Titles by Kij Johnson are available for purchase online


It’s pouring rain outside, heavy, gray,and cold — after a perfect yesterday (when I took this picture of huge, glowing violets). 

There are occasional gray days when I worry or grieve, days when I am bored out of my senses, or hate that my knee doesn’t let me walk off my blues. I am lucky and I know it — living in an uncrowded, calm town with a slow contagion curve, with a job and space and things to look at and do, my family and friends mostly well so far or recovering or recovered. But there are still days.

Today is literally and figuratively gray, but I have plans for what to do. Turn all the lights on. Read for nest week’s classes. Do research for the book. Think about what I am grateful for. Go for a (short) walk in the rain later. Plan for tea and cookies and a murder mystery at three, drinks and zoom with a friend later. Bad days are navigated the same way good days are: an hour at a time. 

And right this moment? One young squirrel on the railing eating with total focus. The rain has beaded in its tail. It blinks water drops off its eyelids as it eats and eats. A clutter of grackles appears, one then another, then three; but the squirrel keeps at it. Go, squirrel, go! And a very wet junco. Just like that: a better day.


I am researching a lot these days. This is the last few days’ reading:  

  • Across the Continent on the Lincoln Highway, Effie Price Gladding, 2015
  • By Motor to the Golden Gate, Emily Post, 1916
  • Veil, Duster, and Tire Iron, Alice Huyler Ramsay, 1961
  • The American Road, Pete Davies, 2002
  • 1913: In Search of the World Before the Great War, Charles Emmerson. Public Affairs Books, 2013.