Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I know, I know, I haven't been around for awhile – that's because when you're not working, you don't have any time. It's the writer's paradox – the less time you have available in a structured setting, the more writing you can squeeze in. But a completely unstructured setting, one filled with friends, family, volunteer ideas, shopping, chores, pets, online games and email correspondence leaves very little time to actually write.

Okay, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. I'm also looking forward to working again, albeit part time, in a couple of months. It will be good for me in so many ways.

But in the meantime, I discovered something pretty nifty – two somethings, actually. I discovered a couple of stories I put away to "cool" and which I had completely forgotten about. Re-reading them now is like a shot of excitement. They're not bad, not bad at all, pretty much ready to submit, in fact. Wow, it's like a cosmic reprieve for my deplorable lack of discipline.

Maybe that partially-written novel on the thumb drive can get a little attention, too. Don't waste those second chances.


I will be spending a few days with my brother in Yuma, AZ next month, volunteering at the SOUTHWEST ARIZONA STAND DOWN, an annual event aimed at assisting veterans, particularly those who are homeless and in need, but also all veterans. It will be three days of food, entertainment, medical assistance, legal assistance, job opportunities, supplies, counseling, shoes, clothing, haircuts, hot showers, a place to sleep, child & pet care, you name it – all free to veterans. This year there will be a new feature, the Women Veterans Resource Center, where I will be volunteering.

I am so proud of my brother, Bill Thornton, a disabled Viet Nam vet, who is a prime force behind this annual event. He has arranged an amazing array of sponsors and donors, as well as speakers, entertainment and organization. But I am devastated by the need. It hurts me to think of people who offered their all to our country going without basic needs. And now we are seeing women vets in dire need, too, many of them survivors of sexual trauma and with children. If you think the government provides for them, you are mistaken. The lack of government support for veterans is a national shame.

Here is a link to more information – please take a look. And support this worthwhile effort if you can. At least remember to thank a vet for their service. They did it for you.


Sue Ann Jaffarian with her new Odelia Grey mystery novel. Catch her at the Yorba Linda Public Library in Orange County on Saturday, March 1st at 1pm. Also appearing will be award-winning mystery writers Naomi Hirahara and Aileen Baron. I'll be there to cheer them on!

Here's a pic of Sue Ann (right) and our mutual friend Susan (left) who is having a birthday the same day as the library program, so I think there will be a bit of a party afters!

Mischa Adams and her granddaughter, Maggie. Mischa is writing the hilarious Two Old Bats at the Will Reading while toddler Maggie is already adept at sign language and is starting to speak, too. Hooray for articulate women!

Steve Zurian and his scary first lines. Steve, who has been threatening to collaborate with me on a thriller for years, started without me and has sent me the opening for a slam-bang mystery set in scenic Santa Barbara. Well, as scenic as the body of an old archaeologist in a man-made cave can be. I'm not sure I can write up to his standard (I know I can't match his inimitable style!) but it's there on the burner for me, waiting for my discipline to kick in and remind me how much I love being immersed in the story, particularly when I'm writing it.
Be careful out there, folks. And keep writing.


Bernita said...

I'm sure the time away from the discipline had been good for you in many ways, Kate.

"Two Old Bats at a Will Reading?" - what a delicious title!

I will never understand the neglect of veterans,of those who were willing to lay their bodies down.

Tia Nevitt said...

Welcome back! Good luck with those rediscovered stories!

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

I love Mischa's title! It was so great to see her at my Feb. 1st and 2nd events.

See you next weekend in Yorba Linda.

In the meantime, GET WRITING!!!

Kate Thornton said...

Bernita - The title had me from the start - but Mischa turns out to be a funny, delightful and extremely intelligent and diverse lady - like most of you!

Tia - thanks so much - I am polishing away, they can always use some improvement.

Sue Ann - see you guys at the Library - and yes, Mother, I'm writing!