Essays & Media
I'm an Unreliable Witness
If I were called to the witness stand, I’d immediately admit that I made up the three mysteries I wrote and someone else published, without really knowing a single thing about solving crimes.
Come On, Boomers!
How is it possible that new writers, having just joined Medium last month, have already found close to 1000 followers? I’ve been here since last year and am nowhere near that! Here’s what I think:
To Authors Whose Characters Have Sex the Moment they Wake Up
It is not natural when two actors (in a movie) or characters (in a book) open their eyes after a full night of sleep and immediately engage in passionate sexual intercourse.
Stepping Back in Time at Ye Olde Jewelry Shoppe
Last night, we celebrated our anniversary at a much-loved Wisconsin supper club that was a time machine back to the 1970s. The music (think Carpenters or Captain and Tenille) was ‘musak’ of the 1970s, the décor was ‘hunting lodge’, and the food, including a canned, sliced pear as a garnish, could have been served at one of the restaurants I waitressed at in high school.
Drag Bingo in a Red State
Yesterday, we drove two hours to a small town in Wisconsin where we’d found a charming old bed and breakfast run by a young couple who live with their toddler in the back of the house.
The air has been a sickening color since Monday. I’ve tried to stay inside because my face, head, and lungs ache and it’s hard to breathe. I wore a mask the few times I needed to leave our building. It felt weird to remove the mask when I went inside the grocery store, the physical therapy office, the senior home where my mother-in-law lives.
Ten Things That Make Me Happy
Because as I age, each day is a miracle. I survived horrible asthma and a surprise bout of cancer in my fifties, but all of us are surviving something these days. We joke about starting our conversations with “organ recitals” in which everyone lists their aches and pains before we can proceed with real conversations.
The Most Fabulous Historical Mysteries Set in American Cities
I began hosting New Books in Literature, a podcast channel on the New Books Network, in 2018, and have interviewed over 180 authors so far. It was tough to choose just 5 top books, but in looking over all those interviews, I remembered how much I loved reading these books, all set in the United States long before the 21st century.
There Are Plenty of Other Evil Villains
What about the Third Reich is so appealing that books and movies are still being made about it? And why do we keep wanting to hear more about Nazi lies, Nazi attacks on anyone they hate, and Nazi humiliation of those who don’t agree with them?
Thoughts of a Retired Assassin
Back in the day, I knew not to compromise my colleagues by posting stunning views on Instagram like they do now. No photos of anything including gorgeous desserts, and everything I’d say would be too vague for anyone to figure out where I was going or where I’d been. You’ve got to play it cool and quiet in this business.
The Story of a New Garden
We started at a family-owned garden center about 30 minutes east of my daughter’s Colorado home. I couldn’t get over the amount of development that’s taken place in the thirty odd years since I lived there, much of it “little boxes on a hillside and they’re all made out of ticky-tacky, and they all look just the same.”
My flight to Denver landed later than expected, nearly 10:00pm last night. I was tired because it’s an hour later in Chicago. It was a fifteen-minute wait for a rideshare. I sat in someone’s abandoned wheelchair watching a sudden rainfall (luckily, DIA’s pick up area is covered). I scrolled through Instagram, did a couple of Spanish lessons on Duolingo, breathed the mountain air.
How to Stay Married for the First Thirty Years
We walked around the charming city of Turin for three full days, often holding hands and feeling blessed. It’s a special vacation, and we’re enjoying every moment. Love the architecture, the cobbled streets, the cacophony of languages, the murals.
The Train from Nice to Paris: On Body Odor, Being Invisible, and Doing the Best We Can
Just got to our hotel, and it’s pouring outside, so we’re resting a bit. Today, we rode into Paris on the train from Eze, an enchanting village on the Riviera.