Home Sweet Palafito

Home Sweet Palafito

One of the most iconic scenes in southern Chile’s Chiloé Islands must surely be the alley of palafitos, picturesque houses built on weatherworn posts, that rises from a tidal flat to the right of the highway as you drive into the provincial capital of Castro. After lunch on the first afternoon of our anniversary trip…

The Longing for Love

The Longing for Love

Part of the dynamics of a good story focuses on a desire. Sometimes it’s a physical plot goal, sometimes it’s more of an emotional yearning. The romance shelf, of course, features the longing for love. But the not-so-odd paradox remains that 99% of the books you read—whatever their genre: mystery, fantasy, thriller—have a love thread…

The Search for Substance

The Search for Substance

I am a realist. Though my mother might disagree (I suspect she equated my head in a book with my head in the clouds), on the bottom line I’m the ultimate pragmatist. I believe—and write—about life in all its humble glory, yet that’s a spiritual reality. I search for SUBSTANCE, the core value inside the…

Behind My Mask

Behind My Mask

Can I share a secret? Hiding behind my mask, I’ve saved a bundle this year on face cream, lipstick, and even (gasp!) toothpaste. What I’ll look like when I finally emerge from the cocoon may alarm the neighbors.   We so often leave unattended what nobody else can see, where no outsider will notice. You…

This Homesick World

This Homesick World

Among the many themes in my books, the motif of HOME—or perhaps more precisely, houses—surprises me most with its broad-spectrum presence. I never planned to weave those ideas into the writing, was hardly even aware of them. But in this homesick world, maybe that’s not unexpected at all. Recently I suffered an attack…of nostalgia. Did…

Mountain Music

Mountain Music

We’re familiar with many of the precious names of God, such as El Elyon (Most High God) and Adonai (Lord), because of their use in some contemporary Christian songs. El Shaddai–All-Sufficient God–is another of these, and in its complex Hebrew meanings of both “mountain” and “breast,” we discover the majestic protection and tender provision of…

Picnic Paradise

Picnic Paradise

It’s official. For one of the few times in 210 years, Fiestas Patrias, Chile’s patriotic celebration beginning on September 18th, is canceled in our city. What only the military coup of 1973 could accomplish before, the Covid-19 pandemic has now put into effect. We won’t miss the 3-day Booze Bash, but we’ll long for the…

When Disaster Strikes

When Disaster Strikes

Sometimes it feels as if we live in a permanent disaster zone. Earthquake! Tsunami! Drought! Flash floods, forest fires…and now a pandemic. In Chile, we tend to live on the ragged edge, always semi-prepared for when disaster strikes. Among the subplot threads of many of my Seaglass Books is woven the background motif of some…

Remembering Who We Were

Remembering Who We Were

Remembering who we were—the good, the bad, and even the ugly of our past—is a key to facing the future with holy confidence and joy. Keeping in mind the depths—and heights—I’ve come from keeps me focused in the right direction. Doesn’t every family have their legends? Their black sheep and closet skeletons, their crazy ancestors…