Sunday, September 30, 2007

home again...

home again, jiggity jig.

what a nice trip. me and laura went up to andover, poked around a new age store there, had a very interesting reading from a reader who thought we were a lesbian couple but it's not often that a reader looks at your cards and says WOW.

but here i am back home, taking a break while the chocolate torte bakes. i added a pinch of coffee to the recipe and it smells heavenly. the lasagna's baking, the meatballs are bubbling and the sausage is stewing.

it's another pretty indian summer day, with a bright note of autumn in the air. the sweet annie is blooming and the birds are chasing each other through the trees. i can almost hear the ravens and the geese calling back and forth... hurry, hurry... soon, soon.

oh, it's good to be home.

Friday, September 28, 2007

road trip!

wish me luck... me and laura are off into the wild blue yonder... yeeeeehaaa!

in the still of the night

i woke up this morning around three am. it rained ferociously at some point in the night... i heard it sluicing off the roof. the pine needles covered the ground when i walked the puppies under the gold-ringed moon.

the world is silent, dark and moist. despite the fact that i have to be in boston this afternoon, that i have an all-day workshop to attend tomorrow and guests on sunday - yes, the day after i return.... something pulls me from my bed, makes me brew tea, sits me down. while the rest of the world dreams, i, too, am Called into Dreamtime.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

full moon in aries

a full moon always brings a lot of energy; a full moon in aries is like an added punch. aries is a cardinal sign, primal, fiery and male. but the trouble with an aries full moon is that because aries energy is so primal, by definition, almost, it's chaotic. so between the expanded lunar energy and the aries cast, yesterday had a lot of charge.

i wrote a whole chapter - albeit a short, skeletal chapter - under its influence. that's different for me, because usually i don't write so easily under a full moon - it's like there's too much of something. once the full moon has passed, i usually experience a kind of flooding as it wanes... the stories and the words tend to flow much more smoothly. but yesterday the aries moon, which is my sun sign - activated my own capricorn moon, which happens to be in the house in my chart in which i have saturn, the workhorse of the universe.

Yesterday was an enormously productive writing day for me. the story is flowing in a slow organic kind of way ... one scene is leading smoothly into the next without my consciously organizing it. my plan is to reach 7500 words - or approximately 3 chapters plus the prologue and assess. so far it's rough and raw and skeletal but the bones of this story are already strong.

be careful driving today... full moons make people crazy; full moons in aries make them chaotic.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

indian summer

the peepers were screaming this morning at four am when i woke up, the rapidly-turning leaves hung limp and heavy on the branches. today the sun rose in burst of flame. we need rain badly... the lower pond is completely dry, the waterfall overgrown, even the upper pond, which is spring fed and never dries up, is seriously low.

mommy, whined libby, why is it so HOTTTTT???

it's indian summer, i said. this is summer's last stand. enjoy it while you can.

she flounced off to brush her teeth, annoyed because it's not "supposed" to be so hot.

i stood on the deck and watched the mist drift off the surface of the pond, watched the reflection of the water ripple over the trees. the light crept closer, gold and orange. my bones are old enough to appreciate its heat, to want to wallow in the warmth, to let the light sink in. i wish i could store it up, like a squirrel, and release it some frosty february morning when indian summer seems faint and far away. but all i can do is store up the memories, of the sights and the sounds and the scents: of the golden willow across the pond, of the bare wood of the deck, wet and cool beneath my bare feet, of the scream of the jays and the cooing of the doves, and the scent of sweet annie and coffee blending in the soft skunk-scented air.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

which kind of witch am i?

i belong to a yahoo group on which someone posed me this question. it isn't one i ever have a chance to respond to in any depth, so i cut and pasted the question and the response. it was interesting to see what came out :)

Do you consider by calling yourself a witch that this describes your religion, or is it your religion? I get my definition from my classes in witchcraft which call it an art and science, but not a religion. I was taught that someone of any religion or no religion can be a witch.Would you share your views on your identification?

i don't have a religion. i have a spiritual path, and i have a connection to the Divine that is unique and personal. i don't believe in "religion." to me, religion means Rules and i hate rules. i don't need them myself, never applied too many to my children (with mostly excellent results) and generally avoid situations, entities and people with any kind of "rule" fixation. more than one or two, in my opinion, and you have too many.

