*Meeting the nice folks at Disney Publishing, which was a real treat.
*Breakfast in SoHo at Sant Ambroeus.
*Visiting the top of the Empire State building.
*Not doing a face plant on the subway. High five, self.
|"Leaf Sprite" Tin|
|"Believe in Yourself" Original Art Journal|
|"Dance to Your Own Beat" Original Art Journal|
Who am I? Who do you say I am?Another thought Kelly brought to my heart through her writing, was her understanding of who she is. A seeker of Joy. She lives for joy through and through. I am meditating on this. If there was one word to describe me - humm...I'm not sure yet. I'm still figuring this out, but it gives me one thing..focus for my spirit, soul, art, and not just for me, but for my daughter Norah (light), and my husband Brian (strength).
I am free to be who you created me to be. I am free to express my light with no fear of what this world will say.
I was given an imagination to share. To lift peoples hearts, to bring them peace and love. To take them into their dreams and fantastical places.
I am a person and soul very much loved. I am loved by SO MANY people! I am so filled with love I even have some left over to give. I am more full, more accepted, then I ever realized.
I am a child of light, of His light. A light of love. I am His child filled with the grace, mercy, power, love, strength, courage, and forgiving spirit that He has. I am a child of light called to share my light. I am NOT darkness, I am NOT pain, I am NOT disgusting, dirty, unforgivable, or hopeless.
My Dad is a FIFO Dad, an uplifting story that has already touched the hearts of many families, has beautifully encapsulated the highs and lows of the life of a child with a father who ‘flies in and flies out’ for work. (See Review here). But let’s not forget the strength, courage, commitment and perseverance […]Add a Comment
More than two weeks after Mma has passed away, I'm slowly pulling the threads of my new life together. Traditionally in Phokeng, we pack up the deceased's stuff (clothing, shoes, linen, personal knicknacks etc) immediately after they pass away, even before the funeral. So all Mma's personal things are in storage to later go to the relevant people and the house, which is very big, feels evenAdd a Comment
Death. Grief. Sorrow. Those aren’t words that any of us like, especially when they involve those closest to us. I don’t pretend to understand sorrow, though I have experienced it many times. I experienced it when my grandparents died. I experienced it when my own father was in a car accident, and again when my…Display Comments Add a Comment
I thought as I got older that things would become more static. After all, I've been married for 28 years (and it's still growing strong). I left my job nearly seven years ago. I thought things would go along more or less the same.
But the whole static thing - that's not happening.
First of all, this week marks the first anniversary of my mother's death. I guess I had known theoretically that my mom could die. But she had been around all my life, been there long before me.
But when she really did die, it rocked my world. After my dad died in 2003, we had become close friends, talked on the phone daily.
I spent the last three weeks of her life with her after she chose to go on hospice. I passed many long hours in the quiet house while she lay on her bed, not really napping, not really anything. The clocks ticked in unison, then opposite each other, then back again.
Toward the end the hospice nurse had me buy diapers, and later mom told me that by the time she needed them, she hoped she wouldn't give a shit. And then we both laughed. She was sharp and funny. The last sound she ever made was a laugh, after my brother claimed I was trying to kill him when the cot I had set up in her room collapsed under him.
There was a lot of laughter. Also I ate and ate and ate, chips, ice cream, weird frozen dinners from Grocery Outlet. And I hid in the laundry room or my old room and wept. I went for runs with tears streaming down my face.
When she died, she was the first person I wanted to tell.
In March, I ran to my kung fu weapons class. And then I attempted to run back again. But my right leg hurt, like someone had jammed my knee backward. (The class had not involved anything that hurt.)
And then I started having a pain run down my leg. So bad I wasn't sure how I would go to Detroit, make it through airports, sleep in a hotel bed, and do a ton of school visits. I managed it, but since then my leg and knee have been not been good.
When I first went to PT back in March, I was told my insurance would cover 77 visits a year. I laughed. Who needs 77 visits? I was sure it would be cleared up in three or four.
That pain down my leg? Not my IT band like I thought. Pinched sciatic nerve. Finally got on top of that after some sleepless nights and many, many sessions of PT.
And I haven't run since that day six or seven months ago. When I tried, my knee always hurt to some degree. I kept asking about when I could run again, ignoring wrinkled noses, suggestions of sticking with walking, or maybe if I got lucky possibly running on a cushioned track. I had been logging a thousand miles a year running in my neighborhood, and I didn't want to change.
I had an X-ray, then recently an MRI. I started asking questions about that MRI. Then wished I hadn't. Arthritis in all three compartments of the right knee. Moderately bad in two. More severe behind the knee cap. But, my doctor said, both knees looked the same in the X-ray (which was news to me, and not good news), so who knew? And he had seen people with bone-on-bone knees, the cartilage completely gone, who didn't feel pain.
