For the second time in as many weeks, I cross the spine of Shatter Hill at midnight and spot fire at the crossroad below . . .
“Gripping and darkly comic…Packed with unusual and enthralling characters, and set in a wonderfully realized high desert milieu, Crossroad had me hooked from page one.”
—Owen Laukkanen, author of The Forgotten Girls and The Watcher in the Wall
“Complex, compelling, intensely atmospheric, with masterful writing and gritty, unique characters.”
—Kari Lynn Dell, best-selling author
The World of Melisende Dulac
Crossroad takes place in Barlow County, Oregon. Though fictional, the county is inspired by the landscape and history of central Oregon, even down to taking its name from Sam Barlow, an Oregon Trail pioneer.
Some of the information on these pages can only be inferred from Crossroad. Some appears in the short story "Hey Nineteen," which takes place about six months before the events of Crossroad. Beyond that, there are additional works-in-progress, including two novellas and a short story which will appear at a future date still to be determined.
There was a time when I really enjoyed the online world. I made friends, had laughs, and felt my world enlarge. But it hasn’t been fun for a long time. Events on Twitter of the last day or so really drove that fact home for me, so I’ve deactivated my Twitter account. My Facebook account—which I use rarely anyway—will soon follow. I’ll probably keep my Instagram account active, at least for the time being. I carefully curate what I see there, limiting content to about 90% cute animals.
Social media has come to represent too much negativity—something I admit I’m too often tempted to contribute to. Trolls and MAGAts are the worst, of course, but lately I’ve found people I like and respect—people I think of, or thought of, as friends—are too quick to interpret the mildest misstep in the worst possible light, and then treat it as justification for an attack. Even when I agree with a particular argument, too often the approach is to blast a narrow interpretation of incomplete information, score rhetorical points without concern for collateral damage, and then congratulate one’s own cleverness and self-righteousness. I’m seeing too many bad faith arguments made by people who should know better. Coupled with the endless nightmare that is existence during pandemic, made worse by the way it plays out online, the decision to step away became an easy one.
It is possible my Twitter hiatus is temporary. I’ve used the “30-day deactivation” option for now. When that time is up, should I feel less aggravated with Twitterdom, I may return—though my follow list will be much shorter, and my mute and block lists much longer. Or I may just delete my account permanently. No one will miss much either way.
Given my already indifferent attitude toward Facebook, my plan is to delete that account entirely. While Twitter often annoys and frustrates me, I’ve hated Facebook for years. Of course Instagram has become Baby Facebook, but since I have an easier time managing what I see there I’ll tolerate it for now. But who knows? Maybe my time with social media is ready to end permanently. Wouldn’t be the worst decision I ever made—not by by a long shot.
 I’d already be gone from Facebook, but I’m an admin for a couple of pages that I need to turn over to others. That may take a few days to arrange.
 If I never again see the word “thread” outside the context of fabric arts, it’ll be too soon.
Revisions are when you get to
get to move the darts onto the bullseye while no one is looking.