Tag: new year

Off to a Good Start


Wild flower seeding.

4 days into January. How have I been caring for myself so far?

Haven’t had any alcohol. Zzzzzz. I wish those “z”s indicated sleepiness rather than beverage boredom.

I made 2 new trial batches of lotion in my quest to make a lotion I actually like that doesn’t have creepy shit in it. This is self care because I love making potions, the potions are to take care of my skin, and because it stopped me from sinking further into my Sunday funk.

I read for a couple of hours yesterday which was awesome. I’m re-reading all my favorite books to remind me what kind of books I want to be writing.

Worked on the plot of my current WIP – turning it back into a book I want to be writing and not one that feels like a personal quagmire. I’m getting excited about writing again. (fingers crossed that keeps up)

I drank lots of water.

I took my medication yesterday. But I still need to do better. I can’t be missing any days or it undermines their efficacy.

I go back to work today. I’d like to think it’s going to be a smooth transition, that customers will not have placed thirty thousand orders over the holiday. I suspect this wishful thinking is going to turn out not to be true.

Rise From Cheap Caskets

night light

I feel a compulsion to write at the end of the year. The last few days are, for me, a time of reflection and accounting. It’s the thing I do. It’s annoying when this time comes around and I’m struggling with something unsayable. Because all I ever want to do is say the unspeakable to take its power for harm away.

The bottle of beer I’m drinking right now has a skunky character I don’t appreciate in beer half as much as I appreciate it in actual skunks.

If I could gather all the words of the world up right now in a loving embrace, that’s what I would do. They are ungatherable as much as some of them are unsayable.

My thoughts tonight are murder on spell-check.

I want to sum up this whole year succinctly and poetically but I find I’m not up to the task.

I cut the corner of my mouth with sharp toast tonight. That’s probably why I’m not up to the task. That’s proof of my general ineptitude.

Mandrake takes a year to germinate. That’s proof that I know interesting but useless things.

I think us humans forget how to access our power and that’s when we feel old and used up. Mortality is an incontrovertible fact of life, but I think we feel old long before we need to because we let go of the things that powered us when we were young and on fire. The people you meet who are full of passion and fight in their middle age haven’t let go of the string that ties them to the lava roiling in the center of their universe.

I’m going to have to fight this year on my own behalf. I’m going to have to work hard to hold onto myself, to unearth myself from the pile of safety I’ve built around my anxiety.

I’ve been standing on this diving board for a thousand years, paralyzed, trying to talk myself into diving into the tiny shallow pool of spittle below me. Keep thinking I’m gonna die here tonight, but keep waking up still on the diving board every morning. Starting to think I live up here where the air is thin.

Can’t cry myself to sleep if my body’s dry as bones cracking in the heat of the Mohave desert, but I can shed my parts like a broke-down lemon.

This is the time to build new bones, feed the spirit, and rise again from cheap caskets. Look how the light bends to my hope! It bends to all of us at the river’s edge.



Windows Looking In

neighbor house in mini

This is my favorite week of the year.  It’s officially winter, Christmas madness is over, and I look inward instead of outward.  I visualize how I want my new year to unfold.  It doesn’t matter how many people around me are cynical about resolutions and new beginnings, they are powerless to spoil my favorite time of year.

In truth, the new year doesn’t really begin for me until after my birthday on January 6th.  Known to some of you as Epiphany.  This year I will be 44 years old.

I’m breaking into this stream of thought to announce that I have accidentally discovered what Sriracha and cinnamon taste like together and I can tell you it’s nasty.

Setting resolutions isn’t, for me, about success or failure.  A million things can happen to take us on a different path than we imagined, making our resolutions obsolete or less important.  Maybe they’re really important but it wasn’t time to smack down on those particular issues we thought we were ready to deal with.  Resolutions are one way to get square with ourselves, to acknowledge things we don’t like about ourselves or ways in which we are letting ourselves down.  It’s a chance to recognize where improvements could be beneficial and to declare an intention to address weaknesses.  Even using those words make it sound negative.  It doesn’t need to be.

