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.




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.


Puzzling Across The Trenches

I am so close to the edge of the query trenches. If my book were a jigsaw puzzle, it would look like the picture below.  So close but with a few holes. This puzzle was a thousand pieces. At this point, I am missing less than one hundred. The structure is totally in place just as the book has a solid format.


My book has gone through workshops, beta reads, editor eyes, and there remain a few holes. But like the jigsaw puzzle, I will finish it and soon. Piece by piece. For now it is napping so that I can read it with fresh eyes at the end of the month. Then we are off to the query trenches with no further delays with a gloriously finished book.

Didn’t the puzzle turn out splendidly? I hope this is about what my library looks like one day. If my books do exceedingly well. I hope they do. I can dream, yes?



An Unfinished Puzzle

My daughter came home for the holidays. One of the activities we have always loved img_1399doing together since she was a tiny baby girl has been puzzles. So in the midst of finishing Christmas shopping and preparing for an endless influx of guests and gatherings, we picked up a jigsaw puzzle to do together.

We love libraries and so picked out a jigsaw puzzle of the Maria Laach Library in Germany. It is gorgeous place but makes for a nearly impossible puzzle.

My daughter is only here for three days so we have spent our tired hours piecing together this lovely library. It almost feels like finding each piece and the right place for it settles something cosmically. For me, it feels like echoing heaven. We are only a breath away at times it seems. We can see paradise but can only paint illusions of it.

img_1367My daughter and I gathered with our extended family on Christmas Eve morning for a brunch. My aunt passed away in 2015 leaving my uncle in charge of her beloved horses so we all ventured down to the barn, a repeat of a tradition that has been going for as long as I can remember.

My uncle lives in the house my aunt was born in and died in. Our family is like that, settling hard on the land. My cousins are big on pictures, recording every moment they possibly can on film.


I could not help but notice how my uncle and cousins all are able to celebrate my aunt’s life more than they mourn the loss of it. I still miss my Aunt Barbara so much. She was one of those iron ladies you sometimes read about but rarely have the pleasure to know.

The picture of my family that I took is missing pieces. My parents were not feeling too well and so they left the brunch right after eating. My brother’s car died, and he and my nephew could not attend. My daughter and I lurked behind the camera, and the sun made it devilishly hard to get a clear photo on my phone. Pieces of the whole still remain to be fit in order to complete the picture. Isn’t that always the way of things?





Liverpool FC vs My Book

LiverpoolFCI have two weaknesses. Gummy bears and Liverpool FC. The worst the gummy bears do is expand my aging waist. I can live with that and I can keep writing. In fact, the sugary goodness of the little bears can push me through hard endeavors like a query or a synopsis. Oh how I despise writing a synopsis.

LiverpoolWomenLiverpool FC, however, can distract me to the point that my book languishes in the background. How I wish they had a proper women’s team when I was coming along. I would have left school to play for them. How I envy these young women.

For years and years and then some more years, for the greater part of my life, Liverpool has not performed so well. It is only recently that Liverpool has begun to show its fans hope. I do believe that this winning streak that Liverpool is on is why I will be querying a book in early 2019.  Although, short of my obsession, perhaps the book would have been ready last summer. Ah well. It is what it is.

LFCLogoIn years past, when they would lose, I would languish for days. It was so heartbreaking. Now, I get that way if they draw, but as long as they keep winning, my writing will flourish. The bit where my characters keep earning the names of various Liverpool players, well, that is not something I can control. Obsession being what it is. I love that football club. So if you know any Liverpool players or staff, tell them to keep winning. My writing career depends on it.

In fact, if Liverpool wins the Premiere League, I will tattoo their logo onto my back on the right- in a great place of honor next to my Tolkien tat.

An Ancient Tome

I wrote a paper on JRR Tolkien for an independent study while in school in London, this thirty years ago. Time is beating the crap out of me, no doubt. So I wanted to travel to Oxford to have look at a few original sources kept in the University libraries.  I am big on original sources.

One of my professors proudly supplied me with a pass. However, I did not realize there were limitations to the pass. Much to the horror of the librarians, I was drawn to a restricted section full of ancient tomes. Most were locked behind glass. That should have been a hint.

There was, among those moldy old books, one left unintended written in a script and language I could not decipher. On impulse, I picked it up thus earning my lifetime banishment from that library.

It was totally worth it, despite the possible apocalyptic horror it might have unleashed. Oopsie.

In the  moment I touched that book, I felt a surge of energy pulse through me. Possibly  brought on by the horror of the ruddy security guard sputtering at me, but I rather believe that electrified pulse came from the book itself, the book wanting to impart its contents to someone, anyone. Or possibly it unleashed the apocalypse, given current events.

All books are magic. I have no clue what was in the book I came across, be it spells of a lost power or possibly a transcription of some church records. I never could find out. My escort, the one that unceremoniously threw me out of the library into the rain, only lectured me on how rude Americans could be and would hear no excuses from me.

I only had my imagination to go by. I think the script was Gaelic of some kind. It possibly came from a monastary but I don’t even know how old the book might have been. I did not have enough time to examine the vellum. Might it have been crafted of human skin? There was a time… but such parchment would not hold ink for so long. Well, unless there was some evil enchantment at work. Definitely a possibility.

Yes, all books are magic and so, some are quite dangerous. Magic and truth in equal measure all in black and white. Most people avoid both of these more vehemently than they do root canal.

My imagination crafted that old restricted book into a grimoire, a spell book for the darkest of sorcerers. And so filled my nights with horrors for years after, some demon force chasing me across time and space.

Now, I seek a way to defeat the dark magic unleashed on me by that ancient tome, to tame or banish the demons that rose with its powers. Sadly, books of miracles, are so rare. Well, I never could find one equal to the demons that haunt me so I decided I would write one, an Idyll. I am running out of time. I can’t hold off those demons  much longer.

I do apologize if my jaunt into the restricted section of the library ultimately leads to a zombie apocalypse. Awkward.