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Peter and Debra meet on a ferry from Seattle to their respective homes on Vincente Island. Debra is a non-practicing lawyer who climbs mountains, runs marathons and raises her two children, mostly by herself, while her pilot husband is away. Peter is a real estate developer who writes an occasional opinion piece for the state-wide newspaper, races cars and has two children of his own.

They begin to correspond via email.

From their computers, they share their daily lives, learn of each other’s risky hobbies, then the riskier secrets. Finally they truly confide, but weave truth and fantasy in made-up worlds where there is only the illusion of safety in the quest to be “known.”

A romantic battles a cynic over the meaning of love, and rights to “what’s real.” They discover that honesty and vulnerability are two different things, and self-deception is the most insidious lie of all.


About Erik Dolson:

Erik Dolson graduated from Stanford University in 1973 with a degree in Philosophy. He drifted around Europe and Asia for a couple of years, drove a forklift in Israel during one of their frequent wars, hid from soldiers on Cypress while trying to get to Turkey, was treated well in Afghanistan by those who eventually became the Taliban, looked for God in India.

Dolson returned home to San Francisco, then waited tables in Portland, Oregon for six years while trying with little success to get published.

For 25 years, Dolson lived in a small town in Oregon where he was owner, editor and publisher of the weekly newspaper and helped raise his two daughters. After the girls were fledged and his ex-wife took over responsibility for the newspaper, he returned to writing fiction.

Dolson currently splits his time between Oregon and the San Juan Islands. In addition to “Chalice,” he is working on the fourth draft of “All But Forgotten,” a mystery set in the San Juan’s and Seattle, and a small book on Adult Attachment Disorder, “It’s Nobody’s Fault.”



     Well, Mr. Hamilton, you’ve pulled another rabbit out of your hat. What lovely accolades for you at the ribbon cutting for the library! I owe you a personal debt of gratitude along with that offered by the community. How can I thank you?

I saw you, too, but when I was able to break free of the conversation, you’d disappeared. Nice tan. Even though it was just a glimpse. How is Hannah doing?

     Hannah seems to be better, but she is still pretty listless. Robert tells me to stop worrying, for whatever that’s worth. Nice tan? That’s it? You’re going to have to do better. 

A bit of our game? Okay:

She had her back to him while unloading the car. He paused, watching her sort through detritus in the back seat, reach for a huge bowl of salad, close the back door and then the front. He liked watching her, athleticism obvious even in the mundane.

But it was when she turned he caught his breath. Her skin showed weeks of sun, a smile crinkled in her eyes. He wasn’t sure, but she did not seem unhappy to see him. Her cat mouth seemed to offer a welcome.

“Nice tan,” he said.

“Thank you,” she said. “Nice weather. Two days ago I had sun, sand and sangria and now…” She nodded at the dirty sheet of water that slopped the parking lot.

“Carry you across the puddle?” he asked.

“You don’t have that much money,” she tossed back with a smile.

“I was offering a service, not looking to purchase one.”

She laughed and looked at him. He wished she would say more so he would have one more excuse to look into her eyes and make her smile again. She turned toward the gathering at the new library as he locked his truck and followed. He wondered if she saw, reflected in the glass door, that he watched her every step of the way. He liked watching her move. He liked making her smile.


Yes, this was MUCH better, thank you. And you can’t imagine what it means being seen by you. Really seen, on many levels.

It’s a lot of fun. But the more we play Biography, the more dangerous the game.

2 Responses to

  1. Stacy Santimaw says:

    WOW !

  2. Erik Dolson says:

    Hello, Stacy. I don’t know if that’s a good “wow” or a bad “wow,” but it’s good to hear from you. Please say “hi” to Jim for me.

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