swimming through shark filled waters

Summer is almost over. Perhaps it is over. It doesn’t feel over in my new home town. But the kids are back in school.

I miss school. I miss it very much. I miss having a teacher tell me “Good job!” when I turn in my homework. I miss the motivation that comes from know that someone notices how I am doing.

But I’m a grown up now. I dragged out the whole school thing almost as long as I possibly could. It’s time now for me to kick my own butt.

I have done a huge project, getting my book published. But I am realizing, that is only half the work. Just because I wrote it does not mean people will read it. I need to get it into their hands.

Which takes a whole new set of skills and experiences that I simply do not have.

I am going to have to learn them. It’s harder than I realized.

And the fact of the matter is, no one is going to really care if I don’t succeed. That means it’s very easy for me to not do it. I could procrastinate and take forever and ever and never quite do it.

I want to do it. But this is harder than I thought. It’s taking some real effort.

and a lot of it is just mental work. It’s scary. And it doesn’t seem like it should be.

But I really feel liek I’m swimming with sharks. Even if they are only in my mind….

List of Books I recommend for Young Adults

A while back, a friend with a blazing smart and fast-reading niece complained that she couldn’t think of books to recommend for her to read, since young miss read so fast.

I made a list of some of my favorite. Enjoy!

By M.E. Kerr
I stay near you

Fell Down

Book of Fell

Fell Back

by Francesca Block.
Weetzie Bat,
Witch Baby,
Cherokee Bat and the Goat Guys,
Missing Angel Juan,
The Hanged Man,
Baby Be-Bop,
Girl Goddess #9,

Louise Erdrich ANYTHING by HER

by Robin McKinley.
The Blue Sword, T
he Hero and the Crown,
A Knot in the Grain and Other Stories,
Rose Daughter,

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by Katherine Paterson.
Jacob Have I Loved,
The Same Stuff As Stars,
Bridge to Trerabinthia

Graphic novels (aka comic books) Art Spiegelman.
Maus: A Survivor’s Tale;
Maus: A Survivor’s Tale II.

· Cynthia Voigt.
Dicey’s Song,
Izzy Willy-nilly,
Wings of a Falcon,
When She Hollers,
Bad Girls,
Bad, Badder, Baddest.

The Lovely Bones: a Novel Alice Sebold

Achebe, Chinua.
Things Fall Apart

by Austen, Jane.
Pride and Prejudice,
Emma (anything by her, really)

Charles Dickens
Bleak House, (if you like him, there are tons more)

by Bronte, Emily.
Wuthering Heights

by Buck, Pearl.
The Good Earth

by Cather, Willa.
My Antonia,
Death Comes for the Archbishop (anything by her)

by Defoe, Daniel.
Robinson Crusoe

By Dreiser, Theodore.
Sister Carrie(not an easy read, but good…sad)

by Eliot, George.
The Mill on the Floss,
Middlemarch (also not easy, but very good)

by Ellison, Ralph.
The Invisible Man

by Flaubert, Gustave.
Madame Bovary( not an easy read)

by Grahame, Kenneth.
Wind in the Willows

by Hammett, Dashiell.
The Maltese Falcon,
The Glass Key (these are mysteries, not hard to read and very good)

by Hurston, Zora Neale.
Their Eyes Were Watching God

by Keys, Daniel.
Flowers for Algernon (this will blow your mind, and it’s good)

by Lee, Harper.
To Kill a Mockingbird

by Marlow, Christopher.
Dr. Faustus (if you like Shakespeare)

by Morrison, Toni.
The Song of Solomon (anything by this author, but they are strong stuff…these can be pretty vivid stories about slavery in America)

by Munro, Alice K.
Selected Stories( these are the only short stories I know that read like a novel)

by Orwell, George.
Animal Farm(the granddaddy of science fiction…well, except maybe Jules Verne)

by Salinger, J. D.
The Catcher in the Rye (a favorite of serial killers…but why?)

by Shelley, Mary.
Frankenstein (the original is way good, and way less scary than I would have thought)

by Sophocles.
Oedipus the King,
Antigone(ancient greek plays that could kick shakespeare’s Butt)

by Steinbeck, John.
The Grapes of Wrath,
East of Eden,
Cannery Row

by Swift, Jonathan.
Gulliver’s Travels

by Thurber, James.
The Thurber Carnival (this guy has the quirkiest sense of humor…AWESOME!)

by Wilde, Oscar.
The Importance of Being Ernest (also, anything by this guy)

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by betty smith

Johnny Tremain by Esther Hoskins Forbes
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

Amy Tan (anything by her!) The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen God’s Wife, A Hundred Secret Senses

by Madeleine L’Engle
A wrinkle in Time, A Swiftly Tilting Planet and a Wind at the Door
The Arm of the Starfish, House like a Lotus,

Books I am reading

..or just finished reading…

*Dance Dance Dance by Haruki Murakami
*Pay it Forward
*The Language of Archetypes
*Until I find You
*Liza of Lambeth
*Anne Frank
*Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

I wish I could slow down a little and savor some more. It seems difficult to do, as if I am very behind on my reading and the books are all so interesting.

Perhaps I will re-read when I am old.


But the most fascinating thing for me was—and is, still—that there were words, lined up to say one thing and another, but one’s response was not exactly to the words, and what they appeared to be saying, but to something enormous and living beyond that, which the words exactly entailed.

