Friday, December 27, 2013

Under Construction--& jazzed about it

in honor of the upcoming new year
a photo booth version of me as Janus,
the god with 2 faces who can see
ahead & behind...

Weather permitted! All 4 of us kids & all the spouses & all the grandkids but 6 (3 married couples) were there. With Kathryn, that made 16 for sitdown dinner. A fine number. Not quite as many as usual (I’m not joking!) but a fine number.

A while back I had a vivid dream. I was in an elevator, going down, all dressed up with nice shoes. I intended to get out at the main lobby level & go out, but I got out in the basement instead. The area was under construction & dark & I was threading through, calling to see if someone could guide me. A worker showed me to an outside door, to an area that was also under construction with busy machines & workers moving things around. He told me which way to go, but said I should hurry because things were shifting & that way wouldn’t necessarily be open longer. I got through there & ended up on a road, not yet paved, but graded as smooth as glass. The edges were freshly & precisely carved, with no vegetation yet.

At that point I woke up & immediately found a meaning: I’d gone into my own ever & always under construction zone, rather than just staying on the surface where things look complete & finished. It made a big impact on me, especially when someone around me did something—or didn’t do something—that would have otherwise irritated me. They’re just under construction, I’d think. Even if I did succumb to irritation, I’d give myself a break: I’m just under construction. What a lovely thought to be able to apply to any situation.

I also realized that even things that look static—a pristine hotel lobby or a filthy ramshackle whatever—require constant construction. Everything is always changing, in every moment, & it takes a lot of effort to keep them the same. Try to keep another person from changing. To do so, you’d have to remain exactly the same. It isn’t possible, or desirable. Give it up. Enjoy the under construction. When you recognize it’s always going on, you can start directing the workers & machinery to move the job—it’ll never be done—in your desired directions.

This is a really good thought at the ending of one year, the beginning of another. Many of us take stock around new year: what we’ve done, what we haven’t, what desires remain & which have changed, what we’d like to accomplish. Knowing that it’s all under construction, always, can take some of the pressure off. It also gives me a sense of support, having seen all those workers & machines busy on my behalf. I’m not in this alone. I don’t even have to know how to accomplish everything I want. I don’t even have to want it all: some of it will just show up, a byproduct of subconscious desires & the fairies of the universe, many of them wearing hardhats, with grease under their fingernails.

That said, I’m pleased with my own elbow grease this year. I’ve set several great projects in motion & have engineered my working space (aka “bedroom”) to allow them to proceed smoothly. This involved what I’m calling a “room tsunami.”

I have my bed set at a diagonal, with a secret little triangular room behind the headboard, one side open as a narrow doorway. There were a couple folding bookshelves in it, with “art supplies” on them, plus “things that don’t know where else they want to be.” That in itself wouldn’t have been too bad, but I was also prone to chucking things onto the (limited) floor space there, which meant that none of it was accessible. Not a very effective use of a secret room.

One of the things I’ve been wanting to do—& not doing—was using the “art supplies” I’ve been picking up from gutters & parking lots & sidewalks for assemblage. This was cluttering up my drafting table, when I did start a project, which then prevented painting. So, I took everything out of the secret room, put the bookshelves together facing each other (they have open backs, so I can still put things on the resulting doubled surfaces) & put a piece of wood on top, so I now have an assemblage surface that I can stand at. I’ve already completed my first project from the secret studio. No, the Secret Studio. It deserves capital letters. Yay!

I sorted through everything I’d taken out & did a bunch of recycling & re-org. Yes, some of the things I’ve picked up or saved are true treasures, but some just require drinking another bottle of a particular kind of juice. If I need that container for a little assemble figured to peek out of, I know where to get it.

A room tsunami takes a while, & looks far worse for the duration, but I recommend it.

Blog alternative: Take a moment to celebrate being (ever & always) under construction.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Pink leopard print slipper boots--with pompoms!

playing around with photo booth on my mac

Merry happy everything to one & all.

I've missed several holidays. Well, I didn't miss them, but I didn't tell you that

I had a very thankful Thanksgiving, complete with a traditional dinner of kipper snacks. I am loaded with appreciation for all the fabulosity in my life. One of the things I am grateful for is my feet. Such good standers. Such good walkers. High arch, high instep, 6ish or 7ish extra wide. (Lot like my daddy's feet.) Makes it hard to even be able to get my toes into most boots, since my feet are so volumetric, but I did find a pair of cute little ankle high black suede boots with a zipper on the inside & a decorative button (my housemate Satori said it looked like the love child of hematite & tiger's eye) on the outside. Plus KMart was having a BOGO (buy one get one for a dollar) so I got an airline secret weapon: little girls' extra large pink leopard print slipper boots with pink pompoms! (Keeps the dreaded icy draft that always comes under the seats off of my ankles & makes wandering around in airports extra comfy.)

Friday the 13th occurred the day before I left for Montana & of course I had fun with that.

the winter solstice, which I have decided must be vampires favorite northern hemisphere day of the year, has come & gone & now we are gaining little bits of light per day.

& now it's the day before Christmas Eve. We may get some weather, which could curtail some or all of my siblings' travels to Nye, but even if it was just me & my folks & assorted Christmas Eve neighbors & my second cousin's wife Kathryn (who introduced me to Heinlein, Tolkien & tea) who lives within walking distance of my folks (James (second cousin) won't get home till the day after Christmas) we'll have a lovely holiday. (Hope it's more, because it would be WAY too much food & the other lovely ones would be missed.)

I don't have internet at my folks' house, so I'm trying to just get a little bit done here at Carter's Camp.

The other thing I'd like to celebrate is a superb visit with my son Zach, who made a quick drive from Minnesota to Montana. (Left on a Thursday at noon & headed back late on a Monday night.) A magnificent creature, Zach. Tiffany couldn't come because she had a couple shifts left on her old job & then was starting a new job--which she got at record speed from the sometimes slow-moving Mother Mayo--on that Wednesday.

Anyway, I'm out of here for now! I've been doing some fun prep work on a story, which involves my new fave particle, neutrinos.

Love you all--even those of you I don't know from Adam, or Eve, or pick-your-flavor. There's enough love in my heart for everyone I do know & everyone I don't know, living or used-to-be-living or gonna-be-living-someday. That's a lot of everyones.

Blog alternative:
274. Say an appreciative "No, thanks" to a holiday dessert. (I tried that with ice cream when my folks & I & Pastor Paul & Bev had just finished playing a ridiculous 5-handed 7-card pinochle game, but then there was just a tiny bit left in the bottom of the bucket, so I got some anyway…)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Hunting the elusive feral fork

I want to be more than just a collection of good habits. I want more than just some superior flow charting (if this, then that). Once I said it this way: I prefer decisions to plans.

