Leaving a Writing Legacy

Note: This first appeared today, Friday February 7, 2020, as a guest post on the Mysteristas blog. It is reprinted with their kind permission. I was surprised to see Debra Winegarten’s name come up on my phone that morning in the summer of 2018. I knew her but not...

Chili on a Chilly Night

Jordan has it firmly fixed in her mind that there’s a connection between wintry weather and chili. Let there be the slightest forecast of snow, ice, sleet, even freezing rain, and she issues a call for chili. So far, today’s predicted storm has missed us, though it’s...

Creativity at Three O’clock in the Morning

One of the blessings of my life is that I usually sleep well at night—and frequently in the daytime too. But last night about three o’clock, I woke and then my busy mind kept me from falling back to sleep. I’ve been known to write great fiction at such times, but the...

Confessions of a Cook Who Should Follow a Recipe

Sausage skillet supper It’s predictable. Every year after the holidays, the other adults in the Alter/Burton compound go on a diet. So I wasn’t really surprised when it happened this year—nor am I completely out of sympathy. I know that they seem to feel better when...

The Back Story Behind a Novel

Today is what I’m calling a soft launch for a reprint of one of my early novels about Texas, So Far from Paradise. But I’m sharing the story behind this one, because I think it’s kind of interesting. I hope you will too. In 1986 a kind of fervor swept Texas as the...
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