Get square with yourself.  Be honest with yourself.  Be raw with yourself.

Bottom line – even if you don’t share your inner conversation with anyone else – being honest with yourself is the best way to start any new year, new chapter, new venture, or new project.  No one else needs to be in on your inner dialog, but have it.  Start the year with total honesty.

If you’re being mean to yourself then you aren’t tapping into the truth yet.  The truth might be hard but its voice isn’t the one you use to flog yourself with.  It’s straight, but allows all kinds of angles to flourish.  What you do with truth is up to you.  Abusing yourself is punishment that you perceive as a deserved consequence of something you see as negative in yourself and isn’t about the truth itself.  Being honest is neutral.  It’s only scary because of how you might use it against yourself or against others.

I am tackling only one major thing this year.  All else follows behind it.

  • Going temporarily sober.  I believe (and will find out if I’m right) that getting my drinking situation under control (sober first, then we’ll see) will solve a number of other problems.
  • Lose weight.  But not as I generally set it out as a goal.  The sobering up will enable this and if I can succeed at losing enough weight then it will support healthier drinking and eating habits and will feed on itself going forward.  It’s really the same as the sobering up.  They are obnoxiously interconnected goals.
  • Developing a strict daily writing schedule.  I want to wake up at 5:30am and write until 7am when I have to wake the kid for school and get him ready.  Then social media while eating breakfast.  Then a minimum of 3 more hours writing.  Every single day.  Even weekends if possible.

Apparently when I say “one” I really mean three.

There are at least a hundred little things I could list as goals and things I want to do or accomplish this year.  I still have a few days left to consider making a list of minor intentions for the new year.  So for today I’ll leave it at the three important ones.

I wonder if anyone has ever put “Become a porn star” on their new year resolutions list?

I Believe In New Beginnings

I didn’t mean to spend half of today writing a heavy post about rape and gender.  It took me close to five hours to write that post.  I am tempted to say I wish I was the kind of person who could set these issues aside, that I didn’t have a pit bull mind crushing a hundred pounds of pressure on the questions that meet my teeth, but I can’t because I don’t wish for an easier mind.  I have come to value what gifts I have and if they make me dark at times, if they cast shadows against your light I can’t apologize for it.  I have always been willing to pay the consequences for my curiosity, for my anger, for my accusations, for pointing uncomfortable questions in everyone’s direction.

I have paid dearly and it’s still worth it.

It’s exquisitely uncomfortable having an obsessive mind and one that will not toe the social line.

I have rarely spared myself.  I try to always be human in my exploration of this world we share.  I know I’m not always right.  I have always been willing to recognize this publicly.  I have always been willing to listen to other people even when it hurts to do so.  And I have always trusted myself enough to know when it’s time to step away or shut someone out who isn’t interested in arriving at a mutual truth.

This mind of mine is something I will take with all its traps and dark corners because it also encourages me to find arcs of healing light.

There are only three things I want to change about myself and that’s my body size, how much alcohol I drink, and that I cry.  All terribly private and destructive sources of self loathing.  I want to hurt myself for having gotten so fat.  I want to hurt myself  for letting my drinking get out of control (though it’s self fulfilling as the drinking itself is very damaging).  And I want to hurt myself viciously every time I cry in front of another human being.  I know this is not healthy.  I want to rip my skin open every time I expose my vulnerability to others.*

I was exhausted after writing the heavy today.  So I’m up now that the whole house is asleep and I have watched a few reruns of SNL on Netflix and cleaned my office and set up my inspiration doors and done dishes and taken out recycling and here I am.  It’s 2am.  Officially the last day of the year.  My favorite day of the year.  Even more than my birthday.  More than thanksgiving.  More than the first day when summer air gives way to the vague chill of autumn.

Winter is open today.

My season is TODAY.  My time is NOW.