This can bite you in the butt a little, if you make decisions from a low place in your emotional range. But, carrying out a plan (There's an opening at my favorite gallery that I'd planned to attend) when you're not feeling it (I'm actually more interested in curl up time with a good book than hobnobbing with perfectly lovely people & free wine & good art) can bite you in the butt, too.

So, what to do? Sometimes giving yourself the true option is good: Well, I might not go, but I might, so I'll take a shower & dress up a little & maybe walk outside -- in the direction of the gallery -- for a bit before I decide what to do with the evening. You may find momentum carries you to an amazing time at the opening, or you may curl up in good clothes, refreshed by a walk, with that book. (The characters in your murder mystery may really appreciate the fact that you smell good.)

I'm Paul Graham-ing it a bit (did you read his essay about essays yet?) as I write this, coming to more thoughts as I explore the idea rather than having the complete blog post (gonna tell them that about this) in my head. There are things I want to accomplish in this lifetime, including curling up with good books & playing poker & writing good books & making good art.

(I also don't want to imply that desiring curl up time with a good book denotes low emotional energy. What sort of author would I be if I implied that? Grin. Or that desiring to spend time with yourself rather than other people is inferior. What sort of introvert-masquerading-as-an-extravert would I be if I implied that? Grin again.)

I felt my way into a lovely adventure on Sunday. I'd gone out to my storage unit to find a particular piece of art (a lovely painting Leisa Luis Grill made based on a poem I wrote; part of the poet/artist collaboration from the Crossings Gallery in Zumbrota, Minnesota, some years ago) &, having found it & some of my own paintings that I've decided want to audition at coffee shops, was on the way home. The route I chose took me past the River Arts District Studio Stroll & I decided -- despite the fact that I hadn't combed my hair or put on eyeliner & was really dressed to visit a storage unit rather than art galleries -- to just pop into a gallery or 2.

This was in part inspired by the spectacular fall day -- around my favorite temperature of 63 degrees, with sun & a breeze -- that made me want to walk. "I'll just walk along this street," I told myself. "If I feel like I want to go into a gallery, I will."

Oh! I went into the Broken Road Studio, because I first went into another studio & decided I didn't really want to look at porcelain & the door from there led into the next gallery. "That looks like Stephen St. Claire's work," I said to myself. I was getting more & more excited, because I actually own 2 Stephen St. Claire paintings, purchased at Gallery Minerva some years ago. I waited until 2 guys had wound down a conversation & asked them if Stephen St. Claire was there. They pointed me to a guy sitting by the door & I immediately started gushing all over the hem of his garment & saying how I loved his work & I was a collector & blah, blah, blah. (But that's blah, blah, blah with exclamation points. & italics.) I told Stephen St. Claire that I frequently ask the universe for some delicious miracle & he was my present for today.

Anyway, that just goes to show how you can get into an adventure, even if you're not appropriately dressed for it. No pocket handkerchief? No eyeliner? Oh, well...

Today, I will pop off to GoodWill to buy some more forks. (They've been (not-so) mysteriously disappearing in our house. Today we found 2 spoons -- since the forks are almost all gone -- in take-out containers in the trash. Sometimes that's what happens when you have housemates...) So, off to find the elusive feral forks. I've already been to 1 GoodWill & 1 other thrift store that had either no forks or forks I didn't like. K-Marts forks were also not appealing. I don't mind buying 1 fork that's just okay, compared to other forks, but I don't want a whole set of them…

So, off into the world of forks & poker & ideas & adventure.

Blog alternative:
273. Dress for an adventure, even if there isn't one specifically visible on your horizon. Set out & see what happens.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The next 54 minutes...

A less than spectacular photo of the cool little painting
that was at the coffee shop & is now in someone's home!

Sometimes a blog idea is so meaty & juicy & succulent that it grabs you by the imagination & says, "Write me. Now!"

That is in part because of the nature of the idea. It all started when Derrick decided to release something that he'd had for a while. (He does this. A lot. There always seems to be more to let go of, but he's better at it than I am. Neither one of us can compete for a second with Nick & his 99 things, but that's not our intention. At least not yet.) What he released is a coffee table book of photos celebrating Life magazine's 75th anniversary. 75 Years: The Very Best of Life.

I'm going to take it to the Reuter Center, the Osher Life-long Learning Institute at UNCA, & leave it for someone else to take or just peruse. But, as he handed it to me, I said, "You're not as interested in the last 75 years as you are in the next 75 minutes."


It hit me even more personally when I tied it directly to the time I've been on the planet in this wonderful body: I'm more interested in the next 54 minutes than I am in the last 54 years. The next 54 minutes! What will happen in the next 54 minutes?

It made me want to get out of my robe & into my jeans & Tesla t-shirt, even though I'm going to do some things here until later in the day when I go out to the library & the post office & to have tea with my new friend Harold (the one who confirmed that Paul Graham was stalking me) & talk about film making. (I have these screenplay ideas, see…) I could do all of these immediate things in my robe & jammy pants, but the idea made me feel so productive that a robe & jammy pants just wouldn't do!

The next 54 minutes. A super useful amount of time. Long enough to accomplish wonders, but not so long the idea of it makes you tired. Not even an hour. Even if you're a little older than me--say, 63 or 72 or even as old as Life magazine was when it made that inspiring book--it won't feel too onerous. Less than 2 hours! Just over an hour! Not even an hour & a half! Worlds can be begun in that time frame, but they can't possibly be finished, so there's no use worrying that you won't get it done.

I'm jazzed, but in such a sustainable way. So, on to the next thing. I've got 54 minutes, after all.

Blog alternative:
273. Think about the next (insert your age here) minutes. What might you want to do? What might you not want to do that you would have done if you hadn't had this thought? Sometimes the best action is to not do the very thing you were about to...

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Paul Graham is stalking me

Yes, THE Paul Graham. It started subtly, when my son Nick sent me a Facebook link to a video of these two guys interviewing Nick & one of his business partners. I had to sign up for Facebook (again) to see it. (So I did. More about that later…) At the end of the video, as Nick & George were walking off-stage, the guys conferred for about two seconds & said, "Hey, guys, wait--you didn't know it, but that was your Y Combinator interview. You're in the next batch."

Anyway, I watched the supercool video a bunch of times before I read the accompanying verbiage, which stated the interviewers were Paul Graham & Sam Altman. Nick had previously told me about P.G., as he is also known. Paul Graham. The amazing Paul Graham. The brilliant Paul Graham.

So, that was the first sighting. I thought nothing of it, other than "cool, Paul Graham is giving Nick some money" & it was fun to watch, even the dozenth time.

