Life Under Construction

Friday, March 26, 2010


This is a short note to let you know that The Great Relocation process has begun and my life will be in a state of chaotic upheaval for a little while now.  I'll try not to neglect you too long.  But my posts may be sporadic, with lengths of quiet time in between.  Just know that I'm reconstructing my life and busying myself with the task of nesting and reconfiguring.  Organizing was never my strong suit, so believe me, I'll need all the brain cells I can spare for this mess. 

I should be back soon, refreshed and inspired, with many stories and lots to talk about.  Spring is waking up and getting dressed, which brings with it all kinds of things to look forward to.  Until my next report, I wish you all well.

Incarceron and something more

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I finished Incarceron by Catherine Fisher over the weekend, a book about a boy who is trapped in a prison that governs itself and a girl who is imprisoned in a world of high society and Victorian-like extravagance.  When I picked this one up at the bookstore, I admit I was guilty of judging it by its cover.  It had a mysterious look to it, black with an interesting mix of gears and leaves behind an iridescent key… beautiful.  I read the back, thought it sounded promising, and bought it.  Just like that.  It's taken me a couple of weeks to get through, what with one thing and another coming up, but I'm done now and ready to talk… some.  You know how I feel about spoiling the experience.

This book was good, but I felt like it needed more.  It was almost romantic, though it didn't quite get there.  It was suspenseful in parts and the concept is fantastic (a world in which those in charge have stopped time, stopped human progress, and have ordered society to remain stuck in one specified era?  A world in which pretense is followed for the sake of pretense?  A prison that is accessible by only one man and which is seemingly alive, the prison itself watching and controlling its prisoners?  It's too rich for words).  But I got the feeling by the end that this must be the beginning of a series, or that there will at least be one sequel.  Too many loose ends, too many unfulfilled dreams and desires.  The characters have so much promise, but again, the story needed another hundred pages or so to really flesh it all out.  If there is indeed a sequel in the works, then I will jump on it upon publication and all will be forgiven.  If not, I will be sadly disappointed, because there was just enough there to make me want more, just enough to care about these characters and wonder about their futures.  Just enough, in short, to get me hooked but leave me a touch unsatisfied.

And that is where I leave you, friends, looking forward and hoping for just a little extra something on the horizon.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hello friends!  It's St. Patty's Day and I'm in the spirit, so I went looking for cool St. Patrick's day stuff to do/read.  I found:

The Leaky Cauldron has a St. Patrick's Day edition of The Quibbler available online!  You know you want one... has a wealth of cool information on St. Patrick's Day, including video on the history of the holiday, one called Ireland Deconstructed and something on corned beef and cabbage.

And did you know there's a St. Patrick's  There is.  I found it.  There are two that I found, actually, with different spellings for the web address, but this was (in my opinion) the better of the two.  If you want to check out the other one for comparison, it's here.  They both have historical information and fun stuff to read and do.  Have fun and I hope you wore your green!

Rain Driving Zen

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I wrote this one on Monday, when I had a little time to appreciate the day.

I'd also like to note that the photo on the left is from via Creative Commons.  I'm not much of a photographer, so nearly all of the images I use here are borrowed from this site.  Now, getting back to it...

It's a good morning.  Contemplative.  The kind of morning when your thoughts are clear (if a little groggy) and you settle into a nice Zen place of accepting who and where you are.

You wouldn't think you'd find much Zen on the morning of your first dentist's appointment in literally years.  But my appointment isn't until 10:00 and I had to have my son to school by 8:00-ish, so I planned to use this gap to write.  Of course, my "plan" was primarily to work on my fiction story.  But after dropping off my son and driving halfway across town, my thoughts wandered (as always) and I felt a blog coming on.

