Saturday, November 30, 2013

I have a new Tarot deck.

My old Tarot deck perished in the fire a few years back along with so many of my things. 

Some things were easily replaced, some not. A Tarot deck is so personal, so integrated with a person's very chi, it is not as easily replaced as a couch, coffee pot or chair. 

I've been looking, but nothing clicked. Today at Golden Temple, I decided to take the leap, and if a mistake, I'll try another time til they feel right. 

Tonight I'll just shuffle and leave them on the altar amidst candles and my ladies. Tomorrow I'll try a spread or two. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Do you love leftovers? I do.

Leftovers part 1. 
My brother, Rick’s, cheesy scalloped potato ham bake was one rich dish among all the other rich dishes, so I only had a few mouthfuls.  Easy to do because I know he and mom will insist I take some home for later.  We set an abundant table and there is always plenty to go home with each of us.

I love potatoes and took several generous scoops in a mason jar to add to my other leftover containers. 
This morning I put a generous portion in my smallest well-oiled iron skillet, cutting the potatoes into smaller portions, I added diced bell peppers, spinach and let it all begin to brown on the stovetop.  Then I beat an egg with a dash of Worcestershire and some Sriracha (red pepper sauce), poured it over the potatoes, and put it into a 350 oven to finish (about 15 minutes).  Yum. 

Leftovers part 2
Sometimes, as above, I want leftovers to be different than the original, but not when it comes to turkey and dressing.  The Friday after thanksgiving I love to duplicate the original.  I pull out a slightly larger iron skillet, butter it and carefully arrange the turkey and dressing with liberal dollops of gravy over them, followed by a portion the 3-cheese broccoli mushroom bake and some sweet potatoes prepared with onions and other spices – no sugar thank you. 

I’ll put this to reheat in the oven around 6 to be ready by 7 and enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner encore. 

Replete, I’ll pour another glass of wine and settle down on the couch to read, write in my journal, listen to music or throw on an old movie – programming is barren on the wasteland tonight. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

I’m grateful for things small and large. You?

Thanksgiving Day 2013. 
 I’m grateful for things small and large.  I’m especially grateful for those we often take for granted.  In our mad dash to get from here to there and back again, we oft forget the things we have that had we not, our lives would be so different.  
I can walk and talk and hear and see and feel and breathe and think and love and more.  When I look around and see those who are missing even one of these things in their lives, I am doubly grateful for my largess. 
I say a quiet thank you for these not-so-simple things we take for granted on an almost daily basis, as I cannot imagine how different my life would be without any one of them.  
An then of course: 
I'm grateful for  family, friends, good health, sunrise, hats, sunset, eyesight, fall's trees and kicking leaves, good food, Cabernet, dark chocolate, cold dos Equis, music, warm fire, candles, rainy days, martinis, sunny days, art, books, corny movies, poetry, my cat Jazmine, working from home, parades, Obsession perfume, red lipstick, leggings, l'oreal, red nail polish, friend green tomatoes, shoes high and low, pizza, etc., etc., etc...
How about you?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Grateful for small things. What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

This morning I am grateful for the trees that determinedly grow in spite of humanity’s pavements, roadways, pollution and harvesting.  
fall yellow leaves 6
Although my neighborhood is urban, there are so many trees, and this day I am doubly grateful for the change of seasons that lets me run childlike through all the golden leaves strewn along the sidewalk just kicking leaves. 
yellow orange tree

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Gratitude 11/26/13 What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on all we have in our lives for which we are grateful.  I have so much, and I often reflect on my largess in my Blog.  
Thanks John Archibald for asking us what we’re grateful for yesterday on a FaceBook post.  His question gave me the idea for posting a gratitude theme on FaceBook and Twitter for the rest of the week. 
So although this Blogpost is fresh (I promised 1 new Blogpost a day throughout November), I’ll be reposting some past Blogs of mine and others along with some and famous quotes, as my personal Homage to Thanksgiving.  I hope you do the same.leaves yellow dark path
Today, I am grateful that I’m walking 5 miles again on a daily basis – yay.  It was a cold wet walk this morning, but I did it.  Hindsight is 20/20.  I wonder if I should have put up with the occasional swollen and achy knee, but no I had meniscus repair surgery and it’s been a long slow heal; however, 
I am Grateful that I had:
  • A health insurance policy that covered the entire surgery.
  • An excellent surgeon referred to me by a friend.
  • An employer that offered sick leave.
  • A friend to take me to Brookwood Hospital and drive me home.
  • A sturdy constitution that required no drug more potent than aspirin for pain.
I missed my morning ‘constitutional’.  There is nothing like walking at the break of day, before the cars’ traffic noise and pollution steal the freshness from the air.  I’m back and I am beyond grateful.
Mañana y’all.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Grateful NaNoWriMo is over for me & I’ve got a good first draft

Finished NaNoWriMo yesterday - Wordcount 51,414/ NaBloPoMo continues (25 for 25) 
I am grateful that NaNoWriMo is over for me for this year, and I have accomplished my objective.  I’ve got a first draft with an ending that leaves room for a sequel.  As I do with any written thing I’m working on, I’ll be printing it out double spaced with wide margins and putting it on my favorite blue Lucite clipboard.  I’ll let it lie until after Thanksgiving when I can take a red pen to it a little more objectively.  I’ll probably email it to the UPS store for printing as it’s less expensive than using up my own printer ink. desk edit 2
As mentioned yesterday, I’m shifting gears to other projects, although I’ll continue the blog a day thru November 30.
John Archibald mentioned he’s working on a gratitude post the Thanksgiving Day which got me to remembering various blog posts and published essays of my own on that very topic.
I might do the same, but as Thanksgiving falls on throwback Thursday, I planned on reposting an essay on gratitude I originally published in 2009 on the now defunct PavoMag.  I'll see what time permits.
Mañana y’all.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Day 24 3500+ words of 'real writing' & 1 Blog Today NaNo / NaBlo