I made the mistake of asking about my own knees in that regard. I'm only 55, so I figured the answer couldn't be bad. But it turns out I'm close to bone on bone. My PT and my doctor have talked of trekking poles and canes and even knee replacements. Only I barely heard them because I was mentally curled up in a fetal position. Down the line, I'm thinking, because it hardly hurts now. I'm doing all the exercises, taking all the supplements someone has every suggested: turmeric, fish oil, ginger, Vitamin D, Move Free, tart cherry juice, and pectin dissolved in grape juice.
And I'm definitely not asking about Brazilian jiujitsu or kung fu. Because while I can substitute walking for running, I'm not interested in substituting tai chi for more active martial arts.
Working at home
I've been lucky enough to work at home since February 1, 2008. Before that I had worked in a cubicle or a shared office and written a book a year (while also parenting, cooking, exercising, housekeeping, and wife-ing. I learned that while you will be always be crappy at something, the trick is to rotate your area of crappiness). To a large degree, this was made possible by my husband bringing home a paycheck every two weeks and covering our health insurance.
Working at home is a real luxury, if at times a lonely one. I talk to myself a lot. If I feel really tired, I'll allow myself a short nap. My husband works llong hours, so he's usually gone from the house for over 12 hours at a time.
But Friday is his last day on the job. He's going to do freelance graphic design. Luckily, our kid is going to college in LA, so he can have an office and I can use her room as an office. But what about talking to myself? Will he look down on me if I nap? Will we drive each other crazy?
|On my street.|
|This is on Hollywood Boulevard. A different kind of glamour!|
|Fallen blossoms on the grass.|
Imitate...lifeAdd a Comment
I was just thinking that it’s not the perfect flower I look for in my photography, it’s the perfect feeling, same with my friends, they all have little flaws just like me but when I close my eyes and think of them I only know the sweet essence of their perfection and see how wonderful life is to let me see them … Love you all !
I know it's Labor Day, not New Year's, but I'm declaring it officially the start of a new year. This last year was the hardest year I have ever had in my life. Good things happened too, I'm not saying that, but I would trade those good things to reverse some of the bad. A year ago today, I was involved in a horrific car accident, then moved home and took care of my mom while she was on hospice, and then ended up in the hospital.
The nurse only took her off a couple of her meds. On her own, Mom decided to go off the others. She stopped her oxygen. Then she stopped eating. Then she - sort of - stopped drinking.
It was a very strange three weeks. Good conversations. Watching a lot of old movies and documentaries, as well as the entire first season of Homeland and the Forsyte Saga. Being bored. Wondering when/ hoping/being afraid she would die. Weeping in the laundry.
I was getting an award October 5. I was going to cancel. Mom told me not to, and then died quietly October 1, a few hours after the hospice nurse said she would live for at least a week, maybe longer. Of course, I was flat out useless at the awards. I basically stood at the podium and wept. It got so bad that one of presenters gave me her already used Kleenex.
In the immortal words of Navin R. Johnson:
Yes, due to life, it took a long time to arrive, but that lovable scamp Virgil Creech is back in Virgil Creech Sings for His Supper.
Even the idyllic little town of Portsong isn’t immune to the coming depression. What will our favorite family of eleven do when their chief bread-winner is left without a job? Enter the youngest son, Virgil Creech, who discovers an unlikely talent that may just keep the family afloat.
Meanwhile, half the world away, town grocer Harland Gentry discovers the truth of the ancient proverb, Pride goes before a fall. On the vacation of a lifetime, Harland decides to reinvent himself as a man of means, hoping to leave the small town behind. But he is not prepared for what he discovers on his unpredictable African adventure.
Of course, Virgil Creech Sings for His Supper contains a healthy dose of the lovable Colonel Clarence Birdwhistle, as he and Henry begin to rebuild the Lee family farm. All of these stories come together for another delightful romp through Portsong, the southern town halfway between Savannah and heaven.
From the back of the book, here is our new friend, Harland Gentry as drawn by Aprilily.
It is always rewarding to have someone read one of my books. But I was particularly excited to get a Five Bookworm Review on the first book in the series because it came from a kid, which is my target audience. He is also not a family member!
You can read his take here.
If you haven’t had a chance to read Virgil Creech Takes a Swipe at Redemption, the ebook version is going to go free for a week sometime soon as publicity for the sequel. Of course, I’ll announce it here.
I wrote the final piece of the Portsong Series last year hope to release it fairly soon. I am now working on my first piece of adult humor and would love to put it out in 2015. We shall see if life gets in the way of that one as well.
