Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Ceaseless, snow drifts down,
shimmers pure on starless pine -
a choir of silence.

Happy holy days.





Peace, Linda

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The REAL reason publishing's going to hell in a handbasket...

Chris Goldberg's got it right at HuffPo... dudes don't read but it ain't their fault.

I mean really... can you take any more books involving vampires, knitters, or spoiled Americans finding themselves in (insert exotic location)?

And hey - I'm a girl. Give me Brett Easton Ellis over Stephanie Meyers, any day.

Peace, Linda

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Jelly Knees

Today feels like New Year's Eve two weeks early.

Lectures done. Tests graded. Papers marked. Conferences - been there, done that. Chapter for textbook - submitted. Science manuscripts - completed. Promotion and tenure packet and reference letters - in the hopper. Holiday cards - ordered. Dad's 7-week chemo and radiation regimen - over.

I've been weepy all day, my knees wobbly at the notion of not rushing, not worrying, not doing a damn thing.

Except what I want to do.

I write, but I can't put into words the intensity of the past 4 months: the intensity of deliverables, of time, of emotion. Of not knowing. Of the way my brain never stopped, how it kept whirring away lists and worries like a forest of cicadas in July.

THE WRITING... New ideas already jockeying for the freed-up space in my frontal lobe. PURE percolates through the gray matter, as does a children's Christmas story and several 6S flashes due at the end of the year. A new story, a YA about Jess and Zeke, two orphaned brothers, dominated several pages in my Moleskine this morning. And of course, LOVE SONG ON THE INNER LOOP keeps peeping over my shoulder.

THE READING... I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE by Wally Lamb. A reread. So damn good, and primer for his latest which I HOPE is in my stocking.

Peace, Linda

Friday, December 12, 2008

For Men - Some Gifting Advice



My University gifted staff and faculty with furlough days - what's your boss getting for the holidays?

Peace, Linda

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Devils in the Medicine Chest

Last week I went to the Centers for Disease Control and banged heads with other public health policy types over this problem: how can we stem the burgeoning epidemic of prescription drug overdoses?

A question near and dear to my academic heart, the one I cut my doctoral teeth on some years ago.

Prescription drug abuse is a huge problem: 1 in 14 US citizens non-medically use medications like OxyContin, Vicodin, Ativan, and Adderall. Where do they get the stuff? Not Mexico, the internet, or even from their docs - Almost 60% report families and friends as their source.

We sat around in a double-tiered u-shaped configuration, a bunch of experts from the FDA, the CDC, NIDA, SAMHSA, DEA, State govs, and the Ivory Towers - even a judge - and listened to each other pontificate on the pros and cons of drug courts, serialized prescription forms, electronic monitoring programs. Yet, despite expansion of these programs, prescription drug abuse continues to rise, even as the use of cocaine, heroin, and rave drugs declines.

Sitting in the windowless room for two days, it occurred to me these programs barely make a dent in the abuse problem because they come at the wrong point in the food chain: after a doc has prescribed, after a pharmacist has dispensed, after a patient has gotten hooked and in trouble.

It seemed to me the solution to prescription drug abuse is pretty damn straightforward: Just lock the stuff up.

And maybe educate everyone that OxyContin isn't quite as innocuous as candy.


Last night my 9 year-old son spent an hour on the internet, researching the question of Santa. His conclusion made me weep - why DO they grow up so fast?

The tree’s up, cookie supplies are in, here come the holy days.

THE READING... Ooooh, having so much fun: Wally Lamb, Dirk Wittenberg, Julia Glass, and so on and so on...

THE WRITING… A children’s story – can you believe? And it even has a happy ending. What’s wrong with me?

LISTENING TO... The KILLERS Day and Age. Good stuff. As a writer, though, I just want to edit HUMAN - shouldn't it be dancerS, not dancer?

For the frugal readers among you... FREEBIE BOOKS FROM BLEAK HOUSE and INTRIGUE PRESS

Peace, Linda