Monthly Archives: July 2016

#SandFire, Los Angeles


The ongoing L.A. fire (or Sand Fire, given its starting location on Sand Canyon Rd., one hour north of downtown), has scorched over 33,000 acres of mostly foothill. And three days later, it keeps raging. Several homes have been destroyed, and thousands of people are under mandatory evacuation orders. As of now, there is one fatality.

Wildfires aren’t a unique feature on the Southern California landscape, given our high temperatures, low humidity, and wild winds. Still, this fire is about as massive and scary as I remember. 

While not close enough to be dangerous to us, there is smoke and ash everywhere. It’s been a somber time around here, watching the erratic flames destroy farms, houses, come close to a wildlife refuge.

It’s also been reassuring watching communities come together, people taking in friends and strangers. When the call went out, Southern Californians lined up with their trailers to help evacuate exotic animals from the Waystation center — chimps, tigers and other such animals. People continue to do the best they can under the circumstances, and leave the rest to the firefighters, who’ve been at it for days with hardly a break.

Watching the fire from afar leaves one mostly speechless. Here are two photos from our front yard, a friend’s balcony — and above, from the local media.


Image credit:

Occasional Silence


The occasional silence … why do we need it?

To read, to hear ourselves think, to create. Silence nourishes our minds and souls. It connects us to the outer cosmos. But the truth is we don’t get enough. And we suffer as a result.

As multi-tasking and demanding quick thinkers, we are drowning in the noise of our thoughts, desires, and emotions. Drowning in the constant breaking news and trending subjects.

Noise is a pollutant to everyday life, but it’s deadly, I think, for creativity.

At the center of all of us there is a reservoir of stillness. Meditation likely offers passage to that sea of calm that lies beyond the noise of our mind. Reading is another way. Long walks, and so on.

And here’s the thing. We need regular contact with that part of ourselves.

I know I do. Badly. It keeps me sane and centered, I think. It’s where I reconnect with a source of calm.

The good news is that part of ourselves in never far away. Once the decision is made to go there. Or, in my recent case, once the creative bug bites.

So, this is a long way around the subject of my absence, dear blogging friend. I’ve been working on the next Zoe Sinclair novel while putting the finishing touches on a short story titled A Blurred Reality. No way around this but to disappear for a while.

As it is often the case in a community, the fear of missing out is never far from my mind. So, I thought I pour myself a cup of coffee and check in this morning.

Visit you, and, in the meantime, ask … how are you doing?


Image: 365daystobethankful.blogsp