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Sunday, December 27, 2015


Note to self: don't let so many days go by without saying hello to one's faithful readers--whom I appreciate more than I can say.

Did another drive-along through Ben Lomond tonight to look at Christmas lights and think.  I found myself once again on the street where Asha's killer lived.  No Christmas lights at that house at all, as if a permanent blight has settled there.  I thought of his family, how he lived there among them, all the while planning a murder--this man whom I categorically believe had killed before.  I think of the people who covered up for him, for a time.  That didn't last long.

I tend to take my drive-alongside on the same route--to the McClish house, to Asha's final residence, to the site where her car was found, to the market where they both worked. I do not go up Love Creek Road where she was found.  It is remote and dark, and I am afraid of getting lost or stuck up there.

I expect that Truman Capote revisited several places in Holcomb repeatedly when he was writing In Cold Blood (not like I am anywhere in Capote's league). I don't feel quite so bad about revisiting some of the places I'm writing about.

Writing a book like this is sheer, hard work.  I am grateful for those who have spoken to me about Asha--through them, I feel as if I know her, as if I can write about her in a way that will show the importance of her story.  Through them, I know what courage is: I cannot imagine the courage it takes to tell me about a person lost in the worst way imaginable.

Women die all over the world, every day.  Every day, another woman's story is lost.  I can't hold all those stories, can't tell them.  There are days I feel as if everything I have ever done as a writer is like running around with a teacup, trying to catch a monsoon: but it is what I do.  If the last book I ever write is Asha's story, I will feel I have done some good in this world.

When I drive around to the familiar places, I feel I have gone to my touchstone and can go home to work once more.