A Little Step Before a Leap

The apartment was bigger than it looked in the photos online. Real estate must be cheaper in a small town than in the cities. I didn’t know. I’d never lived anywhere but one big city and apartments were even more expensive than renting a small house. It didn’t make any sense to me, but I guess if you’re willing to pay for the benefit of not having a lawn to mow, someone might as well take your money.

I also wasn’t used to having the super live offsite. Though she wasn’t the super, she was the apartment manager. Or owner. I should get that straight. She and her husband lived down the street in a nice little house by the lake.

“Right up the road if pipes burst or you lock yourself out,” Mrs. Wright had said. Mr. Wright was housebound so she had taken care of our business arrangements.

“Now, there’s lots of young men for neighbors, dear, but they’re polite and well-behaved or I wouldn’t have them. So you just make yourself at home.”

“Thank you, Mrs. Wright. I’m not worried about them.”

One eyebrow twitched, and she smiled.

“No, I supposed you’re not. I’m off, then.”

Maybe her intuition works better than mine. Maybe I was advertising more than I realized.

No young man was getting anywhere near me until my heart grew back in the hole left by the young man I’d just left forever.

This is an excerpt from next year’s romantic mystery Anacrusis.

Graffiti Portals 1

graffiti-1It was one day before her 21st birthday when Leigh Packard walked through the graffiti on the alley wall into a world unlike anything in her remotest imaginings.

Attending UCSD meant she got to leave the harsh winters of Chicago for the sunny warmth of southern California. Not that she couldn’t deal with cold. Growing up in the frozen white north, you acclimatized or you moved to Florida.

Or San Diego.

She’d acclimatized for years. Her childhood and later school years were full of snow and ice. Online friends in warmer places ribbed her about the one-day summer, joked about meeting penguins and polar bears on her daily run, and generally gave her a hard time about the northern winters.

She’d pushed back, defending the place she’d grown up, secretly agreeing with every word they said.

When her parents announced they were selling the house and moving to Florida, and also announced that the profit allowed them to pay for a degree at virtually any university she chose, she jumped at the chance to flee her homeland for warmer climes.

Continue reading “Graffiti Portals 1”


Rafe Keyn and the Temporal Lisle

All that free space in my brain erupted today.

After spending the morning listing all 64 scenes for A Still, Small Voice (14% written!) I sat down this afternoon and slashed the fat grease pencils all over 8 or 9 pages of legal paper and outlined (fanfare!)

Rafe Keyn
and the
Temporal Lisle

I can barely contain myself.