I am a pragmatic person and know that calenders are the imagination and organization of time by humankind.  I know that the New Year is just a symbolic turning of the page – a pretend point at which the days are reset – I know that nothing really changes.  I know that resolutions are illusions and that time marches on exactly the same as it has every other day of the year.  Still…

I believe in new beginnings.

I believe in fresh starts.

I believe in clean slates.

I don’t believe in deities or devils or voodoo or magic wands or fairies or goblins or fountains of youth.

I have no use for such things.

But I can always use a new beginning.  I feel it every time I move house.  I feel it every time I end a destructive relationship.  I feel it every time I start a new project.  I feel it every time I press a fresh hope against my skull.  I feel it every time I look at my son and see what old mores he’s shedding – what new humor he’s exploring.

The curse of the obsessive mind is that it doesn’t let go of anything and doesn’t distinguish between positive and negative – it just grips everything with equal strength and endurance.

The blessing of the obsessive mind is that it never gives up hope.  Never.  I am essentially an alcoholic**.  I am obese.  After 25 years of promising not to hurt myself again I am still fighting the urge nearly every day.  I am such a fucking mess of a person.  But I believe that I can heal, that I can change, that I can fix myself on MY TERMS.

The blessing of the obsessive mind is that as assiduously as it grips the negative – it grips the positive.

I can’t let go of hope.  I hold onto it every single day because it’s what has kept me alive.  It’s what has allowed my life to bloom with gifts of love and support and laughter.  It’s what has given me the strength to become a better person all the time.  I’m not calcifying as a middle aged person because my obsessive brain won’t let me.

I’m about to drop a little more heavy but only in the service of the light I seek as my spirit season opens.  I am a winter girl.  I like the dark days, I feel alive as temperatures drop, I am awake and alive and this is the most regenerative time of year for me.

I am a snow bird.

This has been a long fucking year.  It has held terrors for me and truths that have choked my airways.  It featured the douche-brothers and the first suicidal ideation I have experienced since I was 26 years old.  The dark has been like chloroform.  It’s time for a list to burn:

  • This year started by finding out we finally got approved for the Hamp loan which was supposed to help us hang onto our house in McMinnville.  We paid one month’s new mortgage (barely a relief from the original mortgage) before I saw my husband come home broken- spirited and realized that it was imperative that we get out of McMinnville.
  • I hadn’t admitted to Philip that I had already been fantasizing about dying for months before we agreed to move.  Because I wasn’t going to be the crazy-ass reason we abandoned the second house we owned in McMinnville.  I wasn’t going to open the closet of horrors.
  • When Philip admitted he had looked at job listings in the Bay Area I told him that he needed to decide that that’s what he wanted or not because once the door was open to move back home I was not going to be able to shut it.
  • Max had one of the toughest school years ever at the Charter School.  Certain things had improved but in so many ways his behaviors disintegrated and his health was weakened by anxieties.
  • Once Philip opened the door to moving home I let all my bitterness and heartache and loneliness and suicidal feelings generated by McMinnville flood out of my heart onto my carpet which no amount of spray could cleanse or erase.  It was visceral and toxic and dangerous.
  • There were months of Philip secretly looking for work.  I couldn’t share.  I couldn’t breath my own desperate pleas to the universe to give Philip a good job with benefits.  It wore us both down.  But Philip’s morale could not have been worse.  There are not so many jobs out there for graphic artists, what with this awful depression we’ve been in the middle of for years.
  • Philip moved to California without us.  I have not been separated from Philip for more than 10 days in the course of our 19 years of marriage.  He moved with a truckload of shit.  He left me in the town that made me want to die.  It needed to be.  I HAD to be.
  • The last month before our move was a hell.  A complete and devastating HELL.  I started drinking so much that even Russian alcoholics would be impressed with how much beer it would take to make me even a little tipsy.  I ate cheese by the block and gained all the weight  back I had previously lost.  Every single day I just did what I had to to not fall apart.
  • I still mostly fell apart.  My bowels pretty much staged a revolution and I haven’t been the same since.  It’s been so profound that I developed internal hemorrhoids which was only officially diagnosed last week after my first ever rectal exam accompanied by the most humiliating panic attack I’ve had in a decade in front of the doctor.
  • It took medals of honor from all our friends and family to get us back home and I am still thanking and blessing and wishing gold glitter on everyone who helped us achieve the impossible.

