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.

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.

 

April 2019- The Moon

img_1440I made a tarot drawing on New Year’s Eve 2018 for 2019 for the purpose of creating a mere twelve blog posts for the year.

So it is April already, the cruelest month. The card drawn is The Moon. This card indicates self-imposed boundaries that must be broken with solitary pursuit. So I am starting the month in an undisclosed location confined to quarters.

A voice has haunted me since my earliest memories.  It tells me that nothing will be all right until I finish my books. There are twelve of these books. They are the key. I have written many others, half-written, scoped out. There is another three, another four, and another half dozen possibilities. But the initial twelve are the ones this voice wants so badly.

I am not allowed anything of value until I complete them, no relationships, no stability, no happiness, no love, nothing. Even the precious daughter I raised on my own was done at the voice’s instruction, to teach me what joy there might be, to show me possibility and introduce me to dire adversity. Another’s life always matters more than your own.

My work as a contracted employee at the school district also the work of this voice, to give me time and enough stability to do the writing. How I have squandered so much of that time. I must finish these books or my life is meaningless. When I hit my thirties I tried to circumvent the number, cut it down to seven and so started with what will become book 6.  I knew it would not fly. Nobody really likes Pre-quels after all. Did Star Wars teach me nothing?

Finishing these stories is all that matters. Nothing else will satisfy me. Nothing. It is the only purpose, my only talent. I can do nothing else of value. So I must finish. I keep getting in my own way. Making excuses. I don’t know why I fear finishing the only thing I have ever felt both passion and compulsion to do.  It is paralyzing me. I simply cannot enjoy anything, no trip, no freedom,  no living person’s company, until these books are going out in the world.

All the rest my life seems so far out of my control, decisions made so that I could survive but nothing that gave me anything like happiness.  So for April, I follow the moon.

The Ides of March

March saw Judgment Reversed. The drawing seemed spot on. I felt trapped in my own sort of misery, going through the motions of life rather than living it.  I could not seem to break through even the smallest of barriers. I got a minimal amount of revision done to my book. I overcame one financial obstacle only to have another undo that progress. Frustration was the theme all month.

I worked out faithfully but no weight was lost. I dieted but still pain and exhaustion remained the theme of my existence. I feel a steady intense anger all the time, hormonal probably, but also existential. If I were only less stubborn, I would give up, embrace my heavier, older frame or toss myself into that inevitable abyss. Alas, I can’t stop fighting

 

Liverpool Results for March

LiverpoolFCFullLogoLiverpool kept my spirits up in places of terrible darkness.  More and more the bucket item of visiting Anfield for a Liverpool Premier League match moved higher up my list. Watching them play brings me joy like nothing else. There is something in that beautiful game where men from every imaginable background come together for a single purpose. I can’t quite hit on it, but there are answers there in this simple game.

March 3rd

Liverpool 0   Everton 0 this put me in a terrible mood to start the month. Liverpool should have beat Everton handily. 

March 10th

Liverpool 4. Burnley 2 – loved this

March 13th

Liverpool 3    Bayern München 1 – Champion’s League – HUGE

March 17th

Liverpool 2.  Fulham 1 – less than stellar performance but we’ll take it

March 31st

Liverpool 2  Tottenham 1 – what a game. Heart still pounding.

 

Here is hoping that April is better than March.