i identify myself as a witch because i attempt to practice - emphasis on the word practice - the "craft of the wise." in my universe, the wise are those who not only understand how the universe exists, but who also livein harmony with it, with a profound appreciation for one's own part in the Mystery of it all. and yes, that part includes death and disease and dying and endings and all teh messy stuff we would so rather do without. .

i do not subscribe to the wiccan rede (if it harms none, do what you want), nor do i identify with any of the myriad permutations of wicca. other than "love your mother," i attempt to live my life in concert with only two other "rules:" "as above, so below; as within, so without" and "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." i have yet to be confronted by the situation where contemplation of one or the other or both doesn't yield an answer.

my practice has been shaped by the writings of women (and a few men) such as maria gimbutas, merlin stone, vicki noble and a host of feminine tibetan buddhists whose names i find impenetrable, mary daly, margaret starbird, starhawk, matthew fox, teresa of avila, julian of norwich and john of the cross as well as celtic and native american mythologies and beliefs.

i consider myself a pantheist. spirit is alive and aware and divine in ALL things and ALL things should be treated with a reverence for the divine in them. i suppose i could call myslef a green witch if i had to stick a label on myslef but even that doesnt sound broad enough. i guess i like to call myself a witch because that term carries with a Mystery implicit in the Word.

Monday, September 24, 2007

first full day of fall

the first official full day of fall always seems to me bring with it the sound of crunching leaves, the smell of woodsmoke and apple cider, pumpkins and pie. it makes me want to cook. yesterday was a holiday - a holy day in the truest sense of the word. the energy of the day was deep and rich and still - a day for pausing, a day for giving thanks. today is a day for doing, for bustling, for being. it's the kind of day you need a List.

my good friend rose knows the value of a List. (she also makes a really wonderful mud thing to wash your face in. i wallowed in it last night when i took my sea-salt bath before our ritual. check out rose's blog at WalkInTheWoods on my <- ----- links list.)

a new friend is coming over today and im thinking i might indulge my need to stir and squish and crack and pour. Beloved brought home mashed sweet 'taters and meat loaf last night. i've been craving orange food.... carrots, squash, sweet potatoes... and these were so good i couldn't bear to throw the leftovers away. now im thinking cranberry/sweet potato muffins or maybe a quick bread. i have this wonderful tea i found at one of my favorite restaurants... passiflora.... called spiced plum that's so rich it almost tastes like a hot plum cider. it's even better with a touch of honey and more cinnamon.

so now i'm off... off to make the most essential tool today that will keep me on track and focused... my List!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

blessed mabon

this morning mabon slipped, nearly unnoticed, across the threshold of the dawn.... i was out walking the puppies and i noticed how bright the stars were. then the neighbor's cock crowed, and the sky paled to gray.

this evening, i will offer my drafts of seventh son to the god and the goddess, herbs from my garden, nuts and pine cones from the trees, rose petals from ancient flowers, bits of elk and sinew and sage.

i will give thanks for all i have gained in this year, and i will remember all i have lost. i will pause at this place on the Wheel. i will bless the harvest of this passing year, and i will call it good.

peru, c'est toute

i have no idea why this story is set in peru. i have never been to peru... never wanted to go to peru... though i do remember a three or four week fascination with the country around the time i was nine and was given a madame alexander doll dressed in what was supposed to be the native costume of peru. i spent a few weeks reading every entry in the World Book Encylopedia even remotely pertaining to peru and then i lost interest.

this story is set in peru. it won't move. i've thought about it - tried lifting the plot wholesale and plunking it down in some other place - even another planet - but it doesn't seem like it wants to work. it wants to stay in peru.

some characters are like that... they arrive with names and personalities, histories and pasts. they can be a little intimidating, sometimes... they are the characters who tend to take over stories.

but i've never had a whole story so insistent. it presents an intimidating challenge... writing about a place i've never been to... and it presents two answers. the first is the logical one - read, watch videos, talk to people who live or have visited in peru. but the second is much more difficult, much deeper, and beckons with a seductive whisper and a sidelong glance.

there is a side of me that says... forget all that stuff you think you have to know.... write about what you DO know... and let the details take care of themselves.

