Saturday, October 29, 2011


"When she sleeps, you sleep" were the orders my sister's midwife gave after Lilly was born.  My sister ignored that advice -- a genetic flaw of the Wright sisters, it seems.

My "patient", Don (home from the hospital yesterday) is having a nap, and I'm catching up on e-mail, blogging, laundry, groceries, to-dos...  Typical me.  Although, to be fair to myself, there are a few "have-tos" and several "must-do-to-keep-my-sanity"s, and a number of "must tidy up so the home health care worker doesn't go into shock on Monday"s.  :-)

That was me being fair to myself.  Now for me being honest with myself:  Ha ha ha ha ha ha hardeeharhar!

I haven't kept up with my expectations of myself my entire life -- why should I suddenly be able to now, when half the "household help" is recovering from surgery, and I've had to add Nurse Lyssy to my list of roles?

I've been cursing under my breath at people who knew what we were going through this week, yet still contacted me to ask stupid questions they really should be able to figure out on their own, still expected me to be able to function fully in the roles I'd already warned them I wouldn't have time for, and my personal favourite, the person who didn't have time to fulfil her own role so decided to dump it on me instead with no warning and no checking if I was able.  Seriously?!?!?

But, back to the being honest with myself part -- SERIOUSLY?!?!?  I mean, at least I curse those people under my breath.  But I'm treating myself with the exact same disrespect, aren't I?

Why should anyone treat me any better than I treat myself?

I cannot tell you how many things I thought I'd get done while Don was in hospital.  I'd packed up a number of books and magazines, none of which got touched (although I did read the same page of one of the books about 40 times before giving up on that endeavour).  I'd also transferred my web design program onto the laptop, so I could re-vamp my website.  (You will note it's still in the same sorry state as it was in 2007.)  I was going to put together the online volunteer collaboration system for the OFS.  I was going to go through all the tutorials for my new financial software and set up the business accounts.  I was also going to keep up my workout routine, change the bed, wash the towels, get all the laundry done, wade my way through the glut in my inbox, and scrub the house top to bottom.

What the hell was I thinking?!?!?

Not to be outdone, Don, of course, thought he'd finish mixing the trio recording on his laptop in hospital, and had been upset they wouldn't allow him to bring in the laptop.  And one of the first things he tried to do when he first opened his eyes after surgery (and the second, and the third...) was get out of bed so I could have a nap.

Seriously, it's kind of no wonder our previous relationships were all abusive, no?  Probably the only way either one of us could have a healthy relationship would be this way: where we're each trying to un-self ourselves to equal degrees.  (I remember taking a personality test when a client of the Sandgate shelter -- it basically said the same thing: that anyone but someone as self-effacing as me would be dangerous to get involved with.  Good thing I ended up with the male version of myself, but geez, I really have to learn how to say "no" a little better with the rest of the world, don't I?)

Now for the giving myself credit part.  I've accepted the casserole offers, and am not protesting.  When Don placed his breakfast order, I made myself a pot of coffee first.  I am back on track with my meditation and morning writing, which keep me sane (-ish).  I will get on the treadmill today and will get at least one load of laundry done so I can have some clean underwear without holes available, and will do groceries so there's some decent, healthy food in the house.  These last bits sound boring, but it'll feel good to get them done, and at least be closer to a normal (-ish) person in a normal (-ish) household than I've felt all week.

The website and the database and the financial software and the spring (!) cleaning will just have to wait.  I'm only human.  Oh, so very human.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Long-awaited update

Sorry to leave you all hanging -- he's OK!!!

Surgery was successful, doctor doesn't think cancer has spread.
i'm exhausted, but life is good.

No blog tomorrow.  Honest, I mean it this time!

Okay, I lied...

We've been at the hospital since 6:15, it's now 8:45 and he's not going to be out until 11:00.  Tried to read. Hardeeharhar.  It's Sudoku or blog.  Or both.

