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I’m misbehaving again.

I NEVER write my post with the TV on. But tonight, just for some company, I’ve put on one of my favorite British mystery series, Midsomer Murders. There’s about a million of them, and they all take place in a small cluster of villages. Given that each show averages about three murders, you should avoid these quaint, fictional villages at all costs if you ever visit England.

It’s a day for some small pleasures: the familiar sounds of a favorite show in the background, one too many pieces of leftover Halloween candy, browsing Christmas decorations on stolen time, and this guy, whom I encountered on a quick walk…not your traditional Green Man, more like one of Tolkien’s Ents somehow trapped in a California town. I should have asked him if he was acquainted with Treebeard.


Small, seemingly silly pleasures keep the artistic child happy, which is important right now.

Good news on the novel front. (Perhaps I shouldn’t refer to it as war zone, but that’s how it’s felt lately.) I’ve reconnected with my protagonist. Perhaps it’s the coming of the holiday season, since my novel is set during the weeks leading up to Christmas…perhaps it was finally finding a way to incorporate the helpful input I received a couple months ago…whatever it is, I’m going with it. Though I’m revisiting the first chapter for what feels like the thousandth time, I’m actually enjoying it. And, given that I believe in synchronicity, I thought it a good sign that this morning the Paris Review featured in its Morning News Roundup a blurb about Charles Bowles, aka Black Bart, the 19th century stagecoach robber and poet bandit who plays a big part in my novel.



Now for another small pleasure…cheap Chardonnay and a fried chicken TV dinner. Oh yeah…