i don't know anything about peru. but i know what it is to be desperate. i know what it is to be afraid. i know what it is to fear what's Out There, and i know what it is to believe there's no where safe to go. it is an invitation to write from the inside out - rather from the outside in.
this is a place where i am invited to abandon what i know, and even the fear of what i don't, and simply go to what i do know... deeply, intimately, in my bones.... the place we all know, no matter where we come from.

i've been known to compare my writing to mining. frequently it feels like i go down, into the deep shafts of my life, and i dig... with blunt shovels and sharp picks, looking for what i call "a true vein"... a place where there's a scar, or a scab. and when i find such a place, i can always recgonize it, for the words start to flow.

but this time... writing about a place i've never been... i feel more like an explorer, setting off not to mine, but to discover a hidden, silent spring.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

turning into my mother

according to some idiotic blog on AOL - okay, nuff said... but beyond that... it said that a woman's worst fear was turning into her mother. maybe that's the writer's own worst fear... because it's never been mine.

i may not always like my mother. i may not always agree with my mother. i may not always condone the things she says and does. but one thing i am not afraid of, not now, not ever... is turning into her.

my mother is a woman who made a man give up god. my mother is a woman who raised four children, one of them mentally handicapped. the rest of my siblings have done just fine :). my mother is a woman who on this hot and muggy last-day-of-summer morning is getting on a plane and flying to australia to paddle in the dragon boat races as part of a breast-cancer survivor team. my mother is a woman i frequently admire.

besides, i can imitate her voice with eerie accuracy. i don't know why i can do this... i don't know how i can do it. my skull, my sinuses, my voice box.... all the accoutrements of speech must've been laid in my own throat to the blueprint of my mother's... because when i choose to shape my tone into hers.... whammo, there she IS.

i told my sister who lives in boston once that when our mother is Gone, i would call her and john up on their birthdays and pretend to be her. there was a long silence on the other end of the phone while my sister waited for me to finish laughing my head off.

"nan," sheila said, "that's sick." there was another long pause. then she said, "too bad we're not together... we could call john and see if you can get him to believe you now."

Friday, September 21, 2007

uh oh

i think i've gone and done it.

started a new book that is. or maybe its not a book... maybe it's just a short story. all i know is that the character was itching around under my skin.... throwing me line after line that really sounded great. (of course they never sound quite as great after you write them down the first time, usually, but that's what editing is for... to get the stuff on the page to sound and feel like the stuff in my head. words are awkward translators, really.)

i kept telling myself i wasn't ready, i don't know if the book will go anywhere. but i have this sense it's there... waiting to be discovered, that the first five hundred words that've rolled so smoothly off my keys are but the tip of a very large iceberg... waiting to be mined.

the character is cranky, unhappy, certain her husband is cheating on her. i'm not sure he is cheating on her - at least not THIS time. she's a writer (of course) who hasn't been able to write for quite a while -because her marriage is making her too unhappy to create. the reason she's stuck in the middle of the amazon jungle is because she insisted on accompanying Peter (that's his name) so that he wouldn't take his really cute blonde graduate assistant. i'm pretty sure the character's name is Faith. The graduate assistant's name is Ilsa. Peter is a botanist who specializes in rain forest trees. it's funny how the more i type, the more i know. there seems to be a drug subplot too... i think Faith might have to fall in love with a columbian druglord. or at least get kidnapped by him. tee hee.

this is one reason why i write. it's good to be goddess. ;)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

light eternal, my eternal friend

this morning i looked at the picture i have of me and lorraine on her fiftieth birthday. she looks healthy and alive, i look taut and stressed. she was entering the happiest ten years of her life, i was locked in a horrible divorce. but i would go back to that day in a heartbeat.

i was feeling pretty bad, when i heard her say, clear as a bell : so go buy yourself a present.
"lorraine," i whispered. "is that you?"
it's my birthday, isn't it? go buy yourself a present... something nice, something you'll like. after all... that's what you used to do anyway.
"hey," i protested, somewhat hurt. "i thought you LIKED the stuff i gave you."
of course i did, she said. but i always knew you picked out stuff you liked too. just in case i didn't.

a love of retail therapy is something lorraine and i shared. we LOVED shopping - not necessarily together. but really... it seemed silly to think about going birthday shopping for a dead friend. what was i supposed to say if anyone asked? i'm going to buy a birthday present for my dead friend - from her to me. then i thought of something.

