Monday, October 29, 2012

My newest creepy Kindle book... Just in time for Halloween!


There are two types of folks reading this. One is squealing "eeeeeew" at the spider photo and the other is saying, "Cool!" You're both welcome here, but for the benefit of the squealers, I should mention that when I took the cover photo I released the spider onto a patio table and got eye level with my camera, letting her skitter towards my face to get this lovely shot.

I'm so excited to announce the release of STIRRING UP SPIDERS on Amazon, available for reading on Kindle! Within the glowing pages of this little collection of stories you'll find paranoia, greed, terror and death. Murder, madness, and of course a liberal dose of the supernatural: suspicious gargoyles, unexpected monsters, vengeful ghosts and haunted spaces.

Check the doors, turn out the lights, and curl up with this tangle of dark tales. Keeping you company is a paranoid suburban housewife, a writer on a deadline, a lost girl and a victim bent on revenge. Spirits will watch over your shoulder as something shadowy taps on the windowpane. And there is one very large empty cage to contemplate. The book concludes with a tribute to that most maligned spider, the black widow, in a tasty bit of poetry about...well, motherhood.
 The stories have been described by readers as "gritty" "vibrant" "wrenching" "icky and creepy".
See for yourself. If you dare. Click here to go to Amazon and see the book!
(Hey, squealers--I heard that.)


Monday, September 10, 2012

Prunes and Puppies

Ten bucks says you have the wrong idea about this post.
No worries...it's not actually about the effect of prunes on puppies (uh, gross).
Bear with me a moment while I explain.
See, I am the girl who will always take the Dare over the Truth when we are playing Spin the Bottle.

I'll eat the chocolate-covered cricket (Anyone got a toothpick?)

I'll smell the toad (Peanut butter! Who knew?)

I'll climb into the black hole in the cave wall 'cuz I'm too stubborn to admit I'm afraid of being buried alive.

I dare to fly to Italy alone and wander. I dare to share photos from home with an Italian biker gang, who insist on a photo with the American who owns a vintage Harley.


I dare to pick up a snake and feel the flick of an exploring tongue on my arm.

I dare to sit in a field of flowers and photograph bees on my fingertips.


So....puppies and prunes, you ask. Where do they fit in?

It's all about ATTITUDES. I've been noticing for a while that when I tell someone what I did or where I plan to go, I get one of two reactions:

'Prunes' will squinch up their face and say, "Ew. I hate snakes. Arizona is too hot. Costa Rica is dangerous, people get kidnapped there. Chinese food is disgusting. I stomp all spiders. The French are rude. I'm a vegan, I'd never try that."

'Puppies', on the other hand, exclaim, "Really? How cool. What did the fish-head soup taste like in Shanghai? I'll bet Costa Rica was beautiful. Are crickets crunchy? That's awesome. I've always wanted to see Paris. The toad smelled like peanut butter?"

I've never understood Prunes, who seem determined to counter every enthusiasm with a negative reaction. What's with that? You marvel at a sunset, they point out it's just smog. 

I like Puppies. They are the adventurous, the curious, the interesting. They will tell you their own stories, and share the adventurous spirit that we all have when we're five and want to explore-- to touch and smell and taste everything in this great, wide world.

You only get one life.
Don't wrinkle up your nose at it.
Live it.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Balance


Peg is a daily visitor to my doorstep. I love to watch him adapt to the challenges his missing leg creates. He rarely puts the stump down for balance, choosing instead to adjust the angle of his tail to compensate. He is fast and brave, daring to get much closer to humans that his companions. He is patient, rattling each available nut to get the best one first. He finds a hiding place, taps the prize beneath the soil/leaves/gravel and returns for the next-best nut. He stops only long enough to get a good grip on more treasures and off he goes again. 

"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving."
Albert Einstein

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Saving a Life


 When a tiny goldfinch or energetic sparrow hits the kitchen window occassionally, my heart always falls, and I leap up and run out to see if all is well. Most times, with a rustle of bushes, the only-dazed flyer bursts out and flutters up to recoup in the trees. But sometimes there is a crumpled soul in the planter, eyes closed, motionless. Time for action.

Bearwalker taught me about saving birds and I've seen him many times sitting in his chair, big warm hands closed over a little feathered form--comforting and safe and...healing.

