Friday, September 29, 2006

Today I read some really uplifting, thought provoking blog posts from some fellow writers that made me proud to be one:

Check out the dangers of self-doubt at Sue Henderson's Lit Park

Discover your inner Tony Soprano at Alison Luterman's new Blog

And see what's in Laila Lalami's desk as she prepares to leave with her family on a 9-month stay in Morocco on her recent Fullbright Fellowship.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Word Pirates

My friends Joy and Marcia (who has a great blog post on why the movie Last Kiss blew!) are behind a very cool writing group that I am sad not to be a part of called "Word Pirates." One of the things they're doing now is interviewing the editors of literary magazines. Below is a statement from Joy about what they're doing and a link to their interviews. Read them!

"The idea behind the Interview Series is two-fold. First, we wanted to get to know individual journals more intimately. Not that we don't read them -- we try to, and we definitely do before submitting to them. Still, there are a lot of them out there, and they can run together. Secondly, we wanted to explore who the editors behind the journals are and what they want from writers. We suspected, for example, that shorter pieces were more likely to get in a journal than longer pieces because space is so coveted, but we really didn't know that for sure. So we wanted to get the information straight from the editors and see what we could learn from them.

Marcia Simmons and I started Word Pirates because we didn't see a lot of writing groups in Sonoma County that suited all our writing needs. Since a lot of Word Pirates work in journalism or have gone through a MFA programs, we write with an eye toward publishing. But although we take writing seriously, we don't take ourselves too seriously, thus our silly name. We have room for maybe one more member."

Check them out:

and the first of the interview series:

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

So much noise

I would never be able to live in a city unless I had some kind of magic windows that shut out all the noise.

Here in suburbia there is so much noise--most of it at night, which has been putting a serious dent in my sleep.

There are the dogs. The loud, ferocious dog and the little yappy dog. Together they make some kind of crazy dog harmony that is perfect for waking you up at all hours of the night.

There are the trains that rumble and honk their way through town about every couple hours, day or night. People think I am joking until they are on the phone with me when one comes thru.

There are the planes flying from the San Jose Int'l airport.

There is the street work which is being done at night WHY?

There is the neighbor's washing machine which rumbles and thuds against our bedroom wall, and sometimes, I think on "date" night, they play very strange, loud Chinese music at decibels you would expect of teenagers.

There are the men and their big trucks gunning their engines at whatever time of day or night suits them.

There is my cat, who howls, or digs his claws into his bed with an irritating ripping sound, and digs into his cat box in the middle of the night when he's bored.

There are the ubiquitious mosquitoes, no matter how many we kill before bed, whose hell-sent little whine reaches straight into my very soul.

I am overfed on noise. I want to crawl into an isolation chamber.

We have been using our fan as a white noise machine.

I will get used to it.


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Is there such a thing as writing too much?

I have been accused of being "prolific" at times. I say "accused" because some people equate writing quickly with writing badly. I have set on paper five novels. "Five?" people say (usually non-writers, I'll confess). "How is it possible?" To which I want to reply, 'are you kidding me?' If I'd exercised more discipline I could have written a book for every adult year of my life and probably had something so shiny with the sheer electricity of effort that it would run out and publish itself.

If you write every day, or even five days a week, you're going to produce a lot of material, and hopefully you have something to cull from that material. I both admire and resent writers who say they write every day, 7 days a week, inspiration or no. They take their work seriously, as a job, keeping the muscle exercised and not relying on the rumored strike of inspiration to plough into them. Are they, then, prolific, or just dedicated? The average successful writer publishers a novel a year. Joyce Carol Oates has been known to write more than two a year!