"hey," i said to lorraine, on my way to The Purple Rose where i work three hours every thursday... "who is supposed to pay for this present? you or me?"

don't worry, i heard unequivocally. i'll take care of it.

so i went to work. while i was opening up the shop, i noticed a small aquamarine heart pendant lying on top of the locked jewelry case in which it belongs. i thought it was interesting it was out, since laura the owner had closed the store yesterday, but we frequently set things aside for people and its not unusual that someone might've asked her to set this little pendant aside. but there was no paper, no note, so i figured it'd just been swept aside and so i put the pendant under the desk and forgot about it.

i didn't forget about my present. i prowled around the store, considering what i might want.
oh, it's in here, lorraine assured me. you'll know it when you see it.

laura showed up a few minutes early, we got talking, and i forgot to mention the pendant. there was a check in the mail this afternoon... for an odd amount... 13.53 cents.... an unexpected refund of some kind or another.

i didn't think too much of it until i went back tonight to go with laura and a couple other friends to see an Internationally Famous Medium, and she asked me about the pendant. i told her how i'd found it. laura assured me she had NO idea how the heart pendant had gotten out of the locked case. and then we looked at the price.

it was $13.50. aquamarine is my birth stone.

happy birthday in heaven, my dear, dear friend.

candles on the mantel

i burned a candle yesterday, a blue one for aunt babe, and a pink one today... for my friend lorraine.

today would've been her 60th birthday. she died last year at christmas-time, on the morning of december 26th, shortly before dawn. to say i feel her absence is an understatement. to say i feel her presence makes me crazy.

and so i won't... not to most people anyway, though there are a few who i expect might. she's a very clear presence -- all garnet and rosy-red, with a flush of forest green at her center and shot through with golden thread. she's laughing.

so i'm going to go fill my coffee cup... i'm going to go stand on the deck. i'm going to watch the light shift on the water, watch the mist rise in long columns and drift. i'm going to listen to the birds call, and the squirrels and the chipmunks hunt. i'm going to breathe in sweet annie, the herb that summons friendly spirits. and i am going to remember my dear friend.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

silly cable...

... the gremlins who live in the modem aren't happy, apparently. i'm not sure why... all i know is once again, we got up this am, sat down to happily check email and the state of the world, and to our dismay, neither of our computers worked. to Beloved's credit he did exactly as i asked and called Comcast. they're supposed to come between eleven and two, but as you can see, the gremlins have resolved whatever issue was interfering. so... here i am, stuck at home all morning when i wanted to get over to see my grandmother.

or, maybe, i DONT really want to go see gramma, and so my own little gremlins manufacture reasons... like mysterious cable troubles... to keep me safely cocooned at home.

but that's silly, right?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

such a nice day...

... just what the doctor ordered. the weather was glorious ...all golden light and blue sky. i felt the dakinis dancing in the trees. i had a cranial sacral therapy session, took care of a couple of very simple errands and then went out to meet the Cosi Girls' Book Group for the very first meeting. all in all... it was the sort of day where i breathed. a lot.

the ways of spirit...

... are equally mysterious. just when i didn't need any distractions, any excuses, any reason at all to be less than fully focused on the tasks at hand.... the wireless router burned out. that meant no internet, no email, no chat. no surfing, no blogging. just...


yes, we survived. yes, the house stands. no, no one's dead... not even wounded. a bruise or two, perhaps... but nothing serious, certainly nothing that will leave a scar. i congratulated Beloved this morning. considering all the pressure we were under and all the Stuff we've had to deal with... we did good.

so today, i just breathe.

Friday, September 14, 2007

the ways of men...

....are mysterious, strange and incomprehensible. not to mention rude and thoughtless.

can you tell i Lost It last night? :)

after a full day of cleaning, cooking, organizing, shopping, supervising, sanding, painting, sorting, decorating ET AL... we - me, Beloved and Beloved's Client - were sitting around the blue tile table when Beloved's Client casually announced he'd like to move his stuff in.

what stuff, said i, innocently, thinking surely no one would want to Move Stuff anywhere into this house when i am planning a birthday party for 15 and then a shower for FIFTY THREE. apparently Beloved had assured Client that Client was more than welcome to store stuff. we had a nastier version of the fight the other day. i am proud to say i neither swore, called names nor raised my voice. i used the opposite tactic... i went lower and deeper. i simply stated unequivocally i did not appreciate being blindsided in this way and that it was an imposition. simply having Client to dinner, let alone overnight, was an imposition.