Then, Friday night, the plot thickened. I went to the opening of the new juried photography show at the  Castell Gallery. Great photos, an architecturally-amazing space, free signature cocktails. Before I went, I said to the universe, "Universe, hand me some lovely miracle."

So there was this guy there with a cool t-shirt that said, I make things up. I said I liked his shirt & that I make things up, too. Not two minutes into the conversation, he brings up the essays of this guy, Paul--

I interrupted him, "--Graham."

Paul Graham!

My angel wings fluttered. So interesting. I called Nick on the way home & left him a message about the "coincidence" & told Derrick the instant I got in the door.

I've since read some of Paul Graham's essays, especially the essay about essays (you can find them all on & enjoyed them thoroughly, but I am extremely curious as to why Paul Graham seems to be stalking me. I don't have a start-up company. I don't code. Why, Paul Graham, why?

It's okay, really it is. If I had to have a stalker, I'd choose Paul Graham. For one thing, he lives in Silicon Valley & is much too busy funding promising tech companies to show up on my doorstep. For another, given his essays & how he interacted with my son, the fabulous Nick, if he did show up on my doorstep, I'd ask him in & give him the beverage of his choice. Anything I have in the house, Paul Graham, it's yours. I'd even read him poetry.

Now this is possibly beginning to sound a little creepy, but I promise I am NOT stalking Paul Graham. Nope, nope, nope. I'm just saying that if he wants to continue to stalk me, it's fine with me.

Oh--I promised to get back to the Facebook issue. I'm not a big social media fan. (Grin. Understatement.) I was on Facebook for about 5 minutes when people who weren't in college were first allowed to sign up. The second or third time someone said "You've been hit by a snowball. Pass it on!" I deleted my account. Haven't been back since. The link Nick sent me (before it was on his blog required me to sign up for Facebook. For this, & this alone, I was willing to do so. I skipped all the steps about finding your friends & creating your profile & such, but even so, I have friend requests--including at least 2 dozen churches. Did they see the empty profile & decide to want to fill it with God?

In case any of them have discovered my blog, I want them to know that I have a rich inner life & I'm sure they have plenty of friends. I know I do.

Periodically I tell people about the blog alternative. One of the reasons I don't get into social media is that I think most people--me included--spend more than enough time online, reading & writing emails, reading & writing blogs. Life is to be lived with all the senses & experienced in a more personal way. So I write a little suggestion of what you could be doing rather than reading this or any blog. (Ironic, I know, delivered in a blog post.)

Blog alternative:
272. Think about someone or something that's been turning up in your life, stalking you if you want to think about it that way. It could be a book 4 people have recommended in the past month. Even if no one or nothing comes to mind, imagine being stalked by Leonardo da Vinci or Amelia Earhart. (I'll even lend you Paul Graham, if you'd like. I highly recommend him.)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The song of the trumpet's shadow

A thousand years ago or so I promised you a picture of my trumpet's shadow...


Take one beautiful sun-filled fall day & add a walk downtown with trumpet & camera. Don't forget your shadow.

Sprinkle with double-takes & inspired conversations. Trumpets are uncommon beasts. This one was wild & hungry for experience, having spent the most recent part of its life perched silently atop the refrigerator -- also not the usual trumpet habitat.

I don't know how to play the trumpet, but I do know how to play with a trumpet.

Ooh! I forgot to tell you: I have art displayed in a coffee shop called Hyphen on Patton Avenue right downtown. They're relatively new & the first time I stopped in it was to look at their artwork. A conversation ensued & later I dropped by with 4 little paintings to "audition" for a future date. Except it turned out the date was now & they wondered if I had more. So I brought down 3 more small ones & one larger one. They'll be up until the end of the month. I also wrote 7 new poems for the little guys. The big one already had its poem: "Eve's Theory of Gravity"

Blog alternative:
271. Carry something interesting & unusual into a public place. A birdcage filled with flowers, perhaps. Arrange it artfully -- trust me, this will not be difficult -- & take a photo or two. Or just admire it.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Awesome Possums vs. the Chicago Manual of Style

she shopped 'til she dropped--& kept on shopping,
forever pushing that cart

Greetings, Octoberlings! T'is a fine month, one which--28 years ago--ushered in a couple great people. I speak of my sons, of course, who have been happy-making the planet ever since. Rock on, bright beings.

I do not know which month brought Viola Grace into being, but here she is with wings inspired by my novel. She & her friends have decided to fashion practice wings while waiting for theirs to grow in. She is also a whiz on skates & that may be what launches her into the stratosphere.

So many lovely people on the planet!

Inspires me to exclamation points.

I've managed to busy myself into the middle & a bit of this fine month. Working on a new project which has me all jazzed up & accomplishing it both steadily & in leaps & bounds, which is superfun. (Or, as I like to say, "Awesome possum".) I'm experimenting with punctuation, as one of the standards (Chicago Manual of Style, I believe--I'll have to ask Cathy) does it differently than I have lo these many years. Used to be one put periods & commas inside any quotation marks, even those that didn't engulf the phrase or sentence. But kids these days are doing some newfangled thangs. Let it not be said that I can't learn a thing or three. (Might grumble a bit while I'm doing it.) I am also pretty sure the Chicago Manual of Style would stomp all over this paragraph with its grammar storm trooper boots & issue me multiple violations. ("Put up yer dukes," I say. "You can even throw in yer duchesses. I ain't askeert. Whatcha gonna do; give me a paper cut?")

Speaking of wings, I saw 3 youngish women (twenty-somethings? maybe flirting with thirty?) looking at Halloween costumes at Target. One was trying on some adorable white wings that would have been perfect on a second-grader. It didn't help that she put them on upside down...

Blog alternative:
270. Go somewhere & try on Halloween costumes, especially if they don't fit you. Put a little girl's ballerina skirt on your head. Maybe a ninja turtle mask on your bicep.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Dear NASA, I regret to inform you...

While I was obsessively taking pictures of my water glass,
the manager at the restaurant approached me with some
concern & asked what was wrong with it -- I think she
smelled lawsuit. I showed her art, instead!
It's official, NASA. I have decided not to become a pillownaut. Not because the idea of participating in a medical study isn't appealing. Not because I couldn't think of something to do with $18K or so, for a couple months of "work".  Not because I couldn't accomplish a whole lot while not quite flat (head slightly LOWER than the feet) on my back without distractions for 70 days. Least of all, NOT because I don't want to work with NASA. 

Since I found out about it, which is when I was very very young, I've loved the idea of being an astronaut. This was before space camp, or, if it wasn't, before I'd heard of space camp. I'm pretty sure it was before space camp. Besides, astronauts at that time were fit (& male) fighter pilots. I turned to science fiction instead. Have Spacesuit, Will Travel was a huge favorite of mine. 

