#AtoZChallenge: New

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By AE Brehm [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Yesterday, I noticed spring. There was nothing, but now scarlet tulips sit tight and upright on their emerald stems; lacy hyacinths wave in the strong spring wind; daffodils all smile at the same point in the distance. The grass isn’t brown. There aren’t leaves, not yet, but branches are dotted with the promise of leaves.

Spring.

Some of the flowering trees have started, and the air itself has changed. It’s new.

There’s a reason spring cleaning is a thing. Nature seems to do it itself, pushing away the dead and dried to make way for the green. Rain scrubs the skies. It washes away the things left behind.

There is no tribute to new quite like spring. Winter has come and gone, and with it its cold and stillness. It isn’t still now.

It’s spring. And the world is new.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

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#AtoZChallenge: Keeper or keeperless

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By Taken by fir0002 | flagstaffotos.com.au Canon 20D + Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 L (Own work) [GFDL 1.2 (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Another letter, another inspiration lull (hmm, lull. Note L word for tomorrow), so I decided to go with a hint from the universe and get a random word.

Didn’t exactly work at first.

I got a list of words starting with K I wasn’t sure were words, including Kwakiutl, which, I learned, were a Canadian native American group found in British Colombia. Now we’ve both learned something.

Finally, after several clicks of “generate,” the word “keeperless” (my spellcheck disputes its wordiness) appeared. Keeperless. Curious.

But not fully inspiring. I turned to my trusty thesaurus, with its torn cover and yellowed, curled pages, found K, and closed my eyes.

Justice.

K started on the J page. Aiming a little lower, I pointed. And hit.

Keeper.

Curiouser. Keeper and keeperless. There is a poetry to it, a yin and yang, keeper and keeperless, A balance of words, perhaps only out of chance, perhaps out of something more and mysterious.

Keeper and keeperless.

 

 

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

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#AtoZChallenge: Glue

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By Rob Hooft (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Want to glue your eyes to a page?  Aunty Ida is only $0.99 for a limited time! It’s almost over, grab your copy now!

I bought glue from the dollar store once, and it didn’t stick to anything. It didn’t make anything stick together. If you stuck your finger in it–which I did with a recent project–it felt slippery.

Slippery glue.

I have no idea what was really in that bottle. It was white, like the school-project favorite, Elmer’s, but it certainly didn’t didn’t have its glueyness. Anything you applied it to curled up, defiant, uninterested in being attached.

“Things fall apart,” as Yeats wrote.

Things Fall Apart, as Chinua Achebe echoed in the title of his brilliant book about post-colonial Nigeria.

“Things fall apart,” say I, about dollar store glue. But not only dollar store glue.

The center cannot hold.

 

 

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

 Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only) ($0.99 for a short time)  and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

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Beyond Our Given Universe

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IMG_0856So here we are, already well into August, the year 2016 a roaring train steaming past all the stops. Each day is a day, the normal length, but they slip and slide over one another until there is a pile and we’re eight months in.

There is an alternate reality out there, one where Chicago got the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, and right now, in that other world, my neighborhood is loud and packed and the lakefront is inaccessible. The roads are choked with traffic trying to avoid streets closed for events, and helicopters drone overhead.

In that other world.

But here in this one, it’s another lovely Chicago summer, the crowds pulled by the tides of the baseball and festival schedules. The shore of Lake Michigan is as open and gleaming as ever, and I sit here with my thoughts of the possible universes beyond the one we know.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

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Chicago Summer Back Again

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IMG_7980So here we are, nearly at the end of June, and time has gotten slippery. The days themselves don’t seem to speed by, but they pile up on (upon?!) one another, careless paper, fluttering away.

Without much of a thought, I’ve gone from heavy coats and hats and boots to reminding myself I don’t need to grab a jacket as I head out the door.

It’s summer.

Real ice-cream-eating, long, languid days of daylight-giving, sweat-inducing summer. Welcome back.

I’ve never really thought about how the change of seasons might influence my writing. Perhaps how I write; dark winter days with a mug of something hot sounds like romantic writing at its finest. And maybe bright summer days should be spent out in the world, away from a keyboard, doing, experiencing.

Maybe.

In Chicago, we earn our summers through slushy wet sidewalks and sharp, needling snowflakes. Through slidey roads and a wind that drives half of your molecules from your body and into the cold beyond.

But our summers melt all of that away, under broad blue skies and a lake made of shifting blue. The humidity can settle down, heavily, and yet people smile.

After all, it’s summer.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

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On the Nature of Wishes

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WhenIMG_0079 I was a little girl, there was the persistent belief that you could make a wish by blowing on a dandelion. As an adult, I can now see that the only wishes likely granted that way were the wishes of the dandelion to spread its weediness far and wide, but seeing these the other day made me think about the nature of wishes.
We have so many superstitions about the objects that can prove transformative — birthday candles; necklace clasps; eyelashes — that can somehow take the utterly intangible and make it real. As though they are gateways, somehow, to the larger power of the universe, the power to manifest and make it so.

Is the world a better place with or without wishes? In a way, they are little packets of hope, whispered to no one and kept close to ourselves. But sometimes hope turns to disappointment, disillusionment. So is it better to not put faith in magic at all?

I didn’t pick that dandelion. I didn’t close my eyes or send its seeds scattering on the wind of my breath.

But I can’t say that I didn’t hope, if only for a millisecond, that a little girl might come along who would.

In or near Chicago? Check out our sketch comedy revue, Me Inside Me Presents: “Neurotrash.” Saturdays at 10 pm, May 7, 14, 21 & 28 in Donny’s Skybox Theater. Tickets $13; Students $11 SCTC Students: $7  Click here for tickets.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

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Could It Possibly, Possibly Be?

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We had one very warm day, and now it’s cooler again, but it seems inescapable: spring is in the air. Except for a few stubborn patches, the snow is gone, a few random piles of black, gritty ice stubbornly holding on, but they know their time is nearly up.

There are blue skies and brown grass, but the grass won’t stay that way for long. I haven’t seen the buds yet in the trees, but they’re coming. You can feel it.

This winter wasn’t as brutal as last winter, as ceaseless, as ready to take your soul and pack it away in the deep freeze. But still it saps you, the continuous cold under bleak clouds.

Spring is about beginnings. It’s about newness, about freshness. Spring is the mud you gather when you get going, the windburned cheeks and numb fingertips you know are a promise of warmth to come. Spring is seeds and tentative flowers and trees alive with crowded beauty.

Spring takes the browns and the beiges and paints the earth alive with color. It lets everything be new. It lets us be new.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!