But let's look at the numbers (I know, you thought we were talking about writing; bear with me) : If you wrote just two pages a day--that's about 500 words, barely out of the gate, though sometimes all you can muster--and you did this five days a week you would write 2500 words, or 10 pages per week. If you did this every week for 52 weeks--1 year--you would have written 130,000 words, or approximately 520 pages--almost twice as long as the average novel published these days. Do you see what I'm saying? 500 words is a pretty moderate number, too. I tend to write about 1000 words at a sitting, sometimes as many as 2500 if I'm really on a roll. I can write a "draft" of a novel in six months easy. Revision is a whole other world of time and pain, but you can do a lot of revising in six months. I'm not saying this is a great way to write every book, or that every writer can do this, but if you consider my pace, the fact that I've only written five novels shows me to be far from prolific.

Besides, most writers will tell you that they write to teach themselves. I wrote four novels to get one I really liked, and even that one may not be the winning one. So I have to sit my butt down and believe that there's another 300 pages in me somewhere. Sometimes this is a daunting feeling, until the itch of the next idea gets under my collar, then it's just like jonesing for your next score.

A friend emailed me this evening and asked when I'd begin the next novel, and how I would get started on such an endeavor. It just so happens that I have formally begun a new novel. By "formally" I mean that I am attempting to write every day with a loose seed of an idea in mind. Each day I give it attention it gains more facets, starts to look like something I want to keep writing. Sometimes about 100 pages in, that feeling dies off and that's a real bummer.

I'm curious how other writers approach novel writing. For me it's one step into the light, and five more, groping through the dark after the rest of it. The story reveals itself to me if I'm patient and curious. I often find that an idea is novel worthy if it sort of wraps me up in it, gets me unrealistically excited and makes me want to talk about the idea to anyone who will listen (the not wanting to talk about it part comes later). Novel writing is a process of discovery, like cave spelunking or hikining in a totally foreign terrain. I can't know all the answers, all the people, the central conflicts at first. I have to know only the tiniest bit because it's the exploration that is enjoyable, not the knowing. I get started by getting started. I write a novel about 1000 words at a time.

And yes, I did have extra caffeine today.

Motley Muse

The muse is back! I don't know where she's been though; she smells like dirt and tar and death. Her suitcase has the disconcerting weight and heft of a human head or small, exotic animal. She dyed her hair blue and she calls me names I can't use here, but at least she's back, if only to show me who's boss in this whole writing business.

One of the things she made clear to me is that using the internet over the years has weakened my creative focus. That's right. She checked off a whole list of things I do regularly that make her crazy and thus withhold inspiration:

--I check my email too frequently.

--I use Google and Wikipedia to research things that at one point I would have left the house for to go to the library, where not only would I engage with the accidental mystery of books, but other people--"you remember people you ungrateful *@$%Q!?" she said, with a condescending scowl.

--I frequent other people's blogs too often, replacing actual conversations with little thoughts left in the comments section.

--She then revised her statement about checking my email. I check my email not just "frequently" but "like someone in the throes of paranoid schizophrenia checks the street for men in black." (And to the person who arrived here by searching for "Scarlet letter alien conspiracy--yes, the letter S will be branded on your back at the next abduction).

--My attention span as a result of internet surfing means that I can only write for about an hour at a time as opposed to the days when I wrote for half a day, or all night.

Muses can be tough, but they're no good at really making good on the consequences. She might leave again, but she'll come back. She's nothing without me.


Monday, September 25, 2006

I am shy on words these past couple weeks. I've got plenty of thoughts and feelings but they aren't translating into reader-friendly material.

I'm noticing something a little bit alarming in my writing process. For most of my life I wrote because I had to, because stories burned themselves into my unconscious and begged to be told. I wrote novels to entertain myself, and with the delicate notion of publishing them as an afterthought, a possible prize someday down the road. Now I find myself saying, "Do I really want to invest the time in that short story when the lit mag scene is so glutted?" "Do I really want to write another novel before even one has been published?"

Is this just a phase I'm going through, or is this the negative repercussions of longing for publishing success for too long?



Friday, September 22, 2006

Hello. I believe I may be writing on borrowed internet connection...

