Saturday, May 31, 2008


John left Houston mid-afternoon yesterday, and I met him in San Marcos to kick off our 33rd anniversary weekend celebration. We had dinner at a funky little basement cafe and gallery called The Root Cellar ( It's on LBJ, right across from Paper Bear (check this place out too - a five and dime on steroids!). They serve breakfast and lunch every day but Monday, dinner Thursday through Saturday. I highly recommend the pecan crusted chicken with bourbon sauce and a side of asparagus fries. ESPECIALLY the asparagus fries!

Now the real fun begins. We are heading over to Austin this morning, and have booked a hotel downtown, in walking distance to 6th street. See ya!

Thursday, May 29, 2008


I think you all should know, I just stepped out of a shower where I tried out my new Happy Hippy Shower Gel, and I can feel my aura centralizing already! The fragrance was orgasmic, something like grapefruit meringue pie. My kids sent me the Wild Child gift set from Lush fresh handmade cosmetics ( for Mother's Day this year. In addition to my mellow yellow hair and body gel, the set included a chocolate Whipstick Lip Balm, Rock Star Soap, and Flosty Gritter (as spelled by Noriko) Bubble Bar. Just one thing worries me. According to one of the product reviews I read on their website, if you use Happy Hippy to shave your armpits, which I did, you just might be doomed to Hippy Hell!


Yesterday morning, while pondering on the porch, I decided that there is some force in the universe that always seems to be pushing me along, never content with the steps I have already taken away from my comfort zone. I like to think this force might be the Mother of Muses, or MoM. It seems she won't be content until I overcome my phobia about art.

Some of my earliest memories are of being ecstatically in love with art supplies - child-sized easels with pots of paint lined up on the tray, the little black tin box of water color tablets, the giant box of crayons with built in sharpener, Play-doh, modeling clay, tubs of school paste and rubber cement, scissors, manila paper, construction paper and colored cellophane. I even loved the way they smelled. To this day, I think I get a little high whenever I catch a whiff of Play-doh. Unfortunately, art supplies also terrified me.

The urge to create was strong, but in my family, the fear of criticism and the need to be perfect were even stronger. So I chose the safe route. I stuck with coloring books, and was fanatical about staying within the lines. I did paint by number kits and learned to sew from patterns as a teen. As an adult I took up tole painting, again sticking to a pattern. Then the gardening bug finally bit me. You can't be a perfectionist and a gardener, so I was forced to loosen up. The plants were my paints, the beds my paper. I even did garden designing for a while, because I felt safe using the templates to draw the shapes, and was then able to indulge my love of colors by collecting and playing with all the Prismacolor markers and pencils. But still, I was always careful to stay within the lines. MoM just couldn't leave well enough alone.

For some reason she drove me to pick up pen and paper. It felt almost like a possession, a force I was incapable of resisting. And she wouldn't allow me to keep it private either. She and my husband were co-conspirators, enticing me with this blog idea. But at least she sent me a plethora of friends and muses, to support me in times of rejection and criticism. They held my hand and urged me along, saying "See? That wasn't so bad!" Now I realize that sure, there will always be someone who didn't like what I wrote, but who gives a shit? Someone will! And the only thing that really matters is, how did it make me feel to create it? Still, MoM isn't content.

Now she is whispering in my ear again, asking "When are you finally going to let us get those paints and Play-doh? Isn't it time, now that you know the world won't come to an end if you make a mistake?"

I came inside after writing this in my journal, and took my usual morning spin through my favorite blogs. Just to make sure I was paying attention to her whispering, MoM led me to this blog entry first thing: (check out the one titled Art vs Craft)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Up until just a few months ago, I was such a Luddite that my husband almost fainted when I told him I had googled something. Now, when I speak of site meters and article banks, he just stares at me as if he fears an alien has taken over my body. One of my newest discoveries is blogrolls, or blog communities. Bloggers with similar interests are banding together to form groups. Not only does it make it easier for one to find a whole list of blogs on a particular topic, it also brings a lot more traffic to each individual blog, by linking them together so that it's easy to hop from one to the other, thus raising their rating on google or technorati. I thought about joining Foodie Blogroll, but my blog isn't just about food. Same goes for the gardening blogs, craft blogs, etc. Then I found the perfect community for women like me: Midlife Bloggers ( If you are looking for blogs that speak to our particular interests and give us a voice, check it out. Also check out Women Bloom ( - a kind of bazaar for ideas, items, people, conversations, and resources that we can use to make the most of middle age.


I finally got notification that both of the stories I submitted to the Story Circle Network's Anthology are going to be published in the online overflow section of the anthology, not the actual print version. I'm pretty disappointed that at least one of them didn't make it in. Hell, let's be honest here. I'm actually disappointed that no one has discovered this obscure little blog of mine and offered me a newspaper column or book deal yet! How sad is that?

When I was reading the advance copy of Jeannie Ralston's The Unlikely Lavender Queen, I felt twinges of envy, knowing that she's about to have a best seller under her belt, and she's probably 10 years younger than me. Of course, I just started writing semi-seriously a few months ago, and she's been honing her craft her entire life, making sacrifices and taking chances. Still....

I suppose that's my perpetual modus operandi - wanting to be good at something right from the start, without having to suffer through the learning curve or pay any dues. Wanting it to be fun, easy, and ego-lifting, not hard and humiliating. The question now is, will I bail out after one too many rejection notice, or will I be able to break from form and stay the course? Time will tell.

I read a couple of reviews recently, about books done by one of my favorite self-help authors, Julia Cameron. I was reminded that there are several things I've let slide lately: writing my morning pages, meditative walks, artist's dates. I was inspired to knuckle down, make these routine, and add one more goal to my list - producing three pages of work each day, on whatever my current project might be. If I can make these things a regular part of my life, then I can grow as a writer. That's the good news.

The bad news is, I discovered that, though she has helped millions of others unlock their creativity, and has herself been one of the most prolific writers out there, Julia's own path has not been easy. Like so many others who create, she has battled with alcoholism and depression for most of her career, and has suffered several breakdowns. It makes me wonder, do these two have to go hand in hand, creation and agony? Must I trade in my wonderfully sane and happy life, if I want to produce something worthy of admiration? Would I even consider it? Not on your life.