ReBoot It’s time to reboot. Am I the Only One Dancing has lain dormant now for quite a while. To be frank, I’ve been in mourning since Clinton lost in November, and I’ve been in shock and dismay since Trump took office in January. While all that was happening, multiple rapid changes were also happening in my personal life. To take stock: My husband lost his old job due to physical disability and got a new, lower paying one My youngest son left for the Navy and is now doing well in Navy Nuclear A school. I have hired two new clinicians for my practice and am getting them up to speed during the slowest time of the year. I have been dealing with some significant trauma reaction of my own due to the nightly news (on every station) and social media (doesn’t matter which one) reminding me of the years when I endured physical, sexual and emotional abuse. Through all that, I was maintaining just enough energy to keep providing good therapy, maintain my marriage and friendships and (barely) keep my household afloat. The week of Independence Day was especially and unusually loud and smoky in my neighborhood this
Everyone has a different writing process. Mine varies, but lately, I’ve developed something of a routine. Sometimes I use haikus to shake the debris from my brain and get it working. It’s a melty dayThe rain freshens my gardenSnow in the shadows Actually, I use haikus a lot to shake the debris from my brain. And usually publish them on my Twitter feed. Which you should follow. Really.
Virginia Wolfe had it right with regard to the difficulty of writing with multiple competing obligations and the lack of a personal space to write in. She used the illustration of Jane Austin, who had the great good fortune of a good income and a supportive family to help her bring her amazing pieces of fine literature to fruition. I am not the only writer to fall prey to this dilemma. Over the course of my adult life, I have found times when I could be extremely productive, and others when I have gone weeks or even months without writing anything of note. Talking to my many friends who write, they report similar issues.
If you’re a fan of my website, you know that, while I’m a huge fan of Jane Austen, I’m no fan to the display of wealth, privilege, and class in general. (If you’re going to buy gorgeous things, buy them on sale or used, fergoshsake!). All Roads Lead to Austen by Amy Elizabeth Smith does a fabulous job of threading the needle between telling an entertaining and compelling story and dealing with the class and wealth and culture issues that inevitably occur when an American professor (a United-States-ian, actually) takes a year to travel through Central and South America discussing Jane Austen’s books with reading groups and students.
I have been so busy today completely reorganizing and categorizing the site (look, see? much easier to navigate, more relevant categories. Really nifty, if I say so myself) that I don’t have time to write a real post. So instead, I’m going to introduce you to my cool friends who make stuff. If you like it, please buy it, and support small business. This post was originally spawned by filkertom (Tom Smith) who writes and performs filk songs (no, not folk, filk — they are based off science fiction and fantasy, done in a folk song style). What he linked to wasn’t actually his (oh, the stars, the STARS! and the link plays music, too,) but in payment for pointing me to it, I’m linking to his ‘buy stuff’ page at his website. Making music costs time and money. Please buy his stuff or subscribe to his streams. And I dare you to watch this video without laughing:
When I put e-books on my library hold list to read and review, I am sometimes completely unaware of what I’ve just ordered. This was very much the case with Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton. I thought I had ordered a cookbook to browse through. Instead, I had ordered a memoir by a cook (a chef, really). Happy, happy mistake. This is a meandering memoir full of foodie-licious details of French and Italian cooking and the sort of personal details that make you either want to put the book down for a moment to absorb what you have just read, or plow forward. I read this, coincidentally, during a weekend devoted to making peace with my family of birth. Hamilton, too, describes such an event, and like mine hers was a fraught mixture of success and failure. Mine, however, is unlikely to be set down as a memoir, certainly not one as mouthwatering as hers. I identified with the craziness of her childhood life, the mistakes of her young adulthood, the settled certainty of later choices and then the even later questioning of that certainty. I grew to care about the character