I’ve been in Phoenix for several weeks and couldn’t write because my laptop wasn’t working well; plus, I didn’t have a niche.Everyone needs a place to think.For example, in my novel Backstage at the White House, Stacey Lea, its heroine, had “The Pondrin’ Tree.” It was a great live oak blanketed with Spanish moss, and it sat less than two hundred feet from the warm Mississippi. “She would close those mossy curtains, climb up high off the earth and shut out the world ’til she could deal with it.”Her father remarked that everyone needed a special place where no one else would intrude.”I used to get in my old motor boat and go up-river to a little inlet.Good catfish there and I’d sit and fish and think.”

I like to go to Phoenix—especially since it has been so cold in NJ for so long this winter, but I don’t know if I would want to live there.Take, for example, the weather.Everyday was sun and blue skies.  That’s not weather.  Where’s the rain, the clouds, the snow, the ice?!!  And the TV weather–well, just an 8 day forecast of big orange suns–no suspense and the monotony!!   —

Hope you have a pondrin’ place.