The nurses and staff here are lovely.  Even the fellow waiting-room folks are chatting away and hiding their nerves (except one, who was exceptionally cranky).  The volunteers are cheery and helpful and would probably go to the bathroom for you if they could.  The chick at the Tim Horton's counter, not so much... But, got a bagel into me -- look mom, I'm eating breakfast, and it's not even noon!  ;-)

Of course, this means I will probably be starving by noon.

My beloved sister-friend Ali is not here and hasn't been in touch.  Which tells me that she's had to go off to Ottawa to be with her aunt as she dies.

I hate cancer.

Especially when people I love have it, or the people they love have it.

I went to bed with a horrible wish that my ex-husband were going to hospital instead.  I don't take it back.  I'm going to hell.  But there will be some cool music there, and most of my friends.  :-)

Speaking of, we have some wonderful ones.  Ray is en route from Toronto to be with is "brother" -- I told him Don might not be conscious for a while, but he wants to be close, anyhow.  Ali's probably feeling guilty she isn't here -- which makes me laugh, because we were just talking about compassion fatigue and our inability to say no, which will undoubtedly lead to our demise.

I'm good.  I'm an introvert.  Being alone is generally my preferred mode...  Otherwise, I'm looking after the people who are visiting.  Ali is the exception, because she and I would have to jello-wrestle over who was taking care of who, and then Don might burst some stitches...  ;-)

As far as old hospitals go, the RVH is rather bright and open.  Some of the corridors are a little bleak, but the common areas are quite nice.  You can't cross your legs without bumping into a handwashing station.  I have a feeling I'll be eating a lot of Tim Horton's and Subway and Jugo Juice and Druxy's this week.  I'll eat healthy on the weekend, promise.

OK, the cafeteria is starting to bustle.  I've got some people-watching to do.  There's an album worth of songs at the tables around me.  If only I can stay awake long enough to listen...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Ch- ch- ch- changes... and lists

In order for there to be a "first day of the rest of your life", there also has to be a "last day of life as you previously knew it" -- ever-so-likely with a "day of chaos and feeling lost and confused" somewhere in the middle of those two.

I guess that makes today the last, what with Don's surgery tomorrow.  Actually, we thought it would be, but apparently yesterday was, unawares, the last day of normalcy -- after learning his surgery is scheduled for 6:15am tomorrow (yeah, the hospital has obviously never met us!!!), it turns out that the toast he had for breakfast this morning is the last meal he's allowed.  Only clear liquids for the rest of the day.  So much for the dinner I'd planned...  (they told us before he could eat until 11pm, but... apparently that info sheet was wrong!)

So... yesterday was apparently the last day of life-as-we-knew-it, and we didn't even know it.  Today is waiting and fretting day.  Tomorrow is the chaos day.

Glad that's figured out.

By the way, don't be expecting a blog tomorrow, at least not until evening.  Although I may need something to do with my hands and brain while Don's in surgery... you never know -- wait, that blog was the other day's!

But it seems to be today's too.  And yesterday's.  And tomorrow's.  Because you never know.  Ever.

Don was planning on a nice long walk today.  But now he has to stay close to home, and porcelain, because the pre-op medication is busy working its magic.  I'm trying to figure out whether to move my trio rehearsal to Thursday or just give up entirely, because he may be released Friday morning... or he may not. His body is going to have to decide that one.

Which doesn't work very well in my world of planning and organizing and putting stuff down on calendars and to-do lists, so I can pretend at least temporarily that I have some sort of control over this wild and crazy thing that is my life.

Of course, that wild and crazy thing that is my life has been trying to show me for several months, if not years, that there is no controlling it.  Which, I believe, I tend to equate with being out of control -- which is, in fact, a very different thing altogether, but my subconscious has yet to grasp the subtleties there.

I've got a to-do list a mile long.  The reason why it's so long isn't because I'm out of control, it's because my making of to-do lists is out of control.  :-)

I really need to make a habit out of sitting myself down, getting myself to estimate times for each "to-do", and then slap myself upside the head for expecting myself to get 36 hours worth of work squeezed into a 24-hour day.  Especially on days when Mother Nature has other ideas and Life has a few other surprise lessons in store for me.

