The Unraveling Myth of Johns Hopkins

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. Have you heard? Another historic myth is being pulled apart like a sweater with moth holes. Johns Hopkins, the great Baltimore businessman and founder of a university and hospital, wasn’t quite the social reformer that history told us. Recently, Hopkins historians shared news that he was a slave owner, rather … Read more

A Second Home

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. Have you ever frequented a bookstore so often it became a second home? From the moment in childhood that my parents permitted me to walk to our neighborhood bookstore, I’ve engaged in this kind of squatting. From Micawber’s Books in St. Paul, to long-gone independents in Baltimore and … Read more

Respite

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. People around the world are saying, when? Over eight weeks ago, business as usual stopped for most of us. Not just working: but shopping, learning, socializing, being out in society. Some are saying enough already! and demanding that their states’ governors reopen all non-essential businesses and get children back to school. … Read more

Sustainable Hope

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. On a recent day that I was missing fresh greens,  I walked into the garden. It was long before I’d planted my first seeds for lettuce. Not much was there. And yet… I appraised the dandelions. Their gay golden faces are dotted all over the lawn and garden … Read more

Gardening on Deadline

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. For too long, I’ve been lost in the LED-lit, indoor world of writing. Over the last month, I was intent on doing nothing else except finish a book. It also happened that late November turned out to be the only time to plant a garden. Fall planting is easier on … Read more

Love in the Library, Part I

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. Back in Grade One—about the time I stopped having to use my finger to read word by word—I fell in love with stories. I could not get enough of reading, and thank goodness there were libraries to sate my appetite. Libraries were the place I, as an elementary … Read more

A Writer’s Garden

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. I was home for a short week between book tour traveling, and the main thing I realized was how delicious it felt to be home for spring. The more common wish in America is to be “home for Christmas.” But Maryland’s shining moment is spring. It is a … Read more

Summer in the City

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. In Spring of 2017, I hired a man to dig out the grass in front of my Baltimore, Maryland house. He thought I was crazy to pay him for that, but I had the idea of replacing the grass with a lot of perennials that are native to … Read more