Thursday, March 19, 2020

2020 Surprises

So I feel full-body miserable as I write this, but I am very glad I don't have Covid-19. Just a regular old nasty reaction to double antibiotics for, surprise, SIBO! Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. The combined methane and carbon dioxide gas levels in my guts blew past the expected 15ppm to hit 99ppm. Add a competing Candida invasion on top of that, and I'm all peaches and cream this week. Seriously, 2020, you were supposed to be a lucky year! Sweet serendipity anytime now, thanks.

The world is scary on both a local and global level with the pandemic in full swing. I know the months and year ahead will be full of drastic changes for everyone. I am only starting to understand what that means for me. Frankly, I feel too physically and mentally exhausted already to deal with the full ramifications right now, and am trying to quarantine myself as much as possible to protect my erstwhile immune system. 

I haven't been able to write much lately, and I truly wonder what my stories mean anymore. Their worth both to myself, and to readers. I won't force myself to write just because . . . because I had a grand author's goal . . . or a gossamer daydream. When I feel healthy enough again, I know the stories will be waiting for me to say their names. Right now I have to be patient with my healing body. Oh, and scribble lots of story notes! And listen to the Writing Excuses podcast. And a million and one other sparklestarsome little things that add up to a day, a life, a single crystalline wish that we will find our way through this, together.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

True Story

I am in the process of organizing several poetry chapbooks, and while dusting off a file of old poems from my 2013 graduate poetry class, I found this ridiculous little gem! It's a "break up" poem with Iffy Magic . . . you know, the first novel I ever went on to self-publish!

Iffy Magic

True Story

I try to break it to you gently
Without ellipses
Or time to let the ink splatter.
I can’t be with you anymore

Please don’t linger or make a scene
Like a melodramatic Em dash queen.
Don’t think of me too harshly
Just because I promised you
A prime spot on the book shelf
Behind the glass panes 
Of the oak vanity cabinet.

Honey, get real!
After 3 years of revisions
A pile of rejection letters
Leaning like the Tower of Pisa,
Not even an agent can save
This “thing” between us.

Now, don’t you dare interrobang
I’m not saying what we had
Was nothing, but maybe
It was altogether too much.
You consumed me
Chapter, comma, and semicolon
I just can’t keep cutting and pasting
My soul to flesh your pages.

Did I ever tell you how
I almost scrawled your name
On my bank check once?
I forgot my own signature
True story.
But it’s mine, not yours,
And I’ve got to write it
With somebody else now.

Evening Primrose Goodwing

Bye . . .

*I'm really glad I didn't give up on Prim. Now to finish Regalia's adventures! #2020 goals


Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Best Laid Plans and Lucky 13

So the past two weeks I have suffered from the worst migraine in my life that ended in a trip to the ER for a migraine cocktail. As for the past two years, well, they've been full of surprise health challenges that have been frightening, but I got through them. Yesterday, I forgave myself. My body. I acknowledged that the human condition is one of complex frailty and that if I am to learn from failure, I must let go of my unhealthy frustration and expectations of how my life should be unfolding right exactly this minute.

But I will also honor my dreams as best I can, with whatever thimble's worth of diligence and determination I can muster day by day.

When I attended the Fargo SCBWI regional conference in September 2019, I was in horrendous pain from what I later found out was pelvic floor dysfunction. I couldn't go to the bathroom properly, and sitting was utter agony. I carried a hemorrhoid pillow with me everywhere. I was mortified when an editor sat at my table during lunch and I had to repeatedly excuse myself for bathroom breaks. But you know what? I learned so much at the conference! I had a marvelous time with all my fellow writers despite feeling terrible. And someone liked the premise of Agent Regalia and is expecting me to complete her story.

So I won't give up. I am more than the sum of my pain, ink is also in my blood. 2020 is going to be a good year, I know it . . . because it marks the thirteenth year since I started writing novels. And 13 has always been my lucky number!

Here is a surprise peek at the opening to the sci fi verse novel I am writing, BAD SPECIES. I hope to finish both Agent Regalia and this new experiment this serendipitous year.

The Grit

Humans like me
aren’t born on Earth anymore,
but Mama still believes
the memory of that planet
twists through our DNA
in all the ways bones branch into
skeletons and knuckled fingers.

No Homo sapien has set foot on the blue sphere
in more than forty years.
(It’s not ours anymore)
Maybe that’s why “Earth” rolls like a hollow orb
on my tongue: Urrrr—
(a deep growl rises in my throat as I sound my ancestry out)
tthhh . . . .
that single syllable always ends in a pathetic lisp!

Yet Mother wants me to believe pretend
that stupid dead word holds some
secret power in the saying, like maybe—
home can never be stolen away, not when
the core of the world curls inside the wail of each newborn
and terra firma
solid ground—
finds form in the flesh of a child.   

So she named me “Pearl,”
not after the shiny nacre,
but for the precious grit
that lies at its true
origin point—
a tiny speck of Earth lodged deep inside my heart.

I can never escape the weight of it.