An Improvisational Year

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. The songs are playing day and night. Some of them are tentative, while others blow the dust off the steep wooden staircase. My son is home from college for the winter holidays and nestled in his third floor bedroom with all his electric guitars—and the amplifiers. The improvisations … Read more

My Holiday Movie at The Charles

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. A Thanksgiving movie is as much of a tradition for me as the cooking. When I used to return from Baltimore to St. Paul, Minnesota, in November, my sisters and mom and I always endeavored to find a special film to watch at an art house theater like … Read more

The Great Cicada Summer

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. All over Maryland, there’s one sweet word I hear every day: cicada. The cicadas are here. Or, should I say, Magicicada? Or to be very precise—I can’t say it, but I can spell Magicicada septendecim, Magicicada Cassini and Magicicada septenecula, the three species making up Brood X which … Read more

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