Saturday, January 30, 2021

Working in the word yard

 Conducted a little experiment last night. Something along the lines of "write drunk, edit sober"

I'm still analyzing the results. I'd written four pages of a romantic short story (a first for me) a day ago. It was a mess. Lots of nuggets, but in deep shit. 

Last night I altered my chemistry significantly and had another run at the task. 

My usually spazzy scribbling became scrupulously semi-Palmer. The Lizard brain never forgets! The mechanical act of writing was entrancing. The results remind me of how we used to write in seventh grade, changing colored ballpoint pens every other line. Pink, light blue, apple green, and purple, flourishes abounding. 

Once I got over the sillys, I wrote four pages of dialogue without any tags. It has a Moonlighting feel, with all the tension and teasing. A phone conversation stemming from a wrong number. 
Ever do that? They sure did. 

Now I have to sit with these pages, shuffle the deck and see what blooms. 

Thursday, January 28, 2021

not 'playing' school


There was an unscripted homeschool day this week. It was supposed to be a distance learning day with the laptop connected to the teacher and his classmates, but something went wrong with the connection and we were on our own.

Over the course of the day, I believe he got more actual instruction than a whole week of laptop learning with its interminable delays, glitching, and the need to accommodate, one by one, a dozen or more other first graders.

A discussion about Harriet Tubman's likeness proposed for twenty-dollar bills lead to frank discussions about Andrew Jackson, the First People (of this entire continent) and closer to home, the Trail of Tears and yes, old people and babies died. Tears of grief.  Tough, but necessary lessons for a six-year-old. All of the truths. 

The anole above shocked both of us skittering around the kitchen floor. Once I captured it, we got a good close look, then let it outside where it belonged just as the sun warmed the back patio. Then some time looking them up on the web getting some details. Reptiles vs. Amphibians. Habitat and habits. The fun science stuff. 

There was reading, writing, math practice. Numbers of things as quantities and values are becoming clear beyond the (forced, in my opinion) mechanics of arithmetic. 
There were no frustrations, tears, or temper tantrums. All in all a good day. With a little bit of prep, I could do this for him all day, every day and we'd both be better off.

Detailed drawings came with a running monologue. I should have recorded them. 

Thursday, January 21, 2021

rain song grace

Every once in a while my phone will deliver the perfect set of music for the moment. 

I didn't plan on taking a lot of time in the stitching chair today. Setting a timer for activities is a New Thing, but when Bailey stayed stretched across my lap for more than sixty seconds, I had to let sleeping cats lay.

I'd just finished working on a place in this piece that was annoying close to the point of coming under the scissors. Been pretty hasty with them recently. That expression "I'll cut a bitch" suits me perfectly. 

But today, the choosing of threads was more deliberate, the stitching slower. Contemplative rather than frantic. The passage smoothed out nicely. I wrapped up a few lines and knots careful not to disturb him while Led Zeppelin's "Rain Song" rolled out of the speaker like oil on troubled water. 


I sure don't own this and I'm deeply grateful they made it.


Wednesday, January 20, 2021

clear the decks for take off


Does anyone else feel the burning need to throw open the windows and gasp for air? 
Fresh clean air?

New beginnings. New directions. 
So much hope.

Have they heard us? 
Can they do what's needed?

Will I ever leave elected officials to their own devices again? 

Not fucking likely.


Tuesday, January 19, 2021

distance learning redux

First thing this morning I had X-rays on my left hand and was given a big fat needle of cortisone and some other stuff in the tendon that is pulled so tight it has a knot in it. It will be a couple weeks before I know if this works. Day surgery is still on the table. Hopefully, by then, I'll have had a COVID vaccination.

Then it was off to Charlie's for distance learning again for the rest of this week. They say until enough staff comes off quarantine. 

The fun comes after classes are over. He's the brightest spot in my day. 

Saturday, January 16, 2021

standstills, handholds and launches


Just clutching at stuff in the odd moment.  I stitch, then I cut away. Kind of aimless. Swirling. Still, something to hold on to when my mind needs a rest.

