Tuesday, October 21, 2014


A new book emerges slowly, unwrapping and untangling itself from dreams and images and experiences, from lines of poetry and memories.

I'm writing a story now that I've wanted to write for a long time, but it's not yet untangled enough to tell you too much about it, other than at its center is a 93-year-old nun who is delivered in the middle of the night to a nurse on duty at a long-term care facility. The old woman has suffered a stroke, as my aunt Alayne did this summer. Alayne passed away, but my character lives on with more than a hint of my feisty auntie in her.

In the story, Sister Rose has right-side paralysis and aphasia, loss of speech. When her nurse, Johanna, tries to remove her garments to examine her, she fights against it. It's a battle she can't win, and all is revealed, including a large butterfly tattooed on her chest.

This weekend I was walking downtown, and passed Luly Yang's, a shop of beautiful formal and wedding dresses. In my last book, Love Water Memory, this shop had a cameo as Lana Tang's, a place the main character Lucie loved, slowing down as she drove by (as I do) to admire the dresses.

Imagine my delight when I saw this dress on display on Saturday! A good omen? A sign that I'm on the right track?  Or just a dress inspired by Halloween?

Whatever it is, I can't stop looking at it, which is weird for a person whose idea of formal wear is Seattle-typical: nicer-than-everyday jeans.

Where do books come from? From things large and small that shimmer in a certain light.

What inspires you?