Last evening I taught a class. I prepared well. Three pages of notes condensed down to an outline. I even came up with some great ideas that I had to scrawl one-handedly while driving and decipher later. I felt confidant and I was even wearing my grown up clothes! Yet the moment I stood up there, looking from page of notes to sea of faces, I realized, Oh my God--I am the person speaking here. It's me who must convey something interesting and hopefully entertaining for the next hour and a half. Sweat began to bead up beneath my polyester top (it's quite lovely, just not that expensive) and I experienced a moment of astral travel as my spirit seemed to levitate outside of my body, looking down on the scribbles that those humans call words.

Teaching is really hard. For some people it comes naturally. What comes naturally to me is being a know it all on the page in 7-10 steps usually in the form of a writing article with such titles as "How to Keep Your Action On-Stage" or some such. I have taught before in a number of different settings. Never in a university or college, of course.

What's hard about it is that it all makes sense in my head but once I begin to speak it I realize that each single step I want to talk about, must actually be broken into six more smaller steps. I have a sort of mathematical-existential crisis in which I wonder how many parts is enough. Worse, my voice quavers when I'm nervous and sometimes my words get choked in my throat and I involuntarily swallow. It's very silly. It was a very kind group of people, all eager.

I found my groove in places and there were even a few laughs at moments, and I think they did actually learn something (as did I), but I realize that teaching is something you must practice and get better at, sort of like writing.

If only I knew more jokes.


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Unexpected Cheer

It amazes me how little it takes to cheer me up. I've been in a bit of a funk lately, I admit it, and with all I know about the body's relationship to the mind/emotions, it's no surprise to me that the past couple days especially I've not been feeling that well physically. I know the two are connected.

Each night I try to do some kind of writing or meditation exercise designed to end the night on an up-note. Lately it's been writing more often than meditating. And in the morning, I do find that on most days I look forward to the day. Each day does feel full of promise at 7:30 even if by 2:30, I'm a crankpot.

Today I decided I wanted something sweet, so I walked downtown to the new little joint in town that actually reminds me a bit of Petaluma, where we moved from. On my way there I ran into my chiropractor, who is in my age group, actually and one of the very few people I know in this town, and the source of my one good friend that I've made here. We exchanged nothing more than pleasantries, but it was nice to see a familiar face, and one who knows my name, nonetheless. Then I went into the cafe I set out for. I've been in there enough times that one of the owners knows me by sight and greets me warmly. We got to talking even, and had a really nice conversation and I left there realizing that even in this town where I feel so alien still, two people had just recognized and greeted me kindly. That raised my spirits. The "wonder bar" with ice cream that I bought didn't hurt either :)

I walked home, indulged in an episode of Sex and the City before returning to work on the notes for the class I'm teaching tomorrow.

I feel better today.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Further Grappling with Meaning

I would never have admitted it to myself before recent years, but I have spent a large chunk of my adult life being quite ambitious. The most ambitious years were probably age 21 to 28. During this seven year stretch I tried on a lot of different jobs to support my writing, from massage therapy to vitamin buyer. I attended lots of writing classes, workshops and those conferences that I could afford and had lots of brush-ups with people who said encouraging things to me that led me to believe I had some kind of talent. I started projects like my life depended on it, from a women's magazine to a literary radio show, causing those who knew me well to chuckle when I told them of yet another new "thing" (and my poor husband to cringe for some of those over-booked years). I think now that the chuckle must have meant something like, "You're going to burn yourself out" but the hallmark of a good friend is that no one ever told me to quit or that I was foolish.

And truthfully I don't think it was foolish. I had great energy and a conviction that I could do just about anything I set my mind to. In truth, I could, and I often did. I am still surprised at how far a "can do" attitude will take a person, and it impressed upon me the fact that most of us believe we "can't" and therefore never try. I knew that I wasn't more special than anyone else, I was just driven to do these things and I had nothing to lose (okay, so you might find some answers to my ambition in my childhood... :) )

I also found that when you set something in motion, other people will surf the wake and hop on and add energy to the equation until you've got something bigger than what you started with. I've learned a lot this way.

