I’ve been posting on this blog for almost ten years, generally once a week and usually on Monday mornings. Unfortunately, Monday mornings are not very good for me any more because Mondays and Tuesdays are so busy. I am thinking about switching posting days to Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday, and I wonder what you think about that. I would love for you to complete this poll. (Notice that I am not giving you the “I don’t give a rat’s behind” option).
Do you see a poll above here? It’s supposed to be here but I am not seeing it! Thanks for letting me know. If you want to give me more information, feel free to leave a comment below. If you have any insights on the best times to post, I’d love to hear so that I can put that information into my decision making hat.
Poetic Book Tours is going to be starting a blog tour for Rooted and Winged beginning on September 15: READ ABOUT IT HERE.
In 2012 I started blogging. Not on this blog, but on the adoption one I shared with my daughter (July 2012) and then, soon after, I started the family history blog, The Family Kalamazoo. It seemed as if I began this blog, Writer Site, many months afterward, but in fact, I began TFK very hesitantly in September 2012 and first posted on WS on October 24, 2012! So all three blogs began in a four month period in 2012.
I had no thoughts to how long this would go on. At some point, we stopped posting on the adoption blog because my daughter and I had done what we wanted to do there. We still keep the domain and occasionally reblog something of interest, but the project sort of feels complete to both of us. As for family history, that will never be completed, especially since people keep giving me old photos and info!
Writer Site is my fun place for writing, reading, travel, and whatever strikes my fancy. I always have lots of ideas for blog posts, but not enough time to write them all. Right now I don’t feel that way. For the first time. So I ask myself why. I think the main reason is that my daughter has been living with us all summer and is still here. There are good reasons for that, and it won’t last forever. But it’s EXHAUSTING to me to have another adult living here.
The funny thing is that we get along great, and I love spending time with her. But her young person life exhausts me. I hadn’t realized how stuck in the mud the gardener and I had gotten. We get tired so easily. We get overtired if we see too many people or if the procession of events moves too swiftly. And it does with a younger person living here.
When did I get so old? And when did everything start to tire me out?
WAHWAHWAH. You get the drift.
I don’t feel like writing with her here. Even when I’ve pushed myself to do so, I don’t get the joy out of it. I feel as if I’m in a holding pattern while she is here.
She’ll be headed for the city to spend time with her boyfriend soon, so maybe I can take some naps. Or write. Or let the world stop spinning for a few days.
Sun on the mountain Alaska
ON ANOTHER NOTE . . .
Let me point you up above, where I wrote that it’s exhausting having another adult living here. In 2013, I posted about my discovery that I am a Highly Sensitive Person. Now five years later, I can tell you that using today’s terminology, I am a Serious. Freaken. Empath. An Empath picks up on the emotions of others or, in my case and that of others with it really bad, you actually FEEL the emotions of another person. It’s kind of creepy. I think it’s important to remember that having sympathy–or even empathy–for somebody else doesn’t mean that you have to experience their emotions. So when I say it’s kind of creepy I mean it’s really creepy.
Nature is one of the best ways for people like me to replenish themselves. Probably why I wish I was still in Alaska.
Is an HSP always an Empath? Is an Empath always an HSP? Or are they two different things? I am trying to come to grips with this new revelation about myself, so if you have any insights, please share away!
#amwriting: I will continue to plod away on the gun essay, just don’t hold your breath haha.
This week’s liminal photo has a name. Haha, pretentious, considering the quality of my photography? Much. But it still has a name: “Stairway to Heaven.”
I like this photo because a perfectly liminal space is that between life and death, earth and heaven.
Have you been watching for #liminality? What have you found?
Here is a poem by H.D. that I thought of because of the record heat wave in Arizona this week. Hilda Doolittle is a poet whose poems I worked with for my dissertation. Ultimately, I dropped her as one of my subjects, choosing to focus on Jorie Graham, Sylvia Plath, Muriel Rukeyser, Adrienne Rich, and Linda Hogan, for the most part. Her work was so precise and crystalline and so focused on her classical allusions, that it wasn’t warm enough for me (sorry for the pun). But this poem perfectly captures the heavy hot air. The air that makes it difficult for the lungs to expand.