We have been home six months.  Philip loves his job.  We love my mom and aunt’s house that we’re living in.  Max is thriving in school for the moment and I feel so much support and love from my friends here.  I just spent Christmas morning with my guys and my mom and it was cozy and comfortable and happy.  Then we went south to my dad’s house and partied with family and family friends and it felt so good to be at my dad’s again.  Jews throw the BEST Christmas parties, in case you didn’t know.

Tonight I have finished unpacking.  Completely.  It was important to get it done so that this new year is completely fresh and unsullied by the business of this past year.

I am happy.

Other than those three things I hate about myself.

I believe in new beginnings.

I believe in fresh starts.

I believe in clean slates.

As flawed as I am, I have enough power to believe in them for you too.

*I am giving you the polite version of my feelings and the level of self harm I am inspired to inflict.  It is testament to my self control that I DON’T rip my skin open and haven’t since I was 17 years old.

**In most things I am open to discussion and your opinions – in this matter I am not open at all.  I only share this because I feel I need to be honest right now and say the truth.  “Alcoholic” is a dangerous term in my opinion.  I know what most Americans think about it – that it is an unfixable condition.  That once an alcoholic – always and alcoholic.  I refuse to subscribe to this.  I need to find my own way and in my own time.  I have been protective of myself in this regard until today.  I have alluded but not admitted my problem outright  because I don’t want to give any of you the power to crush me, to destroy my hope, to preach, to proselytize, to harp on me.  I have my own journey in this way and it is unacceptable to me to never drink alcohol again in my life.  If this is, in fact, the way it ends up needing to be – I’m going to get there because I see it for myself.  This is one of the rare times I am unwilling to listen to any of you if you think I can’t do this my way.  So criticize or moralize at your own peril.  I am feeling very protective of myself even in having opened up enough to admit my problem out loud.

New Beginnings

On Monday I got a call from the bank and they have approved us for the HAMP loan modification we applied for.  For two years we have not known whether or not we would be able to stay here.  We applied for the HAMP a year and a half ago but as I already mentioned they never responded until our bankruptcy file was officially closed.  Then we got approved for the trial period a few months ago.  We’ve been paying our new rate (not very much lower than the old rate) since then.  In case anyone hasn’t heard me mention this before, I don’t deal with having my life unsettled very well.  I have been having such a hard time over the last two years not knowing if I was going to  be able to stay in my house or if I was going to have to walk away.  The financial duress that keeping our house represents is not a lot of fun either but the truth is that our mortgage isn’t any higher than renting a place big enough for four people, 4 cats, and 2 dogs.  So with or without the house our income means we’re going to be slogging along uncomfortably, probably for the rest of our lives.

That doesn’t sound very joyous.  But all of you who heard the news on Facebook know that I was whooping and hollering with excitement.  I AM SO HAPPY TO KEEP MY HOUSE!  People, this house is weird, it’s kind of falling apart, and our cul-de-sac is a constant source of concern to our dog who takes her job of protecting us very seriously.  Even so, in spite of the financial tightness, all those things I just mentioned – I love this house.  In all its weirdness I love it.  My office, from which I wrote my first novel, is a queer little room with a funny early 20th century style carpet (though it’s not actually antique at all) and has windows that look down at my monastery garden and are strangely installed starting at the floor molding (makes me think the house was built either by math impaired people or very very short people)… I love this room of mine.

The main thing about the modification of our loan is that it was going to balloon up in just a few years and then become adjustable.  We would absolutely have had to move without this modification.  So we are feeling very grateful to have gotten approved for it.  Not only do we have to thank our bank for participating in this federal loan modification program but we have Obama to thank for setting this program up.  That’s right, I have OBAMA to thank for keeping my home.

