Roots of Writing

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. I got a three-month writing retreat with every comfort needed! I scrawled the grand statement, which sounds like a cheesy advertisement, and taped it next to the guest room desk back in March. I was upset about the pandemic, and I was trying to reframe what I could … 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

Mid-Atlantic Native

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. I came to the Mid-Atlantic at age 18,  so I cannot claim to be a Mid-Atlantic native. I didn’t marry a local man, either—I married someone from the Deep South. Yet I’d like to think Tony and I have thoroughly embraced this area for raising our family, building … 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

A Sour Treat

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. Pink rhubarb stalks fill the tables at farmers’ markets in early spring. With the stiff body shape of celery and the tender texture of a fruit, rhubarb is the barb of jokes—a misunderstood and under-appreciated bit of produce. I speak as a rhubarb convert. The first time … Read more