But once I was knee-deep in graduate school some of that ambition gave way to an overwhelming sense of the vast odds against me, against any writer. I was not a newcomer to the submission process. I entered graduate school with a literary agent, in fact. But when I got a good look at just how many of us there were--in my one school alone--hungering to make a name for ourselves in the literary world, it dulled my ambition a little. It's been resurrected many times over since then, and is certainly responsible for any success I can claim now. But I'm going through something new these past six months or so. I can't decide if I've become un-ambitious, more realistic, or if my ambition is beginning to seem like a hollow thing in the face of other forms of meaning. After all is it more meaningful to have achievements, and success bestowed upon you by people you'll probably never meet, or from your loved ones? Is it more meaningful to make a lot of money or to have a happy life with exactly as much as you need?

We live in such a material culture that reinforces at every turn that we must have things and status to feel alive. If we aren't defined by our cars, our homes or our "toys" then what? From there, you get to qualify if you have children or a "great" career, so beyond that, what gives us meaning? I think the answer is in the arts for many of us. Music, literature and good cinema keep us connected to larger questions, remind us we aren't alone and that nobody really has the patent on how we got here or where we're going.

Is my meaning generated in the process of writing itself, before any person ever lays eyes on it? I sure hope so. That has to be the answer or really, I'm completely in the dark.


Monday, September 18, 2006

Saturday I spent all day at the Sonoma County Book Festival in Santa Rosa. This experience reinforced for me the thoughts I've been having on validation--on what a writer is to do when there is none, or little, or not the kind they'd hoped for, forthcoming (answer: gather en masse).

Like many others, Rebecca Lawton and I were there with our publisher, Arthur Dawson of Kulupi Press (our book's parent imprint) to attract interest in and show off the mock-up cover of our book: Creating Space: For Writers & Other Artistic Souls. I want to make it clear that this cover is not complete. The background will stay (the work of a the talented artist Irene Ehret), but the text will be different.

When seated behind a booth, you are relatively captive to those that pass by. For the most part, it was a pleasure to be captive to inquiring visitors. But I also was privy to the pitch of many a writer on their various and assorted projects--from books to newsletters and everything in between. It reinforced for me that we writers are a hungry, hungry bunch. I wanted to hand out little stickers that said, "I validate you," because that was what I felt so many were asking for. It didn't matter that I was a stranger, that my book and theirs had nothing in common, that I probably had no insight, help or assistance for their project: I was a warm body and they needed to be heard.

So to all of you who held up your poetry/chapbooks/comic book spy novels/first drafts and fourth printings of your words before me on Saturday I say: consider yourself validated. Because sometimes that's all we get--five minutes with a stranger to pat you on the head and say good job--even if that was all the validation you ever get...or even if I was just one in a crowd of admirers lucky enough to talk to you before your star bursts into a fiery rush of success.

And thanks for all your words to me too. This writing gig is harder than it looks from the outside.


Thursday, September 14, 2006

I knew that an essay of mine, written back when I was still in graduate school, was appearing in a little local Sonoma County paper called Women's Voices, but I was pleased to discover that my essay is, in fact, one of the featured pieces in their online edition right now:

Here's the essay if you can't follow the link for any reason:

Authoring A Life
By Jordan E. Rosenfeld

More than forty years after her death, I finally discovered Sylvia Plath. A copy of The Journals of Sylvia Plath sat on my husband's bookshelf throughout our courtship and marriage. It's possible that I was even the one who unpacked and shelved it in one of our many moves. When I worked as a clerk at a bookstore in college, I stocked and sold her novel, The Bell Jar, to eager college students plenty of times, but I never picked it up myself. So why, on the precipice of turning thirty, did I suddenly find myself reaching for that small yellow paperback that had been in plain view for years?

