October 2019 – Queen of Cups

img_1446October is my favorite month of the year. I love Autumn and in the South, the fall tends to come late, usually around mid-October. I love the crisp autumn air. Nothing makes me feel more alive than the dying year.

For this month, the card I drew on New Year’s Eve 2018 was the Queen of Cups. This is signifies nurturing, caring, and warmth. I guess that works out as my daughter is living with me for a couple of months, working on a project here before returning to her beloved New York.

qlHUWq1xQzKHGoNBT4DPxwIn September, I had thought briefly she might want to keep working here in the South. The cost of living is cheaper. She can make quite a good living here, but she misses New York already. So I am going to appreciate the bit of extra time we get together. I know Frankie has appreciated having two humans to boss around.  I can’t believe there are only two months remaining in this year. I thought I would be further along with things.  I really did.

 

June 2019 – The Emperor

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Well, we are six months into 2019. The 6th card I drew for the year is The Emperor. This is a card that portends guidance, protection, and advice from a father figure.

A Little Non-Feminist Feminist Rant

I have been thinking about men in society a lot given my background and the current political climate where awful phrases like “toxic masculinity” are tossed about.

I am an independent woman who has worked in a male-dominated field (software engineering) my entire adult life. I raised a daughter on my own. I have no male partner in my life. I don’t want one. That has nothing to do with my gender. I am happy being single and was miserable married.

I remember being told to shut-up as a young girl because the men were talking. I was told I was not given a middle name because I could use my surname as a middle name when I got married. When I was coming up, the society around me screamed that as a woman, I literally had ZERO value if I did not get married.

So I get why so many women are pissed off at the “patriarchy”. It is an unhealthy environment that casts women as property for the sole purpose of sex and reproduction. For thousands of years of history, in all corners of the world, women have been less-valued than men. That must stop.

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People matter. We all do. Regardless of gender, race, ideology. We matter, each and every one of us. We all make choices that lighten or darken the world. Some make no choices at all which allows the status quo to continue for good or ill.  So I have no problem with the male in general. I even welcome the support, guidance, and protection of men. It is when they become tyrants we have a problem, but June brought the Emperor upright and not in reverse.

Moving On

I look forward to June. I have made great progress on the book. With the Champions League and the EPL on hiatus until August, I have less distractions from my final push to put this book to rest and get on with the next eleven. Yes, I started writing eleven other books during the last three years while writing this one. Another reason, this is taking so long.

The end of an Era

images-2Game of Thrones came to an end in May 2019. Lots of fans were disappointed. The final season felt rushed to a conclusion that satisfied few. However, for myself, I think that it came to an end was what tore me up.  Game of Thrones is undoubtable the greatest television show so far. It drew in millions of viewers, invested them in the complex and difficult characters that spoke so loudly to our humanity. While I will miss the show, miss trying to figure out what happens next, I so look forward the George RR Martin finishing his books. Let’s see which one of us gets there first. Shall we?

Miracles in May

A unseasonably hot May has ended after a series of triumph and a miracle.  I wake to June with Liverpool as European Champions. Miracles do happen. Recall that when I entered May, Liverpool had a 3-0 deficit to cover in order to get to the Champions League final. They did so with a miracle at Anfield. I took a great deal of inspiration from that night.

May 7, 2019 is one of those days I will remember forever. Yes, I am obsessed with Liverpool and really the English Premier League. There is something there that men from literally every corner of the globe can come together, united by purpose, put their differences aside and create emotion like this. Note at the end of the evening, when Liverpool has done the impossible, the crowd singing to them and the players singing back to the crowd “You Will Never Walk Alone”. This is the stuff of hope and dreams.

May 2019 – King of Swords

img_1441It is already May. And here is the 5th card of my 2018 New Year’s Eve drawing.

The King of Swords indicates Ambition, projects taking off. I am optimistic that this is a good portent of things to come. My current book is better than I ever dreamed. Epic fantasy is ambitious so this is the card for completing one. I do wish I was already on the query train. July feels like the realistic goal. That is a hard time to hit the rails as it is also conference season so agents are doing lots of traveling. We shall see.

My beloved Liverpool FC had a wonderful April. They are in semi-finals of Champion’s League. The first game of the semi against Barcelona of a two game set did not go well at all on this first day of May. No away goal and Barcelona punished us 3-0. Lionel Messi is the best player in the world. No doubt. But Mo Salah and Sadio Mane will match him in time. As will Liverpool’s big man, Virgil Van Dyke. Just wait.