Day 24 of NaNoWriMo Wordcount 50,300/ NaBloPoMo (24 for 24) 
Sunday is my fun day…, and although I don’t really have any more Dilbertville Manic Mondays in my life, tomorrow begins Thanksgiving’s home stretch prep with all its incumbent chores, and check lists. 
Also, during this NaNoWriMo marathon, I’ve neglected too many other writing and painting objectives on my ToDo list.  Those neglected items stand a better chance of garnering income than the fledgling first draft of a novel I’ve just raced through.  I’m entering my current word count to register my ‘finished/winner status’; printing out a triple spaced copy to let cool off before beginning my red pen editing/rewrite process the week after Thanksgiving; and moving on to the neglected items on my list.  I’ve already taken care of # 1 on my list:
  1. Query one of my Children’s’ picture books to half a dozen agents.  (done)perle with Brie Sabrina cropped
  2. Follow up with the editor at Victoria Magazine to check the scheduling of my essay for their 2014 calendar.  Finalize, photograph and post to Amazon 10 paintings that are in various stages of completion.
  3. Monetize my WordPress Blog.
  4. Contact 10 affiliate markets on my list.
  5. Finish building my website beyond the starter page I threw up a year ago.
And so much more…
Excerpt from Murder is a Primary Color:The Ghost
The sun could not chase away the chill Jade felt.  She shivered again.  The prospect of mind probe with that man was not a happy one.  James was on his phone already calling in the particulars to his captain, asking for permission for a probe and trace implant in case of escape.  It would take at least 24 hours for permission to probe, but the trace implant was an automatic.  He would try to expedite it if he could.  He could only hold Kane for 48 hours without some hard evidence he told her.  "Ghosts can't testify and she doesn't seem to know anything about how this happened.
Jade was walking back to the house, Sabrina draped across her shoulder face forward as she stroked her white fluff of hair just under her chin.  "Not bad old girl, not bad at all." her thoughts went out.
Hmmmmm, Brie purred, what happened to 'old woman'?
"Don't know, old girl, she seems to have left us."
The kitchen staff watched gape-mouthed from the kitchen doorway.  As Jade approached she sent calming thoughts and then stopping at their door, she smiled at them until she received tentative smiles back.  "It's OK she reassured them.  This is my good old girl, Brie.  She won't hurt anyone unless they plan on harming me.  Mr. Kane is under suspicion of wrong doing.  Please go about your business and don't leave the premises in case we need to ask more questions.  Thank you."  She walked past them to the hall and up the stairs to the room where that which was once Mrs. Kane paced.
Jade sat in the chair by the fire and waited, stroked Brie and prepared.  Mrs. Kane walked over and sat in the chair opposite her.  "Did he do it?  Did he kill me?  And how can I be dead?  I'm sitting here, you can see me, hear me, and I don't understand."
"Life has many levels.  Our bodies are just one of many dwelling places for that life.  You are life, some people call it soul and right now, you still have the form of your most recent body.  You never experienced your death, so you still project this form.  Perhaps when we solve your situation, you will let go and grow and assimilate all your lives and choose to be born again.  Perhaps you'll travel the stars awhile and visit the planets, and sing awhile with the universe.  There are many options before you now - in many ways broader than the life of your once corporeal body."
"I want to believe that.  Would you help me?  Right now all I know is, I'm dead and nothing more, and I’m scared"
"Of course, I'll help you.  For now though, I need a little more help from you."
Jade prepared as she faced the ghost of Mrs. Kane.
Mañana y’all.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Day 23 Again only 2500 words & 1 Blog Today NaNo / NaBlo

Day 23 of NaNoWriMo Wordcount 46,777/ NaBloPoMo (23 for 23) 
Rainy day view from my aerie
So far, so good.  The Blog a day is pretty much a rambling journal entry with excerpts from my WIP (work in progress aka my NaNo Novel).  Piece of cake for someone used to journaling daily.  I just have to remember not to err on the side of TMI.  I can also schedule it to drop around 7pm when most of my followers might actually see and read it.  Still have way more followers on my WordPress blog (265) which I post identically to my Blogspot blog (25).  No clue, why. First of the year, I'll probably upgrade WordPress.
Keeping up my momentum on the novel’s wordcount is not as easy, but I’m still ahead of schedule.  I keep reminding myself to just write, just write, just write.  I fell 1000 short of the 3500 words I wanted to do yesterday (Friday) and again today, but I have lots to do that does not involve writing and if I get back to 3500 on Sunday, I’ll  cross the 50,000 word finish line even if I have not really finished the novel.  
I have, as I think I mentioned earlier, written the last chapter however thin it appears right now.  I saw it and had to get it down then and there and then go back to driving my plot and characters toward that endgame. 
I should have run errands yesterday while the weather was mere wet, today is damned cold, and I’d rather stay in with my little heater whirring away, but gotta stock up for Thanksgiving, etc.
Excerpt from Murder is a Primary Color:Kane
James was listening, grim-mouthed, and the ghostly apparition just sat and wept.  A noise at the door alerted them all that they had another listener.  James was up in a flash, out the door and down the stairs in hot pursuit of Kane.
Jade, close behind him, sent out her mind touch to follow Kane and reach out to him and find something that would make him traceable in case he escaped.  Brie leaped to the window and the white lioness leaped to the ground and brought the big man down.
A deafening roar shook the trees and birds scattered before the ancient threat.  The maid and cook ran from the kitchen to the back to see what was going on and were aghast.  Mr. Kane lay face up in utter terror and upon his chest was the small white cat they had fed earlier. 
James came up and Sabrina leapt aside to watch.  Kane stared, first in confusion then anger overtook him.  "Illusion, damned, illusion" and his eyes met the cats and there was a barrier to further examination.  Then he raised his eyes as James cuffed him, and he saw Jade and his icy stare hardened more.  "Witch!  You don't know who you're dealing with.  You just don't know."
Jade's schooled stone face belied the chill of icy cats’ paws down her back.  This was just a dance of fencers, a feint and parry and the battle as yet not joined.  She knew it in her bones.
Mañana y’all.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Day 22 Just 2500 words today & 1 Blog Today NaNo / NaBlo

