“You’ll never get me to tell you where the jewels are,” the child said. She leaned back and smirked. So starts my short story A Diamond in Her Eye about a precocious little girl who also happens to be a jewel thief. How, you might ask? She is a shape-shifter. The story came about after one of those police procedurals on television where the detectives lean on the accused. I thought the twist of having a small child as the suspected thief would add a new twist.
I started writing poetry as a cheat of sorts; I could write a compact story very quickly. My sister Debbie is the poet in the family. I do my best. She writes beautiful, heartfelt prose that makes you think. She was the one that explained Robert Frost’s “Two Roads” poem to me so that I understood it was about his decision not to go to war. I thought it had to do with walking in the forest.
Anyway, in this Author Reading, I recite some of my favorites poems and explain why I wrote them.
I wrote this story after reading about a rare albino redwood on California’s coast north of San Francisco. I saw it as magical and spiritual. If I had my druthers, I’d live in Sonoma County or near Santa Rosa and make my way to the coast as often as I could to see the redwoods, ferns, and rough coast of the Pacific.
This is a short story about a group of people at a settlement conference: a sort of preliminary attempt to close out a lawsuit before a trial. Most of the settlement’s are managed by previous judges, so they know what will fly in front of a jury, and what won’t fly.
I tend to gravitate towards out of body experiences, paranormal, and strange phenomena. I suppose it is part of my belief we all are part of a collective experience and we certainly don’t have an answer for all of the mysteries of the world. I also think our imaginations fuel our passions and experience. So, in this story, I have no problem with a guy believing his daydream is reality.
You spent all day working, tossed the ball with the dog, watched some TV, and now you want to sleep. You nod off quickly only to awaken at midnight to the howling of your dog. Then your dog does something unusual: it starts talking to you.
What happens when you suddenly get life advice from your dog? Do you take it? Do you listen? Those are some of the questions I tackled in this short story.