The other day, though, I turned on my radio just as the announcer was laughing about the idea of putting partying aside for 70 days & helping NASA test the effects of zero gravity on their astronauts. My ears perked up. I looked into the study & the various articles, in Wired & such. A study! For NASA! One that I could do! (With the tiny little problem that they're looking for people who represent the astronaut candidate pool, which 54 year old women probably don't inhabit much. Except they have scientists, don't they. Some of them could be 54...)

No, the thing that kept me from filling out the survey was the fact that I'm in (possibly) the best shape I've ever been in, what with my standing desk & getting (pretty much) back to using my weights. That & the fact that the bone density isn't guaranteed to be replaced. Being a skinny white chick of certain age, bone density is not something I like to subtract. Besides that, in thinking about what I could accomplish while (more-or-less) flat on my back without distractions is not substantially less than I can accomplish on my own two feet, with distractions. I like distractions. I like long walks in the woods. I like shorter (but still long enough) daily walks to the post office, & possibly the library. I like grocery shopping. I like moving about on my own power. I like my increasingly fit & flexible & strong body. I like birds. I like rearranging my furniture. I like traveling. Pillownauts, well, they don't do any of those things. So, NASA, you'll have to do it without me. I know you're (probably not very) crestfallen. Maybe someone in your ideal astronaut candidate pool will read my blog & sign up. Perhaps I have helped you in that small way. I've written stories about space explorers & such. (Including the fact that the least confident left-handed person on the starship was chosen to be the "The Negotiator" which appeared in F&SF, & that orange & lime jello with mini meatballs turned out to be an important plot point in a first contact story I sold to Analog.) So, in a very real way, I've given birth to astronauts. & I can do it again & again.

On to the next distraction, a visit from my friend Elizabeth. Too rainy to play basketball today, which we did the last time she was here. (My sore neck -- not used to looking up at that angle -- is perhaps grateful for the weather. Perhaps I need to add some faux shots while looking up at the ceiling fixture to my standing desk routine.)

Blog alternative:
269. Think about a long time childhood goal -- being an astronaut or a paleontologist or a cowboy -- & come up with some small way you can pay homage to that dream. Perhaps by scheduling a riding lesson...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Waiting for the other "choo" to drop

A butterfly that flirted with my mom & I this summer when
we were walking along the Gorge. It wanted its closeup!

When I sleep with my bedroom windows open, which is about 9 months of the year, I wake up to the shooshing sounds of traffic on Charlotte Street & the sound of birds. (Actually, the first sound is usually a beep beep beep back the little (or not so little) truck up & then two or three loud "you get out of there, dumpster trash" sounds. Who needs an alarm clock.) But the most lovely sound is birdsong.

Today must have been dumpster guy's day off. Maybe I slept through it. The first sound I heard was one of my favorite birds. I have no idea what it looks like, but the song goes choopitty choopitty choopitty choo. I could be spelling that wrong. Grin. Except sometimes there's no last syllable, just a series of choopitty choopitty choopitty,  2 or 3 or 4 in a row, until -- wait for it -- there it is: choo. It's so fun. What makes it decide? To choo or not to choo, that is the question.

Anyway, I like it, even if I don't understand. Dramatic tension. Mixing it up.

Goodnight, sweet princes & princesses. 

May your morning bring birdsong.

Blog alternative:
268. Mix up some habit. If you always do something a certain way, stop short of completion -- before the choo -- & decide if there's another way to do it. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Up-close & personal, bird & squirrel & me

I find myself wanting to write--just because it's Friday the 13th, which is my lucky day. & it has been. First thing when I got up this morning, I was standing in the doorway to the deck & a bird took off & flew right at me--took a U-turn a foot from me. I'd been thinking about birds & how nice it would be to sit outside looking at them. Didn't expect it to be so up-close & personal.

So I sat down in my ergo-Adirondack (very comfortable) & what appeared but a young squirrel climbing around on the deck. When it saw me, it froze & darted. For a little while I thought it had gone in through the open door into the house, but if it did, it has been very quiet. Hence, I think it did not go in to the house, but raced down a deck post without me seeing it.

I've never had a squirrel on the deck before--this deck anyway. My sons used to, at the house they grew up in, when they saw a squirrel, race out the front door & each take a different direction, racing onto the deck yelling to scare the whatevers out of the poor squirrel, who would then make a semi-suicide maneuver to escape. They always escaped. I did not attempt to startle this squirrel in any way, but startle it did. That's the way of squirrels. Still, it was fun seeing it on the deck.

I also found out that my friend Terry Garey won a Rhysling Award for best short poem! Yay, hurray.

Various & sundry other good things, as you might expect, knowing it was Friday the 13th.

& now it is late & I am going to bid adieu to you in this first blog post of the fall. (September is officially fall.) Oh, except to say that I have hired a social media goddess, the esteemed Cathy Tenzo, who will set up a public Facebook page for me & that sort of thing.

Blog alternative:
267. Sit outside in the morning & greet the wildlife. Unless it's a mosquito. If it's a mosquito, you can beat a retreat, or beat the mosquito...

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Date with a basketball -- I had my hands all over it

Have you ever found that being behind leads to more behindness, until all you can see are behinds, because you're at the back of your own pack? Behinds, behinds everywhere &--

& the only cure is to take a step. One step ahead. That's all it takes. Now you have one ahead in the midst of the behinds & if you keep taking one step -- even if it's a baby step, even if it turns out to be a misstep -- pretty soon you'll be at the head of the pack. The leader of the pack. They'll write a song about you & your motorcycle. Or not.

So here I am, getting one step ahead. August has been deliciously & productively busy, but that's no excuse for ignoring you. I apologize. Hi. How's it going? Deliciously & productively busy, I hope. Much creating. Much relaxing into a puddle in the midst of it all in order to leap back up into world. It's okay to be a puddle. It can be very rejuvenating, as long as you don't make it your only form...

Here is the hungry farm equipment I was trying to feed you last time. Isn't it lovely?

I'm going to let this be a baby step, so I will not linger long, except to tell you that I bought a basketball. The prettiest basketball you've ever seen: royal blue & black with silver lettering. Today I took it out on its virgin debut, a little outdoor court right near my house. Shot a few. Made fewer. Grin. Hey, you start where you are. I own a basketball. I took some shots. I'll do it again.

Blog alternative:
266. Buy a basketball & take it on a date. Or go to a gym that has basketballs you can use. Shoot some hoops. Dribble a little. Feel the leather in your hands, all pebbly & nice.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July & June, neck & neck. No photo finish.