(Caution: A Wee Rant Ahead)

Back before Obama came into office and we tried doing some kind of modification with our bank, they REFUSED to work with us.  That’s right.  But then this program was set up and we didn’t take advantage immediately because we were too busy filing bankruptcy and dying inside a little bit every single day with paralyzing fear for what our future might hold.  We watched our A+ credit tank downwards into hell.  (YES! BEFORE THIS MESS WE GOT INTO WE WERE RELIABLE PEOPLE WITH A CREDIT SCORE ANYONE WOULD ENVY UNLESS THEY HAD ONE HIGHER THAN OURS AND WE EARNED THAT SCORE.)  Oh – whoops – got a little off track there.  Got distracted by scraps of conversations over the years and bits of articles and op-eds where people suggest that those who fail in any financial way do so because they are bad people and irresponsible and they shouldn’t be helped out of a hole because obviously they are all kinds of crap and pretty much douche-copter mooches.  This is not true, of course.


And now we may move on to the hard work ahead.  Budgeting is going to be much stiffer.  We’ve just let our Kung Fu teacher know that we have to quit taking classes.  We have partied with our last bit of beer for a while and when the weekend comes the best we can hope for is cheap wine.  Not local.  We can’t afford cheddar and jack cheeses (way too pricey for how much must be used to give satisfaction – a little feta goes a lot further to add flavor to a dish for less money per ounce – let’s call this cheese economics in action).  We usually buy one or two big blocks of it a week.  That’s about $14 in cheese.  Fffft!  No more.  Kung Fu, beer, and cheese have been our three main extravagances in our life for the last couple of years.  That and going out to dinner once a week – but we cut that out three months ago down to once a month.  Which – you know, we probably can’t do anymore either.

All of this is okay.  The great uncertainty is over as far as the bank and our loan and this house and whether or not we have to move is concerned and that’s HUGE.  It’s an enormous weight and stress lifted.

I like to think that eventually I’ll find an agent who loves my work and is good at selling it and I will make some extra money for things like Kung Fu classes and fixing the crumbling south facing windows and all that.  I like to think things won’t always be so tight and so tough.

But in the meantime I can commit to things like replacing the peach trees that are too weak to do well in our climate.  I can commit to clearing the blackberries that are choking our house.  I can plan to paint some walls next summer.  I can finally really be IN my house.  I realized yesterday, while I was thinking about all this that I’ve never had the chance to just BE here.  From the first minute we moved in we’ve been plagued and shadowed by difficulties such as the other house not selling, me desperately needing work and then holding five temporary jobs at once (finally ending with the one I’ve had the last three years) and then the bankruptcy and shortly after that realizing that even with the bankruptcy we couldn’t afford our current loan and that even if we could squeeze by with mortgage payments we would have to leave when the loan ballooned in a few years and then dropping all of our health care… not a moment of our being here has felt the least bit permanent and I believe I have been in a non-stop depression and living in a cloud of unprecedented anxiety – even for me. On top of all that there have been the escalating needs of my special needs kid.

Now Max is finally covered with health insurance again and now that we’ve been approved for a modified loan it feels like we’ve finally landed in our own lives again.  What amazes me is that through all of that I managed to write two books and to finish one of them.

So here we are.  It feels like we’ve just moved in.  There is mental crap to unload.  The garden is a mess.  Much less so since my mom has been living here and working in it.  But the brambles have reached skyward and I’ve started removing them.  As much as I love blackberries and the abundant and wonderful food they provide – in a city lot they quickly take over.  It’s not inconceivable that they will, untended, trap us inside our own house.  Instead of being overwhelmed by it I look at my garden as a fresh discovery.  Some miserable person let it become overgrown beyond recognition and now it’s my secret garden to clean up and rediscover.

I know the universe too well to suppose we’re headed for sunshine and bliss now.  But I’m also wise enough to recognize a beginning and to be thankful for it.

