More About Millie Anne…

So often these days there is not enough time to share something about ourselves at the first meeting that might lengthen a friendship. We are always busy and have to rush off to pick up our kids from school, or to get back to a writing deadline. So, besides the bio that’s posted in the sidebar, I’m sharing more about me, hoping that you will find things in common with me and share similar experiences.

I am a native Californian raised in San Francisco in the 1950s. I write stories about my life growing up in North Beach and San Francisco’s Chinatown. When I had my fill of office politics I went on the road, worked a variety of different jobs, and met many interesting people. From ski bumming in Squaw Valley to working on a dude ranch in Tumacacori, Arizona, my memories delight me and I want to share them with my family and friends.

My writing ambitions started when I read books by John Steinbeck in Junior High School. I loved his details, the way he described people, and their relationships. My biggest kick came one day while driving down Cannery Row in my little red Sunbeam Alpine with the top down. Goosebumps raised on my arms. “Wow, there’s the Chinese grocery, and there’s the fish cannery to the right. It’s all just like Steinbeck described!”

When the time came to make a decision about what to do with my life, I could not think of a more exciting thing to do than to head out onto the road in my ’69 Camaro.

Regret has never come to haunt me for leaving the city where I grew up, to search for new adventure, and to find more of what I might eventually desire to do for the rest of my life.

Currently I am busy writing life stories and having fun. It only takes one word from a conversation, a lecture, or from reading, or listening to tapes of stories by Mark Twain. I am inspired to write a tidbit, and sometimes, much longer stories about a personal experience. While listening to Roughing It, by this humorist, he spoke of coyotes, and my mind zoomed to the day I got lost in the Arizona desert as I was looking for a church graveyard. I had stopped my dusty gold Camaro for a scrawny dog. I almost got out of my car to check it out but froze when I realized it was a coyote. I still wonder if he would’ve attacked me.

After a few other adventures like working on a dude ranch, going to college, and working other odd jobs, I found a mentor to help me develop my writing skills. Dawn Thurston ( taught me how to write well about a difficult times growing up in a culture not my own (LITTLE GIRL LOST, a work in progress). Most uniquely, Dawn has been expert in guiding me back to memories I had filed away… painful memories meant to be a secrets forever. Rediscovering these types of memories, and writing about them, has bought me a better understanding of difficult people and given me an insight to their reasoning.

Now I write fiction and memoirs using my past experiences to hopefully inspire and encourage others to persevere.


GET ON THE ROAD…to BOWERS MUSEUM! Admission is free on the first Sunday of every month. I recently enjoyed the current exhibit about two weeks ago and came away with a fabulous load of memories, fascinating facts, and images. Go to for information on how to enjoy their fabulous wealth of art and artifacts..from The Lure of San Francisco to the cartoons of Chuck Jones…the in between stuff like the cannibals of Papua, New Guinea, will help stick all of it into your minds forever!

Liebster Award Round 5…

Thank you lefraise2002 at and Cathy Jing at for nominating me for this award! In reading about the Liebster Award at your blog and others linked to you, I’ve come across some very interesting stories. Discovering what other people enjoy, how they feel, or have needs for, has been an exciting journey to many parts of the world.

Here are 11 facts about me…

  1. I would love to kill this thing called Arthritis. If I could decimate the wild wandering growth that hinders so many people, I wouldn’t hesitate to press the red button.
  2. I have tons of great story ideas. I wish I had time to develop all of them.
  3. For years, I’ve wanted to learn how to draw and now I have a wonderful teacher, Robin Rogers Cloud She taught me how to sketch, and now I am learning how to watercolor. I recently finished a sketch of a rooster and painted it. The results have brought me so much pleasure. I can do it!
  4. It is exciting to win a writing contest, no matter if it is an Honorable Mention, Third, Second, or First Prize. The memory of applause gives me strength to plow on through long hours of hard work.
  5. In the year 2000, I won several awards for my patchwork baby quilt designs, but I’ve given up quilting for writing.
  6. The writers who have inspired me are Mark Twain, John Steinbeck, and Dashiell Hammett. My friend and writing mentor is Dawn Thurston
  7. I love listening to jazz, saxophone, or the lonely notes of a cello. While driving I enjoy love songs by Rod Stewart, and like switching to the pep of the Beach Boys. When ever possible, I squeeze in watching Keith Urban performances.
  8. At 5:30 a.m. I enjoy listening to Jason Mraz! I feel happy and smile while I make lunches.
  9. I learned how to ride horses on a dude ranch in Tumacacori, Arizona. Can you find it on the map?
  10. I’ve had a total ankle replacement on my left foot. I can walk without pain!
  11. I thoroughly enjoy writing knock-out first sentences, and creating cliff-hangers at the end of chapters.

