Poem: Monday, 4:05 PM

The reflection of the sun on the water
Is sending ghostly ripples of light
Across my windowpane,
As if I’m being visited by the visual echo of wind,
Or an aurora borealis known only to me.

A cursory glance at the pool
Shows no waves,
No movement at all from the water,
And the trees are not blowing with vigor,
But breathing gentle sighs
As their branches lift and fall
In arboreal shrugs.

In a few minutes,
The sun will sink behind the treeline.
The water will be cool and dead-looking
Instead of sunlit and alive,
And the essence of wind drawn in light
Will be gone from my view.

For now, though,
I’m content to sit here
And watch the wavy lines
Sketch temporary patterns on the glass.

It should be painfully obvious from this piece why I rarely attempt poetry. This is posted unedited, as I originally wrote it on 24 November 2008

Preferably Smooth (Gotham fanfic (microfic))

We had no internet all day yesterday, so I wrote offline and in between whiny phone calls to AT&T. Note: if you want actual help from AT&T, skip their phone tree entirely and use Twitter. Their Twitter team kicks ass.

Here, have a tiny bit of fan fiction.


Disclaimer: I don’t own Gotham. I’m not sure I’d want to. But it’s an interesting place to visit from time to time.


Fear comes in the oddest forms.

Sometimes it comes in your subordinate looking at you with her dark brown eyes, the ones that pierce your soul, and can no doubt read every single wrong you’ve done.

Sometimes it comes in the form of a gun, pointed at your head, or words hurled at your feet, each a declaration of its own kind: I’ll do anything to take you down.

Sometimes it comes in the near miss of a car zooming past as you step off the curb, or in a phone call you answer in the middle of the night, the voice on the other end of the line filtered beyond recognition.

And sometimes, one time, fear is waiting for you in your own darkened kitchen.

Surprisingly, it’s not the mook holding your bodyguard’s head, blood from the severed neck dripping on the cold tile.

No, the true form of fear, the form you never expect to make you shiver, to make your hands sweat and your breath catch in your throat…that form is wrapped in a dapper suit, and speaks to you in a voice as dusty as the top of the cabinet he’s leaning against.

“Do you have any peanut butter?”


Notes: I met Robin Lord Taylor at Dallas Fan-Expo last summer; he’s the sweetest person ever, as well as being kind and accessible. His line in Commissioner Loeb’s kitchen in the season two opener was delivered with JUST the right blend of menace and innocence…something only he can do. I had to do something with it.



A day of ups and downs – mostly downs.
Both of my husband’s parents are in hospitals today – separate hospitals, for separate reasons.
Both are facing the kinds of questions no one really wants to answer, but everyone has to.

Binge-watching episodes of ER is oddly cathartic at times like this.
Actually binge-watching ER is comforting for a lot of reasons, and like The West Wing I like having it on for background noise while I’m writing.

I like the pace of it.
The dialogue.
The rhythm.

If life were a medical drama, Alex Kingston and Anthony Edwards would rule hospitals.

Sunday Brunch: Method Writing

Meclizine last night left me groggy for most of today.

As well, I’m still in recovery from a really dark piece that I wrote – it involved a character being raped. (I should add that I don’t think rape should ever be used to entertain, it was something that was integral to the story I’m telling.)

I’m writing the aftermath now, and I suddenly understand why friends refer to me as a ‘method writer,’ because I’m having a difficult time separating myself from the material.

After all, when I’m writing, I play all the parts.

Sleep and chocolate have helped immensely.


Sometimes the only cure for the blahs is chocolate, so yesterday, I baked a batch of my favorite chocolate chip cookie bars.

The base of the batter smells like butterscotch, but it’s really only sugar, egg, and vanilla. (Some people actually measure the vanilla when they bake. I find this adorable.)

I don’t bother adding chocolate chips and walnuts as a separate step. Instead I measure them into the dry ingredients, mix them together, and add the whole thing to the wet ingredients, one-third at a time.

My house is redolent of the same chocolate that flavors my husband’s kisses.

Thursday 13: 2015-02

1.What do you think the best invention is?
Movable type. Or air conditioning.

2. Are you a pessimist or an optimist?
I’m a pragmatic realist with slight optimistic tendencies.

3. If you could have one super power, what would it be?
The ability to communicate in any language.

4. What do you think your life will look like in 10 years?
I’m not sure, but I’m sure it will still be covered in dog hair and full of laughter.

5. What is the best thing about living in your city ?
It’s three hours from almost everywhere else in North America, by plane.

6. What are your hobbies?
Writing, music, improv, audio drama, reading, swimming, collecting hats.

7. If you could invent a holiday, what would it be?
Bibliophile’s Day. It would be celebrated with free books, free coffee or tea drinks, and time to read.

8. What was the last thing you bought?
A book, for my husband’s birthday.

9. Do you like to cook?
Yes. I’m a total foodie.

10. How have you changed since you were younger?
Greyer, softer, bustier, bolder, and smarter. Also kinder. Sadly, not any taller.

11. What was your first car?
A Fisher-Price toy that I used to bump down the stairs of my grandmother’s house.

12. What is the worst movie that you’ve seen?
Eraser Head

13. If you could meet anybody in history, past or present, who would it be?
Louisa May Alcott or Spalding Gray

For more Thursday 13, visit: https://www.facebook.com/Thursday13meme?fref=ts

Audio: The Bathtub Mermaid on Crayons

I climbed the stairs to my studio to record lines for an audio drama, and ended up working on a podcast as well.
Actually, first I recorded new opening and closing bits for my podcast so I finally have a general template for easy, easy production.
Then I riffed on crayons in a personal essay. I’m not sure what the exact schedule of the podcast is going to be, but probably around the first and fifteenth of every month. It works for me, I think to do it regularly, but not to the point of it being a stressful project.

Listen to On Crayons: http://www.bathtubmermaid.com/2015/09/tbm-1509-16-on-crayons/


I used to watch her sitting on the stairs, twisting the phone cord around her fingers while she gabbed with her friends, rocking back and forth on the parquet tile floor, squinching her nearly prehensile toes around the curved edges of the worn wood stairs.

I remember being envious of her olive skin that always had a faint tan, and of her long fingers and strong nails, her black curly hair – curls she hated.

I would have given anything to have curls like that.
But she would have anything to have my pin-straight strawberry hair, along with my innocent youth.


I’ve never been a fan of spiders…

This summer has been far more spidery than I remember other summers being, but I’m not sure if there are really more little crawly things or if I’m just hyper-aware of them.

Oddly, I’m less afraid of them than I used to be, only making my husband come to do away with them when I can’t reach their cob-webby homes in the corners of my kitchen, or bathroom, or bedroom.

I would be far less opposed to spiders if they limited their existence to places where I never have cause to be naked.