December – Knight of Wands

img_0155The last card for the drawing of 2019 is the Knight of Wands. This heralds creative success. But my, if that is so, November’s Strength put a high price on it.

 

A Difficult November

I worked tirelessly on cleaning up my book for querying as my mother lie dying. She will not live to see it published so I read it to her out loud, not knowing if she even heard it. November really tested faith and hope dealing out despair in pairs.  I have never seen my father look so defeated. Or my brother so angry.

Mental illness and addiction are demonic. That awful cry of how do you save someone from themselves? The story of how my mother brushed up to death (again) is not one I am ready to tell at this time. She has survived a major surgery but remains hospitalized unable to walk or even sit up on her own. She has weeks, possibly months, of PT and rehab to pass through with a body that is so weak that she faces long odds. I know she won’t live much longer but I hope she can find some light before the end so it is not the darkness that takes her.

I cling to the things that make life feel bearable. The routine of work. My writing. Liverpool FC. Time with family and friends. But all feels weighted. Looking for good news in the New Year on the other side of a long and dark road back to the light.

 

November 2019- Strength

img_0073On New Year’s Eve 2018, I did a tarot drawing with the cards my daughter had given me for Christmas. For November, the drawing was Strength. And I will need it for the battles to come.

October in Review

October shook me like a hurricane. I can’t even talk about it or write about. I have some intense anger and frustration I am still working through. Thank heavens for Liverpool FC.

Liverpool continues to impress so that has been a welcome distraction. However, I can’t blog all their fixtures. Their one sad moment came against Manchester United where they tied 1-1.  Liverpool looked flat and tired, a rare look for them. However, considering their schedule, it has been impressive all the matches they have won. 

img_0070There are too many fixtures. Jurgen Klopp is right. For top EPL teams, the fixture list is insane. Some painful decisions must be made by FIFA. None will be popular. The best solution (to start with) is to cut the EPL down to 18 teams in order to remove four fixtures per team from the schedule. This ensures that the teams are the very best in football.  Yes, EPL players make a lot of money but this fixture list destroys the best players. It’s too much. 

I know this causes a lot of heartache in the fan base. Economic problems for the lower leagues. But something must be done. I hate to see such superior players have their careers cut short because they are only getting two weeks off a year.

In November

So I will let the book go for a last read by two beta readers. I do believe the first queries will fly early in December. If today’s revisions go well. I will need strength to battle through my dread at putting my book out there after pouring heart and soul into my writing over the last few decades, writing so many stories and books that were of varying quality.  I will need to persist.

 

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.

 

September 2019- The Star

img_1445It is already September. I did a drawing on New Year’s Eve 2018 for this year. A card for each month. September’s card is my favorite. It is The Star. Inspiration, creativity, and great potential are indicated here. Perfect timing as I am about to query my latest book. Let us hope that it is a better month than August.

Not that August was bad. It was hot and the card hanging over me was The Hanged Man. There were all sorts of 33ZtdHTURiKFCgs9a5ceBAcrossroads and changes.  In August, my daughter moved back here from New York to go back to school and to look at a new career path. I finished up the beta copy of my book weeks later than I anticipated. The ending is still not punching at the level I wish so it is still lying in pieces on my desk. I am giving myself a couple of weeks to figure out that last transition to give the ending the power I am looking for and then on to the beta readers.

Other challenges I can’t speak of out loud, not here but they are there. Like for everyone. So hoping the heat will go away by the end of September. Summer likes to linger well into October in the South. How I wish they had been right about the coming ice age in the seventies. I find the older I get, the less I like the warm.

 

August 2019- The Hanged Man

img_1444July has gone and it is time for another month from my year’s tarot reading. August brings the Hanged Man which portends salvation, a change of direction. That seems a good description. I have finished writing one book that will suit for a debut novel. It will be with beta readers around the 17th before I leave for the beach for a week.

July saw the reinvention of my surroundings, letting go of material things as a symbolic letting go of the past. I fought my battles and have come out no worse for the wear.

Last month ended with my parents losing their life-long home to fire. After three moves, from a one bed-room flat, to a third floor walk-up, and finally a little cottage, my parents are in a decent temporary home until their house can be rebuilt. They are putting my father’s childhood home back exactly as it was. I think they would even take back the mold and the sub-standard wiring. It will be cleaner when it is done. In theory. 56m6UCzbQM+nMtHLLxC0iQ

My daughter moves home in a few days from this post. Then we will take a week at the beach before she starts school and I start putting together my submission packages to send my book off into the dread query trenches.

LiverpoolFCFullLogoLiverpool is back for the 2019-2020 season. They play Man City on the 4th for “The Community Shield” – it is like a trophy only it’s not. It’s a pre-season less than friendly game. Then the season will open up properly against newly promoted Norwich on August 9th.  So turn the page and off we go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 2019- Knight of Swords

img_1443Back in December, on New Year’s Eve, I did a tarot drawing, one card for each month. July drew The Knight of Swords.  The knight indicates a battle, one that must be fought but the knight can lead that contest to victory. However, the fight must be made. And that is accurate. There are three distinct battles for me to fight this month.

June was a tough month. My parent’s house was destroyed by an electrical fire. No one was hurt but it will be 4-6 months in reconstruction. That is super tough for my elderly parents. It is the house my father was born in and the house I grew up in.

RenderedImage Dealing with the aftermath of the loss of my childhood home is the first battle of July. Getting my parents settled and finding a way for them to take advantage of insurance paying for everything so they can totally remodel their house, make it easy to live in for the remainder of their days will be a victory. However, the road there is hard and my parents are not in great health. Frankie is super worried.

The second battle. My daughter is leaving New York to come here to go back to school and regroup. She is not sure if she will return to New York. She has taken location out of her dreams.

UjkgY2PHSai+iopraTBXTwShe wishes to work at something where she feels passion and purpose, wherever that may be. She has taken a “Women in Tech” scholarship to learn full-stack programming to open up her options for employment. While in school, she is going to live with me. She returns home in August.

To prepare I have donated all my oversized furniture and for the first time in my life, bought new furniture that will allow the space to work comfortable for two. This has felt invigorating but also like closing a chapter of my life again. Change is the only constant in life but it comes slow.

58344333290__BC7FC1A5-CCCB-41A6-B2F6-7C0017396758The third is handing my book over to my two beta readers. I am off this week to finish up the last revisions. I have such mixed feelings. It is a good book, I think. I hope. But it is done. It is time to let it fly.

When one book ends, another must begin. In my little world, Hell is a white blank page. So much possibility for me to wield or destroy. Filling the first pages of a first draft feels like weeding through a field of razor sharp vines, a death by a thousand cuts. Once I get there, it is paradise and when I end a book, I hold paradise for a moment. And then I return right back into Hell.  So into the brink we go in a too hot July.

 

 

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.