Should that truck or those aliens come to be, I'm quite sure nobody is going to mourn the length of my to-do list.  My last thoughts will ever-so-likely not be about my to-do list.  So if it's not important in death, why do I cling to it so in life?

Here I am, on the eve of my husband's surgery, trying to figure out how to squeeze enough workouts in to the week, between visiting hours and errands and updating friends.

Seriously, Alyssa?!?  At this point, I think it's OK to skip a few workouts this week.  You aren't suddenly going to be svelte by Friday if you do them, and you might need to take it a wee bit easy on yourself, too!

Now I'm bargaining -- maybe if I double up on Saturday...?

Dear lord, if I were able to type as fast as my brain can make up arguments with itself, you'd be reading a brilliant, if terribly pathetic, comedy right now.  My fingers cannot travel at the speed of Lyssy, though.  Another thing to kick myself for.  :-)

The thing with to-do lists, other than the joy I get at ticking off the boxes, is that they keep me out of the present.  I'm stuck in the past with things I wanted to do but didn't get done yet.  And I'm stuck in the future with dreams of "one day my to-do list won't be 418 items long" (you think I jest?  nosirreeee!)  And I'm not here in the moment, embracing my imperfection.

I'm forever telling other people they don't need to be perfect, and should just embrace the beauty of their imperfections.  Perhaps it's time to offer the same advice to myself?

At a women's integral retreat led by Don's and now my cousin Becky last year, we learned the 'mantra' "I am infinitely adequate" -- heck we even got the group to write a song about it.  Boy, did I ever fight that mantra.  Adequate?  I'm only adequate?  I'm supposed to be wonderful and perfect and better than anyone would believe a person could be!


Well, you're not.  Suck it up, cupcake.

Provided you aren't slouched in front of the TV eating bon bons all day -- well, at least not every day, but maybe on the days when you need to sit, watch and eat -- whatever you do IS infinitely adequate.  It's the best you can do that day.  Other days, you'll be able to do more -- and if you're anything like me, you'll force yourself to.  Other days, you won't have the time or the energy, and just might need a pyjamas and crappy movies and junk food day to restore your balance.

The to-do list can wait.  Have a great meal with your spouse -- you never know when he'll be back on solid foods.  Screw the to-do list and cuddle in front of the fireplace.  Heck, screw your spouse, because prostate surgery is a bitch and it might be a long while before you get the chance again...  (sorry, Mom!)

What's in your heart and in your soul is so much more important than any crappy to-do list.  Guilt can take a holiday, she's not helpful at the moment.  Although, Lyssy, you are 24 weeks behind on a bubble bath, and a couple of months behind on your weekly "me" hour.  :-)

Yes, even when I put myself on a to-do list, I'm useless at looking after myself.

But at least I made it on to the list!  Baby steps...

I'm getting wise and getting fit
It doesn't have to hurt a bit
My inner light is getting lit
I'm Infinitely Adequate
[She's Infinitely Adequate]
[We're Infinitely Adequate]

Saturday, October 22, 2011

I need that like a hole in the head

Well, as it turns out, sometimes you do!  Two holes, to be precise.  That's what saved my uncle yesterday, drilling two holes into his skull to relieve the pressure on his brain.  He's doing great and will be home Tuesday.

So you see?  Sometimes you don't really know what you need.  And sometimes you think you do know what you need, but you're totally wrong.  Sometimes, the thing you think is the worst thing that could possibly happen to you is actually what saves your life.

My first husband (speaking of what you think you need but are totally wrong about) used to have -- well, probably still has -- this annoying habit of mixing metaphors and other sayings.  One of his favourite was "I believe that like a hole in the head."  As I pointed out, if you had a hole in your head, you'd probably believe it.  But you never know... he was never a big fan of truth and reality, he might have managed to keep the blinders on in a hole-in-the-head situation, too.  But then again, maybe he's managed to mature a wee bit in the 15 years since I've seen him.  I'll try to keep an open mind about that, myself...

Looking back, I see many things I clung to because I thought I couldn't do without them -- and once I lost them, my life got better.  There were many things I thought would be the end of the world, but I survived them quite nicely.