And what are the chances that, at KRCB radio, home of my literary radio show, Word by Word, two books about Sylvia Plath and her husband Ted Hughes would arrive in my box within days of my beginning to read her journals? One was a biography of the famous couple's poetic marriage called Her Husband by Diane Middlebrook and the other a novel based upon author Kate Moses' fancy, called Wintering, of what Sylvia's last months of life might have been like.
The outside observer, particularly one who doesn't believe in a world of symbols, or synchronicity, might say that my encounter was nothing more than a suggestion made by popular culture to my unconscious, since the movie Sylvia, loosely based on her life, was in theaters at the time.

Still, even if the sudden emergence of Plath's ghost in my life was nothing more than a marketing coup, how can any of that explain the process that unfolded?

I became completely inhabited by Sylvia for two months. I breezed through her journals as if I was reading a fast-paced adventure story or beguiling whodunit. As tempted as one might be to call my experience voyeurism, I believe it quite surpassed that. Because she only lived thirty-one years, the journals are both a kind of microscope of her inner life, which was rich and tumultuous and genius, and a kind of mythic creation story in its own right. In those journals she created a private landscape that neither Ted, her mother nor her children ever saw until after her death.

Sylvia was drawn toward symbols and mythology. Early on she was affected by the Greek myth of Ariadne, eventually abandoned by her lover Theseus. The myth Sylvia loved and integrated into her poetry prophetically played out in her own life when her fierce marriage to Ted Hughes ended in his adulterous abandonment. It is almost as if the script that Sylvia laid down in her journals, of her own longing and desire, was the template she began to live her life by. Even before that, as she describes the kind of man she wants to marry in her late teens, from physique to temperament, it is hardly a surprise when a man matching those traits, Hughes, turns up, as if her words on the page were an incantation drawing him to life.

You might think that because I was the same age as Plath was when she died, I simply identified with Plath on some surface level. Both writers. Both moody and temperamental. Both uncertain about how to balance creative life and real life. You might think I projected myself into her story which, with her ambitions and craving for publication, her sharp self-criticism and driving Type-A personality, are mirror images of me. But you'd be only half right.

Once I became trapped inside the weave of Sylvia's life, I was overtaken by a familiarity that seemed to rise from a memory tucked not in my brain so much as in a kind of cellular memory. I recall being eight years old, spinning narratives composed of my own fragmented early life. My real parents, struggling with addiction and even darker battles, became a disappeared fairy queen, a bewitched woodcutter. My story girls were heroines who faced off with monsters and thieves and the cruel and cutting archetypes of all great myths—loss itself. In order to accommodate the rough shod world of reality that didn't match up with the needs of a child, I wrote parallel stories in a form I could understand and explain. Is it a surprise, then, that the story I began to write down became the story I lived? Just like Sylvia appeared to have written her career, her husband, and her children into being.

We are the authors of our lives, but there is something powerful, bigger than us that emerges when we catalogue and note-take the details of our lives. Words are powerful, alchemical, like shamanic rituals bringing things into being, singing life out of nothingness—creation myths.
When I reached the end of Sylvia's journals, the biography and then Kate Moses' stunning novel about her, I had to keep myself from falling into depression. It was painful enough that she died and took her words with her. It was also painful that forty years later, I was losing her all over again when I set the book down.

Slowly it became clear that something of Sylvia remained with me, the way some essence of the myth Ariadne remained with her. She built a psychic landscape populated by resonant archetypes. She chose these archetypes from early on, based on the variables given to her at birth and then, slowly, she followed them through to their end. She became Ariadne, abandoned by Theseus, only to be resurrected and loved by me and other writers down the decades.
Sylvia's work was a startling mirror for me reflecting that I, too, have been living out certain stories and myths. Not only do they manifest in my fiction, they manifest in the choices I make in my life. I have the Cinderella complex perhaps‹a young girl striving against the cruelty of a stepmother (world/ job/ ideology) who doesn't love her; the loss of the all-powerful, all-loving father or parent (birth /separation from source/loss of innocence) keening for a romantic prince (future/career/mate) that promises love and success.