Day 22 of NaNoWriMo Wordcount 44,277/ NaBloPoMo (22 for 22) 
Writing on Novel was a little slow this morning in part due to the bottomless champagne glass at the McMinn Clinic last night, but meeting a friend for a dos Equis at Jim ‘n’ Nicks and perhaps the glass of Cabernet I poured when I got home have something to do with it. 
Anywho, I got up poured a cup of coffee, put a Stauffer’s Spinach soufflé on the counter to thaw, grabbed the tiny tablet-sized TV from its kitchen corner and climbed back into my warm bed.  Sipping coffee, I alternately watched the Today Show and along with Jazmine watched the crazy squirrels bouncing on unsteady tree branches just outside the windows.
I can only stay in bed so long, but although brief it was a nice idyll and out of my normal routine.  I turned the oven on to 375, preheated my smallest iron skillet which I’d smeared with bacon drippings.  There’s nothing like the aroma of bacon.  You can use butter or any oil you choose, but I happen to love bacon fat for certain things like cornbread or cooking breakfast.  Everytime I cook bacon, I transfer the drippings to a small mason jar in the fridge.spinach souffle jpg
The soufflé was thawed enough to cut up and fit in the skillet.  I don’t and won’t own a microwave.  I don’t and won’t cook in those plastic containers that frozen box food comes in.  I’ve turned down the only coffee in sight if it was served in Styrofoam, never used Teflon or other coated cookware.  I’ve always been this way which made many of my friends laugh at what they thought were my peculiar obsessions back in the day.  Now with all the stories circulating about dangers of microwave cooking and plastic containers and all the other toxins we consume daily, many of them have jumped on my bandwagon.
Excerpt from Murder is a Primary Color:Virtual Search (cont’d)
 Hurley turned to Janet and smiled, "Some hunky guide - Don't suppose we can have a Stephanie next time?  Let's eat, I'm starved."
Janet laughed, stuck the flashdrive into her Levi’s watch pocket, texted the cab service, and they left arm in arm to find a pizza and discuss their findings.  They rode in silence down the lift to the tram-stair to the ground and the waiting servocab.  "I better call Jade" remarked Janet as the car seat formed around her like a glove and secured her gently in place.  She spoke to the phone in her lap "phone Jade face to face"  the panel in front of her lit and a disembodied voice said "Accessing".
Jade's face appeared.  "Hello Janet, what did you find?"
"Lot's, whatever you do, don't let Kane out of your sight.  Jade, there's lots but here's the nut:  One, all victims are women; two, all had husbands, estranged or divorced or just out of town at the time.  And Jade three.  Three, all the men came out of nowhere just nowhere and they're all gone with no trace - nor forward except your Mr. Kane.  If he gets away, you'll never find him.  We're going to follow a few loose ends, but that's the nut."
Mañana y’all.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Day 21 Another 3500+ words & 1 Blog Today NaNo / NaBlo