This reminds me of the Vigil cloth I did so many years ago for Jim. He's been very present in my thoughts lately. This time, I'm keeping vigil for my country.

I'm still editing my book. The manuscript feels like a plowed field in New England. Every time you turn around, new rocks come out of the furrows. A writer's best friend is an eagle-eyed proofreader. 

The cover designer has returned the first draft and I am joyously stupefied at how he's taken my flaky synopsis and turned it into ART. I wish I could show it but there is much marketing mumbo-jumbo about keeping covers on the down-low. I'm still learning this stuff, which is a lot harder than the actual writing.

If you want to be notified about the progress and when it will ultimately be available (Spring-ish?) email me and I promise to send no garbage. 

I found a small clutch of threads that should have gone into the store. I need some of these colors so the "misplacement" was surely a subconscious thing, Like an alligator lurking in the swamp.

And Happy News. A package that left Massachusetts mid December finally arrived!

The weary travelers, crafted by Dee Mallon,  will get tucked away in the Christmas box for next year. 

(I had to rescue them from Salem. She was going to lick them or eat them. I didn't wait to see which)

Tuesday, January 12, 2021


 First thing this morning, I got my COVID test results back. NEGATIVE. So that's out of the way.  This county is in deep shit according to some counts. Now, I'll start beating the bushes for the vaccine.

Then some quality time writing and interacting with distant friends. Gnashing my teeth over the shitshow in DC and the rest of the country with some. Heart to aching heart with others. 

Then I sat down to watch a Christmas gift to myself, "The Eagles Live at the Forum."  The audio discs on my car stereo system have been underwhelming. I can't tell whether it's the production, the stereo system, or my hearing which is getting worse by the day. Last night at work, I could hear the callers through my dual headset but my own voice sounded deep underwater. 

Colin cued up the DVD for me on the system in the living room and the first song was "Seven Bridges Road".  I was quite overcome and had to stop watching. There were errands to run, a day to get on with.  More about that another time.

Wednesday, January 06, 2021


We were out doing errands. Small stuff: air up a soft tire, the cheap thrill of the rock & roll carwash, a soft pretzel and Gatorade from QT. Then a hour in the sunshine. He hung back from the playground. Only half the handful of kids wore masks. He took refuge in art. 

I was getting alerts on my phone about the riots in DC. When we got home, I put on the TV. 

"Nana, is this a movie?"

I did my best to explain. He was scandalized.

"I thought Warnoff and Ossock won and it was over! I'm so sick of politicals.

Us too, kiddo. 



 For the first time since moving here in '93, I'm proud to say I'm from Georgia.

Monday, January 04, 2021

wayward thumbs


There it is. The offending digit. Why it's on strike is beyond me. Lefty really doesn't do a whole lot beyond. this holding move. There's a bit of space bar action when I'm working or writing, all of which has progressed from annoying to painful. 

Over the weekend it went from bad to worse.  So, 1/18 at 8:45am it's time to see a doc about this hand jive.

Sunday, January 03, 2021

time shift

 Everyone seems to be having image trouble.

My problem is not laying my eyes on something that I haven't already taken a picture of. Then there's the whim of my old phone/camera to deal with.

Anyone have an Android phone they love? Which and why? 

(I hate shopping for technology)

I have figured a way around buying DragonSpeak. 

Friday, January 01, 2021

The First


The barrage started around 11:30 and didn't let up until sometime after 1 a.m. . I guess the locals have been saving up their fireworks for a while, or their stimulus checks landed in the nick of time.

 The sad part is that there's never anything to see. They're all noise. Granted, the noises got bigger and louder as the evening wore on, but after midnight, I was well past caring.

I started this late in the day on the last day of 2020.  The new year dawned supremely shitty, weatherwise. Cold, rainy, dim. A perfect day to stay in pjs, stitch a bit, then some writing and gab via zoom. 

As fresh as the year is, I'm still waiting. A lot of people are. Waiting for test results. Waiting for the vaccine. Waiting for jobs, food. It's heartbreaking and appalling.

Waiting for the Georgia runoff election. Waiting to see what fresh hell oozes out of the White House. 

So, this. Something to hold onto while we wait.