s more, I actually know someone reporting on the ground over there, a reporter for the Christian Science Monitor… The bravery of the people and of President Zelenskyy is astounding. It is such a tragic situation.

My own grandparents were appalled when Russian troops marched into Prague in 1968 during the Prague Spring. They lived their lives as refugees in exile, never able to return to Czechoslovakia after the Second World War and the “Iron Curtain,” and I always knew them as “Oma” and “Opa.” However, since I had moved to Ireland as a young child, and my parents subsequently divorced, I never got to speak to my grandmother about her past before her death in 1976.

So I do have some Eastern European blood, about 13% according to Ancestry… My grandfather’s family actually came from Slovakia, which is even closer to Ukraine.

Whether it’s in the blood or not, I’m sickened by injustice and bullying. And I know how long oppressive regimes can last.

I had never really heard a nightingale’s song before. Here it is. I hope you enjoy it. (And while beautiful, it is actually quite fierce!)

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A New Indie Juggernaut?

Just got the news today that Smashwords is being acquired by Draft 2 Digital. This is really earth-shaking news for anyone who has been a part of the “wide” independent author scene. For those people who don’t publish direct to platforms like Apple, Kobo, Barnes & Noble (and there are various reasons not to!), one has had to choose either Smashwords (the first ebook distributor, which started in 2008) or its competitor D2D, based out of Oklahoma City, quite slick with templates and layouts and so on, but less friendly to erotica authors. Smashwords has its own store, obviously quite attractive to D2D. Smashwords CEO Mark Coker is joining the board of D2D and will be part of senior management. So, all’s well that ends well? Nobody’s quite sure, but here is a link to the extensive PR announcement and here is the pertinent section that describes a live Q&A taking place tomorrow, Wednesday, Feb. 9!

Draft2Digital will broadcast a live Q&A session for authors and publishers on Wednesday, February 9th, at Noon Central [10am Pacific], with Kris Austin and Mark Coker, moderated by Kevin Tumlinson, Draft2Digital’s VP of Marketing & PR. Kris and Mark will share additional insight about their plans to support the indie publishing community and welcome questions from the audience.

Visit for links and launch time, and to attend live on either Facebook or YouTube. The live broadcast will be recorded for future inclusion in the Draft2Digital podcast, Self Publishing Insiders, and will be available as a blog post at

Never underestimate the Year of the Tiger! While initially wary, I find it all very interesting and do think there’s a certain logic to these two companies joining forces. So we will see. While Smashwords has been a rock for me since 2011, I knew going in to indie publishing that I would have to roll with the punches. At least many of the awesome features of Smashwords will stay: author interviews, coupons, and so on. And while I’m at it, my latest MM romance Once You Are Mine is 55% off through Feb. 16 🙂

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Review: Putting the Rabbit in the Hat by Brian Cox

The young Brian Cox was a well-known U.K. theatre actor in the 1960s and ’70s.

What a life Brian Cox has had. The weird zaniness of some of his memoir, Putting the Rabbit in the Hat (Grand Central Publishing, 2022, $14.99 on Kindle), is amplified by the fact that the “Editorial Reviews” section on the book’s description page is currently filled with info about the notable scientist Brian Cox! (Will the publisher even notice? God knows.)

There’s a lot to smile at here, with some frowns. First off, I reflected halfway through the book that Brian must have given the legal department at his publisher a lot of headaches. Some of the material in here is not flattering, to say the least. On the other hand, actors are known to have messy lives. For all of his judgments on others, freely cast around, Cox has had a messy life too. He admits it, but there must be many sordid episodes that he prefers not to dwell on that he fills with garrulous chatter.

One of the things I picked up immediately is that the memoir has a “dictated to” quality. It rambles and circles back, again and again. The most formative thing for Cox was his birth, first of all, which nearly killed his mother. She was forty and had already had four children and several miscarriages before he was born, in 1946, so Cox was the youngest of the family, and indulged. But his fairly placid childhood in Dundee, Scotland, was over pretty quickly after his beloved father died when he was eight and his mother spiraled into mental illness. The family then lurched into poverty. Cox makes us care about his tight-knit family background and his difficult early life. (His love of American movies also shines through.) He seems to have dealt somewhat, now, with his abandonment issues, but he married young in the late 1960s and unfortunately made his wife Caroline, another actor, pay for his childhood traumas. He touches often on his guilt about the way he treated his first wife, with many affairs, but then moves on quickly to another funny story.

