My Books

Thumbnail image of Goddess of Green Lake cover

Thumbnail image of Moon's Blues cover

Thumbnail image of The Greening Book 3

Thumbnail image of Tall Order cover

If Music Be The Food of Love…

The official poster hints at the madcap tone of Joss Whedon’s film.

Play on.

When Shakespeare wrote that line for Count Orsino in Twelfth Night, it was meant to suggest a strategy for ending, rather than prolonging, the pain that love can sometimes cause. Frustrated by his inability to win the love of the […]

Paint Me A Picture

Even in the rain the models in Renoir’s “Boating Party” represent a sunny ideal.

Among the many unintended consequences of the government shutdown here in D.C. has been the rise in attendance at the city’s privately run museums.

Art lovers looking for somewhere to get their gaze on have been flocking to places like […]

Kith and Kindle

A young woman begins a journey that takes her far, far from the beaten path in The Greening.

My new book, The Greening:At The Root, is now available on Kindle.

I don’t own a Kindle myself, yet. But I’m beginning to see the light. Though no electronic gadget will ever supplant my love of […]

This Is Your Life

Every rainbow is a small miracle.

Karen Thompson Walker’s debut novel The Age Of Miracles takes off from a simple premise, the sort of “what if?” that has inspired science fiction writers for decades. What if the Earth’s rotation slowed? What if, gradually, but unmistakably, the sunlit days grew longer, the dark […]

Recipe for a “Great Dark Birthday Cake”

In the eyes of a child even a small pond can seem an ocean.

Shuffle the deck of time and space. Stir in a cup of memory, a teaspoon of hope. Add two cups of terror, one stick of courage and a teaspoon of tears. Beat in two or three hearts. Bake in moonlight […]

Hook, Line and Thinker

At the salmon ladder at the Ballard Locks in Seattle a ranger explains the salmon life cycle. Photo by Bill Harper

Much as I admire Melville, I’ve never been passionate about fishing.

But I do think there’s something at once mystical and primal about the attempt to catch a creature you can’t quite see.



A mosaic sun brightens the cloudiest days at the Takoma Park Community Center.

There’s a gentle mist falling outside on this cool September day. It’s not the steady rain the garden needs, barely enough to soften the air, lower the temperatures, and dampen the birdbath. But it’s a soothing kind of benediction after the […]

The Font and the Fury

Bookstore cats are a breed apart.

While recovering from another losing battle between me and the Microsoft Word system that rules my computer I recently read Robin Sloan’s  Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, a literary pick-me-up about book lovers, computers, and the curious obsessives who thrive in the shadows of secret libraries.

What’s not to […]

Dig In

Chris Parsons' magical art glistens in the early morning dew.

My current fave nightstand book is a small square chunk titled “The Garden Book,” which might seem unimaginative as titles go, but trust me, like the library in Terry Pratchett’s Unseen University, it’s much bigger on the inside.

The book (published by Phaidon) offers […]

Borrowed Scenery

A willow curtain provides sylvan solitude.

Willows don’t get much attention in late summer. They usually get a brief spotlight entrance in early spring, when they race into leaf before most other trees have gotten out of bed.

But for me the charm of the willow doesn’t let up, even after all the headliners […]