I head outside, looking into the ferns for signs of feathers. There he is...a lesser goldfinch, curled into himself, black and white wings loose and bright yellow breast barely rising. If I left him there, he would die. In shock, cold and alone, chances are good his little heart would stop. I pick him up and take him inside.

Cupping him to my own chest, I cover his head, creating a warm dark nest, like Bearwalker would do. My addition to the process is conversation. I murmur to him about what's happening outside the window, tell him someone out there is watching and waiting for his return.

After fifteen minutes, he stirs. A little wiggle. I uncover him and he blinks up at me. We go to the sink, I give him a drop of water at a time until he swallows. And poops on my palm. Twice.

Back outside, we stand in a patch of sunlight and I open my hand. "Are you ready?"

He sits for a few long minutes - wonderful and sweet long minutes for me - and then in a flash of yellow and black, is gone.

There are little lives all around us, their dramas and sorrows as real as our own. Today was a good day for us both.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Dancing in the Kitchen, Naked

Ok, I'm not actually naked. I don't have any slippers on, though. That should tell you how excited I am. I always wear my slippers.

It's Monday morning and I've fired up the laptop before the coffee is even done. Before the weekend, I put my two Kindle e-books on "sale" for free during the first four days of March. I crossed my fingers and did a bit of blatant self-promotion on Facebook and waited.

This morning, I peeked at the downloads report. And gave a little squeal that woke the bird, who meowed. (She does that. No, we don't have a cat. She's just weird.)

Anyway, 401 is the final number. It's nothing that would excite Steven King or Amanda Hocking...but for lil' ol' me? All I can say is we're having waffles for breakfast, baby. With powdered sugar.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love Letters

I know I have found my soulmate. I have the science to back it up. I wrote both our full names on a piece of paper, crossed out all the letters our names have in common, then chanted, "Friendship, Courtship, Love, Marriage" as I tapped my pencil on each of the remaining letters. It ended on "Marriage". I don't need any more proof than that.
         *******
My grandpa knew he'd found the one when they were 16. When he went off to college, he wrote a love letter about her and secretly tucked it behind the framed picture he kept on his desk. Amazingly, my grandma did not discover the letter until they'd already been married 59 years!

THE GIRL IN MY PICTURE

She's the girl in my picture. Eternal as the ages, she is imprisoned in her frame of gold forever, and so she sits and gazes out upon the world, full of radiant youth which time can never destroy.
It is so that she sits before me now as I write this, and with that spontaneous but unchanging smile, indicates her approval of my efforts.
Somehow, I always imagine her thus, as she sits beside that little stream, on the banks of which we spent so many pleasant hours. In my memory she will always be wearing that same yellow dress, and will always lounge upon that same fallen log, with her back against that same big oak tree. The sky will always seem blue, the trees will always seem green, and the day will always seem warm and sunny.
Her hazel eyes will always smile back at me with that characteristic twinkle, and the brown mass of streaming hair will always fill me with the urge to hold it, and watch it as it slips softly through my fingers. Her cheeks will always have that same delicate pinkness, and her lips that same  indescribable appeal.
And someday, I hope, I shall show her to my grandchildren, and tell them what a beautiful girl their grandmother was. For you see, she's the girl in my picture--and in my heart.

Dearest Grandpa: I have seen that beautiful girl. I share a few hours with her each week, and she is just as luminous at 99 as she was at 16. I know you can't wait to see her, and when she comes to join you, it will be by that same fallen log, beneath that same big oak tree, in that world that will always be eternally young.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Aim For The Moon

I welcomed 2012 a few nights after the ball dropped in a distant city--alone in my backyard, gazing at the faraway moon. Barefoot, with a bright idea (and freezing!), I fiddled with my christmas camera to see if I could finally capture the majesty and mystery I witnesses 14 years ago through a large telescope set up on a mountain top by a stranger.

Back then, I was alone in a different way--emotionally fragile after a divorce, fearfully on my own in a "moved-on-without-you" world. A friend prompted me to step up on the box and take a peek. The sight was so overwhelming, I burst into tears. I saw the moon as if it were a mountainside across the valley. The enormity of seeing it so terribly, wonderfully close...as if it could be reached out for and touched...was life-changing.

The moon isn't all that distant. Neither is what you want from your life. A few adjustments to the lense, a change of perspective...and there it is, well within reach....and ready to be explored.

"Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may well hit a star."
W. Clement Stone