If Liverpool win their last two games, they could still win the EPL but Man City would have to lose or tie. If they beat Barcelona 4-0 at Anfield, they win Champion’s League. My feeling is this is not the year for Liverpool trophies. In keeping with the sometimes harsh King of Swords, next season will see my loved team take a trophy or three. Everything is in place for them to win everything. I would love to see Liverpool take the treble and silence their over-abundance of critics.

Liverpool and I suffer together with that almost there and so close but so far away misery. Although, Liverpool play football with such joy. It is why I love them. I hope they recognize how close they are to being a truly legendary team, one that will be remembered for the ages, that other teams will aspire to for a century.  What a season. Even Sir Alec Ferguson in all his winning seasons at Man United never had as many points as Liverpool has amassed this season.  In all but 3 seasons in the last 40 years, the 91 points Liverpool have  right now (with 2 games to go) would have won them the league. Crazy. Damn, Man City. Damn, Lionel Messi. We fight on.

April, the Cruelest Month

April was not terrible. In fact, it resolved a lot of pressure. I paid off my credit card debt (which was amazing and took me years to accomplish). This frees me up for future opportunities. Maybe buy a house. Maybe move to Liverpool. That’s a possibility.

I did a crap load of revision on my book and it is buzzing along. It has gone from being very good to something extraordinary in personal terms. I don’t know how the market or agents will receive it. I won’t know that until I query the thing. But I made positive steps forward.

I had a great visit with my daughter. She lives in New York and came home for one of her best friend’s engagement party. My daughter will be maid of honor in the wedding. She is going to wear a tuxedo. We shopped for a bowtie and she looks awesome in a jacket and bowtie.

Liverpool

A great month for Liverpool FC which Barcelona and Lionel Messi stomped on this first day of May. We are not going to talk about that.

April 5 Liverpool 5 – Southhampton 1

April 9 Liverpool 2 – FC Porto 0 (Champion’s League)

April 14 Liverpool 2 – Chelsea 0

April 17 Liverpool 4. FC Porto 1 (Champion’s League)

April 21 Liverpool 2  Cardiff City 0

April 26 Liverpool 5  Huddersfield 0

In May, Liverpool play Newcastle (a former Liverpool coach at the helm), Barcelona for second leg of Champion’s League semis, (we must win 4-0 to advance to finals -seems unlikely).  If we beat Newcastle and Brendan Rogers and Leicester can’t pay Liverpool a solid by beating or drawing Man City, the cup will go down to the final day when we play the  Wolverhampton Wolves (not an easy team) and Man City gets Brighton (a team that will likely be relegated).

This is the story of my life. So off we go. See you in June.

 

March 2019- Judgment Reversed

img_1439I am marching through 2019 on the draw of 12 cards. In February, it was the Chariot. That pushed me further into my journey. My book, my body, my mentality, all of it pushed forward. Although, parts of the journey have proved to be painful. Still, I persevered. Now it is March.

For March, the Judgment card came up in the reversed position. That fits. In reverse, Judgment card indicates delay and guilt preventing moving on from the past.

I do tend to be my worst enemy in these things. And the past has been haunting me lately in the form of memories, moments lost and gone forever. I know my life is changing forever and that I am in the bottom half of my journey in these bones.  A large bucket of regret feels like it is eating away at my belly. It seems I must find a way to conquer those feelings this month.

 

Physical Stuff

I am 13 workouts into my OrangeTheory workouts and that is going ok. I love doing it, but I am not getting the splat points I want. My knees and right hip prevent me from running on tread and so I am stuck at power walking which is not challenging my heart.  So some frustration there. This is the point where I will usually give up on these things instead of powering through the pain. I will endeavor to continue, cheerfully.

Creative Stuff

I have not reached the query trenches. This makes it so I don’t want to make other kinds of plans until the book is off and gone. I don’t even want to say I am close yet because I have said that before and then been wrong. So another delay and more frustration.

Liverpool FC – The Joy in My Life

%g4wUYipRlmj4KknzJsESAI want to move back to the UK more than I can even express if only to be able to go to Anfield and watch my favorite footballers. Frankie is torn. She reminds me that my roots are still here.

Liverpool is still top of the table so a Phoenix tattoo still looms my future.But like me, Liverpool stalled a bit in February drawing against both West Ham and Man U. They might have clenched their title run by beating both those teams. They did not.