Day 21 of NaNoWriMo Wordcount 41,777/ NaBloPoMo (21 for 21) 
Made my wordcount for the day on NaNo anything I write this afternoon, I'll tack on to tomorrow's count. Friday's need all the help they can get.  Might not be much as I'm going to the McMinn Clinic's open house "Botox, Bubbles and Bling" - for the Bubbles and Bling, not the Botox as I'm pretty content with my 64 yr old face.  Shifting gears now to Throwback Thor's Day and Queries. 
It’s Throw back Thor’s Day and I haven’t posted any retro pictures yet on Facebook.  I’ve joined some of my friends who post old pics from the way we were way back then – such fun (using powerpoint to compose the collage).
Throw Back Thor's Day 10/24/13
Throw Back Thor's Day 10/24/13
I started posting because since the fire in 2011, I’ve been scanning all the photos that we rescued soaking wet from the firemen’s thorough dousing before they’re faded beyond recall.
It was a 3 alarm fire and I’m still amazed that we were able to rescue as much as we did.  The fire was on a Saturday morning, and although I did a brief walk through with one of the firemen, my friend across the hall died in the fire and I just wanted the comfort of my mother’s home that day.  My cat and I spent the next 6 months there.  Moms are wonderful.
The Monday after the fire, my brother and I went back the following Monday to see what we could salvage.  It was apparent that thieves who prey on others misfortunes had already been rifling through things, but the trunks with all the old pics were in a corner of the bedroom which had half the roof and beams caved in upon it.
Tommy came over with his crowbar to pry open the warped closet doors; a sweet older street person volunteered to help and could he have one of my beers.  He probably saved my brother’s bad back some trauma by doing most of the heavy lifting.  He wanted nothing but the initial beer I handed him while we were taking a break, but I got a 12pack and $20 cash back at Wilson’s market next door to hand him when we were ready to leave.  He still waves hi whenever I see him in the neighborhood on my walks. 
Excerpt from Murder is a Primary Color:Virtual Search
The servo-cab eased away leaving Janet and Hurley on the curb leading to the Mayax University Library.  Janet loved this place.  Spire upon spire of glass and granite, like strong delicate fingers, reached through the very clouds to the heavens.  Janet and Hurley immediately hit the tram walk and then the lift, side by side, looking down as the ground fell away below them, and the servo-cab became one more dark green speck merging with the silver ribbon of roads that lead everywhere.  The Library entrance was a line of demarcation:  Through the prism of doors lay a soft expectant silence.  The din of the city hushed behind them by their noiseless closing.
Janet knew the way, down hushed halls of mauve and blue and silver hues and reflections of themselves on mirrored walls.  The private room she had called ahead and reserved was keyed to her prints alone - no lines to mess with - a privilege of faculty.  She touched her hand to the silver panel by the silver door, it glowed and the door parted.  She and Hurley walked in and sat at the control panel.  Hurley started punching contact keys, and Janet spoke "Computer, program being fed with parameters for a search.  Priority is A-A1-A, clearance is WWIII, all access, planet wide.  Request holographic mode with guide.  Please check voice print and proceed."
"Working", came the disembodied voice a second before materializing into a very attractive fair-haired male of about 25 who said, "Voice-print identified, verified, access approved.  Good morning, Janet, I am Stephos, we can proceed."
And proceed they did, wending their way through circuits and corridors, seeing images of people and places, the Kanes and others.  At each point asking for data to be added to file for later hard copy.  It seemed like days, but it was only two hours before they were through.  Real time suspended when virtual time took over.  They had what they needed and the hard copy was just printing as they leaned back and bid adieu to Stephos., "Thank you Stephos, please save the entire program to my voice print and access code," Janet finished.
"Program is saved.  Hard copy is generated. Guide terminating."  He winked out and room became just another room again.
Mañana y’all.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Day 20 Another 3500+ words & 1 Blog Today NaNo / NaBlo

Day 20 of NaNoWriMo Wordcount 38,277/ NaBloPoMo (20 for 20) 
Wednesday is hump day for my buds still working in Dilbert’s realm, but it’s just another great day for me.  I still can’t believe I lived long enough to retire on social security, and wonder of all wonders, it is enough to pay all the bills with a bit left over for fun. small paintings studio
I say retired, but I’m not one to just up and quit doing; I’m just doing what I want to do instead of what others want me to do.  Now all those things I did on the side such as my writing, painting, and photography are my primary occupations.  I’m loving it, especially in this studio/office I call my aerie.  Three large windows let it so much light, ad the French doors to the living room let me watch the TV if I want while never leaving my desk.
I finished one small e-book and uploaded it to Amazon’s e-pub platform.  I’ve been working on queries for my children’s picture book. I’ve been painting a series of small paintings on rescued wood that will probably be on sale the first of the year.
Right now, I’m determined to finish a novel during National Novel Writing Month ( and post a Blog a day.  So far so good.
Excerpt from Murder is a Primary Color:The first Battle 
Jade lifted the bottle from its satin nest, and set it on the table between Sabrina and Mnemosyne head only - drawingher.  She broke its seal, and removed the stopper and was pushed back into the chair by the sheer force of the hot, raw rage that roiled forth from the bottle.  It assaulted her senses like a physical force.
She kept it at bay but felt it’s hot pressure against the personal shield that surrounded her.  Holding her protection close, she mentally wended her way through the maze of emotion.  How can one explain the journey of the mind self?  She entered the bottle and was in a room, a long and dark room.  She walked in this darkness and one by one, she lifted curtains, pulled them down, folded them, smoothing them and laying them one by one beside the path she walked. 
Step by careful step, Jade walked until midway there was something just on the edge of vision. It lurked in wait and then was there full blown before her.  Its vile and bilious words were spewed slime and acids against her protective bubble, and it tore at her mind with hot tongs. 
Then Jade heard a roar and there between them was a star-white moon-eyed lioness.  Her roar became many icy shards speeding toward their mutual enemy.  He cringed and took a step back.  She roared again, and the darts issued forth again - white fire from a dragon's mouth - each finding its mark.  The lioness paced back and forth before Jade, pushing him back and back. 
Be gone, she roared.  Desist!  Go back to the hole of hell from whence you came.  She roared again, and white-hot flames licked out and caught at the fringes of his black cloak. 
Jade began to chant the words learned in childhood, words that till now were but words.  She watched as each word she mouthed and each rune she drew in the air became blue-white shards of stardust that flew toward the enemy.  He grew smaller; he was fading, but not finished.  He screamed forth black words of acid venom that met hers in mid-air but the diamond shield did not yield. 
The Lioness roared again spat forth white flame that pushed through and the black reeking words, and he was lost in the wail of fear that followed him down a long black path that closed behind him.
Shaking but determined, Jade continued through the maze and the rage ahead was ebbing.  Curiosity and then hope glimmered ahead and then she could sense a desperate plea.  "Oh, please, who's there?  Please, please, find me.  Over here, please help me.  I'm here."
Mañana y’all.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Day 19 Another 3500+ words writ & 1 Blog Today NaNo / NaBlo