What I Want and What I’m Doing About It

I am a fairly superstitious person for not actually believing in any god, godess, or power aside from the power of nature to continually reinvent itself according to changing conditions and stimuli.  I can honestly tell you I don’t believe in the evil eye.  I don’t.  It doesn’t exist.  Everything that’s meant to be happens.  Nothing that’s not meant to be ever happens.  Even so, there’s a peasant-like dogmatic aspect to my nature that still requires that I knock on wood when making certain statements or that I couch certain sentiments very carefully in order to not jinx myself.  I think it’s more about acknowledging my powerlessness and remaining humble rather than a belief that saying I want something out loud will result in me not getting it because there’s some perverse god or devilish eye who thinks I don’t deserve to have things I want.

(Whoa.  Sudden random completely unrelated thought just jumped into my head- what would happen if I went around my town dressed in a burka?  Would I get treated differently than I am as a misfit socialist?)

I have struggled not to be afraid of saying what I want out loud.  I have struggled to be comfortable saying it and knowing that if the opposite happens it isn’t personal.  I know it’s not.  I just struggle against the simple emotions that rule most humans and the fears that chance and circumstance can sometimes paint us with.

I struggle with it because the counterpart to that superstitiousness is the belief that if we don’t acknowledge what we want, we can never get it, that we have to say what we want and not be afraid of it because if we can’t even say it how will we begin to take steps to achieve it?  I believe that most of the time we get what we want because we set things in motion for it.  We put ourselves in the right place to get what we want, we go after it.

If you want to ride horses but you don’t have any of your own and can’t afford one then what do you do?  You save up money, you talk to people who have them, stables that rent them, friends of friends with horses, or you take on a job cleaning horse stables until you make it happen.  How do you not make it happen?  Horses don’t generally fall out of the sky into your lap, cause they’d kill you if they did.  You don’t make it happen if you keep that desire to ride horses secreted in your breast and go about your life exactly as you are, where there are no horses, and no connections being forged with people or businesses that deal in horses.

Of course, just because you want something and you put yourself out there and work towards it doesn’t guarantee you’ll get it.  Maybe you’ll never have enough money to achieve the things you want that require money you don’t have.  Maybe you’ll never meet the right people to help you reach your desires.

And then sometimes we get close to achieving a desire only to find that it isn’t what we thought it would be up close and personal.  Maybe you get close to a 1500 pound beast with a wary eye as large as an apple and realize that bicycles are much more predictable and don’t bolt unexpectedly.  Still, you won’t ever know if you sit dreaming silently in your cocoon of self.

So I’ve been trying to say what I want more.  Not just what I want but what I intend,  what I’m going to work towards in those cases when what I want is something I can do something (anything) about.  I’m trying not to just say it in my head but out loud, and often.

I no longer say I want to publish novels.  I say I intend to publish my novels.  And it’s dangerously close to a statement that I have no control over and is possibly the sort of thing that will make me feel stupid if I die and haven’t achieved it.

I’m going to get my novels published.

That kind of hurts and scares me, as ridiculous as that sounds.  But it’s a lot better than listening to myself say things like this:

“When I publish my novel, IF I’m lucky enough to get it published, I plan to write more, provided people don’t hate it and I suck and it flops, which it totally might because you never know…”

Right there is the way to convince all literary agents and book publishers to steer wide of me.  If I can’t be certain enough of my own value, skill, and hard work, why should anyone else?  I’m a good writer.  I suck as a person in many ways, I stick my foot in my mouth at least once a day, I unwittingly constantly trudge over more delicate feelings than my own, and I’m a slob… but I can fucking write the Great Wall of China to ash!

(I’m looking for a giant god-like hand to smite me down…)

My secret card in all this is that I maintain a sense of humility* at all times.  I know a person can work towards one single goal their whole life and still not achieve it.

So I can either look back and wonder what might have happened if I’d had the confidence to say what I want and work tirelessly for it regardless of outcome and regret that I didn’t, or I can know that I have lived strongly and as confidently as possible and not been afraid of wishes and wants.

What about you?  What do you want?  What are you doing about it?  Have you said what you want out loud?

