For a stretch in the 90s, my family was like Walton’s Mountain without the mountain. We had all our four kids at home, a Danish foreign exchange student who was addicted to Internet porn, my father, who was a double amputee, and my husband’s mother, who had senile dementia. We built a huge house with a wheelchair ramp and grab bars in the shower, went shopping at BJ’s Warehouse and stocked up on cases of adult diapers and Ensure. I used to love opening my pantry door to see rows and rows of canned goods and paper towels. I was pretty much prepared for any emergency—maybe even the Apocalypse—or at least prepared for dinner. We all pitched in and I’ll always be grateful to my children who gave their time so unselfishly to their grandparents. They tell me they’ll take care of me too when the time comes, but I’ve already told them to just set me off on the ice floe. Maybe with my laptop if I can get a wireless connection.

Now when I open my cupboards, I’m not sure we could survive till the weekend. I hate to grocery shop. The only things I want to stock up on are words. When I wake up in the middle of the night with a crazy idea, I jot it down. Sometimes I can even read what I wrote in the morning. I have many, many fragments of things that will never make it onto a bookshelf near you. I wish I’d started earlier, but as you’ve read above, I was kind of busy.

I started “sort of” writing a few summers ago, so happy anniversary to me! When I reread the novellas I wrote, I’m struck with both the grace and gross stupidity of them. I’d fix them, but I’ve moved on to a cuter boyfriend. But there are a few things I’ve plagiarized from myself, one of which is Mrs. Brown’s Pantheon of Pleasure, appearing originally in my very first unnamed novella (the one with the amnesiac bluestocking,* snort*) and now featured prominently in the full-length current WIP, Paradise. Yes, folks, it is a bawdy house. The best, most bootylicious bawdy house in London. Each of the girls bears the name of a Greek or Roman goddess.

As Iris Brown says right on page 121, “Did you not know? All my girls assume a new name and identity when they come to me. My benefactor considered himself to be a scholar of the classics. It was his fancy to install Greek and Roman goddesses right here in the heart of ton instead of Mt. Olympus or some looted temple. And drive his toplofty neighbors mad in the bargain.”

Just to let you all know I was into courtesans before reading Anna Campbell!

Do you have recurring themes in your writing? If you’re a reader, does a particular plot resonate with you? What are you storing in your bank?

Psyche Opening the Golden Box-Waterhouse