Day 19 of NaNoWriMo Wordcount 34,710/ NaBloPoMo (19 for 19) 
Tuesday and the writing is going smoothly.  At this pace, I will cross the 50,000 word finish line before this time next week.  I sit and write every morning before I let the household chores that literally shout to be done get through to me. 
No company coming until next week, so I’m letting some things go.  I really should have bought more box food (lean cuisine is my fav).  Cooking from scratch, which is my usual modus operandi, is a messy business and the kitchen currently is messier than my messy brother or dead ex’s ever was.  Sigh.  I’ll have to tune in the Doctor’s at 2 in the kitchen to entertain me as I plow thru the dirty dishes, as it will probably take an hour to restore order. 
souffle n wineTonight, it’ll be Stouffer’s Spinach soufflé and a glass of red wine.  That’ll be just one baking dish, fork and glass.  I only cook in glass and in a real oven, so I remove the food from it’s supposedly safe plastic container into my covered glass dish and put it in my oven at 350. 
While the soufflé cooks for about an hour, I’ll sip my first glass of cabernet and print out my day’s scribbling.  It helps me to know where I left off and get a feel for my story’s trajectory, and I might even start writing longhand toward tomorrows wordcount.
Excerpt from Murder is a Primary Color:Playing 'just a stray' 
Brie mewed at the back door and was answered by the cook. "Oh, and what have we here?  Well aren't you the pretty one? Jenna, look-it this pretty white puff ball.  Purr, is it?  I bet you want a bite don't you love?"
Brie preened and postured and walked right up to the cook and looked up into kind the brown eyes and then turned to the maid and looked and meowed again.  Hmmm she thought - open as open could be, and they like cats too, she mused as she looked at the generous plate the cook set before her.  A coldness entered the far door in the form of a male human just as she was inspecting the cook's offerings.
"What is this?"  He scowled in Brie's direction.  She felt the cold icy closedness of his essence, and resisted the urge to look him in the eye.  He must not know she is more than just a stray cat.  She blithely ignored him and gave full attention to the plate before her, eating with well-feigned relish as she thought a hungry stray would.
"Oh sir, just a stray kit come to the back door.  We're just givin' her a few scraps."
"Hmph", he continued to stare at Brie, "She doesn't look like much of a stray to me."
Brie purred at him and then risked it all.  She purred loudly and turned her sliver green eyes to look into the black heavy hooded slits that stared at her with such dislike.  Brie maintained her blank cat, just a cat facade of mind.  The human relaxed a little, but his thought reached her, as he turned to talk to the cook, she could momentarily see the mind behind the eyes.  It was black and swirling and murky.  Brie shivered inwardly, she dare not let her findings register.  This was unlike anything she had ever met. 
As the cook examined the menu he had handed her for tonight's dinner, Brie swiftly exited and was gone before they turned. 
"Curious," the cook mumbled, as she closed the door carefully leaving the food outside, "I'll just leave it in case the kit comes back."
Brie took to the large old Magnolia outside and climbed to where she knew Jadeah waited.  She leaped onto the sill and through the window and landed silently, a puff of star-white fur on a stark white carpet.
James started and looked at Jade, but she was deep in meditation as she gazed at thebrie sabrina w jade 2 box before her.  Jade was aware of Brie and waited as the cat gracefully leaped again onto the chair opposite her, circled once then sat sphinx-like, paws forward, eyes alert and ready to protect.  "Hello, old woman,"  Jade smiled and eyes met eyes that blinked once in acknowledgement.
I am safe now, Jade thought.  Well Brie, here we go.
Mañana y’all.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Day 18 Another 3500+ Writ & 1 Blog Today NaNo / NaBlo

Day 18 of NaNoWriMo Wordcount 31,155/ NaBloPoMo (18 for 18) 
Mondays at home are so much better than a Monday at the office – I remember them well.  Although on my last job before retiring I worked from Tuesday thru Friday, so I missed out on those manic Mondays. 
Writing is going smoothly. I’m ahead of schedule and characters are shaping up, and I’ve written the last chapter which is so thin it’ll take considerable fleshing out when I get there next week some time.perle as jade
Excerpt from Murder is a Primary Color:Jade
The reflection in the mirror looks odd to me.  Every now and then, I seem to go to the extreme.  The black-haired reflection wore black every day now, be it a cat-suit with cloak, a skirt with leggings, shoes and/or boots, jeans and a black silk poets blouse, with no relief save a save a belt, now gold, now silver around a waist so slender, the glint of precious metal small relief for such a somber canvas.
Men lean toward fast and flashy cars; women go for clothes or in extremis, the hair.  We cut and color arrange and rearrange, swear we don't care and begin again.  I wonder though at our battle with gray and everything else.  Why should it be a battle.  I want to reach out and embrace nature.  Right now the wheel has not yet reached darkest night.
Last night was Winter's reminder "not yet, my turn still".  The old woman won't let the maiden hurry her along.  We need them both.  We are them both.  The trinity of woman is maiden, woman, crone.  We celebrated our trinity openly before the Christians stole our days and ways and renamed them for their own purpose; before they pointed their collective finger and declared all that is natural vile and evil. 
Because the matriarchs of the Wyse would not bend knee nor submit to inferiority, would not be quiet or still knowing what we knew.  And one by one they slew us and others making weapons of their god's name and driving it into innocent's hearts.  Yes one by one in the thousands they slew, and far too few flew.  We hied to cover and nurtured our own and our ways and now we are strong again in numbers and powers as the new age dawns and we look at the Christian's trail of blood as we hear the earth in throes of agony for the harm done her.  Our time is coming again.  When it does, we'll sort through the rubble and heal where and how we can. 
Mañana y’all.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Day 17 Another 3500+ words & 1 Blog Today NaNo / NaBlo