Liverpool won decisively over the teams they beat in February. They beat Bournemouth 3-0 and Watford 5-0. For them, they need to not delay, to let go of past spoils where they lead at Christmas and failed to clench the title in the end. So off into March we go.

 

February 2019- The Chariot

img_1437I did a tarot drawing for 2019 on New Year’s Eve in 2018 as a way to concentrate on the upcoming year. In review, January we saw the Magician – a sign of new beginnings.

In January, I restructured my WIP – taking it from 34 longish chapters into 60 short chapters and I felt this was great forward movement. I also joined a gym of sorts, OrangeTheory, and my body is changing and getting stronger. Other things, closer and personal, are also moving forward.

LFCTattooLiverpool is hanging onto their lead in the Premier League. That matters to me. Watching Liverpool play brings me a joy like nothing else. I will be getting a Liverpool tattoo on my left arm if they win the league in May.  They have 4 points on Tottenham and 5 points on Man City as of this writing. May is a long way off.

In February, The Chariot will fuel the momentum of the new year. This card represents a journey toward a long-awaited destination.  For me, that means getting book into the query trenches or developing all the tools to get the book ready for representation and sale.  It also means getting my health back in gear with my diet and exercise plan.

Two close co-workers fell critically ill in January – one cancer and one a stroke that left him paralyzed on his right side. Both gentlemen are my age and lead healthy lives. We never know when our mortal time will be done so I am reminded to thank the Lord above for the grace of a new day, a new week, a new month, or a new year. This is such a temporary state of existence. We should not squander it.

Pack up for your journey and put that first step out. That is the hardest bit of getting started, that very first step. Try and keep warm. Yes, winter is here but spring is coming. The journey is only beginning and the possibilities around the bend are endless.

 

January 2019- The Magician

img_1436So on New Year’s Eve, I did a tarot card reading for the year, one card per month. For January, I drew the Magician. It fits for the first month of a new year. It is a card for new beginnings. It signals that conditions are right for pursuing one’s dreams. That is a lovely way to proceed into the year.

I do not go in for divination or fortune telling. It’s like trying to predict the weather. There are too many factors, too many decisions that can change conditions slightly in one way or another.

Now, that does not mean I discount some greater power (God, however you conceive the concept) sending prophets from time to time. But it is not the future such beings predict. They are giving a promise from God. This is nothing like that. There are no promises here. The cards help spark potential, something we all have, or warn against foolish decisions or actions.

January is a good time for the Magician, a time for a little spark of creativity, a push forward, a new beginning. So off we go.

 

 

Mind the Gap

London 057Last night I dreamed I returned to the United Kingdom. I always meant to go back there, to live there for a time once more as I did when I was at University.

The last time I visited, I took my then fourteen year old daughter. We enjoyed such an adventure. There was no plan. We traipsed around England, mostly staying in London, exploring freely.

London had changed a bit since my school days, but not so much as to lose that ambience of long endurance and that incredible air of fable. Time still seemed in long supply, and I believed I would return again. I did not factor in the world going quite so utterly mad.

london night lights bridge

My dream revealed a withered and dying United Kingdom, a divided and broken land, its culture and people utterly vanquished.  South Kensington, the place I had lived as a student, was lined with crucified bodies, heads on spikes. Masked men wearing  black robes patrolled the streets, heavily armed. In my dream, they turned to carrion birds to feed on the ashes of the land they conquered. It was horrifying. Perhaps, a symptom of watching entirely too much Game of Thrones.

I woke up weeping for its demise more than I think I would for my own country. I rolled out of bed in the night’s darkest hours before dawn and immediately took to my computer to seek plane reservations that I might return there before my visions could come to fruition.

I believed I was awake in a bright morning to find my reservations well in place. I packed and gathered my passport and arrived in London. No, I had not awaken from my nightmare. The UK was still there, but it felt dead, like a movie set more than the real place.  I told myself it was the hour of the day, and entered the tube station at Piccadilly Circus.

People packed into the platform and that gave me comfort. Here they all were, citizens of London, waiting for their train. The train came and true to nature, the people queued up to enter as a mechanized and polite voice reminded them.

“Mind the gap.”

No one did. By the time I boarded the train, all of those people disappeared into the gap which for me was a simple step and for them, an unscalable chasm. Then I awoke to my life once more, and I wrote this blog post. Let this only be a nightmare. Please, world, mind the gap.