to Beloved and Client's credit, we parted amicably this morning the best of friends. Beloved acknowledged he could see my point, and apologized for becoming defensive when a simple im-sorry-i-forgot-to-tell-you-i-won't-let-anything-get-messed-up would've amelioriated the situation immediately. Client was gracious and apologetic and understanding. you see, in addition to birthday and shower and client, Beloved and i have to go to the formal dinner tonight, along with Client and Beloved's former secretary. i say former because by the time anyone reads this, Beloved will have resigned from his old firm and taken up with his new one. there's been a job change going on too, see... but it's so hush-hush Beloved asked me not to write about it until it was a Done Deal.

i said to Beloved this morning, in the early morning hour in which we negotiated our peace, didn't it occur to you that adding Client to the mix of stresses was just adding one more stress, and that when stress reaches a critical mass, something has to blow? (like me, last night.)

and he looked at me, this brilliant, interesting, energetic, charming and intense man whom i adore from the bottom of my soul, and said...


is there really any other example required for why men should be encouraged to go off somewhere relatively safe to let off all the steam they need to while we women fix things?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

time to think

i think i know why i like blogging. it gives me something to do while i'm thinking. writing a blog entry forces me to think about only one thing at once... like trying to get to the end of a coherent sentence. thinking is good, focusing is good. focused thinking is even better.

if anyone is wondering how i am managing to stay coherent in the face of one overnight guest, one formal dinner, one birthday party for 13 with three overnight guests, one baby shower for FIFTY THREE, a demanding grandmother, incipient grandchild, and a various and assorted menagerie of other people and interests...

it's because i decided to think of them as plot lines.

i had to do this with my silver series. each of the different character groupings had a plot line, each of them intersected at various points. but before i could begin to braid them together, i had to lay them out sequentially and separately. this forced me to consider not only what had to happen to who when and in what order, it also showed me almost without my trying to find them where the natural intersections and overlaps occured and how one character in one plot line's actions could affect the beliefs, actions or motivations of a character in another.

it was all very layered and complex and convoluted, and to try to think of the whole thing together made my brain swell noticeably. i could actually feel it pressing up against the inside of my skull when i'd try to think about one of those books at once. it's one reason it took me so long to write... i could only think about so much at once.

i knew i was learning a lot while i was working on the silver books - mostly about how not to write a book. but i suppose i also learned how to manage several competing situations all at once, as well. life always teaches me about writing. i'm always tickled when i realize writing has taught me something about life.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Beloved has gone to fetch dinner. i am taking this moment to reflect on all i need to do by sunday at 11 am.

the menus are planned, and if all the food hasn't been acquired yet, i know what i need and when im going to buy it. tomorrow is a simple dinner of pork roast, root veggies, corn bread and apple crisp. saturday - my brother david's birthday - is lasagna, sauteed spinach, garlic bread with baked brie, brown sugar and almonds with pears and bruschetta for appetizers and ice cream cake for dessert. sunday is spiral ham, baked ziti, garlic chicken, potatoe casserole, pineapple pudding, green salad, fruit plate, cake, cupcakes and italian cookies with lemonade, beer, wine, coffee and tea.

i've also remembered that my dear friend josie's fiftieth birthday is saturday and we've been friends for 35 years. we met in high school, my freshman year, which was sept, 1972. i intend to get her a little cake so every one can sing happy birthday to her too! ive purchased my brother's present - a gift card to borders - and cards from everyone to everyone i can think of... for my grandmother to katie, from me and don to katie, for david from me, one from teh kids, one from don (david likes cards); one from me for josie.

i have silverware, decorations, plates, cups (both hot and cold); coffee, tea; 18 lemonades. don is in charge of acquiring wine for sunday; my mother's bringing wine for saturday night. mister percival and brad are in charge of beer for the party.

the bedrooms and bathrooms and kitchen are clean; tomorrow we tackle Zone Five. The garden also needs assessing - the changing table looks amazing with just one coat of finish. tomorrow i work for three hours, too.

i can't say i'm ever bored.

another bit of coincidence...

check out my new feature... WHAT IS YOUR EGYPTIAN HOROSCOPE? below. it seems i was born under ISIS - the sign of motherhood. HAH!

old habits...