Day 17 of NaNoWriMo Wordcount 27,655/ NaBloPoMo (17 for 17) 
Today is Sunday and any writing that gets done will get done in the afternoon as I don’t alter my Sunday rituals for anything less than an emergency.  NaNo does not constitute an emergency even if I am still a few words behind schedule. 
I buy the early edition of the Sunday Birmingham News Saturday afternoon on the way home from IMG_2424[1]wherever I happen to be.  That way when I get up Sunday, I can head straight to the kitchen to put on the coffee.  Next as my impatient cat, Jazmine, keeps reminding me it’s treat day and she gets a can of Fancy Feast in her treat bowl – the rest of the week she eats kibble.  She knows when it’s Sunday, just like she knows if I’m even thinking of getting some yogurt out of the fridge.
While she munches, I pour my first cup of coffee and sit at the kitchen table to sort my paper by sections. All ads are first to see if there are any irresistible bargains out there for next week.  These are followed by the funnies, parade, living, and so on ending with section A (supposedly the news, but it always seems to have football above the fold – sigh).  It’s a poor imitation of what it once was even 5 years ago, but it’s a paper and a paper has always made Sundays complete.
The power was out this morning, so I am grateful for my little TV that is my kitchen TV and whose battery thankfully is always fully charged.  As I peruse the paper, I watch first the Today Show followed by CBS Sunday Morning.  Today was mostly remembrance of JFK assassination.  So sad to relive an event I remember well even though I was only 13 when it happened.
Back to NaNo.  I figure if I keep up the 3500 words a day, I’ll cross the 50,000 word finish line on November 24, which is my plan as company starts arriving Monday, the 25th for the Thanksgiving holidays.  Anything I write beyond that is gravy.  
Excerpt from Murder is a Primary Color:
The House
I went to the house first to drop my bags and get my bearings and eat my lunch on the back terrace overlooking the sea.  It was a large affair.  Nanna Seti had told me much about it and once or twice we had visited it and walked from room to room. 
It had been empty a long time and the echoes of pasts lived here were so dim as to be negligible.  Yes, this old house so far away from the city and so near the sea would do me well for now and years to come. 
It was like a small fort sitting on its own 10 acres of dense forest and rock - totally defendable.  The thought startled me. It's such a shame that one must always consider that in our plans - defense.  But, I would not argue.  The House had a long history as a place of refuge and escape for everything from pirates, patriots to slaves and then we the Wyse.  History has proved time and again that such is a necessity however calm the current waters.  Be the cataclysm be man or nature, this House will serve me and mine well.
The cellars were actually catacombs like fingers radiating out under the ground from the main house.  They would be further enlarged.  The old generators would be refurbished or new ones built.  The library of knowledge would be updated and enlarged and converted to holodisks lest the Clouds fall.  Foodstuffs and seeds stored in glass and plexibins would once again line the deeply recessed shelves in the storage areas.
This house, now my home will become one of many in the worldwide net known only to the inner most Council.  Whatever comes we will have the means to survive and rebuild unless the earth is rent asunder and all our souls are hurled to the heavens whatever lies beyond.
I left the house in good hands; I should say paws.  I could see in mind’s eye, Brie prowling from room to room acquainting herself with our new home. 
Mañana y’all.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Day 16 Another 3500+ words & 1 Blog Today NaNo / NaBlo