What I Want and What I’m Doing About It:

I want the bank to allow us to refinance so we don’t have to lose our home. Philip is the one working on this for us, resubmitting paperwork every single month.  He needs to get on making the follow-up calls regularly.  That’s all we can do.

I want to remain employed so we don’t end up on the streets. I’d like that employment to remain with my current employers unless someone else can pay me a million dollars a year to do something legal and not mean.  I try to be a good employee and I care about my work and I try to remember at all times that I’m playing with a team and act like it.

I want this year of parenting to be as awesome as last year was. Maintaining patience for who my son is and his challenges is very important, continuing to encourage the best in him and forgive the worst in him all helps a great deal to have a good parenting experience.  Not listening to criticisms from other parents nor listening to anyone who thinks ADD is a made up issue is very very important.  Parenting my kid used to be much more painful when I didn’t trust myself to know my kid and what issues are real issues.

I want to see my roses blooming again. Even if we lose the house I should be able to see them blooming once, at least a few of them.  It will help if I prune them this winter.  Since we won’t move until late spring/early summer if we lose the house, I’ll have my chance.  In addition to this, if we have to move then I have friends who will take my special roses, so I’ll see them again.

I want to lose fifty pounds now that I’m no longer on the medication that was making me gain 20 lbs a year. This has been a goal for years and was panic inducing since nothing I did made any difference.  I finally lost 20 pounds after getting off the Paxil, but since then I’ve put it on again.  This is NOT out of my control though, this time it has been all my doing and I’m really happy to know that now when I do what I should be doing to lose weight, it will actually happen.  So, to work towards this desire I am drawing up a simple plan for myself.

I want to reach a new level of physical strength and endurance. To do this I must keep training in Kung Fu with everything I’ve got.  Doing push-ups, crunches, kicks, etc not only in class but outside of it too.  This is a completely obtainable desire because I’ve already become much stronger in the last year.

I want to find a literary agent. This is a process that is not easy but what is necessary is to send out an endless stream of query letters after researching appropriate agents (ones who handle the kind of writing I do).  It’s time to start doing this this year.

I want to finish writing Cricket and Grey. To work towards this I have to become more disciplined with my time.  I need to go to bed earlier and wake up earlier.  I need to put in two hours a day and I will absolutely reach this goal.

I want to be able to afford getting my teeth taken care of. This is a little less in my control.  We make a finite amount of money.  While we are waiting on the bank not paying our mortgage we have been paying down our taxes and this month those will be done.  We have to save a lot of money to move if the bank doesn’t let us refinance, but somehow we need to budget so I can get my teeth taken care of too.

I want to get all the pest situations under control (mice, fleas…and any other unpleasant pesty surprises waiting to blossom). Put more mouse traps out (Philip does this for me!) and apply more flea spray to carpet.

I want to be able to run again. Losing the weight will greatly aid in this endeavor.  The weight makes running hurt my joints like hell.  I have to slowly slowly train for this.  And carefully.  I believe that as I lose weight this will become easier and training for this will help me lose weight.  Win, win.

I want to get over my hysterical paralyzing anxiety about Twitter. Actually I wouldn’t care about it at all if it weren’t for the panel at the Blogher conference pounding it into my head that Twitter is an important tool for the modern author.  Must use Twitter.  To help get over it I just have to do it.  My friend Angela has tips for me to follow as soon as I swallow down my paralyzing hatred/panic of it.

I want Judy to come through her surgeries  better than she’s felt in years so she can go to Jamaica with Lars. (Update: sometimes wanting isn’t enough.  Judy died in surgery 12.28.10)  What I was going to do to try and help realize this was send Judy the family photo yearbook I was making in Blurb.  I was waiting until the end of December to finish it.  Judy loved loved loved Philip and, well, everyone.  I think it might have helped give her some joy to see what Philip and Max have been up to, and joy helps people stay/get better.  Unfortunately I didn’t have a chance to do this one.  She told us she was at peace dying if she didn’t make it through surgery so I’m not so sad for her.  She’s really where she’s ready to be.  We loved you Judy!!

