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The sense of sight is so precious, I wanted to take time out to see the world through new eyes–a painter’s eyes.  Instead of drafts of stories I have been creating sketchbooks.  This is life imitating art.  One of my characters, Karen, from the novel Katsuren, always travels with a sketchbook.  Surely that idea came from a part of myself I needed to get in touch with.  So, about 20 filled sketchbooks later, I think it’s time for me to return to the world of words.


The new edition is ready.
Look for Katsuren: An Okinawa Love Story at

I used to think fuzzy caterpillars entered the pupa stage to slim down, shed the fuzz, and grow wings.

I used to think novelists wrote down the events of their lives and the people they knew in order to make their stories.

The truth is, when a caterpillar becomes a pupa, it surrounds itself with a hard shell, and within the safety of that shell,  it totally dissolves.  It becomes bug soup, and everything it ever was changes.  That’s what a good writer does with her experience. 

People, places, events get broken down into their elemental components.  From that “experience soup”,  a story and characters that have never, ever been seen on the face of the earth emerge and, like a newborn butterfly, take wing.