Day 16 of NaNoWriMo Wordcount 24,155/ NaBloPoMo (16 for 16) 
Today is Saturday, and I wrote late into last night and picked back up again from 6 a.m. this morning coffee in hand to meet my word count for the today.  I’m writing this Blog and scheduling it to post tonight at 7 p.m., as I’m picking Mom up for breakfast this morning around 9:30 and it’s almost 9 now.  She and I are off to Cocina Superior at Brookwood Mall for a Mexican breakfast of bacon and egg tacos, thick creamy black beans, fried breakfast potatoes and lots of their smoky hot salsa. 
Maybe I should call it Brunch since Mom always has one Bloody Mary and I have 2 or 3 Mimosas and 2 or 3 cups of coffee.  Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s are $2 or they were the last time we were there.  They only open early on Saturday and Sunday for breakfast/brunch.  We always take the third table by the window, so we can watch the activity on the street: walkers, runners, gardeners tending the potted plants and sweeping the sidewalks, and the food wagon lady delivering her home-cooked fare to the wait staff up and down the street.fall yellow leaves 6
By the time we’re finished eating, the stores will be open and we plan on getting a little bit of Christmas shopping and/or looking done. 
I probably will not get back to my desk for NaNo
Excerpt from Murder is a Primary Color:
Leaving for Mayax University
Just north of town west of that awesome concrete ribbon that circled the city, called the Loop, rose Mayax University.  It was a city unto itself.  From a hard-packed rocky floor where once you could see for miles, rose man-made edifices of stone and glass and walkways and trees grew where none had grown before
It loomed in the distance as I drove in from the mountains.  The new land rover handled well.  Father had surprised with it this morning.  "So you can always get home, no matter the terrain.  Do well daughter."  He took my shoulders with his large gentle hands and kissed me on the forehead, turned and went back through the house. 
I knew he would go to his chair on the back porch to smoke his pipe and contemplate the mountain.  As I watched his tall lean figure walking away, I sensed an odd mixture of emotions: love, fear, loss all a jumble - so hard to sort. 
Nanna patted my arm.  "No worry Jadee, no worry.  He is a good man, but just a man.  He never understood you had to go away and now you are back a day and again you must go away.  You were his favorite you know - go everywhere with him, hunt and ride and climb trees.  He is so proud and loves you so much.  Send him thoughts of love and visit when you can.  You can do no more."
"I always felt loved Nanna; I'll be back as often as I can.  I promise."
Then it was mother's turn.  "Don't do guilt little one.  You are a good daughter, and we are as good a parents as we know how to be.  Letting go is part of parenting, but knowing it does not make it easier.  You belong to yourself and to your destiny.  Always remember this.  We bear children, but we do not own them.  We share a place and space in time with them, nurture, teach and love them and let them be the best that they can be and that can only happen if they are free. Be free.  We all know you love us.  We will come to see you soon in your new house.  Nanna and I have some things to bring you.   Be well."
I climbed in the rover top down and was off bag and baggage and a sack of lunch down the twisting path to the silver ribbon that would take me to the city and the House.
Mañana y’all.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Day 15 Another 3500 +10 words & 1 Blog Today NaNo / NaBlo

Day 15 of NaNoWriMo Wordcount 20,610/ NaBloPoMo (15 for 15) 
Enjoyed visiting all the shops at PepperPlace last night, particularly chatting with the folks and some of the actors at the Terrific New Theater who were excited about their upcoming shows.  girl on ribbon
Stopped by Aero Joe’s (Pilates-yoga-aerial) on the way back to the car and watched a young instructor do amazing things on what looked like a large ribbon suspended from the ceiling. I have a card for a free Pilates mat class.
From there I drove over to Frontera Ironworks for what was going to be a short visit, but I fell into several good conversations (football was never mentioned!).  A couple at the buffet table joined me at one of the hand wrought tables with bar stools we fell to chatting about education, special needs children and of course Obama care.
Heading to the car through the back door, I met several young men sitting around a large firepit 1open fire pit and took their offer of the empty chair in the circle.  Discussing the ironworks, lead us to fire, then to ritual, the potential for good and evil in each of us and the role of choice, followed by life and death, the existence of the soul and reincarnation.  Another good conversation (football was never mentioned!!!)
Good thought-provoking conversations always leave me invigorated, so writing was a breeze this morning.  I easily logged my 3500 words this morning, wrote my Blog and again scheduled it to drop at 7pm this evening, and moved on to the agent query letter for the children’s book.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Day 14 Wrote 3500 words & 1 Blog Today NaNo / NaBlo

Day 14 of NaNoWriMo Wordcount 17,100/ NaBloPoMo (14 for 14) 
Today I’m back on track to catching up.  3500 words written by 2 pm.  Blog written and Sitting Front Porch Cover 2scheduled to post around 7 p.m. tonight. 
I’m shifting gears the rest of day to work on a queries for a Children’s book I’ve been working on.  I just got a fresh list of Agents from Writer’s Digest and I’m excited by how many listings there were looking for a new picture book. 
I think I have a unique Niche for this book. I so hope I’m right.
Query letters are a real pain, so I’ll draft and redraft today, but it won’t go out until tomorrow or even Monday.  I’ve found that I need to let letters and other writing rest a day or two, print it out and look at it with fresh eyes and a red editing pen just as if it were a paying editing job.
Gotta Stop by 4 to get ready to leave by 5 for PepperPlace Annual open house tonight. Fun party and can’t miss stopping by Frontera as well.
Manana y’all.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Day 13 Wrote no words today except this Blog NaNo/ NaBlo

Day 13 of NaNoWriMo Wordcount still 15600/ NaBloPoMo (13 for 13) 
Today is mIMG_2389[1]y weekly day out with my mom, and that is more important to me than any wordcount.  I’ll catch up in the next few days, but today belongs to us.  
Macy’s came to pick up the chair and ottoman she bought barely a week ago.  They don’t make things like they used to. Macy’s, to their credit, didn’t argue.  They picked up the defective furniture and credited her account.
From there we headed out to the Salvation Army Store on Green Springs. Wednesday everything in the store is 25% off and all clothes with a white tag is a further 50% off. 
From there we headed to Acapulco Mexican restaurant, that that not only has good food, but on Wednesday has two for one on menu items A thru L all day long. We both enjoyed ice cold dos Equis and such ample portions of food that we both took home enough food for lunch tomorrow.
From there we hit Aldi’s, Academy Sports, Walmart, Hobby Lobby, Big Lots, happy hour at Bone Fish Grill for margaritas and Bang Bang Shrimp, etc., etc., and finally stopped off at Publix on the way home to pick up a few essentials including beer an wine and got back to mom’s around 7.  I got to my abode a bit ago with a leftover shrimp for Jazmine – her due for my being out all day. 
Now I’ve put the new heated throw I got at Walmart on the couch and Jazmine and I are going to enjoy the warmth while she does her ablutions followed by belly up snores and I read a few more chapters of Hild.
I’ll resume my writing on my NaNo novel tomorrow after a long chilly walk in the park.
Manana y'all.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Day 12 Wrote 2000 words & 1 Blog Today NaNo/ NaBlo

