Wednesday, April 29, 2015

My Friend

One of my best friends in seventh grade was Jeremiah Washington. His family moved to our small town the summer before and although I wasn't too sure of his loony antics I soon warmed up because of one thing: he knew how to make me laugh. Every day at lunch we'd sit together and in between bites of PB&J I'd watch him talk with his hands. "What do you think of that?" "I think it's stupid." "What, stupid like this school?" "You didn't say that." "Oh yes I did, you fool." People would make fun of him, call him crazy, because he talked with his hands. To me, he was a puppeteer without the puppet. He didn't care. He kept right on doing it. I really liked that about Jeremiah. His skin was a double fudge brownie, and his hair short and tight against his head. His smile was big and could eclipse those times when I thought he might be sad. Jeremiah was beautiful, and a genius, it's a fact.

While traversing up our school's lamented, Gothic stairwell to the second floor one day, I heard the sound of angry voices. They were voices I knew. The seventh grade boys stood in a huddle and repeatedly mentioned Jeremiah's name. "I'm going to beat that kid up. I can't stand him." Some made excuses, such as, he was hyper, didn't walk fast enough, walked too fast, he was too skinny, kinda crazy, kinda stupid. But none of them said what they really meant. I ascended that last step and broke through the group. The bell rang. My locker stuck as I yanked at it and rattled when I slammed it. My eyes stung.

A few weeks later, Jeremiah and his family moved away. Someone said, back to Kansas City. No one had to tell me why. My lunches were slow and filled with too much quiet. I missed my friend. I missed the whip of his hands, the sarcasm, the smile.

That next summer I spent a few weeks at my cousin's house in an affluent area just outside of the city. I was asked to stay because my Aunt knew I'd keep her little girl occupied during housework and mid-afternoon trips to the ladies' club. She dropped us off at the library, the pool, the indoor skating rink, the movies—everywhere. It was the kind of life inaccessible to my lower middle-class family, so I was okay with being the free babysitter even if my self-pride took a shrapnel sting of shame. One morning, Aunt Kathleen took us along while shopping for clean linen at a local department store. While she shopped, we explored. There were fabrics: white cotton, blue cotton, sheets and pillowcases, towels so thick your hand left a dent, and little fancy soaps shaped in roses. Since we were the only ones there, we allowed ourselves to run freely across the tiled floors and through the labyrinth rows of merchandise. When another family came in, we were told to quiet down and behave. Instantly, I recognized Jeremiah. He was there with his mother and younger siblings. Neither of us spoke, we weaved through the linens, he and I, our eyes meeting, recognizing. I saw his cocoa face disappear under the balloon of an ecru linen as he lifted it and ducked. We did this numerous times, sometimes him, sometimes me, until his mother said it was time to go. Jeremiah stood, shrugged it off. "Hey, don't I know you?" Without answering, I watched him slowly join his family and leave.

Whenever I hear that song Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog, I think of him. It doesn't really fit, but I like it anyway.


Friday, April 24, 2015

I knew you were going to say that






Today the predicted release date for The Love Seekers has been revealed: Winter 2016. Yay! So, a while to wait, but I actually love the timing. Since the book spends a good portion in the snowy landscape of Aspen, a winter release has just the right feel. By the way, my poor editor has been suffering migraines and consequently the book has been switched to another, and equally talented, set of eyes. It's a bit tricky, but I know all will be well. More than anything I wish Summer a speedy recovery and happier days ahead.

I've come to realize that there's a bit of intuitive trickery going on with my writing. Kind of knew it with the first book, but now I truly understand the depth of just how much I borrow from an 'out there' vein of creative substance. It's funny considering the third book deals with Emma's psychic ability and how she comes to accept and own it, yet I had no idea the theme would play so strongly in the story line as Love was going to be my most 'normal' book. Oh well. It happened because intuition wrote it for me. Also, as I said on another post, there are events and situations in the book which mirror my own life. At the time, I had no idea I was doing this. Talk about a slap to the head! I read those last pages and felt a mixture of déjà vu and bewilderment. What will people think when they see the darker side of my life? Too late to worry about that now. I love the way Emma deals with things. She's been such a beautiful, beautiful addition to my world. It's amazing what a character can teach you and how much you can love them for doing so. Sometimes I'll see a girl/woman and think, "That's an Emma," and it makes me incredibly happy.

So . . . have you ever created something guided by your intuition or experienced a moment of random déjà vu?

Peace.

photo credit: crystal ball via photopin (license)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Green-Eyed Jealousy (the artistic kind)

Okay, I admit it: I get jealous sometimes. Not in relationships, not with money, but with creative things. Madly jealous. It started in seventh grade when I noticed a 'friend' had better art skills than me. This feeling built in my gut like I wanted to push her off a cliff and watch vultures rip her fingers off. I've kind of sort of gotten over this, but not completely. There's this new movie coming out called The Age of Adaline about a young woman who receives the fountain of youth from a horrible car wreck (cleverly mixed with a bolt of lighting), and it's got me feeling a bit uneasy. Cool stuff and I should have thought of it! Back five years ago when that whole time travel, non-ending life thing was going around, I did try to come up with something similar, but was fully steeped in Seekers mode. Except, oh yeah, wait, that's totally what I was doing. The Soul Seekers and The Time Seekers are all about time and history and a young woman stuck in the middle of it all; never-ending life and love. Not to brag or anything, but I can't help but notice the similarities to Emma and William in the movie (I mean, the male lead really looks a lot like William. Hot.) But is that a bad thing? No. It's actually really great. My hope is that whoever watches the film will hunger for more . . .  and promptly go out and buy my novels!