I almost forgot to blog today! & now it is late so this shall be superquick.

I finished my contest entry. Wish me luck. I've already used all the skills (considerable, if I do say so, modestly) at my beck & call. Just entering is a big win. Getting the submission to that point with a 6K-ish road trip & a son's wedding & all the rest of the lovely visiting was an accomplishment.

I'm about to have something new on my blog--a way to sign up to get a raffle ticket. What's the prize?you might ask.


I will travel to the winner's door & do a reading or a workshop or some energy healing. I'm going to have my technical consultants assist me. First it was getting the contest submission done.

Bedtime now. I was going to put in a picture of some hungry farm equipment from my sister's place, but it didn't work for some reason.

Blog alternative:
265. Finish something. Something big like a contest entry or something little like a short blog with no picture.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Keeping up with the Juneses

I'm back.

The road trip wasn't quite 6K. (The notebook with the details is somewhere... If the trip doesn't end until the car is cleaned out, I'm almost done. If it lasts until all the stuff I took out of the car is put away, I've got a few miles to go.)

So many things in those miles & days. We'll call it an even 6K, since I'm not all unpacked. I left on the 13th of June & got back on the 26th of July. That's a trip.

In that time period, plus the few days I've been back, I've managed to get a book contest entry almost ready. The deadline is tomorrow & it will be a piece of cake. Nick & Chloe got married in an incredibly beautiful & sometimes hilarious ceremony. (When the pianist begins the bridal march with Darth Vader's ominous tones, you know a geeky audience & wedding party is going to crack up.)

I learned that ketchup is a thixotropic liquid & Bud Lite Lime-a-ritas are very tasty & you can put them in almost any song (think "Oklahoma" or "The hills are alive, with Lime-a-ritas) & you have to be very careful about teaching Elise Matthesen to play poker. (Ellen Klages & I have perhaps created a monster.)

I had the most leisurely trip I've ever taken. Did I blog about it? No! So, prepared to be surprised & delighted. As it is now, July is just trying to keep up with June, & if I am going to get 2 posts in by tomorrow, I'd better send this one in.

This is a picture of all the lovely women who were inhabiting the Daylight Bakery in Cozad, Nebraska. I spent an inordinate amount of time in Nebraska, from staying an extra day in Lexington because the Days Inn had such great outlets (see last blog post) to stopping in Cozad for 2 or 3 hours (even though I was a mere half an hour on the journey that morning) because the Robert Henri (hen-rye. He's an amurrican.) Museum was there! Read The Art Spirit & I'm sure you'll understand why I had to stop & linger. Then I went to the Petrified Wood Museum in Oglalla (about another half hour down the road...) & took pictures of these incredible little houses made of petrified wood bits by identical twin brothers who were in the Korean War together, back in the day. This is one of my favorites. The girl who was working there gave me a dragon. More on that later. Time for me to close.

Blog alternative:
264. Linger somewhere unusual. Maybe the post office.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Empty your vases while you may, for roses may be calling

The other day I was walking from the post office toward home when a couple with a dog offered to sell me some elderly roses they'd almost certainly swiped from someone's yard. I happily paid a dollar & then even more happily declined to buy the woman a pack of cigarettes. The roses cheered up my house, while dropping their petals. I finally decided they were done. Good job, roses, I said, as I put them in the trash & washed the vase.

Then I went to the post office. (A common theme...) As I was leaving, the man who takes care of the grounds was out trimming the foliage. I made a u-turn to tell him what a good job he always does. For that, he said, you get a rose. 

It was a knockabout rose, he told me, which blooms all summer & is very fragrant. I offered the opportunity to many noses, including a bridal brigade which had just jumped off a brick wall as part of a photo shoot. I also made another u-turn near a new burger joint, where a woman's laugh & good energy had caught my attention. I told them why I had stopped & complimented her on her energy. She said I had no idea how important & timely my comment was, because it hadn't always been the case. She said she felt as if an angel had stopped by her table. I laughed & told her a friend of mine (Eric Heideman, in case he's reading this) had told me once that I was an angel in disguise. I'd told him it wasn't a very good disguise, was it?

But this isn't about little ole angelic me. This is about letting go of old bouquets when they've given up their fragrance. Wash your vases, my darlings. Be ready for the next bouquet.

Someone nominated my blog as a favorite on Grammarly, & I will take it with a grin, & perhaps chagrin. Are they saying YAY, way with words or, Sheesh, that girl could use Grammerly. Either way, I accept with a bow. Thank you, unknown nominator. Thank you, Grammarly. I even have a coffee date with Nick (no, not my Nick, the Grammarly Nick) in foggy San Francisco. (Yes, Nick, I accept, & will keep you apprised of my movements. When I approach your fair -- or foggy -- city you will be 5th or 6th to know. After Nick & Chloe & Luke & Rachel & Ellen & Debbie & -- well, you'll be in the top 10. Grin.)

I've since found out what the scoop is: Here's what you need to do to get your gift voucher: 
1. Paste the following text into the top of your next blog post: "I used Grammarly to grammar check this post, because [insert clever/funny reason here]." (e.g. "because time spent proofreading is time spent not writing!")

I had to regretfully tell the other Nick that I am an old school grammar girl. I cut my baby teeth on grammar & was happily diagramming sentences in 8th grade for Mr. Jackson. (The dreaded (by other students) red book...) So, I'd have to say "I didn't use Grammarly to grammar check this post, because I love grammar -- almost indecently. But if you don't love grammar as much as I do, you may want to give it a try. (Besides that, I like to mess with grammar -- put a blindfold on it & spin it around until it's dizzy & send it off to pin a dependent clause on the donkey. Grammar checkers would be thinking I was making a mistake when I was being clever. Or at least thinking I was...)"

So here I am, breaking the rules in 2 ways: Grammarly mentioned at the bottom of the post instead of the top & me not using it. C'est la vie. Grammarly has 3 million users, according to not-my-Nick, so I expect he's going to go broke buying all that coffee. I don't need a gift certificate anyway, although I won't turn one down if they decide rules were made to be broken by grammar girls.

A long post, I know. Time to bid adieu from Somewhere, Nebraska. Finally, a hotel with great outlets! One of those little hutchy desk things with outlets built in & also an outlet on the wall above the night stand, so one can plug in ones phone & ones computer & work from bed. Yay!

Blog alternative:
263. Empty a vase. This could be literal or metaphorical. What are you hanging on to that may be ready to be released? Make space for post office roses.

