Weekly Poem-11-18-15 Starling Murmation

I have many poems sitting around on my computer collecting dust. I decided to start sharing some of them. I am far from being a brilliant poet, but this seems like the right thing to do. 


Starling Murmation


Patterns of pepper separate and swirl together

A vortex of wings,

Waves across the sky scatter and connect,

Over the cottonwood trees

Branches like shredded ribbons from the wind.

Silver leaves tarnished under clouded sky.


The birds merge and separate,

Twisted into a helix of wing and body.


Shifting of light and shadow,

The patterns illuminate something active

Controlled choreography

Not random or indifferent,


Patterns seeking connection.

Each bird responsible for a piece of twisted sky,

Perfect swarms of light.

(From November 2011)


This poem came about after seeing a bird murmation near Crescent Beach on Orcas Island. 

REMINDERS about WEEKLY POEMS: If you decide to use my poem somewhere, please let me know, credit the author, and link it back to my website. Thank you!

Dare Mighty Things

On a visit to JPL last year, I saw this sign in a building:


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I’m not a scientist, not even close. I am in awe of all things inventive and new about science. I love the realm of possibility.


Dare Mighty Things doesn’t even make sense exactly. I mean, how do you dare a thing? Yet, that’s one of the reasons why I like the sign so much.


My sons and other members of my family have science brains. They can wrap their heads around abstract possibility, force, nature, numbers. I stand back and nod in awe.

Innovation leads to success,

Yet, failure is also a huge part of innovation.

Daring means things go wrong too. Mighty doesn’t happen unless we take risks

I think pretty much everything Elon Musk does is amazing, yet even with an innovative company like Space X, failure happens.

I cannot create an alternative fueled spaceship or navigate rovers on planets, but I can write.

The past few years I’ve had my own version of spectacular rockets blowing up.

Years of work on novels end in fiery ruin.

I stare at the pieces and start over,

Do it again

And again

And again.


Sometimes, it get’s hard,

Painfully, wretchedly hard.

But what other choice do I have?


I have to create.

I have to write.

I cannot stop.


When I face that blank screen, the possibilities swarm through my brain.

My own version of space travel starts when my fingers hit the keyboard.

To possibility and beyond! 





For a day of peace.

These are not the kinds of anniversaries I don’t like.

I prefer to look back on happy days, beautiful moments, a new level of understanding.

Here’s to a future with more love and less war.



Writers and others Involved in Projects,

You know that point when you have that Really Great Idea or RGI and plunge passionately into a project only to find yourself completely stuck a short time later?

Yes, I think you know what I mean.

Well, that’s happened to me. Fifty pages in, and I’m staring at Scrivener like it’s an unreadable map.

So, here’s my list of things to do to get going again:

1–Go back to my outline and see what I need to work on. Add, develop, or otherwise change.

2–Take a walk. Okay, I take lots of walks, but these do help.

3–Talk to my critique group.

4–Read. I have to be careful with this one; I tend to read to avoid getting unstuck.

5–Daydream. I do this every day, non stop. I’m a daydreaming champion!

6–Clean the house. My best ideas happen when I’m doing things I dislike . . .

7–Eat chocolate. This needs no explanation.

8–Talk to my sons. They’re funny, have good ideas, and are brutally honest about my bad ideas.

9–Remind myself how my day job is not my dream job. Always motivating!

10–Set a timer and get it done! One word, one sentence, one paragraph, one page . . .


Time to turn a RGI into a RGFT (Really Great Finished Thing)!

Looking for Whales

I spent last Saturday morning at Lime Kiln State Park on San Juan Island.

It was still early. The crowds hadn’t arrived yet.

Lime Kiln State Park

Lime Kiln State Park

I searched for whales, but there were none to be found. I saw some harbor porpoises, but they disappeared before I could get a photo.

The lighthouse looked lovely in the morning light.



Stage Fright!

I spend most of my time behind my computer screen. It’s a pretty safe place to hang out. During our recent ATOI Playfest performances, I found myself in a scary place–

The stage!


Fools on a raft.

My play, Tenacity, was chosen for this year’s performance (Yeah!), and we had a great cast. But, things sometimes happen with community theater, and one of our actors suddenly had two new plays to direct (as well as doing a million other things .  .  .). While we searched for a new actor, I filled in during rehearsals, and as we waited for people to make up their minds, we came to the conclusion that I could play the part.

Yeah, why not? I wrote the play and, besides, it was only ten minutes. It wasn’t like I was taking on Shakespeare.

I still panicked. Why? Well, I was working with this amazing director and two very talented actors. How could I hold up?  Everyone knows comedy is hard. I needed timing, movement, crazy facial expressions, hyperbole (okay, the last one is pretty easy for me).

And, I had to be on STAGE! Before an AUDIENCE!


In the end, I decided to let go and just dive in. Trust me, I understood Elaine. I wrote her. She’s the one who first showed up when I wrote this play.

I had loads of fun, and I don’t think I embarrassed my children too much.

Oh, and check out the reviews!


I’ve never been compared to Haruki Murakami before!






We interrupt this blog to announce the arrival of my favorite season.



Clematis ready to burst into bloom



And the beautiful pink flowering currant shrubs (which are clearly tree sized).




I found this disclaimer in the introduction of the mystery novel, Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers:

For, however realistic the background, the novelist’s only native country is Cloud-Cuckooland, where they do but jest, poison in jest: no offense in the world.

I shall now return to my own version of CCL. I think the name of my world is different, but it hasn’t whispered itself to me yet.