-Deborah Eisenberg

I have thought this for a long time. I’ve thought that words are the stones that mark out the outlines of greater thoughts and ideas—even another world. They are so very little in themselves, these poor words. But they have such power at times, when wielded.

Books, poems, they have a use. They are particular and different than other ways of conveying ideas. Music has it’s own, movies have their own, conversation, theater, photographs—they have their own particular strength and logic. Each has a cause and effect.

But words as so dear to my heart. Words on a page or spoken out loud move me like nothing else.

Even talking to myself, I am in awe so very often of what words can give me.

I think of Archimedes “Give me a place to stand and I will move the earth.”

He was speaking of the mechanical tool, the lever. Words to me are the lever of the soul. Give me a way to string the words and who can’t I move?

At least that is the possibility.

If you schedule it, they will come

Previously, I wrote about a writing group that I am starting.

It’s the 3rd Tuesday of the month, and the first meeting was in July. But no one came.

I was sad, but I decided it was up to me to do a better job of advertising. I researched it, put up a few more flyers and also called the local paper to have them put it on their calendar of events. I put it on Inland Empire Craig’s list, and I even guilted my neighbor into coming.

My very nice neighbor Sue said she would come. She said she’d never written before, but apparently she felt sorry for me and agreed to come. I felt slightly guilty about guilting an uninterested person into coming, but I really didn’t want to have another no show class.

August meeing came. And so did three other people. And if you count neighbor Sue, four! It was fabulous. And as it turned out, Sue’s interest wasn’t purely pity after all. She has some great projects in mind. And so did Julie, and Marie and Ella.

What a great time!

I am proud, and very pleased that I persevered in spite of initial disinterest.

Now I too am inspired by the class, and I am getting my promotional kit together. Miriam needs to get out into the world and meet people!

At 3 this morning

Chris came to bed. Three is only a little later than his usual bedtime.

I woke up, feeling him look at me. I sleepily felt around to give him a kiss.

He said, “Something important has happened.”

“What is it?”

“The British have captured 21 people who were planning a terrorist attack. They were going to use liquid explosives on flights to America.”

“Wow. I’m really glad they caught them.”

” Well, they are not sure they caught everybody. All flights from the UK are grounded. Heathrow is totaly shut down, and they say that you can’t take carry-on luggage with you anymore. Only a wallet, and no CD players or cell phones orlaptops. Not even water.”

“No water?”

“Yeah, because the plan was to use liquid explosives. They can’t even carry car keys with them, because the car keys trasmit signals”

“This is scary.”

“Don’t worry baby, we are not flying anywhere. Not for a month, and I don’t think that the terrorist will target Bozeman. But that probably means that when we go to Germany next year, we will not make any stopovers in London.”

“Man. I bet all the business people will travel to somewhere else first, and then take a short hop to London. They aren’t going to want to travel without their laptops for that long.”

“That would add a lot of time to the travel. But they were talking about that on the news. That people could fly to France and then take the chunnel.”

“That’s going to have a big impact on tourism for Britain. Wow.”

We eventually fell asleep again.

Things I am remembering

Things come in cycles.

I learn important life changing things, things that will redirect and fundamentally change how I do things.

Then, I forget.

Then, i remember again.


How come I forget? I forget what was so important to know.

And I will keep forgetting. I know this.

I remembered a thing I forgot yesterday.

i was frustrated that I wasn’t meeting certain creative goals. Then, while whining and beating myself up about it to Chris (who listened so patiently) I remembered.

I CAN”T do those kinds of things head on. I am not that way. I can’t sit down at a desk with a sheaf of white paper and a pencil. I do not sit up straight and pay attention and dispatch tasks.

I have to approach them sideways. I have to almost pretend that I’m not really doing it. I need noise, music, people, distractions. Otherwise I panic.

Funny, I’ve been panicking.

So, now I have remembered what I forgot.

We’ll see what I forget next.

I should know better

I should know better than to type my posts onto this site from the wireless connection at home.

I lost two halves of a post that way.

Which means that I am not a posty as I would have been.

A poem

I don’t share my poetry on this blog. I figure maybe I should. I wrote this one today. Enjoy!

This one doesn’t count
Because who’s counting anyway?
It’s for you
All of you

But I’m lying
Someone is counting
One Two
Tick Tock
Fast Handing
Around the clock

I’m getting very sleepy. Things are feeling freaky
Roman numerals with Egyptian eyes
Sphinx eyes turning me to unkinetic stone
Unmotioned by the unbroken hand sweep
The caged bird in my chest batters the cage
No amount of panic is enough
The soft black feathers scatter and flutter from the violence
The hopeful bird croaks “Evermore!
More More MORE.” Battle this cage
With every small mustered strength
One nudge must one day be enough
To jostle and break the gaze

I am not stone. The eyes tell lies
Motion is my birthright.
Action Production
Distance before and behind
Each footfall might be
Well-placed and unstumbled
Disturb the road dust
The coal dust
Mighty step of weight and substance
Pressuring the stuff of the world
Realign with beauty and order
My steps to leave diamonds underfoot

The road untraveled stretches
I can’t see it
Snowshoes and machetes plow the ground
Follow stars and leaning shadows
The sun wheels overhead

Let the path find me
It’s for me and for you
I know you are counting on me