I am not a scaredy cat. I love to hike and wade in mountain streams. I love to go to places I’ve never been and see things I’ve never seen. I like to watch documentaries on foods from other countries and want to visit those countries one day. I like to make new recipes! I’ll…Display Comments Add a Comment
REVOLUTION HAS COME which side do you choose? our world moans and groans under the weight of “progress” while our trees die from acid rain and our rivers, once teeming with wildlife, are suffocated by our excess The future of our world, our children, are abused, silenced and tossed aside like pieces of trash with…Display Comments Add a Comment
It is hard to say goodbye to an old friend. I am currently having to do just that. Sometimes, things deteriorate beyond salvage and the relationship must end. I have had this happen before, not very often – but it has happened.
In my younger days, I was a bridge-burner. I just moved on. I left high school and kept up with very few friends, mostly the ones who went to the same university. After four fun-filled years at college, I left those friends with every intent of doing better. I did not. Oh, I tried. For a year or two I kept up with some. But we all got scattered around the country and once-close ties severed. I predate social media, so we didn’t have that easy connection to tether me to my friends.
I have had to end relationships since then, though not as frequently. It was much easier to end friendships when I moved cities. I have lived in the same city for twenty-five years now and have no intention of leaving. So I can’t pack up and forget to give a forwarding address. Also, the aforementioned social media makes ending a relationship a public event. You have to be sure it is the proper thing to do before you push “unfriend,” or “block.”
What are some causes of ended friendships anyway? Here are some big ones. It isn’t an exhaustive list, you might have experienced other issues.
A trust violation – can be major or minor, equally damaging.
Priority shift – things become important to one and not the other.
Lack of support – a friend has stopped being there for you.
Selfishness – the friend who has all day to complain but has to go when it is time to listen.
Drift – Sometimes, friends just drift apart. It isn’t a willful decision on either side.
Friends can’t always be replaced. Depending on the length and emotional depth of the friendship, there can be a sizable void when the friendship ends. Pain. Regret. Panic, doubt, and second-guessing can even set in. Most of the time, there is even a grieving period when a friendship dies.
So it is with this friend. We’ve been through a lot together. There were entire days we spent together and I don’t regret them. They were good days… comfortable days. Never tight or strenuous, my friend and I got along perfectly. We fit together. I felt a certain contentment with this friend that I rarely feel. In fact, besides my wife, I’ve been closer to few others.
Why, do you ask, must this friendship end?
Is my friend moving? Did my friend betray me?
No, due to old age, my friend’s elastic waistband ripped through the soft, cotton fabric and my favorite pair of boxers is caput. The friendship is no longer salvageable. I could save it for a dust rag or staining cloth, but that’d be weird… unlike writing a blog post about underwear.
Photo attribution: Bert Kaufmann from Roermond, Netherlands (Loneliness Uploaded by russavia)
I will be turning in a book June 2. The next book is not due until the end of the year, and it's already half written. Do you know what that means? It means I'll be able to have a life again! I have worked every single day for months and months. Possibly years (and I'm not even joking). I have written on airplanes, in hotels, on "vacation," in the passenger seat in cars, in the back of a limousine, and even in the hospital.
I'm going to be able to:
- Read more than 20 minutes a day! I have stacks and stacks of books.
- Clean! It's petty clear that I have been doing only the main things and ignoring the margins.
- Figure out who all the people in the photos are in the photos I inherited when mom died. Thanks, older third cousins I met onAncestry.com! You are helping me names to 100 year old faces.
- Try new recipes. I have dozens I have torn out over the past months.
- Have weekends. I'm not sure what one does on a weekend any more, but I'm hoping to find out.
I'd better pick out some books!
What about you?
Are you participating?
Do you, unlike me, already have a pile of books set aside?Add a Comment
So, I'll post more about this once I've got all of my 'i's dotted and 't's crossed, but...
...HERE'S A SNEAK PEEK AT MY LIBRARY'S FIRST BIG SUMMER READING PROGRAM!:Add a Comment
The fear that I'm going to wake up one morning and discover that ten years of work has just disappeared,
Wanting to change up the look of my blog but being frustrated by Typepad's lack of choices,
I am finally taking the plunge and moving Bookshelves of Doom.
So! If you follow me via a feed reader, it'll need to be updated, and if you link to me on your blog, same.
I haven't migrated my archives yet, though, so this site will be live for the time being.
As I've got TEN YEARS OF STUFF TO MOVE, it's going to take a while. So. For a good while, my archives will be housed here. So if you're looking for anything posted before today, LOOK HERE FIRST.
(In case you don't remember, by the way, that's the one where Anastasia moves.-->)Add a Comment
I turned in a book February 19th, then February 20th I started a new book and wrote every day, evening and weekend. Even when I was on "vacation" or doing school visits.
I turned that book in on June 1. The editor has already given me edits (she's fast!) and she loves it. For the first time in literally years, I've got some free time. I want to take a step back and look at my my one wild and precious life (to paraphrase poet Mary Oliver). I want to decide it's "okay" to read more for pleasure, or even to watch one of the many TV programs I've only heard about. I want to get myself back in balance, instead of to always be working.
What things do you wish you were doing?