Monday, October 23, 2006


Occasionally, just occasionally, I get to see my friends. A rare treat, and the one thing besides my son that I miss. It has been two and a half years since I left my life and started again, at my age, an audacious life. a. did it too, in the wild horse hills of nevada. Some say I reinvented myself. Could be. Could be that I just finally became more like myself.

It is early monday, and I have to find Beaverton. It is so hard to find for me. It hides just the other side of some hill. My husband says, "you have to go over the hill," and in Jacksonville, I knew that it meant Bellinger or J'ville Hill. In Ashland, it meant the Siskiyous or Greensprings. Here, I don't know the names of the hills, and don't do well with the numbered freeways. They all seem pretty much the same. And Beaverton seems to go on forever kind of like a long strip-mall. Often, after thinking I am lost, I find that I was there all along, and yet not quite there yet. I have little reason to go to Beaverton. But will give myself an hour to do it.

Gotta go.

Good to see you guys.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


I guess it was inevitable. Its not that I don't like people, it really isn't, but I hit the same wall again and again: it really is all about that pesky writing. It really is all about picking up the goddamed pen and dragging it, kicking and screaming, across the page. And if it kicked and screamed from time to time, that would be okay, but I am in the doldrums. Fuck Stephen King and 300 pages a day. He's nuts. And rich. Rich from writing, which, it was pointed out to me on the first day of writing 101: if you're here for the money, go home. It was instead very Rilkean: write only if you must. Only if you will die of it otherwise. And there you have it. My curse.

Once again, I have joined something, and once in, I can't find the way out. I will likely go again -- the writer's group I have been blathering on about -- but I won't want to, and it is not what I was looking for. What I was and now again AM looking for does not exist in any real form. What I seek is the perfect balance of talent and competition, the perfect blend of compassion and brutality. Not. They were all newbies, uninitiated, wannnabees, and perfectly nice people, but they are not of my ilk. This is not a statement of unadulterated hubris-- it is a fact. One is a mild mannered fantasy writer, taking her first class in fiction writing; one is a soccer mom who wants to write children's stories for her child and stories from her own childhood for her parents for christmas; one is a man who says he has no experience and yet quotes major writers with ease and seems to want to talk about writing more than he wants to write.

And these are fine things, fine people, but they are not me. And I hate that. And, I am glad to be me. These people, they embrace the JOY of writing. What is that? Joy? I have joy. I have it here somewhere, I know I do. But in relation to the written word? Not so much. I am looking for suffering souls, near committment, who will write, who do, in fact, write, and who write well. These guys embrace education, which, if you've been listening you will know fucked up my writing bigtime.

I'm bitter. I am alone in a city.

Saturday, October 14, 2006


After two and one half years in Portland, I have finally managed to gather a writing group together. I've been communicating on a message board for Willamette Writers, and we seem to have a common thread. I am exhilarated by the prospect of having something at the very least to write toward. I am naturally competitive and a show-off, so it should serve as at least that kind of inspiration. I have my first draft of "Doc" to take for show and tell, and a copy of another first chapter I like, and hopefully something will get off the ground. Don't ask me why writers need to congregate. It makes no sense. It is a solitary avocation, but it is only in the reflection (inflection) of someone else's voice that I hear the trash or treasure of my work. I don't believe every critical comment anymore. I used to be crushed and stop for weeks. But education does that to a person. Inurring. Is that a word? I became inured to their criticism. Accustomed. You get the drift. At any rate, I am a little nervous to meet new people and will make every effort not to neutralize them with my laser mind before I even meet them. Truth is, there are more bad writers than good, and it often takes some picking through the chaff to get to the wheat of it all. I don't really care (as is my custom) and am just happy to have somewhere to show up with my little pencil and paper. I miss a.

Both girls are here this morning and the clouds hover above our house. I am going to make ghosts today, I think. We got pumpkins yesterday. They never participate in the carving. K is excellent at carving those kind that don't go all the way through. Me? I'm pretty good at smiley faces.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

house maid

It is saturday morning on Clinton Street and the sky is gray, leaves yellowing to match the house across the street. The pavement is still dry, and I am content. On my way home Thursday, black clouds had gathered like gossips, fat bellies hanging expectantly above my neighborhood, ripe with rain. But there has been little drizzle and we wait. There are still yard sales. It is still warm enough that I am not shopping for a coat. I vascilate between wanting a navy blue carrhart unlined barn jacket and a trench coat. Both which I probably have somewhere, but am too lazy to look.

We had a guy come out to give an estimate on the upstairs. I don't remember if I've talked about the stairs.... exactly as wide as my ass, about twice as steep as stairs should be, rising from the middle of the house to the unfinished attic. It will be a project to get them turned around and the attic turned into a master suite for us, but worth it. Space... He can't start until after the holidays, which would be best because I don't want things torn up at Christmas. Its hard enough.

The house is clean, laundry in process, and I'm just going to hang out here today and pretend I don't have a job to go to. I guess I will never accept the fact that I was not born to royalty and will never have a maid. Every maid I've ever had raided my medicine cabinet and stole my linens. My maid. One. Sherry. Sherry liked Sherry. She overwatered my plants and my wood floor warped. Blame. It was when I was I-5-ing it back and forth from HIS house, my love, my long distance sweetie pie. And now I am here. And it is OUR house.

K is helping people move today -- a friend who's mother had dual aneurisms and is now out of commission. A woman my age. Scary what the future could hold. John Mellencamp is 55 today. He reminds me of an era of my life. The eastside era. Coosbay. Lindblad's. My life is separated into several different eras.... There are so many. With characters enough to fill a novel each.

Greekfest on Belmont!! woohoo. I'm there.

Friday, October 06, 2006

friday into saturday

There's no place like home. I have clicked my Ruby slippers together and here I am. We have no plans for the weekend, and it is my mission to keep it that way. If I make it to Winko, that will be the only big outing for me.

I guess it is the changing weather, the cooling of the earth, that pulls me into myself. I love autumn. or

It could be the new blood pressure medication. I really got yelled at this week. My doctor, a Chinese man who never works on the thirteenth of any month, tells me in broken English: you must take care of your heart and your kidneys. You may feel fine now, (I do) but it won't last. Fine. Nothing lasts anyway. But I filled the prescriptions and I am taking them. I am a little woozy if I stand up fast, but that is to be expected. Plus, me and woozy go way back. I used to spin and spin in circles out in my front yard until I tipped over and would spin and spin some more. I loved spinning. It was a bad sign. Then I found spinning in a bottle, oh, and spin the bottle. But that's another story.

I take care of, let's call her Ella. It isn't her name. Her daughter's name isn't Margaret Victoria either, but we'll call her that. MV for short. So every night, MV shows up to heal her mother who is 95 and not in need of much. Certainly not healing, but the daughter finds great purpose in hovering and feeding and clucking and cooing and referring to herself in the third person which drives me fucking mad. She sings to her mother at the top of her lungs. And she has furnished Ella's room with more rose and burgundy flowered fabric than I've seen since the mid eighties. Moving her mother has become increasingly difficult, and MV insists that her mother can stand and walk and dance and of course no one sees this but her because after all, she's a healer. And we just don't know what we're doing. We worker bees. We lowly serfs. And now I have, in my wisdom, insisted she provide a mechanical lift to haul Ella's considerable ass in and out of bed. Bless Ella. It isn't her fault. But wait! It could be her fault. She IS the mother after all, and if you've ever been a mother, you know by now that it is mostly all your fault. Ask my son.

So I ordered the lift and Ella will be hydraulically suspended as we swing her from one place to the next, and MV can sing her heart out, but the girls won't break their backs.

It is such hard work.