Category Archives: history

The Suitcases

They sent her overseas to save her life. A small-boned young woman just beginning her twenties, hair fashionably short in the American style swinging against her strong jaw, her black eyes proud and watchful, ranging over the seething common crowd of Chinese at the dock. She moved, flanked by the black and white of two … Continue reading →

Posted in: Blog, family history, history

Why it’s so hard to keep Nigeria in focus

A discussion on Facebook pointed out the lack of sufficient coverage and emphasis on the tragedy of Nigeria’s struggle with the Boko Haram group, and I have to weigh in. The reasons for our poor information and erratic, ever-corrected “facts” are not, I believe, based in racism. Having lived in Nigeria for many years, I’d like … Continue reading →

Posted in: Blog, education, history, social and anti

Speak to the Apples

The names of apples make me happy. Here in Southern California I grow Pettingills and Gordons, Golden Dorsets and Winter Banana, Fuji, Granny Smith and a would-be Red Delicious which is neither. I instantly want to excuse myself– I, myself, would never have chosen to plant a Red Delicious, having picked up a mildly critical … Continue reading →

Posted in: Blog, gardening, history

He Pays a Visit

  You finish writing a novel, you polish and rewrite, hand it over to your agent and re-polish and rewrite again, pass it on to the editor at the publisher and do that all again, sometimes writing new sections or insights to answer their queries. The book goes out, people read it, comment, give reviews. … Continue reading →

Posted in: Blog, history, writing


I reached into the shopping bag, pulled out the tissue bundle and unwrapped it, drawing out the moment with anticipation. Was the little picture really so perfect, so evocative, as blurry with captured motion, as clear with individual power as it had appeared in the shop? Old photographs don’t usually appeal to me, but this … Continue reading →

Posted in: Blog, history

a fall of snow

I’m painting snowscapes out of memory. I sit in my studio in Southern California with the bzzzt of hummingbirds flashing by, the dull fog rising and sun glimmering through. But I’m not here. I’m in winter, trudging across the slopes in New Hampshire. Former family land, once farmed by my blood. I stroke the brush … Continue reading →

Posted in: Blog, history, painting

Two novels and an invitation

  I’m honored to have you read my blog, delighted and impressed by how many people the ‘Fresh-Pressed’ award brought me. But, looking at this page, I realized I could talk a bit about my two novels, both published by small presses (Imajin Books and Eternal Press) in the past year. I grew up in … Continue reading →

Posted in: Blog, history, publishing, writing

Let us now praise

      I’m behind on this news, but the man is immortal, so I suppose when he died has little weight. I had the honor of meeting and hearing Emil ‘Tom’ Frei III M.D. and his co-worker Emil Freireich M.D. the pioneers of combination chemotherapy, nearly seventeen years ago when Professor Daniel Botkin … Continue reading →

Posted in: Blog, education, history, science

Time Travel

A few weeks ago I traveled in time, but not quite the way my characters do in my novel Future Past. I took a jet to Fort Collins Colorado to meet with a group of about twenty faculty and family members from an all-but-forgotten program that Colorado State University ran during the 1960’s. The last time … Continue reading →

Posted in: Blog, education, history

Night Must Wait and history

Most readers asked about expatriate writings on Africa will think of Let’s Not Go To The Dogs Tonight, West with the Night, Out of Africa, all of which are memoirs. This is not, though it may attract some of the same audience fascinated with Africa. Maybe we can consider The Poisonwood Bible and Nowhere in Africa … Continue reading →

Posted in: Blog, history, publishing