One Thousand Words A Day.
September 23, 2010

The Dog-Days of summer.

After writing every spare moment the last three years, I decided to take the summer off. The plan was to:

a) Spend more time with my lovelies: my husband, the sanctuary dogs and the rescue horses.

b) Rest the writing muscles and come back refreshed and bursting with ideas.

It worked. I’m excited to get cracking on my current WIP (that’s work-in-progress for my non-writer friends) and I’m straining at the bit to begin another YA (young adult) novel for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in November.

That said, it doesn’t mean I didn’t have a creative outlet the past three months. Besides writing and poetry, I also love photography. It’s something I do for my own personal pleasure; unlike writing, I particularly enjoy the lack of competition and perfectionism, and the desert provides endless material.

Not something I'd want stuck in my hair!

I’m not sad to see the summer end; it’s been the hottest one yet. And even though monsoon clouds kept rolling in …

Summer has the bluest eyes ...

… and brightened up the days in a ROY-G-BIV sort of way …

Somewhere ...


... over the rainbow ...

… the monsoon was miserly with its rain, albeit quite generous with its sunsets:

Still, one of my favorite times of the day is when the moon appears …

The moon is an early riser.

… and night falls, which is the perfect time to snuggle under the covers with a good novel and read someone else’s one thousand words.

Photographs by Emily Murdoch

The Desert’s Beautiful Face.
September 8, 2008

“I am the things that are, and those that are to be, and those that have been. No one ever lifted my skirts: the fruit which I bore was the sun.”

Proclus. On Plato’s Timaeus.

(Inscription in the temple of Neith, at Sais, Egypt.) 

Photo opportunities forever present themselves in the desert, and I enjoy wandering our property on the look-out for beauty. The monsoon rains and accompanying cloudy skies magically enhance what is already a wild, breathtaking landscape. I love how the desert continually renews herself, shifting and changing like a kaleidoscope. 

This is where God lives — or at least, where she vacations.

The temperature is slowly going down, which makes all the chores that come with animal rescue work, horses and dogs much more bearable.

This has been the hottest summer I can remember in Arizona. 

While the rains are a reason for celebration because they bring the temperatures down, the clouds that refuse to comply perpetuate a humidity we’re unused to in this arid climate.

Piglet, our eight-year old terrier mix, is terrified of thunder. When the storms roll in most afternoons, Piggy becomes so clingy and frantic that I end up carrying him around with me while I do laundry or fill the horses’ water buckets.

On the other hand, Estrella Bella, our two-year old terrier-Italian Greyhound mix, saved from the pound (she was to be euthanized the next morning, with her terrier’s reverse-sneeze having been misdiagnosed as a sign of respiratory illness) couldn’t care less.

One of the best parts of monsoon season, and one of the most beautiful, are the rainbows.

With Autumn now approaching, (and along with it, meteor shower season, which started with the Perseids in August), dusk arrives earlier and earlier, and so do the Colorado River toads, as we found out last weekend. Even the moon can’t wait to take her place in the soon-to-be star-studded skies.


Life can be tough for the best of us, full of twists and turns, fears and worries. Find inspiration wherever you can find it, and don’t forget to look right outside your window for evidence of the bigger picture. 

“Tis sweet to be awakened by the lark,

Or lull’d by falling waters; sweet the hum

Of bees, the voice of girls, the song of birds,

The lisp of children, and their earliest words.”

Don Juan

Lord Byron

(photos by Emily Murdoch)