She Wanders a Little

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I told my therapist about my inward energy. “I’m in a downward cycle,” I said. “That’s what I call it.” She already knew. I’m normally big and outwards. I was more pensive, and my responses measured.

“Not like when I was younger. Not downward like that.” Or something like that. And what I mean is, I don’t rock in a dark bathroom hurting myself anymore, like I did when I was in my twenties and didn’t understand what all of these …. feelings? … were. Continue reading

Summer 1981

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I miss waiting for “The Wizard of Oz” to come on once or twice a year. I miss the lead up to the end of the school year and the phenomenon of the summer blockbuster. I miss not understanding about bills and politics. I miss jump-rope and jacks and creeks with smooth stones. I miss that first kiss feeling, when you weren’t even sure how kissing worked. I miss grape soda and skinned knees, tire swings and climbing trees. I miss swimming all day for weeks in a row. I miss the coolness of a desert night, sitting in a concrete pipe with a friend talking about everything, after the rest of the neighborhood had gone to sleep.

The Heart Tapestry

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I don’t know what motivates other people to do things–or not to do them. Nor do I pretend to believe that all hearts work the same way. I’m not here to judge why or how somebody does or doesn’t respond to me. How somebody does or doesn’t connect to me. I put it out into the universe, and if a thread comes back and weaves into the tapestry of my life, it will be all the more rich and colorful. All the more complex and beautiful.

What I don’t really have time for at this point in my life are those who can’t be bothered to connect, or worse, pick at the tapestry, snagging, leaving tears and frayed ends. My life is full of wonderful, beautiful, talented, insightful, caring people. If I never made another friend for the rest of my life, many beautiful connections would remain and sustain me.

Why am I writing about this? I saw a Timehop that reminded me of this topic. I had had a couple of really big hurts in my life, starting with a teen pregnancy, but 2009-2011 were the worst by far. I was reminded of how hard it was to recover from that kind of damage. It reminded me how much I had turned in on myself – for almost three years. I decided I didn’t want or need any new friends. It felt to vulnerable to open up to that. I closed up. Put up a wall. That is something I had never done before. Sure, I had some short-term hurts that made me withdraw for a bit, but being an optimist at heart, I always bounced back pretty quickly. I felt the risk was worth the payoff of a connection and a friend – before.

For the new friendships I’ve formed–I’m glad I dismantled the wall a bit – brick by brick, leaving a small space for people who really wanted to squeeze through. For those who chose the other side of the wall, or who I walled out, our time has passed, I guess. For my part, I’ve always been as authentic as I could. And I trusted–until I couldn’t–for reasons.

I didn’t always respond or behave the way I wish I would have–but I’m human. I’ve hopefully learned and evolved over the time with each bump and boulder in my path. Whatever mistakes I made, you got me honestly, and my honesty, and the sincerest bits of my heart.

Red Archer 2016

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My friend Tracy has been to London and Edinburgh – so she invited me over to pick her brain about that as research for the second book in the Red August series – Red Archer.

She had a wonderful little journal from her trip to Britain when she was a teen, so that was perfect – getting an American teen girl’s impressions of parts of Europe, and in the same era that my book series is set in!  How about THAT!?  PLUS – I got to hang with my pal Tracy and she made me food and we had wine.

We don’t get to see each other face-to-face too often, so we had lots of catching up to do.  We talked about travel and men and love and hurt.  We talked about sex and lost loves and what lessons we’ve learned here and there.  We also talked about things like how switches on the walls in the UK work and what time it gets dusky.

I took lots of notes.  But we didn’t make it all the way through her journal, so I’m hoping to head back down there for another bout of research in the coming months.

OH!  I almost forgot.  She also made some freaking DELICIOUS spiced cake cupcakes.  They were SO GOOD I could have eaten one every day for breakfast for a week.  Do I have amazing friends or what?

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Look how cute these cupcakes are – and her arm was hurty too!  ❤ ❤ ❤

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Smashing Words and Other Adventures

RedAugust_lowres_800wideWE DID IT!  Between my editor and my proofreaders and many reads and re-reads and re-re-reads (I could do that about ten times and it would be about right), the manuscript for Red August was uploaded to Smashwords.  I uploaded a previous copy, but the formatting was a bit off and we hadn’t linked the Table of Contents – SO MANY THINGS – so Will futzed with all that stuff and VOILA, I got it uploaded.  And guess what?  You can read 1/3 of the book on Smashwords for free RIGHT NOW, before it’s even released on August 19th.  You can also pre-order the book through Barnes & Noble, Kobo and iBooks.

Yesterday was kind of a magical day.  We got up super early (Will got up super early, I got up an hour behind him).  By 12:30 the specially formatted for ebook manuscript was uploaded to Smashwords.  Then, we got ready to head down to a birthday party for my beautiful, smart and amazing friend Tracy, who lives about an hour south of us.  We were a bit late to her party, but we stayed extra late to make up for it.  I had SO MUCH FUN.  First of all – BOOK UPLOADED without errors.  So YAY.  THEN I got to see my wonderful friend for her birthday at a lovely bistro with tasty food and wine.  During the party one of her friends pulled into the parking lot in a sexy new red Corvette convertible and I started singing “Little Red Corvette” and then I met the woman who owned it and she took me for a drive.  WHICH WAS AWESOME.   Did I mention that the weather here in Maryland was BEAUTIFUL?  Well, it was.  It was the kind of day you would order, if you could order weather, for convertible driving.  Everybody was sweet to me and I think I made a couple of new friends.  AND somebody pre-ordered my book right there in front of me.  Then, on the way home we found out that my friend, talented playwright Audrey Cefaly, won a pretty amazing Samuel French contest in New York city with her play The Gulf — which is now going to be PUBLISHED by them!  She’s kind of a big deal, y’all!  When we got home my favorite parking space was empty at a time it normally wouldn’t be.  I was exhausted from not enough sleep all week and all the fun, but I was excited too, so I had a hard time getting to sleep.  So what do ya do?  You pull up the social media.  I  looked at Instagram because it’s the social media choice with the least amount of dissonance and nightmare material.  And lo, a nice comment from an instagrammer said they were really looking forward to my book.  I finally made it to sleep not long after that.

It’s been a busy and fulfilling week.  I’m hoping to get things working on Amazon in the next couple of days and I will be able to just focus on marketing and book 2, Red Archer.

Leting Go – Mostly

Story Games

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My sweetheart and I play a game. One of us makes up a sentence and then the other one invents a short story that begins with that sentence.

Sometimes the stories hit dead-ends. Other times they wind on for a long while. This is a good game for when you’re traveling, but can be quite difficult if you have to focus on something else.  Also, it’s sometimes difficult to remember the names and other details you’ve put in at the beginning as the story gets longer.

Perhaps I ought to try it with my computer handy and see what turns up.