A phrase that came to mind as I was reading this long book was “high-octane bitchery.” Cox probably doesn’t think of himself as a bitchy, judgmental guy, but the theatre world is all about that, and some of the stories and put-downs have a bitter edge. Cox hated working for Peter Hall at the prestigious National Theatre in London, for example, and describes one harrowing rehearsal scene where an elderly actor is strung up on stage above the other actors while they spray blood onto his crotch, amid much taunting and laughter. This goes on for *an hour.* Cox wanted to show how messed up and disorganized the National Theatre was during the 1980s, and he does, but he ends up having little good to say about any theatre he worked in, except Dundee Rep, his first, where he started as a fifteen-year-old jack of all trades. He describes the theatre scene in the U.K. as “feudal.” It clearly is, but Cox’s break to Hollywood at the age of fifty also seems a bit mercenary. He doesn’t care, clearly, and has left the theatre world behind to some extent, which is probably why he’s a lot more cautious in what he says about Hollywood. (He’s currently in a very successful HBO show, as most people know.) I did feel badly for him when he reflected that he got $10,000 for his mid-’80s role as Hannibal Lecktor in Manhunter while Anthony Hopkins later got $1 million for The Silence of the Lambs. The understandable resentment came through loud and clear.

Basically, I had mixed feelings about the book. You can’t help but enjoy it, and Cox puts some meat in there about the craft of acting which is actually very interesting… A vein of melancholy runs through the book, which saves it from being silly, maudlin stuff. But boy, does Cox have a chip on his shoulder! I’ve had a bit of a crush on actors all my life, and reading this feels like it has cured me. (I also felt sad that while Cox clearly likes women, the anecdotes about the female actors he’s encountered are much more perfunctory than the male actors.) Even his attitude to “Me Too” stuff is odd: while Harvey Weinstein made his flesh creep, he seems blasé about Woody Allen and Bryan Singer, perhaps because they both helped his career.

While he’s been happily married for twenty years, Cox is at the age where he can’t really write about his relationship with much romantic conviction or intensity, though he tries. Mostly, he seems apologetic about how he failed women as he single-mindedly pursued his career. So the book ends on a bit of a whimper. It must have been cathartic for him to write (or dictate!), and it was mostly very enjoyable to read, but the “rabbit” that gets produced is a bit moth-eaten and damaged…

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Happy New Year!

It’s past time to say it!

Dry and chilly here now, but it’s been a very wet winter in San Francisco. We are all playing the Omicron lottery at the moment. I managed somehow to get a home test, so if any symptoms flare up, I can give it a go. Seems alarming that the US health system is in such an absolute shambles.

I have been busy submitting to literary journals and have so far been incurring the dreaded R word… Rejection. Recently I got rejected for turning in a personal essay that was too long. It happened with dizzying speed, and I must say it was a shock. There’s a first time for everything! Submittable seems both a very efficient method to do the submitting thing—rejections seem less personal—but not a magic bullet. I’ve also discovered that some journals start begging for money once they have you on their mailing list, even if you currently have a piece under consideration. It’s very strange for someone who remembers what the old way of doing it was. That would never have happened. But I digress.

Meanwhile, you can find some of my work at fiction app Radish. Elsie Street is available to read for free. The Pull of Yesterday (bisexual romance) is uploading in episodes right now as Elsie Street, Season 2. Time of Grace (lesbian historical romance) is available in full to purchase for coins. Radish has an Own Voices shelf and is LGBTQ-friendly.

This is what the cover of Time of Grace looks like on Radish!

There are probably many other things to talk about, including the somber anniversary of January 6, which just passed. Climate change is more frightening than ever (with Boulder’s wildfires being a terrifying example). We’ve also lost good people like Harry Reid, Sidney Poitier, and, of course, the beloved Betty White…

Anyway, 2021 is a year that I’m glad to see the back of! This year, every week seems to bring a new challenge and different set of circumstances.

Stay safe, everybody…

PS. I started the new year with a review of artist Ai Weiwei‘s memoir over at The Internet Review of Books.

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