 The Holy Grail

Shew, glad I got that off my chest!

So . . . have you ever felt the heavy, sick, evil pangs of jealousy with any person or any thing in your life, and what did you do about it? 

Peace.
 


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Hard work, or hardly working?


 


Well, that was rough. I finished the first round of edits, but way, way later than I would have liked to. Here I was all enthusiastic about doing them, but life just sort of crippled me and—do you know how hard it is to work on a book that semi-parallels your real life? Hard. Real hard. Wouldn't recommend it, and yet the whole process was cathartic. I am going to guess right now that The Love Seekers will end up being the best thing I've written so far and will have more readers and reviews, mainly because it deals with real-life and doesn't try to dodge behind any paranormal trickery. There is paranormal, and I love paranormal, but it doesn't shield the book from basic human truths. The whole thing is more mature because Emma finally has the chance to grow up and make decisions on her own. That was very important to me. I had some folks tell me they couldn't read the first book because it was about a teenage girl, and I completely understood where they were coming from. However, this third book comes from a place that is about facing the nitty-gritty of life, and so with that I hope the readership will span across ages and genres, and hearts. It feels like it will.

Here it is springtime already and over a month of school until summer vacation. Can't believe it. I always go into high production mode right around now because I have to, and I don't know, something happens that pushes me forward. Some emotion or hope. Last year I was working on a story and would take breaks to go sit outside while Henry explored the backyard, and I had Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon on my headphones and a pair of rainbow vision sunglasses. Trippy. It was cloudy that day and when the sun came out during the vocal solo and I was like, whoa . . . Changed me somewhere inside. Blown away. And no, I don't do drugs.

What a tough year this has been. I feel like I've had soul chemo. Something weird is going on in the cosmos—tell me I'm not the only one experiencing the weird and seismic shift? Go ahead and lay it all out. What's been going on with you?

Peace.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Put that money roll back in your pocket, this here fiction is free

Looks like the kindle version of The Time Seekers is free today, so if you haven't downloaded it yet and want to but can't because your index finger is broken, or because you don't have a computer (and if so, how are you reading this??), then I suggest you find a friend with a useable unit and head on over to Amazon and get a copy, or not, it's up to you, but if I were you I'd go ahead and do it because good karma and stuff like that, and no, you don't have to tell me you like it or hate it or anything, but if you do end up downloading the sucker, Sarah McLachlan will save a puppy, and that's just being a good human being.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Is It Summer Yet?

We are this much closer to Spring Break and (can you believe it?) summer. On the last day of school, 2014, I took the the kids for a country drive while singing a rebellious Alice Cooper anthem. They were happy, and I was happy . . . anyway, who needs to wake up early and go to bed early and pack lunches and join the car brigade and do all that homework? Not us. Not me. After arriving home, we set up a backyard picnic and donned our bathing suits for a cool swim. The next thing you know it's fall, and all that brash singing is only a echo on drought-tinged Kansas dust particles. Life moves way too fast.

The good times, when summer was all fresh and sparkly.

Now we've somehow gotten ourselves through another winter and again summer looms. I can barely wait because, even though I love having my free time, you know how much I adore having the kids at home. The truth is, a hole grows in my heart and grow and grows, and I miss them and miss them even though I try like crazy to deny it. I actually ache when they are gone. Okay, maybe I love my kids too much. They don't complete me, but damn near.

This year has seen its considerable hardships, including long homework sessions where I was forced to learn fractions and all that stuff so I could become a better teacher. Julia has had a lot of trouble staying focused, and throw in some difficult fourth-grade homework, and we're talking major frustration. Hate to say it, but Common Core is the worst. I know it's supposed to be more effective in the long run, but dang, can't a kid just do one math sheet without 'regroup' instead of 'borrow' and word problems that defy human logic, such as: If Paul has a dog, and that dog eats one bowl of kibble every morning, how many times does Paul wash his socks? 

It's a joke, but not really.

The point is, I am ready for a break and so are the kids. We can go back to pranking each other and playing Minecraft and taking little day trips. It fills my heart with joy. And dread. The kid next door tries my last nerve. The problem with having my kids at home, is having everyone else's kids at home as well. He knocks, he rings, he bangs on the door. If the door's not locked, he walks in and takes food and then walks out and starts the whole process in five minutes. Yes, I have made it clear that his behavior is unacceptable, but still it goes on. I know some folks believe in free-range parenting, but holy hell, why do they always have to next door to me?

But first we must get through these last remaining days of winter, which doesn't look to be that difficult seeing how it's 70 and awesome outside. Now, this is the kind of winter I like! My apologies to any of you out there still dealing with those yucky 'real' winter conditions. That must be awful.

Some pictures from my exciting life . . .

Coco, the royal queen of all cats (according to Julia). Notice she's sitting on one of Julia's math sheets. Good kitty.

More Coco. Because she's cute.

And fluffy.

A very blurry cardinal.

And my beautiful daughter, who is growing up way too fast.



Thursday, February 19, 2015

Update

Working on edits. Not working on edits. Slacking. Being a lazy jerk. Pretending. Okay, working. Finding song to help me work. Good song. Song ends. Finding another song. Bathroom break. Play with my dog because he looks bored. Eating something bad. Cleaning counter. High kick in the air. What's on TV? Finding my way back to edits. Day's over. Gotta pick the kids up from school.

How's your day?