How to Finish a Novel

How do you know when a novel is finished? People often ask me that, and the true answer, I guess, is when it’s on the bookshelf. As a writer, the most you can do is write it over and over, wait for comments from trusted readers or, if you’re lucky, from...

Music, Medicine and Me

When I was a little girl, and even into my early teens, I wanted to be a doctor. My interest in medicine coincided with my interest in music and the beginning of my lifelong learning to play the violin. I never did become a doctor, but I have continued to be...

Googling a Title

Here’s a bit of a conundrum. A short while ago I became virtual and then real friends with a writer who shares my passion for Cambodia.  She contacted me after reading my first Cambodian novel, A Clash of Innocents, which she (thankfully) loved. But she told me...

Coming Back to Earth

This past weekend the news was full of space-related events. I must admit, over the years I have had a conflicted view of the various space programs, NASA in particular, and the obsession with all things extra-terristrial. The social activist in me has thought that...

Don't Give That Child A Dollar

As tourists, it is hard not to be touched by the big eyes and outstretched hands of impoverished children forced to beg on the streets.  It is very easy for we who have so much to want to help those who have so little.  But giving children on the street money is more...