...die hard.

so here i am at five AM... having walked the puppies (twice), fed the puppies, and made my coffee. my mind is spinning in fourteen directions at once: how many knives, how many forks, should we use plastic, how much is cheap stainless?...if i wear the sleeveless coral dress on friday, will i be too cold outside? if i wear the long sleeve black velvet dress on friday, will i be too warm inside?

and then there's the characters. like a motley line outside a third world clinic, they stand, impatient, troubled, some luridly equipped, intent on telling ME their stories. hell, i haven't even had a NAP and i can hear them calling - some soft, some strident, all nudging for their turn, for their time. and these are just old characters from old ideas.... what about NEW characters, i think to myself, what if i want to do something FRESH?

i don't know if it's like this for any other writer but for me, while i'm busy trying to live my life i the Real World, a greek chorus in my head sings an insistent cacophony, competing for my attention at every turn.

someone asked me last night what i was planning on doing for myself as a reward for giving birth. the irony of throwing a baby shower at this very moment in time doesn't escape me, but i realized that while i've planned the dedication ritual for the equinox, when i will offer all the drafts - the last five, complete drafts - to the Harvest, i've yet to really think about doing something Really Nice - just for ME.

i'm already planning a Day of Doing Nothing for wednesday, sept 19th - which happens to be my aunt babe's birthday. and then, on the 20th, which happens to be my dear friend, lorraine's birthday, i am going to see a famous psychical person at a local university.

but what, i wonder, dear reader, would be a fitting Reward for ME?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

freaking out

i nearly lost it this morning. there i was - drinking my coffee, reviewing my charts, my lists, my site plan and my seating arrangements (have i mentioned we are up to FIFTY THREE?) - when my Beloved said, very casually, quickly and with something of a slur:


i think i laughed. my beloved has an imagination, too, but sometimes he forgets that some things one imagines, one must manifest in the physical world, like conversations with your wife about clients who expect to invade your house for two days before a shower for FIFTY THREE people.

in the interests of brevity, i will condense our argument into two sentences:



i am happy to report the argument was (almost) as brief as that, that we quickly reached a compromise (alan will stay thursday night, Beloved accepted his list of chores with a humble and contrite heart - well, maybe that last is a bit over the top. but he was certainly amenable to doing all the things on the list i handed him, like calling the rental place and renting EXTRA CHAIRS AND TABLES FOR THE FIFTY THREE PEOPLE WHO ARE COMING ON SUNDAY.

Monday, September 10, 2007

seventy-two virgins

seventy-two virgins

lined up and waiting,

waiting for the heros

to enter Paradise...

does allah make them

fresh each day

like doughnuts...

or only on days

the innocent die?

in memoriam... september 11, 2001

sound of silence

it's in the mail.

i sent it off at 3:33 PM precisely today. it's on my post office receipt. it wasn't intentional.. that's just how it worked out. two extremely oddly dressed women came into the post office right behind me... smiled at me.... then left their already stamped mail.

my writing room feels curiously empty, my printer conspicuously silent.

Something - or maybe Someone - has definitely left the building.

down to business

the realization that i'm hosting fifty people at my house in less than a week is sinking in.

tonight im facilitating a workshop in "Sacred Signs" - how to ask for, recognize and trust in guidance from Spirit.

i have a sneaking suspicion that all this is a sign of is that im crazy.

i was at staples this morning, however, on this gray and lethargic monday... buying, among other things, planning sheets, paper suitable for signs (i mean... fifty people means twenty plus cars. WHERE WILL WE PUT THEM??) and an adorable blue binder that will serve not only as my brain, but will also make a charming scrapbook-record type thing for katie. today will be primarily devoted to logistics and planning. i have a pretty good handle on most things... i'm feeling revved up, but not stressed.


have i mentioned anywhere that friday night, don and i - along with many others - are being honored at an awards dinner sponsored by the non-profit of which don's now president of the board. this means i have to make sure i have a suitable dress and heels, etc, for the evening.

and on saturday evening, we're hosting a birthday party for my little brother, David, the one with Down's... so my mother and stepdad and sister and her husband and two kids and all my kids are showign up for THAT.

and then sunday is the shower.

