Incredibly fun day yesterday. Woke up early to lots of “Happy Pub Date!” messages, had a quarter glass of champagne, then went back to bed for a few hours to sleep it off. Cubed cheese, washed grapes and strawberries, put the Prosecco on ice. Family rode in on their white horses to help put everything together. I’ve decided it’s a strange and wonderful thing to have a book out in the world; it feels like the end of something and a beginning at the same time. It was also a reminder of how amazingly generous and supportive friends, as well as people you don’t know well, can be. Thanks to the Palo Alto Books, Inc. store for giving me such a dreamy debut!podium

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August is shaping up to be busy, so I’m adding two poems for the month now. Which one do you prefer? Offering #1:

Rising Sun 1

Rising sun, August heat, gathering blue.
That old Cape magic.

(Michael Crichton, Andrea Camilleri, Lois Lowry, Richard Russo)

And offering #2:

Heat 1

Under the Tuscan sun, heat.
Women in their beds
Night birds.

(Frances Mayes, Bill Streever, Gina Berriault, Thomas Maltman)

I have my favorite…

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A sharp-shinned hawk (what a marvelous name!) has discovered the finches. I feel duty bound to save them. (Otherwise, I’m just luring them to their death with nyjer seed…)

ss hawk 3


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Are you the sort of person who unwraps your presents ahead of time, then tapes them back up? If so, I’ve got a gift for you: a sneak preview of The Gravity of Birds on @scribd. Check it out at


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Last Orders_1

Siege thirteen – the general in his labyrinth
talking to the dead.
A soldier of the great war, waiting
Last orders.

July, and something acknowledging the cost of independence seemed called for…

(Tamas Dobozy, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Helen Dunmore, Mark Helprin, Ha Jin, Graham Swift)

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Two beautiful copies of the UK edition of The Gravity of Birds! (They look even better in person. But don’t just take my word for it. Order a copy for yourself in August!)

UK 2

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Machu Picchu birds

From my dear friends, the Valentines. Can you imagine surveying such a kingdom every morning? Lucky birds!

machu pichu birds_jean

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The Bee Problem

Rare and endangered species –
Little bee
The hive
The whole golden world.

(Richard Bausch, Chris Cleave, Gill Hornby, and Kristina Riggle)

I confess, this makes me feel guilty for even considering doing away with the wasps artfully constructing their paper-walled condominium in the eaves over the front door. I promise – no spray, no insecticides. Which leaves me to search for some extremely long-handled implement to use to knock their nest down in the dead of night, as if it was a tiny piñata, but without the candy. Or the scarf tied over my eyes. (And yet, I fear my aim will be no better…)

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The Lure of the loquat

Members of the local flock of mitred conures. They likely started as escapees, but have followed the edict “Be fruitful and multiply” and their numbers have grown to thirty or more. They prefer the ambience of St. Martin Parish Church (at least they prefer the eaves of St. Martin Parish Church), but the lure of the loquat tree in the back yard is seasonally strong. Not completely camouflaged, but close. In spite of their wild screeching, they like to keep a low profile.

can you see him

there he is

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Antidote to June

Antidote to June

Cold hunger, white teeth
Delicate, edible birds
The tenderness of wolves.

(Thomas Wharton, Bill Streever, Lan Samantha Chang, Zadie Smith, Lauren Groff, Steff Penney)

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