I want Lonnie to get through her cancer treatment feeling better than ever so her family can have a bazillion more years with her and so I can get to know her better. I had a plan for something for Lonnie for last year and never did it, obviously what I’m realizing now is that time is of the essence.  I can’t say what I have planned because Lonnie sometimes reads my blog.  Hang in there Lonnie- I know you have an awesome support group all around you in your family and friends!!!!!

Snow.  Lots of snow.  More snow.  3 feet of snow that doesn’t melt for weeks. There’s nothing I can do about this one.  I’d do a snow dance but I don’t believe in snow dances.  It’s all about what the earth is up to, what precipitation is happening at what temperatures at what altitudes.  All I can do is watch and wait and hope.

I want to become a blue belt in Kung Fu. I must push myself (safely) to improve all my actions.  Special emphasis on really getting the JKD lockflow down so I can move on to the Dynamic Lock Flow and get to where I can do the whole thing all the way through.  Once I do that I can work more on the technique.

No hospitalizations in our family. All we can do is be mindful and work at living more healthily all the time.

Healthy animal family members! They’ve all got their shots now and we’re working on the flea situation that got out of control.  Next we should work on Pippa’s weight a little.  I refuse to make her be a skinny kitty because I don’t think that’s natural for her but she needs to slim a bit and NOT gain.  Chick needs more exercise.

To visit my old hens.  Even just once. Just have to ask the Jaillet’s permission and plan a little trip.  I’m sure Sheila and Andre wouldn’t mind letting us visit them once.

*Anyone who believes otherwise, because I write a blog (considered by some critics to be an act of narcissism) is seeing the very limited surface view and is most likely a person who isn’t particularly sharp witted.  That’s all the time I have for such people.

My Favorite Week

There isn’t enough rope in the world for tying up the ships that meant to sail.  There isn’t enough spit in the world to pave the way for things mouths meant to say that breath can’t catch and the head can’t admit.  There isn’t enough blade to carve intention across the desk of misspent youth.  There isn’t enough of anything to take you to the finish line you’ve imagined reaching with a languorous stretch of legs, with your expanse of muscle already stretched beyond previous races.  You know it won’t be enough for tomorrow unless you ask new questions, set new finish lines, find new depths of crazy to explore, or find fresh dreams to hang on the line in the brief breezes between rain and snow.

If you knew yourself for ebony you might ask coal to paint you a new door.


Ah, good ol’ late night writing.  Since I spent so much time napping and sleeping in the last two days I wasn’t very tired last night.  It was very hard to drag myself to bed.

Before I go any further, I want to beg all of you NOT to wear jeggings.  Please.  Tight jeans are bad enough.  Tight jeans with fake wear marks and holes that you couldn’t be bothered to wear out yourself- bad enough.  But to wear leggings that are printed to look like jeans so that you can wear tight-ass jeans without the annoyance of having tight jeans on… that is the height of lazy and ugly.

Furthermore- cease wearing sleeveless fur vests please.  Although I most especially hate real fur (the fur industry is completely evil and unnecessary which is why people love to spend fortunes on it) even the fake fur ones make you all look like Barney from the Flintstones.  Is that the look you’re going for?

That was my fashion public service announcement for today.

This week is my favorite time of the whole year.  Winter is officially kicked off, Christmas is safely tucked behind us, the New Year rises ahead, and the possibility of snow remains a constant hope for the next two months.  Oh, and my birthday is six days after the new year.  While it was annoying when I was a kid to have my birthday right after everyone was completely burnt out from celebrating so much I now love that my birthday comes right after everyone’s fresh start.  Yeah, they’re all still kind of hung over but they have renewed hopes and dreams that they will get right on once the headache stops.

Don’t be surprised if posting is annoyingly prolific for the next week.  It’s like magic the way anticipation of the new year fills me with energy, thoughts, lists, evaluations, and a great need to talk nonstop.