all i can think is thank goddess i believe in angels - i'm going to need all the help i can get!!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

sunday morning

the world is wet today, and misty... drops fell in fat splats off the branches of the pines this morning when i walked the puppies. the mockingbirds are the only ones calling... ("jeter jeter jeter" - goddess IS a yankee fan).

yesterday i did six tarot readings. i always thank the people i read for, but i don't think they always realize what a Gift they bring to me. because, for me, at least, when I participate with another person in the creation of the sacred space for a reading, with the intention of accessing the Divine, Spirit becomes palpable, tangible and Real. it is what i imagine the experience of "going into the Light" after physical death feels like... contact with a Radiance that infuses every cell with what I can only describe as the most overwheliming feeling of purest Love i could ever imagine. it's like bathing in the richest, sweetest, clearest, purest, broth you could ever desire. it is that feeling that i Know on some level i am meant to bring forth for the person sitting opposite me, and it comes as messages from departed friends or relatives, from spirit guides or messages, from images in the cards.

that's why no matter how many readings i do, i never feel tired afterwards.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

tarot day

it's my turn to read at Enchanted Saturdays at the purple rose. every saturday, we do a special price on readings - thirty dollars for thirty minutes.

the cards i pulled for myself today indicate that im going to be entering a time of self-nurturing soon... that i have already begun to nourish my soul. i couldn't do all that i do if i didn't.

and along the order of that... some new friends are coming over today!... new friends for whom i'm going to make pot roast and fresh brushetta... apple crisp and corn bread. don has gone to the city for the weekend to meet a client and to see his mom. so it should be a nice weekend... quiet... productive... with my girls.

Friday, September 7, 2007

the sweetest sound of all....

... is a final draft printing. tonight i will email jenn and let her know it's finished, ready to be sent and will confirm her address. that will give me time to get a couple copies made and bound! (oh happy day!!!)

day of rest

the manuscript is edited... don's finished his final read and pronunced it a "fun, entertaining read." i'm going to let it rest today... it's time to get busy on the furniture waiting outside under the overhang.

and this weekend will be busy... i have to get to the final planning of the shower... there's FIFTY people coming. yes, that's right... FIFTY. HERE. who knew brad and kate had so many friends? who knew they'd all come?

thank goddess for my middle daughter, meg... who is both crafty AND compliant... for the most part... and for my youngest daughter, libby... who by nature is such a neat freak that not only can she be cajoled into cleaning (most of the time) but actually does a good job.

time to hit the spreadsheets and the sander!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

letting it go

i was up until one in the morning again, printing out another FINAL version of the manuscript. yeah, yeah, you've read me say that before, and i know even as i type that word, this might not be the final FINAL manuscript...the one that gets sent to jenn... i promised don he could have one more read-through.

sometimes don's relationship to my writing makes me realize you really do have to be careful what you wish for. when i was married before to a horrible man who didn't appreciate my writing, i wished fervently for someone who would. don is everything a writer could want in a life partner but sometimes he forgets the story decisions are ultimately mine. but he cares so much and has such an amazing eye for detail and has such a finely nuanced appreciation for the sound of language... the editor in me can't resist giving him another go.

so there it sits, on the blue-tile table, in all its pristine glory, gleaming white pages, shiny black ink, a Story that wasn't there until i made it up, my own little miracle of creation, the Word made Paper, if not flesh. i brush the top page with my fingertips, straighten all the pages in a pile. i gently ease and smooth, touch and brush with all the flutter of a newborn's mother.

the pages of the previous drafts are piled on my altar, waiting to be burned at the equinox as an offering of thanksgiving for this Harvest, and a prayer that this Story shine in the world like a fire in the night.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

the sugar and the salt

i had a really wonderful day yesterday...i plowed through a long list of pre-shower chores.... sorted and decluttered a cabinet that was badly in need of sorting and decluttering, and took my grandmother to have her chin waxed and her hair cut. she actually seemed to enjoy it... getting all primped and pampered and of course she was exhausted after two hours. i even managed to make it through more than two-thirds of jack ... it's very clean for the most part and i'm mostly very happy with it. i cooked a decent dinner for the girls - chicken/rice/mushroom casserole - and went off to have a very fun evening chatting with a group of truly lovely women who get together once a month, after stopping to pick up a birthday card and a gift for my hubby who's birthday is TODAY. (happy birthday, donny. i love you more than god.)