I thought about a friend of mine to whom I had loaned a relatively decent chunk of cash about a year ago when she was further down on her luck (and health) than anyone should ever be and was in danger of losing her lights.  Now, I say loan, but I wasn't married to that money and let it go mentally when I let it go physically.  I could have gone my whole life without giving those dollars another thought.  But then, a couple of days ago, there in my mailbox was an envelope… with a thank you card… and a check… a year after the fact.  But she never forgot it.  I have such amazing friends.

I took some side roads on my way to the coffee shop, roads I don't typically travel, just for a different perspective.  It's a rainy, overcast day, and it occurred to me, not for the first time, that this town looks best against a backdrop of grey.  Maybe every town does (Lord knows I've seen enough of them), or maybe it's just me.  Maybe I can only really appreciate it without the sun's distracting glare.  On a grey, rainy day there isn't the contrast of light and shadow.  Everything, the houses, the leafless trees, the evergreens, get an equal chance to show off what they've got.

I thought about these two cool kittens I've met via Blogger.  I figure they're almost two in cat years, but they've blown me away with their insights and raw human honesty in a way that you just don't see everywhere else.  And I thought about how this chance connection has made my whole world a little brighter, given me hope, shown me there are still people out there that care about something, that are true of heart and spirit.  It's renewed my belief in kismet and caused me to marvel at how people can come together from across thousands of miles, drawn only by ideas and expressions and the power of their words.

And I thought about myself, where I am right now.  In my Zen state, I was able to watch myself for a moment and assess the situation without too much emotional haze obscuring my view.  I am standing on a precipice, about to jump off, and hoping that when I do my wings will appear, and, if they don't, that I at least managed to throw a chute on my back to save me.  Or that maybe the bottom won't be sharp, wicked crystal shards after all, and only cotton and marshmallows to catch me.  That would be ok.  But things are changing so rapidly, and it seems they're only going up, up, up, so I've been a little scared to look down from here.  There's a Zen saying (while we're feeling Zenish) that goes, "Leap and the net will appear."  That seems right… but it's ponderous.

Driving clears my head like nothing else.  Those who know me personally will understand the significance, and why there are times when a car feels more like home to me than any immovable building.  The rest of you will have to take my word for it.  Or perhaps you'll start to understand through my stories.  But I will tell you that roads are my thinking places.  And that drive was like medicine.
So I finally made it to the coffee shop.  The barista made my coffee just right (hazelnut latte with extra hazelnut), and he even made a pretty little leaf in the foam.  They have new artwork on the walls (always local and always for sale) that was right up my alley; all richly colored with whimsical owls and fantastical creatures and exotic designs that made the place feel draped in gypsy light.  And though I didn't (couldn't) buy any, I breathed in all their colors and held them in my mind, just happy to know they exist.  So many things in life are like that.  You don't have to possess them to be enlivened by them.  You just have to know they exist, and that knowledge makes everything ok.

If you made it all the way here to the end of this little journey with me, I'd like to ask you a question, because I feel we've grown closer and I'd like to hear your thoughts.  You don't have to tell me, but I would be so delighted if you did.  What makes you happy to know it exists?  What fills you up, just knowing this reality allows for it to be?  I'm so very eager to know.

Busy Bees & Beavers

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hello, all.  Just a quick note to let you know I haven't died or been stricken with acute writer's block.  On the contrary, I've been busy, busy, busy.  I may have my very first piece published within the next day or so.  It's not fiction, it's a concert review, but I am very, VERY excited!  Unfortunately, to retain the blissful illusion of anonymity on this blog, I can't post the link to my piece here.  But I will let a few of you (who don't know me personally) know when it's up and where you can see it... secretly... under cloak of darkness... I feel so covert.  ;)  

But it seems the busy-bee vibe isn't hitting just me -  it's everywhere!  Nearly everyone I know has had their heads down, working like crazed beavers, nesting and creating and dam building.  I think this is the surest sign of the imminence of spring, more so even then the lengthening of days or the increase of birdsong.  It takes work to raise spring properly.

More soon.  Until my next report, be well!