Brandon Jeffords!

When we met, I was struggling.  Most days, it felt like I could barely breathe.  He was a first-year art student at Ringling School of Art & Design.

Together, we created two books, Caps & Crowns and The Color of Noodles.  His dream was to work in film animation and create a loving family.  My dream was to live peacefully with my husband and daughters, a loving family, creating art. Our dreams came true.  I like to think we helped each other.

Thank you Brandon.  I will remember you forever and wish you years and years of love and work, as Jung said, “Work is love made visible.”


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He says it’s easy for me because I married money.  This tells me so much about him and says so little about me or men I married.  In 1988 I married a man I met when I was 18 years old.  I loved this man and we shared precious dreams of our future.  We shared two beautiful daughters. He died in 2008, ten years after our unfathomable divorce, from which I emerged unrecognizable to myself.  In 2014 I married a man I met when I was 49.  We share an amazing life full of love and laughter.  We care for too many children to count.

So now, still, he, this person I love, says I married money. I am sad for me and for him.

His mother is dying.  He says she did not support him.

If he believes his mother did not support him, let me take a minute to tell you how much she supported him his WHOLE life.  Every single step of the way, she was there with food, shelter, intelligence, money, comfort, candy, handmade Halloween costumes, lots of Christmas joy, tons of resourcefulness, and utter devotion to his wellbeing. I was there.  I witnessed it.  To say she did not support him is like saying my mother never cared about my tennis game.

If he does not think she gave him enough money (or anything) over the years, then there truly is not enough money to be enough.  She could give him every dime, every remnant of her existence as a human, and it would not be enough for him.



To all the American citizens using the hashtag #NotMyPresident – rest assured you will not be beheaded for your dishonesty.  You are free to be liars in this beautiful country.  Also, you are free to leave.  As with a strong and loving marriage, you are free to leave.  Become a citizen of another country, maybe one you love?  That might be better for you.

Live honestly.  Be truthful with your hashtag #NotMyPresident.  Why not?  Try it! Be true to your word.  It’s amazing.  None of us are true to our word all the time but it is just such a noble and rewarding pursuit, I can’t help but encourage you and remind myself.  This one isn’t hard.  Just leave.  Board a plane.  Fill out documents.  Renounce yourself of this country and your burdensome citizenship.  If this country, in which you are free to make fun of anyone anytime, is too difficult for you, leave. Please.  You deserve peace.

And then, use the hashtag #NotMyPresident with truth.  The truth will set you free.

Blessings to you on your journey.


Thanksgiving 2017

It’s 5:13 am, Thanksgiving 2017.  I am filled with gratitude and look forward to the crowd of voices coming my way in several hours.  There will be baby voices.  There will be voices that have been around for more than eight decades.  There will be  the presence of loved ones whose breath has become air.

This is the fourth year my husband and I have hosted.  We enjoy each year as there is always an important insight and life-affirming lesson waiting for us.  We struggle each year with all the details and suggest this one is our last.  We are clear about this – we are creating a family Thanksgiving, not a party.  Yet, the bigger the family, the more it feels like a party.  Still, I cringe when anyone calls it that and suspect some relatives do it just to make me cringe.  I could be wrong.

Philip Burke celebrates Thanksgiving with fellow Buddhists.  Can we join? I wonder.

Philip is a painter whose work is widely recognizable.  His twin brother is married to my cousin, which is how we are acquainted.  He gets an invitation to our Thanksgiving as we want my cousin’s husband to know we love his family, which is our family, because we are a universal family, although I’m not sure how everyone is the world will fit around our table.

I wrote a play once – Fine Arp! – in which a character briefly wished a painter dead so her painting would increase in value.  This play is not about Philip (although I did use him as the artist she wished dead) and the play is not about me (although we own a Philip Burke original).  I thought Philip might find the play funny.  He didn’t.  I needed an artist so I picked the one in closest range and it happened to be a him, a man I wish many happy fruitful years of life.

The stars are shining bright this morning outside my window and I think I see Suzanne’s sparkly smile, my Grandma’s almost-black brown eyes, Papa’s big ears, and Jody’s long brown braids of the 70’s.

It will be a perfect Thanksgiving.  It always is.

We enjoy a mature respectful and fun relationship with each other as we continue to discover healthy ways.

On Writing

Some people call me a writer.  I love it.  I don’t call myself a writer.  I say “I write.”

I barely take myself seriously as a human, much less a writer.  I’m very serious about being a whiff of light making a brief appearance as a human on planet earth.  What does that even mean?

I know.  I’ll try to explain.

This might sound crazy but I believe every human is born with everything she needs for a beautiful life. How can that be?  No food!  No water!  No education!  No money!  Right.  That baby’s got it all.  I can’t explain any better than that because the truth is…hold on…that baby doesn’t really need her human body.

When my daughters were born, I looked at them and thought…it’s all there.  Just like the whole apple tree and all the apples exist in the apple seed.  It’s all there.  And so, I got very busy tending the soil doing everything I could to make a good and rich place for those seeds to grow and flourish.  My daughters are now beautiful loving and creative adult women and that’s between them and God, as it was from the beginning.

Must I write?  Yes.  So call me a writer or don’t.  It’s all true.

The Fires Burn

What will you do for money?

What will you do for sex?

What are you willing to die for?

What will you do for an Oscar?  An Emmy? A Pulitzer?

What will you do for a beer?

What will you do to be widely read?

What will you do to protect your children?


The answers will become evident with time.  Burn burn burn.

5 Things Durango

My husband and I are currently excited about our new book, The 5-Things Travel Guide.  In case we don’t get around to writing it (a very real possibility) here is the concept:  for each location, we give you the top 5 things to do, according to us.

We found ourselves in Durango.  Here are the 5 things:

  1. Ride the train to Silverton (or wherever it is going)
  2. Get a picture with Whinney and Friends.
  3. Have pizza at Fired Up.
  4. Order the country breakfast with orange juice at Jean Pierre (the French French baker!)
  5. Drive the Million Dollar Highway