the whole time i was driving to the store, i kept feeling the chime in my chest that means my intuition has been ignited. you're going home to trouble, the little voice chimed. you're going home to trouble.

so i sighed and braced myself and ran through the list of the thousand items it coudl be... and went off and had a great time and mostly forgot about the chime in my chest until i started driving home and then i kept hearing... brace yourself, brace yourself.

i walked in.. no trouble. all seemed copacetic. everyone was either snoring and happily engaged. no one wanted Mommy. all was well in annie's world.

but i couldn't settle down. it was like an itch i couldn't reach, a niggly gnawing feeling something was about to Happen.

then the phone rang. this is sunrise, said the voice. your grandmother has fallen and has a head laceration. what hospital do you want us to take her to?

so at ten thirty, i went to the uconn hospital and sat with my grandmother while she raved on and on about the three women who had invaded her home and drove her out. she was perfectly polite and charming to the doctor. i got home at one am. thank goddess im having a massage today at one. i knew i was going to deserve it!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

it's done....

.... and i'm nervous. there is more than one aspect of writing a novel that reminds me of giving birth.

there's the long hard slog, of course, on the days that the words don't sing, that bloated feeling when you see the word count swell past whatever seemed manageable. the euphoria of finishing, of seeing the pristine pages piled neatly, black ink shining on gleaming white, feels to me exactly how i felt in the hours after my babies were born...almost as if i could fly. i finger the pages, glance through the chapters, let my eye linger on a particularly well-turned phrase.

and then it happens. i see a word repitition. i see a misplaced comma. i see a (gasp) fragment. oh no, i think, my baby isn't perfect.

so i'm giving myself one more fast go-through. yes, yes, i know maybe it's a tad obsessive but i don't have a deadline. once this book is gone, it's done. i'm sure an editor may want some changes, of course - i'm hoping an editor will - but there's no pressure on me to get it done in any particular time frame. so now to read... to savor... to tinker... to tweak.

Monday, September 3, 2007

i'm DONE

....seventh son... 2:55 PM... september 3, 2007.... 112,002 words, 289 pages, thirty-four chapters, one epilogue.

oh, happy day, calloo, callay, (s)he chortled, in (her) joy.....

Sunday, September 2, 2007

closing in

parts two and three are finished.... the first nine chapters of part four are revised. there's a lot of revisions to do in part four - part three was perfectly clean, which is why i breezed through it. so tomorrow i head into the home stretch... time to go put my feet up and relax!!!!

forging forward

i have part two revised... now to input the changes. i'm happy with the way the story is reading. i'm also amazed once more by how much easier it is to make revisions once the manuscript is complete. it makes me want to reiterate for any writer who's struggling with their first novel ... finish it!! even if it's bad... get to the end.

on other fronts... i have a baby shower to plan and two pieces of furniture to refinish. because i have a rocking horse up in the attic, i think i'm going to use that as the theme for the shower. i've got some paperwork-type chores to do for my grandmother (ugh ugh ugh... the worst kind of chore for me and the one i tend to procrastinate about the worse. if anyone can offer guidance in how to cope with the Paper Demon who infests my house, please feel free to share.) AND we're into a definitely fall feeling... there was mist on the ponds and a V of geese shrieking overhead this morning when i walked the puppies. i had to check them carefully for ticks... this is just the kind of weather the little monsters start looking for nice warm mammalian blood to feast on. so it's time to pack away the summer roses and pink candles and haul out the pumpkins, the acorns and the gourds. the season of the Harvest and the Crone approach... time to prepare to offer Them their Due!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

part one's done

i went to bed at the insanely early hour of 8:15 and woke up at the equally insane hour of 3:00. i got up, walked the puppies, made coffee. then i sat down to write in this deepest darkest part of the night. i heard a few owls hoot, a fox went by my window, setting off the motion sensor light. but mostly it's just the tap of the keys, the whine of the crickets, and the steady trill of the peepers in the golden glow of my lamp. and jack, of course...

this morning i finished eleven chapters, which is the first part of the story. there are three more parts... and the third section, which is five chapters, is in good shape. the major revisions still to do are in the second section, and the last half of the fourth section. so i feel good about my progress since wednesday, and i feel confident - or as confident as i can be - that i will be able to send this manuscript off to my agent on friday or maybe saturday at the latest.

and then what?

oh... the ideas are bubbling..never fear.