Dreaming in Character

G.L. Jackson


The Voices in My Head

Because it wasn’t hot enough in the Pacific northwest, I decided to go to the desert for a few days. Sadly, I traveled without my camera but had I taken photos, everything would have had a haze of heat drifting from it.

I quite enjoy traveling alone and always have. Some folks I know are afraid to do it, for whatever reason, and I’m sure those are all valid. A long time ago I discovered that even when I travel by myself, I always have an entourage with me. It’s those fictional characters living in my head. They like to see me safely from place to place so I can live to write them another day.

When people talk about the voices in their head, I have to nod knowingly.

I actually wrote on the flight home yesterday, which is a rarity for me. I’m trying to go repeat-genre with another detective story, and there was no time like the present. Especially after a two-hour delay at LAX. One thing I like about that airport (at least the wing I was in) is that there are plenty of power outlets all around, so I was able to charge my phone which has been mysteriously draining not just power but apparently its ability to follow the simplest of instructions, like “turn off.” Time for a new one, but I’ll wait until we move.

In the meanwhile, I offer up a little change of pace. This is the fourth year that I’ve been co-moderating a fanfiction gift exchange. If any of you are fanfiction writers and interested, all the information is right here. (If you’re not a member of the AO3 and need an invitation to join, just let me know, I’ll hook you up with one.)

P.S. While I was away, two more peafowl joined our resident peacock. We now have a peahen, a juvenile male, and our adult male. It’s starting to look like a zoo around here!

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Morning in the Desert

If you wake up early enough in the Sonoran Desert, you’ll see a lot of things you might not get to see otherwise. I was lucky enough to catch the King and Queen of Saguaro Cactus out for an early morning stroll last week while visiting family. You know how those cacti are, they like to go incognito, so I was happy to snap this shot of them without being seen.


(Maybe it’s lucky I got out of there unscathed. They were at least 20′ tall.)

In all seriousness, I was delighted to see the desert in bloom. I’ve been there many times, but never when it was so lush and green. I also made friends with this dude (we named him Buddy, he’s a gopher snake):


He wasn’t the least bit interested in this lucky now-you-see-me, now-you-don’t, how-about-that-camouflage desert cottontail:


If you’ve never seen the desert flowering, it’s really a riot of color and texture. Check out the catspaw and the gorgeous reddish buckthorn flower.



I even tried to explain to my dad, a dyed-in-the-wool New Englander, about how the quality of light is different in the west, and markedly different in the southwest. I’m not sure I made myself clear, but at least I tried. Next time I go back all the flowers will be gone, but other miracles of nature will be occurring and if I’m smart, I’ll bring my camera again to document them.