Night on Earth, When I Lost My Way

Last weekend, I had the privilege of staying aboard  the RMS Queen Mary, so that I could speak about my novel, Cooking for Ghosts, at  StokerCon. I had a wonderful time. I met some truly extraordinary authors, filmmakers, and screenwriters, watched incredible films in the stunning Queen's Salon of the ship, and had drinks with friends in the beautiful Art Deco Observation Bar. And, as I usually do on trips where I don't know where I'm going, I got lost in my car, down by the Long Beach Port, in fact.  But, I'm used to this. It seems to be my right of passage whenever I travel somewhere alone, just me and my dismal sense of direction.  This is not metaphorical, but the rest of this post … [Read more...]

On Women, Betrayal, and Overeating

This one is a tough one, and might trigger some bad memories for some, but I have to share it. Yesterday I met a young woman who was abused sexually when she was four. The abuser was her stepfather. After months of this, the little girl was at her grandmother's and luckily, grandma figured out something was amiss. Her stepfather was convicted, and went to jail. Where the story takes an even more tragic and dark turn is that the little girl's mother never believed her about the abuse. The mother remained in contact with her husband, even going as far as to visit him regularly in prison. And when he was released, the first person he phoned was his wife. The little girl, a teenager by the time … [Read more...]

Do You Fear Change, or Change Fear?

I rarely share personal stories of this nature on social media, but something's making do so today. I think the reason is I've seen a lot of posts recently from online friends who are afraid to make changes in their personal lives and relationships.. Because ... what if we make a change, and it only makes things worse, right? There are a number of other reasons people don't make the changes they want to make too. A big one is embarrassment, believe it or not.   As in, "I've tried everything to make it better, yet I am still so unhappy, and treated so badly in this relationship. But if I get a divorce, people will think I'm a failure. And I'll feel ashamed." I was in the above situation, … [Read more...]

The Little Lies We Tell Ourselves Are Not So Little, After All.

Psychology Today says that "Confirmation bias occurs from the direct influence of desire on beliefs." When people would like a certain idea to be true, they end up believing it to be true. This explains why many of us stay in unhealthy relationships or other living situations far longer than we should. We want to belong somewhere. We want to believe we were right in our choice of what that "somewhere" is. We want to believe we didn't make a mistake. Because in our society, making a mistake is something to be ashamed of, rather than something that teaches us to be better and stronger. Confirmation bias leads us to stop gathering information when the evidence we've gathered so far confirms the … [Read more...]

On Graveyards and Death

A graveyard is a place our ancestors and loved ones sleep. To destroy them in the dead of night, in a country that once stood for freedom of religion --- all religions --- is a cowardly kind of cruel. To do so on the basis of which god you pray to indicates the weak mind of a follower, and a soul that has been emptied of any kind of true human compassion. To those who want to devoid their lives and their environment of any and all who think differently and act differently, who want to see those others either demoralized or dead because you're afraid of their differences from you, know this: Once you achieve that goal, with no one else left on the outside to fear or destroy, you'll then … [Read more...]

Change, Fear, Death

Slowly, it's coming to me what's at the root of most human fear and hate:   It's the thought that we might lose something we have, whether it was given to us, or whether we fought hard to earn it. It's a lack of faith in ourselves and our fellow man that whatever unknown thing we might gain by any changes we make to our world will reap less for us than what we lose by those changes.   We don't see wonder and possibility in change, we see terror and death. … [Read more...]

Good Riddance, California?

So, just wanted to point something out to those in the United States who've made the comments about how the country would be "well rid" of California, because of what it cost the nation recently due to disaster funding given to the state by the federal government: California is the largest contributor to the federal budget, at 13.3 percent. Even with the check just written to them to mitigate the costs of the flood disaster, California puts in more money than it takes out. Always. In fact, there are only four states that get more than they give, and those states are DC, West Virginia, Hawaii, and New Mexico. Therefore, if California leaves, the US would lose 13.3 percent of its federal … [Read more...]

Cab Calloway and Opera Gloves

For those who have an interest, here's an update on Book II of The Secret Spice Trilogy, SPELLS and OREGANO, scheduled to be released late this year: ____________ First of all, thank you to the Art Deco Society of California and Art Deco Motor and Fashion Group for their expertise and gracious help on hairdos and styles of the 1930s. I've spend two weeks researching and writing about The Art Deco Ball which takes place annually on The Queen Mary for Book II of the Secret Spice Cafe Trilogy, SPELLS AND OREGANO, due to be released late this year. Two whole weeks, with the music of Benny Goodman and Cab Calloway playing in my head, hankerings for champagne cocktails and Singapore Slings, and … [Read more...]

A Modest Proposal to Yahoo, from a Customer

Dear Yahoo: When my first book was published, I took book marketing classes and discovered how important it was that I have an author website, along with a contact list of readers who have shown interest in my work. You were one of the new games in town, so I signed up and created a website and email address book through your server. Eight years later, I feel like your bitch. It's not the fact that your IT people are bored out of their minds, and so randomly make unnecessary changes to email that are a hindrance rather than an improvement. It's not the fact that your prices to host a website are higher than most. It's not the fact that if I have a technical problem, I need to … [Read more...]

A New Moment

A new year. I always shake my head a little when I hear people panicking over that, or wanting to celebrate that too desperately. Here's why: We imposed that on ourselves --the marking of time that is, into days, weeks, months, years, and decades. Nature itself remains unchanged in its cycles, but its humans who feel the urge to count time, and thus add unnecessary stress or expectation to it. We say we want to do this "by age thirty," or that "by age sixty." It's just another restriction, another way to fit us into boxes that society has set up. I mean, what if "this" isn't accomplished by age thirty, but age forty? Does the achievement mean less because of the date it was achieved? And the … [Read more...]

Finally Sat Down and Wrote This Letter. Now, We Wait.

  Dear Santa: I hope all is well with you. Been meaning to write for a while about this: "Naughty or nice," by what definition, specifically? After decades of observing who gets lots of presents and who gets none, I'm still not clear on the parameters. Could you clarify? Yours sincerely,  Patricia V. Davis     … [Read more...]

Lady,Take the Bag: A Christmas Story

I had the Shopping Trip From Hell today, and I'm going to rant about it here, so if you’ve had enough of your own holiday shopping trips from Hell, best move along. Let me start with all the Santas standing outside of every. damn. shop. My heart tells me, “Those Santas are there for a good cause. And they’re cold, poor things, outside for hours, ringing those bells, next to that little leprechaun pot. Look at them ─ so persistently cheery, asking for nothing, just wishing everyone a happy holiday, wanting to help the needy, hoping you won’t be a selfish git and ignore their smiles and puppy dog eyes.”  But my head tells me, “Oh, goody. Guilt Trip. Haven’t been on one of these in a while. … [Read more...]

One Voice

A number of ..."things," I'll say, for lack of a more creative but vague word, happened to me along this road of life. For a number of reasons that are important to me, I don't talk about them, other than in ambiguous terms, such as calling them "things." But I'll say this: those things --- things that I wasn't able to control --- were pretty damn terrible. They could have destroyed me. They could have warped me. They could have robbed me of empathy, generosity, and trust. I could have learned from these things to truly and deeply hate, to become viciously determined to destroy everyone and everything that had harmed me. And others, besides. We've all met people like that, haven't we? … [Read more...]