O wind, rend open the heat,
cut apart the heat,
rend it to tatters.
Fruit cannot drop
through this thick air--
fruit cannot fall into heat
that presses up and blunts
the points of pears
and rounds the grapes.
Cut the heat--
plough through it,
turning it on either side
of your path.
Last week I posted about liminality, defined as a space between or on/in a sensory threshold. A transitional state. You can read more about it here.
When I traveled to my home state in October 2014, I had not visited Michigan for quite some time, and it was a very intense, emotional trip for me. Although I’d spent a lot of time with my parents out west, I hadn’t been to see them on the land where I grew up.
There is a way that I could think of that visit as a liminal space because it was the threshold that led into my father’s illness and eventual death in May 2015. It was the last time I saw my father before his illnesses, although he might have already been sick at the time–and nobody realized it. Our relationship began to change after this trip.
I found a photo from that visit that I find to be symbolic of liminality: the dock at my parents’ home. The dock is a passageway between land and water. If you walk off the dock into the water, you had better know how to swim or be wearing a life jacket.
I wasn’t prepared for walking off the dock that fall, but luckily I had had swimming lessons as a kid.
By the way, that wire across the top of the photo? I thought about cropping it out, but it seems important somehow.
I’ve always had a thing for liminality. Yup, liminality. Doesn’t it feel good on your tongue? According to Merriam-Webster (remember her?):
Definition of liminal
1: of or relating to a sensory threshold
2: barely perceptible
3: of, relating to, or being an intermediate state, phase, or condition :in-between, transitional<in the liminal state between life and death — Deborah Jowitt>
I love that in between space there. You know, anywhere. Passageways like cupboards and rabbit holes and wardrobes. The place of process, like focusing on the process of art instead of the finished product. The place of change where you are different at one end than you were at the other.
I thought I’d let my camera start searching for some of those liminal spaces. If you find any, please share!!!
This one is at the Virginia Dare office and shopping center in Rancho Cucamonga, California.
On Monday I have such a deal coming for you! Watch for it!
In the meantime, life with Slupe is sweet.
Did you think I’ve forgotten about Kana and Tiger (and Pear and Felix)? Nope. I think I have mentioned that Tiger has a little window seat that is all hers. It’s her happy place. I put an X of double faced tape so that Kana can’t lie there and annoy her. She has an ice cube tray with toys so that I can hide treats under the toys. And I placed a mini litter box behind my antique trunk in case Kana blocks her from the ones in the laundry room. Lots of quail and bunnies and lizards for Tiger to watch.
Tiger has a little squeak like a mouse and runs from Kana which prompts Kana to chase her. Sigh. I guess it’s all that liminal space ;).
Some of you probably remember a post by my friend poet and writer Carla McGill last year called “Poetry, Loss, and Grieving.” It’s a beautiful essay and has had a lot of readers.
Carla just started her own WordPress blog! Please go visit and welcome her. Blogging is all new to her, especially the technology, so she can use a lot of support. Also, you’re going to love her blog. It’s about writing and called Writing Customs. Be one of her first blog followers! And follow her on Twitter, too, here. You will love Carla’s posts (I promise). She’s so thoughtful and insightful and a wonderful writer and person.
I’m still trying to catch up with work and visiting with my mother, so don’t think I’m off writing a novel or something hahahahahaha. I hope to be back Monday.
Go tell Carla what YOUR writing customs are!
P.S. This is a chandelier at the Wrigley Mansion I visited with my mother and my husband. It’s Waterford crystal and Arizona amethysts!
Today is a grab bag post. Know that this mirrors my mind right now–an assortment of miscellany.
I have both poetry and prose writing projects in the works, a post to write about Sheila Morris’ new book The Short Side of Time, a book review to write for Adrienne Morris (loved The House on Tenafly Road) for Goodreads and Amazon, and Mom arrived this weekend. She’ll be here in Arizona for the next two months, trying to catch some sun rays. Her knee is in a brace, as it’s bothering her lately, but it’s so nice to have her here. The kitties at the shelter need lots of help, and Kana and Tiger still don’t get along (sigh). If only Tiger realized that she only has to make an assertive move toward Kana and she would earn some respect. Or not.