Her easy blurring of real life and writing life reminded me with great clarity that we author our
own lives, whether we write or not.

* * *

There's a restlessness in me and I don't know what it is. Maybe just as the season is changing outside, leaves crisping up in the heat and preparing to drop away, things neither too hot, nor really cool, it's also changing inside me.

I want to begin work on the next novel but find myself in resistance. Want to generate something new but can't quite find the on button.

At least I'm not living here:

Monday, September 11, 2006

Hold the Words in your Hand

Despite how that last post sounded, I am not jaded yet by the publishing industry. I refuse to be. Strange new things happen all the time, and you just don't know when your great idea and the market are going to be, well, on the same page.

I also am one of the believers that books will never truly die, never really give way to the e-book and the various seductions of technology. I think there is something about the book that reminds us of our own awakening as a species, that serves as proof that we evolved from shelf-browed neanderthals to a thinking species with a penchant for storytelling and a tendency to put our thoughts on record in permanent ways (as permanent as human record will ever be).

When I saw this case full of gorgeous, Egyptian cuneiform stones at the Rosicrucian Museum, somehow it gave me more faith in the written word and our desire to hold it in our hands.



I've been thinking about the writer's need for validation. You could probably supplant the word writer with just about anything (chef, artist, dock-worker, train operator, doctor), but I'll stick to what I know.

If you write and try to publish for long enough you learn quickly that rejection is as natural a part of writing as putting the actual words down on paper. There are many kinds of rejections: impersonal form rejections from literary magazines and agents; form rejections with little pulse-raising personal handwritten notes on them saying, "Try us again!" or "Please consider us for future work!" that act as just enough fuel to inspire you to keep at the numbers game of submitting. There are personal rejections that insult your actual writing, telling you it is contrived, sophomoric or not up to our standards. There are rejections that almost feel like acceptances: We loved everything about this story, alas, it was too long/not our style/we published something very similar this year. There are also rejections that come in the form of a lack of response. Your work didn't even earn the elbow grease it takes to send an email or S.A.S.E. back to you.

Writers seek publication because a)we want an audience and b)we want to be paid for our work, to make a living at it. Publication is, of course, the highest form of validation. When it comes with money, that is simply icing on the cake. Yet what I've come to realize about myself is that no matter how many times I am published, it is never enough. Writers are hungry. We need more, a steady diet of praise in one form or another. And the more I think about this, the more it seems like a very unbalanced way to be, yet I can't imagine ever not needing it.

I have played with trying to value the process over the product. I do, in fact, get great pleasure out of writing fiction of any kind. I feel better and am in generally higher spirits in fact, when I am writing fiction on a daily basis. Yet the longer I play the publishing roulette wheel, the less inspired I feel to write something that has no guarantee of being published. I wrote four novels that were simply born out of the passion of my being like that until I finally wrote one that both appealed to me and seems to appeal to that amorphous "commercial audience" too. I didn't sit down each day and try to write for an audience, but I purposely began a project, out of many burning in my imagination, that felt it had the more likely chance of finding a commercial home.

So now I am asking the question: What does it mean when my writing is not validated through publishing? Am I still purposeful? Does what I do still count, or do all those people who believe that writing is a waste of time get the last laugh?


Thursday, September 07, 2006

A Matter of Perception

Last night it was my turn as designated neighbor-scolder to deal with the dog problem, as I described in my last post. I remember glancing at the clock, it was around 10:10 p.m--though my clock is a few minutes fast. I walked around the corner and up to the neighbor's door, said my spiel, and then, as I was leaving, I heard shouting--screaming really--and could tell that some kind of commotion was coming from the very end of the train tracks that run behind our place. I thought I heard someone yell out, "Go home," and some swearing, and I thought that it must be gang related activity, which there is a bit of down in these parts. I pulled my collar up around my neck and hustled back to my door to the sound of police sirens.

Later in the night loud helicopters roared overhead and E. surmised there must be some kind of manhunt...

We checked our locks and turned on the porchlight.