Friday, June 14, 2013

So much depends on the blue wheelbarrow

I should have put in a picture of my toenails. Why? Because Tuesday I had a spontaneous spa day. I already had a haircut scheduled & was planning to stop in at Tops to replace the shoes that I've literally blown out I've worn them so much. Then Satori (the young woman who lives downstairs) needed a ride to work -- it's walking distance, but she hadn't allowed quite enough time & would have had to run in her cute but impractical shoes. Instead of doing all of my several things by walking, I gave her a ride, did a few car-ish errands, reparked in my usual space & walked downtown.

Have you ever had a 3-minute shoe shopping expedition? I highly recommend it. I wore my blown out shoes into the store, showed one to the woman at the first counter. She directed me downstairs. I looked around for 2 seconds & decided to just flash the shoe as soon as the man in the pink shirt finished helping the woman next to me. "Alas," he said. "They don't make those any more -- but give me a minute." He came back with a single shoebox & I put on the Jambu Blossoms -- with stitching the perfect color for the dress I am wearing to Nick & Chloe's wedding (you may be familiar with it, as it is the same dress I wore to Zach & Tiffany's wedding) & danced out of the store in them. Not without paying a reasonable amount first.

Then, because the shoe shopping only took 3 minutes, I decided to see the Aveda salon where Satori works. So cool. She gave me a tour & I had a sudden urge to have a facial -- & then a sudden urge to add a pedicure. They were able to schedule me right after my haircut, which was on the next street. Even with a tour of L'eau de Vie, I got to Eclipse (my darling goddess stylist Casi!) early & they gave me a glass of wine while I was waiting.

New shoes, glass of wine, hair cut, pedicure, facial -- a girl can just swoon. Either that or walk home...

I would tell you to schedule a spontaneous spa day, but then it wouldn't be spontaneous, would it? So instead I will tell you to be open to the possibility of treating yourself as if you are the queen or king of your life. Soak your feet in a little tub of warm water & something that smells good -- even if you have to raid the spice cabinet. Oh, do a little olive oil & sugar rub. Mmmm.

I am in Somewhere, Kentucky, right now. Free wi-fi & a fridge & microwave. Now if only I had something to cook. I did the most brilliant job of packing my car ever. Snacks that stay in the car. Snacks that come into the hotel room. The suitcase, which stays in the car until I'm going to be somewhere for more than one night. (Which doesn't include Somewhere, Kentucky.) A canvas bag with a few clothes that do make it into the one night stopovers. You get the idea. I even put the ice in my cooler in little zipper bags & it was still mostly frozen so I just popped the bags into the little freezer compartment & will not have to refill them from the nearby ice machine.

I think I can fall asleep now, so I shall close, even though I have more to say. Another post...

Blog alternative:
262. Pick a body part & treat it well. Your feet, perhaps.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Dr. Who vs. the octopus

Monday was Memorial Day. (Nothing to do with this picture, which is just some construction stuff I thought looked cool.) Monday was also the day I found out one of my housemates almost died the day before.

He'd gone out for sushi with his girlfriend & decided to try octopus. Ate a bunch of it. Came home, ready to take a nap. His girlfriend wanted to watch Dr. Who, which he happily agreed to. They started watching & he was going to say something to her & he could barely talk. Then his lungs seized up. Fortunately he was able to throw up, but he hunched over, barely able to breathe. She got out her epi pen (she has a peanut allergy) & was poised to use it if he gave the go ahead. He dialed 9-1. After some time, he felt as if he was going to make it, which had not been the case.

Talking to a chef friend later, he found out that it was probably not an allergic reaction to the octopus, since he didn't get any swelling. It was probably bacterial, the result of mishandled food. Some bacteria can cause paralysis, so it's a good thing he puked it out of his system. If he'd gone to sleep, he wouldn't have woken up & none of us would have known why.

A wake-up call. How Dr. Who saved his life. He was ready to dial that last 1, conscious of the fact that if he had to, it would probably be too late. By the time the ambulance arrived...

Wow. We are all very glad it turned out the way it did -- that we didn't have such an up close & personal Memorial Day.

To completely change the subject, I took a walk downtown this evening to get my mail from the P.O.Box. (Wasn't really expecting any mail, so I wasn't disappointed to find only some balance transfer checks from Capital One. They've already been shredded.) Really, it was just an excuse to get out in beautiful evening temperature. In the City County Plaza, there were a bunch of tents set up for an event. I asked someone who looked as if he might know & he said it was the beer city festival. I expressed a bit of interest & asked how one got tickets & how much they cost. He said they were $40, but they were sold out. Then -- wait for it -- he said he had one ticket & asked if I wanted it. Wow! He told me to just go eat at his restaurant, Barley's Taproom, sometime. So sweet.

Tomorrow I'll walk over & have some beer & raise a glass to Barley's.

& now I shall get some sleep, in preparation for that heavy lifting.

Blog alternative:
Take an evening walk. Be ready for a miracle.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Ms. Pacman in the casino with a dumb phone

One of the necklaces that my friend Ken
(Hi, Ken!) was handing out at a World
Fantasy Convention some years ago.

I bought a new phone last month. Actually, I bought 2.

Tale of the first. I have (had, well, still have, because it is in my possession, though it has been decommissioned) an old smart phone with a battery that lasted about 5 minutes. It used to have a good battery but I think I partial-charged it a bit. Then I got a new battery & was very good about fully charging. Apparently it wasn't much of a battery to start with, so it quickly deteriorated. Rather than get another battery, I decided to get another phone.

Now, I didn't use the smart phone features. I don't text, unless required to. I don't have a data plan. I can look things up & have the world at my fingertips when I'm at my laptop. I don't think I -- & perhaps most of us -- need that level of connectivity. It can interfere with a different sort of connectivity, which is to be in your own body, experiencing your own sensory input & feeling your own feelings.

I decided to take a baby step backwards with a new phone. Yes, a flip phone. (I know what you're thinking: do people still use those?) That lasted about a week, & then I dropped it once, from a not very great height & the back flew off & the battery flew out & I hied myself back to the AT&T store to pay the $35 restocking fee & get the flip phone's burly, robust, older brother.

Lest you be mocking me, I find that it is actually quicker to navigate on the dumb phone. (Think shortcut keys rather than drop-down menus.) I love my phone, & it's water resistant & shock resistant. Take that, Android. Kiss my grits, iPhone. Grin.

I had a lovely Mother's Day. Drove down to the casino at Cherokee & played in the Sunday tournament. Attendance was lighter than usual. I guess the "take your mother to the poker tournament" movement hasn't caught on yet. It was only a $60 buy-in, so I got to pay for it with the $75 I won at my cash game the previous Monday. I made the final table of 10. The top 3 or 4 were getting paid. Then, on the second hand of the final table, I was sitting in the big blind with 10 7 of diamonds. No raises, so I checked to see the flop. 8 9 Jack. I had flopped a straight! I put in a little "trapping" bet of $1000 to get some action. Everyone folded except this one guy who raised it to $2000. Excellent, I thought. He's probably got a Jack. I went all in. He called. I was ecstatic--until I saw that he had a Queen 10. He'd flopped the higher end of the straight. No Queen came, which would have given me a chopped pot. I went home with 10th place & a story. I couldn't have played the hand any differently. I laugh, thinking about my "trapping" move. It was like Ms. Pacman trying to trap one of the Doom guys who had a bazooka.

