Broody Girl

Life in the MeadowKnoll chicken yard is usually serene and uneventful, a welcome relief to the chaos of Covid-time. Our five Girls lead a tranquil life, punctuated only by frequent visits from Mom (me), their regular egg-laying visits to the nest box, and the irregular visits of the bull snakes that like to snack on […]

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Mother’s Day at Meadow Knoll

                      It’s not just a day for moms on our human calendars. It’s a big week–a month, actually, for moms all over our Hill Country homestead. This whitetail doe brought her fawn for us to see, while the two of them enjoy a morning browse […]

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Hunkering Down

We’ve lived here at Meadow Knoll for over thirty years, and this has been the most beautiful spring I can remember. The New Dawn rose on the trellis beside the deck is heaped with fragrant rosy-pink blossoms. To the delight of the hummingbirds on their northward migration, the crossvine climbing the east wall of the […]

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“Winter” Cross Stitch Finished!

The fiber crafts have been my lifelong passion. I learned to crochet when I was a child and became a doily and potholder entrepreneur, peddling them to the neighbors. I learned to knit in my twenties, and my kids got socks. At midlife and beyond, it was quilting, spinning, weaving, felting–all of which are lovely […]

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Writing the Journey

It’s a cliche to say that life is a journey. But it is. Sometimes the way ahead is straight and clear and well-traveled–plenty of mile markers and traffic signs. Sometimes we reach an intersection and we don’t know which road to take. And sometimes (like right now, for instance) the road just seems to disappear. […]

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Some Post-Apocalyptic Thoughts

The Covid-19 news of the past few weeks is having an effect on all of us. The sun may be shining, the daffodils may be blooming (or not, yet, depending on where you live), and you may be going about your business pretty much as usual. But things are changing–or rather, this thing, this virus, […]

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Bookery 101: The publishing calendar

The other day (on Valentine’s Day, actually), a reader wrote to me. Mary is someone I hear from often enough to recognize her name and appreciate her comments. She writes: “I’m so sorry to learn there won’t be a 2020 China Bayles. Is there anything we, China’s readers, can do to persuade a 2020 book?” […]

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Ugly Lovelies

Some things in nature aren’t beautiful. They just are as they are, like ball moss growing on a branch: a plant that is not a parasite (as people often think) but an epiphyte, getting a living by perching on a convenient limb, minding its own business and making its own food. Its roots only cling, […]

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Writing Linked Fiction: Thoughts on Craft

  I’m about to send a just-completed trilogy of Pecan Springs novellas (DeadLINES, Fault LINES, FireLINES) to my copy editor. This is the second of these trilogies (the first was The Crystal Cave, and a third is already beginning to take shape at the back of my mind. So maybe it’s time to think out […]

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Journaling: Notes From Past Lives 1

I recently celebrated my eightieth birthday, which—in an unexpected way—has given me permission to publicly claim my age and document this part of the journey. (Funny how that works, isn’t it?) In my reflection on times present and past, I began reading through the two memoirs and the many blog posts I’ve written over the […]

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