Happy Valentine’s Day!

This is a chocolate cupcake from Scratched Baked Goods in Long Beach so perfectly nestled in its box, I didn’t have the heart to take it out just to snap another pic. 

Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend! 

To Kathryn


“When a writer falls in love with you, you can never die.”
Mik Everett

I guess when someone you love dies naturally
everything just slows down –
today her heart rate slowed, her breathing stopped
and just like that, she was gone

but in my heart she’ll live on forever
even immortalized on the page
I just can’t help it for she was always there for me
the sweetest woman, a gentle sage

and in all my books, I always see her
sometimes unintentionally
but she lived such a life, and without fear
that writing her in just comes naturally

and as imperfect as my stories are
typos still left unnoticed on the page
it doesn’t matter now, not anymore
she’ll live forever; she’ll never age


My Real Name is David Jones – Letters of Note

When I called in this, my manager’s office, a few moments ago I was handed my very first American fan letter – and it was from you. I was so pleased that I had to sit down and type an immediate reply, even though Ken is shouting at me to get on with a script he badly needs. That can wiat (wi-at? That’s a new English word which means wait).

I’ve been waiting for some reaction to the album from American listeners. There were reviews in Billboard and Cash Box, but they were by professional critics and they rarely reflect the opinions of the public. The critics were very flattering however. They even liked the single “Love You Till Tuesday”. I’ve got a copy of the American album and they’ve printed the picture a little yellow. I’m really not that blond. I think the picture on the back is more ‘me’. Hope you like those enclosed.

In answer to your questions, my real name is David Jones and I don’t have to tell you why I changed it. “Nobody’s going to make a monkey out of you” said my manager. My birthday is January 8th and I guess I’m 5’10”.

Via Letters of Note

Today we lost a legend
and I’m truly saddened by his passing
he taught me to always be myself
even if it’s a lesson I often keep forgetting

He was always true to his artistic vision
never seeming to care what everyone else thought
he was one of the few artists I truly admired
his unique and giving soul hardly bought

but his legacy will live on
and I hope this and next generations will know
that there will never be another David Bowie
may all copycats come…and go.

Daily Prompt

Merry Christmas!

May your holidays be filled with happiness and laughter
and may all your wishes come true
especially for children (like mine) who wish for Santa to only give him
a “Titanic-submersible-ship-that-breaks-in-two-and-goes-back-together,”
only to have his daddy give him a set of pajamas…actually two.

November Is Not Just For NaNoWriMo

November has always been about passages for me, life changes and transitions. I always wondered if my own clock was more in tune with the earth than it was with the Gregorian calendar, though now I just realized why I feel such loss around this time of year.

Five years ago, my best friend passed away after a 2 year-long battle with ovarian cancer. Through it all, she never complained. She told me once that she had two choices – complain about the things that weren’t good or be grateful for the ones that were. So she chose the latter, choosing to surround herself with white light no matter the challenge.

Today, while my son was going through his swim therapy, I perused through her old email messages to me, the only things I have to remind me of her kind words no matter the challenges she was faced with at that moment.  

She died on 11/6/10 and I remember my last visit to her two weeks earlier when she gave me her massage therapy manual for that’s where we’d met back in 1997 and I’d lost mine a long time long before then. 

A week later she called to tell me to keep writing even though I was too ashamed to tell her the truth – that I’d stopped writing 8 years earlier.  She also told me to watch my weight and be kind to myself.  

And while I haven’t exactly watched my weight that well, I have resumed writing – as you all probably have noticed.  And today I ordered two copies of the paperback version of the book I dedicated to her, Finding Sam – a surreal experience that’s more surreal than when I ordered my copy of my second novel, Loving Ashe.

And even though being a writer navigating through the new social media can be scary, I have to remind myself that like Pam, I have two choices.  Complain about the things that aren’t exactly going great (it’s all perspective as well) or be grateful for the ones that are – like health, family, and life in general.

New York On My Mind

I think I’m in love with New York, always have and always will.  While a part of me will always love the wide open spaces of Southern California, there’s something about the energy of New York that I love – if you don’t include rush hour at the subway, that is.  I’m sure if I were to live there for a period of time, I probably won’t be saying what I’m saying, but as an adopted daughter of New York, I like visiting the city that never sleeps as much as I can.