Blog alternative:
260. Turn off your smart phone for an hour or two. Or leave it home. Take a walk. Hug a tree. Pet a flower -- but not a bee.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Into the green heart of you

A few days ago I got a lovely email & have been savoring it. My poem is in several literature textbooks (check out YouTube even, to see student projects based on it) & I appreciate the feedback I get.

... I teach 9th & 10th grade English at a small school in Oklahoma.  I wanted to let you know that for the past few years, I've included your "Egg Horror Poem" in my poetry unit.  My students always love reading it.  Sometimes I ask students to choose a poet and then create a poster about that person.  They are to include biographical information, examples of the poet's work, and their own original poem created in the same style as their poet.  Each year when I've done this you are always chosen by someone as their "favorite," along with Emily Dickinson, Dorothy Parker, even Shakespeare.  I wish I'd had time to do the poster project this year, but unfortunately the year got away from us, but I did want to let you know how much we love your poem. I was happy to run across your website this morning (today was the day I introduced a new class of students to your poem) and thought I would let you know that your work is appreciated.  Thank you for sharing it with all of us.


Kim Wallace
English I & II Teacher
Talihina High School

Thank you, Ms. Wallace, & all your wonderful students. If any of you ever want to take a picture of your poster & email it to me, I'd love to see it!

I have a new project -- to be revealed later -- that is enhancing ALL of my projects, even those that have been backburnered (read: sorely neglected).

Must get back to it -- & to this lovely day. Springtime in the mountains. Delicious.

Blog alternative: (For new readers, I believe in living ones life with less screen time & more green time.  By green, I of course mean getting out in nature, but also creating, experiencing, doing & being. I wish for all of us lots of me-ing & less checking up on anyone who isn't physically inhabiting our skin. Hence, a suggestion of something to do rather than reading blogs & facebook & such. Delivered, ironically, in a blog.)
259. Make a poster inspired by a poet or a poem.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The crow knows

As water flows uphill (grin) so May creeps into April's calendar spot, lurking just beyond the page, ready to pounce.

This is ridiculous, but then, it's late. I can be ridiculous. It could be my last chance to be ridiculous in April. (If you believe that, I have a nice little piece of waterfront property available. You can see it in the above photo.)

Such a lovely month, April. Come she will & go she will & even rain & snow she will. It's supposed to be warmish & sunny-ish this week though. Perhaps we can count that as May's influence.

Did I tell you I sent my novel out? The Secret Life of Suzuki England has been re-released into the wild. I'm sure the intrepid adventuress will let me know how it's going as soon as she can convince a friendly crow to deliver the message. Or maybe a black moth.

It's time to finish up the post but not give up the ghost. What a delightful day it was. Poker & a movie & good food & good work & conversation & exercise.

Blog alternative:
258. Drink some water. (But don't wet the bed.)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Delayed launch party

Announcing the release of Laurel 5.4

(Actual release date: 22 April 2013 -- we've been working a few bugs out. On the 22nd, she was locked INTO her house for several hours. On the 23rd, she made 3 trips to Lowes to get 2 working duplicate keys for the new lock. So this is only her second full day doing chosen activities. She seems to be functioning well. We'll keep you posted.)

Time to get ready to go to Ruth's Chris for a happy hour hamburger.

Blog alternative:
257. Work out a few bugs, in yourself or something around you.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Nipped in the bud

April showers on the way.

A month of cards & words,

the art of living,

the living of art.

Cooking great food

& eating just enough.

After I started writing this,

I realized I didn't want to continue

so I won't...

Blog alternative:
256. Stop doing something.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The third dish of April

speed of light coffee cup -- grab it before it gets away
It was April thirdish -- the third dish of April & who would have blamed her for taking a second helping. After all that Marching, colder than January.

But the cafeteria lady, the one with the hairnet & the big spoon, gave her that no-no finger sign. "One per customer," she said, firmly but not unkindly. "Same as always."

Whether you like the dish or not, that's the rule. One person, one day. You have to eat it all, unless you choke on it & aren't signed up for tomorrow, & you never get to eat it more than once. You can think you're getting another go at it, but what you're doing is always & only flavoring the new dish day with the seasonings of the old. Every day is fresh new ingredients & you can nibble at them or gulp them down or push them away & pretend you're on some "not today" diet, but eat you will, my darlings. You can make lemonade out of lemons; make mudpies out of mud puddles (heroically decorated with three pebbles & a twig with one leaf left); mix things up with your tastes in mind. There's bound to be something in your day that's less to your liking than some of the other bits, but if you focus on the parts you like, it's a way of putting more of those delectables onto the shopping list. The cafeteria lady will favor you with a smile & a wink & give you a special serving designed just for you.

I just helped a friend out by providing a red sharpie, two ellie poo paper hearts (paper made from elephant dung -- it's way cooler than it sounds) & a glue stick. When she returned the parts she didn't use to my room & admired some of my (very) eclectic decorating & art work, she passed along a compliment that her mother gave to her: "You have a curly mind." I so love that!

Blog alternative:
255. Think about the flavors of the day -- this one or another from not so long ago. Put your favorites on a mental shopping list & keep an eye out: that cafeteria lady just might serve them up soon.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Oracle Cat nips me

Once upon a time there was a bunch of bananas, waiting for a bus. (This story is for Cathy, who likes the bus better than she likes bananas, but likes the idea of bananas waiting for a bus.)

The bananas didn't know the bus routes, didn't know the schedule, didn't have a destination in mind. (Have you ever tried to read the mind of a banana? Talk about a split personality -- & that's just one banana. This was a bunch.) They were just waiting, wanting to be somewhere other than here, trusting that any direction was better than no direction. They weren't new green bananas, fresh off the boat. They were seasoned, mature, ripe bananas. Maybe just a bit past their prime, a few age spots, but still firm, nicely sweetened by their time on the planet. They weren't black. They weren't ready for banana bread, that one-peel-in-the-grave last resort. They were ready to get out & see the world while they were still vital.

There is a happy ending to this story. The next five people to come to this bus stop each took one banana & a different route. The bananas saw the world, or at least the city, before their biological clocks took them to their final rendezvous at the landfill.


Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy, also known as SARK, is a fountain of inspiration. One of my favorite things from her website is Jupiter, her black cat, who has a kind of "magic 8 ball" function. You think of a question (mine is always "now what, my darling?") & click on the drawing or photograph (there are many different Jupiters) & get some advice. Frequently it's very cat-centric, like "take a long nap" or "blink slowly" but I just got -- 2 days in a row -- some very good & appropriate advice:

"Don't force growth"
"Allow natural timing"

These were particularly apropos for me, because I had submitted some photos & an article via my photography group to a magazine called The Laurel of Asheville. Wouldn't it be cool, I thought, to have photos & writing in a magazine that was practically named after me?

The editorial response was:
"Say, those five photos are nearly identical. I realize that was the gist of her story. Still, from a layout standpoint, there's not enough variety. Also, four of the five were not in sharp focus."

I began a little flurry of trying to find other photos from that particular shoot that would fit in with the sharply-focused one (once I'd figured out which one that was) & after determining that the others weren't really good enough either, took a deep breath & relaxed & decided to continue to work on my photo skills & try again at some future date.

It reminded me of when I started painting & had some nice paintings & some kinda sorta pretty good paintings & took them all down to a coffee shop in Winona for a solo show. I stepped out before I was ready. I'm not sorry I did it, but there is something to be said for allowing the learning & the exploration to be just that & achieving a certain level of mastery before hiring an opening act & scheduling the world tour.

If you want to ask that wise cat some questions, here is the link.

I have had weeks of the BEST conversations. Monday alone I had 4 really good ones. Plus I talked to several people who had been having great conversations -- besides the conversations with me! -- so I am pleased to know that great conversations are lurking in both the likeliest & unlikeliest places.

Blog alternative:
254. Set yourself up for a great conversation. Say a kind word to an interesting-looking stranger or invite a good friend who may or may not live in your house to share a few words. Perhaps ask a question. Perhaps ask yourself a question & share the answer. Giggle out loud when you read something that delights you & let someone ask you what's so funny & read it to them & see where the conversation goes. (& remember, a great conversation doesn't have to be long to make it into the memory banks.)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Snowshine Synchronicity & The Good Habit Gang

Look at the monkey...

In February, I was 15 minutes early for some body work, so I walked down the street & was treated to the sight of fresh-bloomed crocuses & the buzz buzz buzz of the first bees of the season. I didn't have long -- it had taken me about 2 minutes to saunter down to that particular chainlink-fenced yard, so that meant 11 minutes of photography. The pistils & stamens were fascinating & the bees were ready for their close-ups (there were 2 of them there, 2 sweet busy buzzy sisters) & the colors were even more breathtaking than they would have been, being it was such an early spring event. (Since then we've had plenty of winter, including some snowshine yesterday, so I'll get to experience the extra-wow factor again.) This was one of my favorites of the little bouquet of photos I was able to take before hustling back up the street.

I have been happily doing my artist's way exercises & I came to the realization (Have I had it before? Perhaps, in which case it is a re-realization.) that good habits attract other good habits. It's not that I haven't been hanging out with good habits for a while, but it was spotty. You know the friends that you see occasionally & really enjoy it & get a lot out of it but don't make it a regular occurrence? It can be that way with habits, too. Good habits & bad habits, whoever shows up comes on in & either turns on the sitcom & gets out the Cheetos or says, "hey, let's go for a walk & then paint together."

Well, after I started going steady with Art (aka Artist Date) & Page (Morning Pages is her full name) a bunch of other good habits started hanging out with me. They're a band of good buddies with good hearts & kick-ass effectiveness, ready for the adventure. If I've forgotten my pocket handkerchief, some one of them will have an extra, or show me how to blow my nose cowboy style, one nostril at a time & always downwind. I am having a great deal of fun & getting a great deal done.

Besides the good habit brigade, Synchronicity has been hanging out with me as well. The other Monday, as I was leaving my poker SIG (special interest group) at UNCA, having just won the tournament (& chosen as my prize a large black t-shirt with a picture of 3 guys in cowboy hats, jeans & boots standing at a bank of urinals, titled "Texas Hold'em") a song came on the radio, a song that I've been thinking about, fondly & longingly. I'm not sure I've heard it since I moved here, but back in Minnesota it made my friend Cathy (former New Yorker) & I (former Montana girl) very happy. She said it made her miss her childhood in the south. I couldn't remember the title -- "Sweet Southern Childhood?" No, not quite. -- or the artist or enough of the words to plop a sentence into a search engine, so I was dependent on some DJ to present it to me. & there it was! "Sweet Southern Comfort" by Buddy Jewell. Yay! Now I know. I told Cathy, now a Seattleite, so she can tune back into her downsouth roots as well.

& now it's time to get back to my buddies, the Good Habit Gang, who've been reading this blog post over my shoulder as it emerged from my fingers, poking each other & doing some high 5s ("Hey, she's talking about us!" with Art & Page giving each other a proud glance at being specifically singled out.) but now ready to move on to another activity. Walk downtown & get the mail ("Hey, it's sunny & almost fifty degrees!") is on the schedule, right after get dressed. (The habits like to say "Hey" a lot & are fond of exclamation points. No wonder we get along.)

Blog alternative:
253. Invite a good habit to spend some more time with you. (Make room for its buddies.)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Morning paged me, & I answered

the desk at the foot of my bed, jazz added
Once upon a time--

I mean

Today was the best day ever, since yesterday, until tomorrow.

Because today I was in today.
I took a walk
& watched some movies
& worked on my room
& ate tomato soup & grilled cheese sandwiches
& did some reading
& did some writing
& picked up free art supplies from the streets & sidewalks
& photographed a bunch of bananas waiting for a bus.

Once upon today...

& in the morning, morning pages. Yes, that means exactly what you think it does. (If you're thinking what I'm thinking, which you may not be, until after this parenthetical.) Tomorrow (the new today) I am embarking on The Artist's Way, with Cathy & perhaps Elizabeth. Not with exactly, for I am doing it alone, & whether they do it or not, but perhaps they shall parallel play along with me. I did it once before & it changed my freakin' life.

On a different today, a couple todays ago, I sent off a picture book with a timeline of 13.7 billion years. Don't worry, it's not long. Only about 200 words. (If a word paints a hundred million years...)

Oh, & something I've been forgetting to share: a google alert pointed me to a wonderful book trailer for Growing Wings that someone named Vona created for Humanities7. It made me cry. Thanks, Vona.

trailer for Growing Wings

Blog alternative:
252. Hold the day in your hand & pretend it is a free art supply you just picked up from the sidewalk. Cherish it for its own beauty. Add it to other ingredients & make them all more delicious & beautiful. Share if you'd like.