Now, the answers to your questions:

What is your favorite subject to photograph/write about?
Pearly pink, white, and lavender sunsets. Also, I love writing fiction and creative non-fiction.

What is the best book you’ve read in the last year?
It’s a toss-up between re-reading John Steinbeck’s East of Eden and The Grapes of Wrath.

Cats or dogs or…? – Which one is the better companion for you?
I love dogs. I’ve raised an Alaskan Malamute and a English Water Spaniel. Both breeds are affectionate.

What is your favorite vacation spot?
The island of Maui.

What is the most spontaneous thing you have ever done?
Walk out on a creepy boss whose desires were to sexually harass me.

Toes socks – good or bad?

Good. I tried my daughter’s.

How many languages do you speak?
Three – English mainly, bits of Spanish, and Cantonese. I want to learn French and Italian.

What is your favorite part of humanity?
Helping the homeless, comforting the aged, and encouraging the young and lonely of this world.

Oreos- original or double stuffed.
Original Oreos!

What is your favorite season?

Summer! I love the beach!

Best part of doing the Liebster award?

Getting to know the works of other people who love to write!

Two bloggers I would like to recommend for the Liebster Award?

Tim Taylor I love her Snap Thoughts site!

Thanks everyone, for stopping by to read more about me. I hope you enjoy all my stories.

“When I am writing, I am trying to find out who I am.”

Maya Angelou’s words are beautiful and inspiring…

The Daily Post

Maya Angelou by Spanglej, CC BY-SA 2.0.Maya Angelou by Spanglej, CC BY-SA 2.0.

Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.

Find a beautiful piece of art. If you fall in love with Van Gogh or Matisse or John Oliver Killens, or if you fall love with the music of Coltrane, the music of Aretha Franklin, or the music of Chopin — find some beautiful art and admire it, and realize that it was created by human beings just like you, no more human, no less.

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.

The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.

When I am writing, I am trying to find out who I am, who we are, what we’re capable of, how…

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Wayne Thiebaud Exhibit at Laguna Art Museum

Hello to My Friends and Artists!
I just returned from a wonderful afternoon at the Laguna Art Museum in Laguna Beach, California. My mentor, Robin Rogers Cloud, arranged for our sketching and watercolor classes to meet for a free docent-led tour to view some very special pieces by Wayne Thiebaud.
Do you know who he is? Does the thought of thickly frosted chocolate cakes, cupcakes, and pies – bring anything to memory? (Mind you, these are not the only things he paints!) If not, treat yourself to a delightful time of just viewing, learning, and enjoying his wonderful and delightful art.
This gentleman is now about 93 years old and is still painting beautifully. I heard today that he breaks rules, paints with a sense of humor, and that he paints with great imagination from memory…the only exception is when he paints portraits.
Google him and find many videos on YouTube. There’s one I saw today that was from a CBS interview…You’ll for sure see the close-ups on his cakes, cupcakes, and pies! When the tour was over I was very tempted to find a Marie Callendar’s for some lemon meringue pie…but on the way to my car, I was distracted by the ocean breeze views and finally came home to practice painting.

For those of you in Southern California, Wayne Thiebaud’s exhibit will only be at the Laguna Art Museum until June 1st. Make time for it if you love to draw or paint!


One day last spring, I was sitting on the couch chatting on my cell phone with my daughter when a stranger walked into the family room and stopped right in front of me. “Who are you? And what are you doing here?” I demanded.

In a moment of time that suspended for me, I quickly assessed him. He wore a wrinkled white shirt, rumpled jeans, sandals, and his disheveled hair was dark brown. He looked, to me, about 23 years old. He stood still with his arms by his side, staring out the family room sliding doors at the greenbelt to my right. His lips did not move.

This intruder didn’t seem to know I was there. I was glad that the coffee table was between us. He was just three feet away from me.

I still held my cell phone and as I headed for the front door, I instructed my daughter, “Hang-up and call the police for me, Honey. There’s a guy standing here. He’s in a trance.”

“Oh Mommy! Run out of the house!”

“I’m leaving right now. Call the police, Honey.”

In my thin T-shirt and wrinkled shorts, without any shoes or sandals, I rushed out the door and up the path toward the other homes. I yelled for my neighbor, “Harry! Harry!”