Day 12 of NaNoWriMo Wordcount 15600/ NaBloPoMo (12 for 12)
Aimed for 3500 today, but fell short.  I logged a hard fought 2000 though before heading out to run essential chores.
First up were items due at library today or I’d be charged a dollar a day each – fridge redonetoo much with 12 movies checked out and several books.  Run by my P.O. box to check for incoming and mail the car payment.  Annoys me that I can’t pay it on line because the bank that holds the note won’t set me sign up unless I have an account at their bank.  No thanks, I’ll mail it.  Grocery store for coffee, an essential of life.  Golden Temple for Essiac tea ingredients – don’t ask.
No momentum for writing when I got home, so I spent more than a few hours doing my monthly refrigerator and kitchen thorough cleaning which I've skipped the last 2 months (major ewww).  Completing such a chore gives me the satisfaction of finishing something start to finish. Much needed feeling when writing a novel in spits and starts.
This morning’s writing was spent on the some background.
As the century waned in the decade of 90, more and more seeking enlightenment found it.  Those who believed achieved each to his or her own dreams.  Second sight for many became second nature - the gift held peril and obligation.  The Wyse and ordinary people had been seeking and finding the truths and marrying like-minded and like-gifted, and by the year 2020, their children were being born with the inherent gifts and their parents were at once thrilled and afraid. 
Also born in those days was a mounting fear of those with so-called unnatural powers.  So the parents of the psy-child did not brag, did not speak of it and kept the children home to protect them and teach them control.
Hidden and quiet they went about their lives as normally as possible.  Time passed and things were calm, but tense.  Only among their own were they free to be themselves.  And so there were coded emails and actual letters crossing the country; there were coded ads in the digital and print papers, followed by phone contact, then mind as one by one they identified each other.  Their desires were the same.  To live a good and fruitful life and leave behind something better for their children.  But there was a cloud on the horizon and it was not just intolerance and bigotry.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Day 11 Wrote 3600 words &1 Blog Today NaNo Wordcount 13,600/ NaBlo

Day 11 of NaNoWriMo Wordcount 13,600/ NaBloPoMo (11 for 11)
If I can keep this pace, I’ll be back on tract by Friday, and I’ve got to get it done during the day, as the round of parties has begun.
mm heart
  1. Wednesday 11/13    Weekly day out with Mom (any writing will need doing by 10 a.m.)
  2. Thursday 11/14 - PepperPlace holiday open house. Most all of the shops are open 5-9.   Musts are Charlie Thigpen, Atmosphere’s, King’s House Antiques and more.
  3. Thursday 11/14 - Frontera Iron Works 5-9 (I go
    t some amazing metal crafted flowers)
  4. Friday 11/15 - Daniel Day Gallery’s Holiday Art Show. 6-10 (Stillmetal flowers 1 loving my handmade heart)
  5. Saturday 11/16 - Viking Party at @ the Wilsons 6 til???
So I worked on a my protagonist’s love interest today.  Excerpt below:
Character’s Back Story – James
Tomorrow was graduation.  He remembered how his Mother worried; he could tell the way she paced when she thought he wasn't watching.  She’d yell at Dad when he talked about it, too. "No, absolutely not.  It isn't bad enough I worry if you’ll come back every day when you leave for work, you want me to worry about my only son, too.  He should be a lawyer or a doctor or a writer.  Lord knows he has enough imagination to be a writer.  His school counselor said so."
James hated it when they argued.  He'd just turn the volume up on one his dad’s old viewer as he watched Sam Cade, Detective for Hire for the hundredth time.  He’d pretend he was Sam Cade - super detective.  “Yes, some day.  Well, Sam Cade started in law enforcement, and then went private.  And all the women fall for him and the regular law enforcers envy him.  Yea, that's what I'll do.  First, I'll follow Dad’s path, but I won't settle for just that; no sir, not me.  I'll get all the training I can get from the pros and then I'll do what Sam Cade did.  James Harden, private detective.  Well, maybe I can change my name.  James seems so, so ordinary.”
He remembered when he and his Dad used to talk long into the night on their weekly hike up into the mountains.  He told James his fears and his aspirations, "I know that no matter what happens I've lived a good life.  Boy, that's all that's truly important.  Whatever you do in life, do it because you really want to, and do it really well.  If you marry, marry for love and because of things and in spite of things.  Your mom's a good woman and when she met me, I was in law enforcement and she hated it.  But I loved her in spite of that and she me too.  Do you understand?  I mean, you can talk yourself out of a lot of things just because you're afraid.  Don't let fear ever stand in the way of doing what you love and loving people who may not love all the things you do.”
James wished he had written it all down, now.  But sometimes, he lay back on a dark night on the side of a trail and let his mind drift back to those times and he could hear the distant voice echoed in his ear.  "Follow your dreams, boy.  Only a fool is never afraid, and only a coward lets fear stand in the way of what's right for him."
James thought.  Thanks Dad, I’ll make you proud.  I’m doing it Dad.  I’ll be the youngest detective ever on the force in history.
(c) perle champion