And then it’s time to start pulling everything together for the TAXMAN (how come it’s never the TAXWOMAN?) for our businesses and personal. So much tedious work on top of regular work. If you can’t tell, I resent this extra burden.
I had a flash fiction piece accepted by Story Shack. They will assign an illustrator to illustrate the story, a feature I love about their magazine.
Remember those German glass ornaments I keep in my antique trunk? Did I mention that daughter’s boyfriend accidentally broke one last year? It was a silver ball that was open on one side (like a little diorama) with an angel in the snow. The ball broke away, and all that was left was the angel standing on a glass shard. I just found it in a drawer where I tucked it because I couldn’t bear to throw it away. I hope I’m not going to turn into a hoarder, but she doesn’t seem like something I can throw away as if she were trash.
A few people have asked me if I’m planning to do a 10 things I love/ 10 things I hate post. As I begin writing this post, I have no idea. It seems daunting to me to narrow in on 10 of each. And so many bloggers described some of my own loves and hates so beautifully.
How do I decide if I want to use foods or actions or sensory moments? And how many of each–in what proportion? For each one I write I’d be forgetting 10 (or 100) others that I might love more. Or hate more.
Then there is the notion of starting with loves and endings with hates. I don’t want to leave you with the negative. So I think I’d start with what I hate just so that I can end with what I love. But if I do that, readers might get saddened or burned out too quickly and not read far enough to get to the loves!
Probably the biggest thing holding me back is that it’s so tempting to go with the “small” or “local.” The pet peeves. The comfort foods. But what about world peace? An end to all war, to poverty, to famine?
Ay Yi Yi! Oy! Holy crap!
So I’ll just sprinkle a few out here that come to my mind at this instant.
I hate that a lady dumped her kitty at the no-kill shelter I volunteer at because she was moving in with her son. For months, the stressed out cat won’t leave the door of the cat room. We’ve set up her bed, food, and water on a stand next to the door so she can live there. When other cats jump up on the stand, she hisses until they jump back down. Last week hubby and I discovered the poor kitty is THIRTEEN YEARS OLD. She still thinks her “Mom” is coming back for her, but her dear mother hasn’t even checked on her. Abby’s story isn’t that unusual, but for Abby it’s her whole life that’s at stake. And her life is miserable. If my oldest cat wasn’t in stage 4 kidney failure (with diabetes and a bad heart) I would persuade hubby that she’s our next rescue, but it’s not possible right now. And so Abby waits. At the door. For her missing mother.
See what I mean? You want to read 10 of those? Heartbreaking.
I love that I get to work at the shelter, cleaning, scooping, feeding, reading to, and loving cats in need. I love their sweet open hearts. And I love how my heart has swelled to a larger size so that it encompasses as many cats as necessary. The heart is an organ of infinite size in a finite body.
Randomly, I also love the old pop song that is known in the U.S. as “Sukiyaki” and sung by Japanese singer Kyu Sakamoto. There is no music more beautiful than this song.
After I listen to the song 9 or 10 times, hubby shrieks (yes, shrieks) at me to turn it off. I never get tired of it. There are other versions, such as by A Taste of Honey, but Sakamoto’s is my favorite. He’s got a gorgeous crooner voice.
I also love pan fried zucchini, fresh raspberries, the smell of a rain-soaked landscape. But those aren’t as important as my family, my cats, my books, and my memories.
How do you approach the loves and hates list? Feel free to post a link to your love/hate post in the comments!
A little update on the hummingbird situation. A hummingbird has been sleeping in the nest on and off. I don’t know if it’s Mama or one of the youngsters. When we first noticed it, hubby got out the ladder and checked–no eggs. Since the bird has been in the nest for several hours now, I’m wondering if she did manage to lay more eggs. I guess we will eventually find out.
I’m taking a blog break for a week or so.
I hope your spring is magical. Until we meet again . . . .
I have a DOLL GOD Giveaway going on at Goodreads right now. Hop on over there and sign up if you want to win a free copy!