This morning I decided to find out what had happened, and here is what I found in the San Jose Mercury News. Notice the time mentioned in the article. Not gang warfare after all. And to think, while I was lambasting my neighbor, this guy was dying, or already dead.

18-year-old Morgan Hill man killed by freight train
By Leslie Griffy
Mercury News

An 18-year-old Morgan Hill man died Wednesday night after being struck by a freight train on Depot Street, police said today.

Victor Adrian Sandoval was attempting to cross the Union Pacific Railroad tracks in front of an oncoming train when he was hit around 10:11 p.m. Wednesday, according to Morgan Hill Police.
The teen had been drinking and skateboarding with friends at a park that abuts the train stop, police said.

Sandoval's friends, a group of 16- to 25-years-old who had been at the skate park, witnessed the crash and were upset. Some attempted to fight with officers investigating the accident, Commander Joe Sampson said.

One 16-year-old boy was arrested and released to his parents.

Union Pacific Railroad police are working with the Morgan Hill Police Department on the investigation.

Perro Problema

I have been intending to learn Spanish for a long time, and have come to almost feel criminal for not speaking it while living in California. So you can imagine the irony that I am forced to learn a small vocabulary of Spanish words in order to speak to my neighbors. They consist of, and loosely translate to something like this:

--Your dog barking always.
--Please, I no sleep.
--All nights dog barking.
--Big problem your dog, me no sleeping.

Right now I am working on the phrases (which sound like some kind of crazy Haiku, don't they?):

--Your dog not stop barking, me go fucking nuts.
--Me not know why dog disappear suddenly, no
--Gate open? Dog gone? How bizarre!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Hello friends! My internet connection has been as hot and cold as my feelings for Billy Atkinson back in the 8th Grade (who totally blew his chance with me when he told me that he had a picture of me on his underwear). However, it's behaving long enough to let me post, I think, so I will offer you a few choice morsels:

First, if you like dogs, and you like funny writers, read Susan Henderson's great post at The Nervous Breakdown. Then take a trip to her new and improved website Litpark, where she continues to do creative blogging. (Rumor has it yours truly might appear there again in a co-interview with a fellow journalist/author in November).

Then consider submitting your cleverly tailored short fiction to the 666 Flash Fiction Contest over at Edifice Wrecked, to be judged by my very own dear friend Ellen Meister whose debut novel is still shiny and new and available for purchase.

As for me, well let's just say that life is about to get very interesting in Jordan's world...interesting good or interesting bad is to be seen. When I can, I'll stop speaking cryptically. And no, I'm not pregnant :)

Please continue to let your friends in need of editing services know about my professional website at .

Oh yeah, doing yoga by video tape at home is the best thing to happen to me in awhile!

I leave you with this groovy goddess from the Rosicrucian museum:


Sunday, September 03, 2006

I don't know much about the Rosicrucians but their San Jose museum is rather cool.

Since we are now living in a new community and a new county and are in much closer proximity to San Jose than ever before, we are encouraging ourselves to get out and see new things. Hence, today's visit to the museum. It won't blow your mind, but I did get some rather cool photos and spent a lot of time thinking about how long we human beings have been around. Not long compared to planetary time, but still, thousands of years 'aint nothing to sneeze at either :) Many of the photos are blurry or just bad because you aren't allowed to use a flash...but you'll get the gist:

Yes, I am in fact walking like an Egyptian here

E. feels like a Pharaoah

Here's a comparison for you:
Jordan smiling in front of tampon dispensor

What I might look like in a few thousand years

Faux Egyptian paintings

The Real McCoy--or, uh, Tutenkhamen

Friday, September 01, 2006


The important question needs to be asked: Why is my cat in this box? Because he doesn't know, and I don't know, but there he is. For, you see, when you put out a box, Figaro MUST get into that box, and then he must begin to howl a mournful song that must mean something, but what?

Another case in point, December, 2006:

Then again, we never really bothered to ask the question, why does he love chess so much?