Eight weeks previous, I had a total ankle replacement of my left foot. My doctor had advised me, “Don’t run yet.” In my fast-walk mode, I did my best to get away from the intruder who could cause me harm. Then, as I was not used to yelling for help, I put more effort into my voice, “Harry!”

Except for the soft birdsongs of the afternoon, the neighborhood remained quiet.

Maybe, I thought, Harry isn’t home. I called his wife’s name, “Mina! Mina!”

A gate screeched, Harry, in his khaki shorts and a red polo shirt, dashed out of his patio. With a questioning look on his face, he approached me. “What’s wrong?”

“There’s a guy in my family room. I don’t know who he is, or how he got in,” I said.

Harry headed toward my house. As he crossed the lawn, he picked up a tree branch left from the windstorm the night before. Harry slapped it against his other hand to test its strength, and then with caution went in the front door of my house. I waited, and then began to wonder what was happening inside my house. Was the kid resisting Harry? Was Harry okay? In other emergencies, the police have been quick to respond. “They should be here by now,” I said aloud. I called the police myself.

“911,” the police operator said.

I reported what happened and added, “My daughter called the police from Dana Point. Did she reach you?”

“Where is the intruder now?” the police operator asked.

“Right now, my neighbor, Harry, is walking him out of my house. He’s directing him with a tree branch, and ordering the young man to sit on a brick planter. Are the police on their way?”

“Your daughter’s call has just been relayed to me. I have patrol cars coming right now. Stay on the line,” she said and put me on hold.

Seconds later an officer on a purring motorcycle is zooming up the long sloping path that runs the length of the greenbelt behind my house. At the same time, patrol cars are coming down the tree-lined street behind me. One, two, then three, police cars with lights flashing, pull over and park along the curve of our street. The motorcycle cop stops near Harry and dismounts. His right hand is on his hip where his gun would be. Holding his left arm toward Harry, he signals for him to stay in place. As he gets closer to the intruder, he is talking. I see the officer’s lips move but I can’t hear what he is saying.

I tell the 911 operator, “They’re here. Thank you,” and click off the call.

The first officer that comes up to me has a clipboard in hand and starts to ask me questions. The other officers come out of their cars and look toward him, and he gives them a nod and points, with pen in hand, toward Harry and his captive.

Ten minutes later, my daughter arrives from Dana Point where she works as a teacher. More police cars park behind the ones already here. Then my son-in-law is here, too. It is mid-afternoon on a workday. It amazed me that traffic on the freeway let them come here so soon. The police, my family, I have more support than I had expected.

What I also had not expected was a Crime Scene Investigation van pulling onto my driveway. The sight of it made me shudder. On television, a CSI team on the scene usually meant much worse circumstances. This officer and I went into the house and I recalled for him what had happened in the front room. Then we went into the bedroom where he checked the screen and sliding doors. “It was easy for the intruder to come in through this sliding door. The lock on it isn’t very strong,” he said.

Another officer came into the bedroom. “We found his backpack leaning against your chaise. He might live in this neighborhood and mistaken this house for his own. He isn’t talking,” the officer paused, and then added. “We think he might be high on something. We won’t know until we check him out.”

I went back outside into a breeze of fresh air scented by the eucalyptus trees. I felt relief as my daughter and her husband hugged me.

“Mommy, you’re so calm! Weren’t you scared? I was.” Her words came rapidly. “I was so worried about you,” she added.

“I was worried, too,” said my son-in-law. “I was at home. I got here as quick as I could after she called me.”

I pointed to six the patrol cars lined up behind us. “I’m okay. Look at all the help that came. I wish you were here to see the motorcycle cop ride up the path behind our house. When I saw him zoom up here on his motorcycle, my body tingled. I think it was a feeling of relief that help came, mixed with the realization that I wasn’t watching a movie.” I laughed at my silliness and they joined in. We were all movie buffs. I could see that my humor broke-up the tension we had been experiencing. Right then, my husband came home, and we told the story all over again.

Epilogue –

Over the weekend, Harry received a visit from the police department. They gave him a certificate honoring him for his courage to come to my assistance. Harry is now a neighborhood hero.

Several months later I received a summons to appear in court to testify. However, because the intruder had been involved with drugs before and had recently been in rehab, my testimony was not needed.

My friends were astonished and relieved to hear that I was not hurt. One of them, a nurse, said, “You know, people on drugs sometimes can be violent. So you were very blessed to be safe.”

I do thank God for protecting me, and I do pray for this young man who was so lost.