Sculpture by George Segal at the Whitney Museum of American Art
Last week, I did just that and it shocked me to know that it had been ten years since I was last here, staying in Ocean City for training and then a skip and a hop to the city and then back again.
Roosevelt Station in Jackson Heights where we’re waiting fkr my aunt’s favorite #7. I don’t blame her. It goes straight to Manhattan and has A/C
This New York trip was different though.  My brother planned majority of the itinerary, and whenever my brother plans an itinerary, expect no rest – I mean it.  An example of my brother’s itinerary would include a trip to the Frick collection in the Upper East Side, and then to the Whitney Museum of Modern Art in the meatpacking district, by Greenwich Village, and then back up to the Midtown for the Lincoln Center by 8 pm, to see The King and I.  My feet were literally killing me (and his, too) and by the time I straggled home, after delays on the subway, it was 1:30 am and I was grumpy.  Actually I was grumpy because my phone was dead and I could have written down so many ideas and because I had brought along the smallest purse I had, it meant no little black book where I could have written something down. Not even a kindle to read something!

This was on my To-Read list
I also missed my car.
Summer Days mean its car-free Park Avenue 3 Saturdays in August.!
One of my all time favorites at the Whitney, TEN CENTS A DANCE by Reginald Marsh
Oh, and did I say that we visited the Big Apple in the middle of a heat wave?  With temps rising up to 94 degrees, it was hot and humid. Hotter still down in the subways where we were stuck waiting on platforms and then squeezing into already-packed subway cars.  We’d have combusted if someone farted.

I know its an empty platform for now but it was a hot and humid platform
But one thing I noticed on this trip was that while the Californian in me was busy complaining, New Yorkers never did – or if they did, they did it as quietly as I did.  Instead, they lose themselves inside their white headphones, chewing their gum and just minding their own business.    When they arrive at their stops, they get up and go on their merry way.

On this trip, one of my cousins wanted to check in to just about every touristy landmark. And when I say “check-in” I mean, literally, just check-in, ala Facebook speak.  She could just be at the entrance to the door of the Empire State Building and that was good enough to check in on Facebook that she was there. Was, being relative.  But as long as it worked for her, that was fine with me, though it meant that we ended up in touristy places I’ve never really been to – like Times Square.

Times Square at around 6pm and it is crazy! The painted topless women were there!
If I have been to Times Square in the many many times I’ve stayed in New York, I must have wiped it out of my memory because I can’t remember it.  Or if I did go to Times Square, it wasn’t as crazy as it was when I went this time.  There were topless, almost naked painted women with pasties covering nipples and the colors of the American flag their only “clothing” charging money for pictures with them.  There were the Lady Liberty impersonators and horrible versions of Spider Man and Mickey Mouse.  One day after our visit, the mayor wants to regulate said topless women and a debate is on.  Anti-woman, pro-woman, that kind of thing.  If the naked cowboy can walk around in just a hat and his underwear (and his guitar), then why not topless painted women.  I do have to say, they got themselves some pretty good knockers…

One thing that made this trip more fun for me though was my iPhone.  How I wish I had an iPhone back in the day, when I was much cooler – like hip and cool kinda cooler.  These days,  I’ve packed the pounds and the years, I don’t think so now, have been as kind as I thought.  Next to my aunts, I look just as old sometimes, and it’s glaringly obvious that I am so not cool enough to be allowed entry into places like the Top of the Standard, even if I tried, like, really hard.

The High Line, a 1.45 park oinnthe sky, a revitalized poece of New York’s past which once ran trains from 34th street to St. John’s Park Terminal at Spring Street
But back to my iPhone. My phone took amazing pictures and between my brother and I, I think we did pretty well.  And then there’s social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter, where every recent picture is posted, though while I did post mostly my brother’s watermarked pictures, I waited till I was finally home to post mine.

my brother’s shot of the base of the One World Tower
My shot of the One World Tower
Unfortunately, because of said iPhone, I probably spent less time talking to my relatives, even if I wasn’t alone in checking my Instagram feed every few minutes, or uploading latest pictures of some building or landmark.  I did, for the first time since I’ve owned an iPhone, ran out of battery three straight days.  That’s how packed our itinerary was, that by 3 pm, our phone batteries were dead.

Two of my favorite things – words and good coffee
But it was still fun.  Hectic, but fun.  And tomorrow, I’m buying one of those portable charging thingies…

Outside My Window

Outside my window
the world goes on
the dahlias keep blooming
till each one withers and is gone

The green beetle flutters its wings
humming loudly against my ear
deep inside, I worry about everything
as I do year after year

But life keeps on going
and the dahlias will bloom and go
the sun rises and sets each day
life goes on – that much I know.


How do I tell my child that there are people out there who hunt big beautiful animals for sport – shoot them with a bow and arrow and let him suffer for 40 hours before shooting it, skinning it and then chopping its head off as a trophy to hang on his wall? How do I tell him that this big cat’s little cubs, about 10 of them I think,  will be killed by rivals of his father simply for carrying his scent, his DNA? 

I don’t know but I do know that when I ask him if he would ever shoot a beautiful lion for fun, he will say no (and he did), and he will not understand why I even dare ask him such a question.