Thursday, July 16, 2009


I write from a little house in Bend, Or. I have everything I could need: prayer flags ripple in a cool breeze; a cord of wood is stacked along the fence, a gift from a friend of a friend; there are three pints of loganberries and marionberries in my refrigerator; all four cats are alive and well; and there is a door on my bed-room, which means that for the first time in twenty-six years I sleep without being waked by cats jockeying for position.

I just finished working on a book with a dear friend to the north. We both feel as though eighty pound packs have slipped from our shoulders--and the hike was up a steep trail at least a thousand miles long. We've emerged at the top even closer than we were when we began. That's the nature of the real work.

I'm in the middle of writing She Bets Her Life, a book on women and gambling addiction. Believe me, I am an expert---not just in casinos, but across the boards. My new novel, Going Through Ghosts will be published by University of Nevada Press in Spring 2010. It took me twenty years to write it, twenty years to learn enough to be able to write about love that is not obsession.

Down the road, m

Dudley's is an almost indecently comfortable bookstore here in Bend. There are two floors of used books, couches and chairs, meeting tables and now--a piano. There is always good conversation. The owner, Terri Cumbie, writes her own blog. Check it out. Dudley's is the real deal. It almost, but not quite, soothes the ache in my heart that has been with me every since Flagstaff's Aradia Bookstore was killed off by a rich landlord's greed.