Sometimes a hole in the head is exactly what you need to keep an open mind.

Run with it yourselves, folks.  I've got stuff to do today.  :-)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Life or death

So... what was that I said yesterday about living your life before you don't have a choice anymore?

Woke up to the news that my uncle had had a stroke.  Actually, I didn't know it was a stroke until earlier this afternoon, this morning I just knew he had two haematomae in his brain.  This uncle is from the longevity-inclined side of the family, not to mention the stubbornly independent and infallible side.  So he's not supposed to even get a cold, let alone a stroke.

Life doesn't work the way we tell it to, now, does it?

I tend to assume I've inherited the longevity gene myself -- I know I've inherited the stubborn gene (I prefer to call it self-assured...).  So here we have another wake-up call.

Life seems to be telling me to live.  Don't wait until everything's in place, because odds are it won't ever be 100% in place.  Just live.

I remember when I worked at a senior's residence in Toronto, which had an Alzheimer's unit.  One of the residents was in her fifties, having succumbed to (very!) early-onset Alzheimer's.  Her husband, Jack, would come in every day with a big smile on his face and something nice to say to everyone he met.  (I never knew how he did it, considering she was, unfortunately, in the very angry stage of the disease -- perhaps he was trying to make up for her mood?)  He had been a firefighter, and they had been counting the days 'til his retirement, when they could travel the world together.  Well, he did retire, but they never got to travel the world.

I'm a freelance musician, so retirement is never gonna happen, but...  the message is still, obviously, DON'T WAIT 'TIL YOU RETIRE.

I've been talking of visiting Tuscany for years now.  Always in "someday" mode.  Maybe I should just save my damned pennies and book the flight.

Ever since my solo CD was released in 2007, I've been saying "as soon as... [insert "to-do" here], I'll get cracking on my website.  Anyone who has visited my website in the last five years knows full well that it has yet to happen.

Kinda pathetic, when you see all I've done in my voluntary capacities for other people.

My own health scare at the beginning of the year, followed by Don's now, has forced me (although not completely, as evidenced by my website!) to re-evaluate and re-prioritize.  As soon as (yeah, I know) the surgery is done, that re-prioritizing is going to take top priority.

Last month, I announced my resignation as Artistic Director (and general manager, and publicist, and operations co-ordinator, and... and... and...) from the Orillia Folk Society.  Because... you never know when Big Ethyl will explode and mean it, or a teeny-tiny blood clot will cause massive damage, or I'll get hit by a truck or abducted by aliens.

My final thought is not, at this point, going to be "geez, I wish I'd spent more unappreciated volunteer hours furthering other people's careers" -- it's going to be "damn, why did I never take my own career, or my own life, as seriously as I took others?"

Had an interesting chat with my friend / honourary sister Ali last night, who does a lot of work on compassion fatigue.  She recently came from a lecture by Gabor Mate (author of "When the Body Says No") who said, among other things, that in a study linking the inability to say "no" to developing ALS, he had become quite good at predicting who would get ill.

I'm kind of surprised I'm not wheelchair-bound already... Ali and I are now practising really hard our "no", "No", "NO", "NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!"

Because... as I believe I may have alluded to recently, if you don't look after yourself, or ask for help looking after yourself (even more difficult for me than the n-word), nobody's going to jump in and do it for you.

Nobody's going to take my career or my life seriously if I don't.  As a self-employed person, nobody's going to give me a holiday -- or even sick leave -- if I don't.

And even if I eat and exercise and de-stress and do everything I can to look after myself, there's still that truck and those aliens.

So I'm not going to wait until I look good in a bathing suit (seriously, when have I EVER thought I looked good in a bathing suit?) before swimming in the ocean.  I'm not going to wait until I've caught up on all my e-mails before I have lunch (I wouldn't have eaten since 2006, if that were the case...).  I'm not going to finish all the piddly to-dos before I get started on the big projects that matter to me.

And I'm going to re-design my website, so help me Dog...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Now what?

Geez, you commit to getting back into a daily blog, and then you actually have to write one, don't you?

Now what?

The first answer to that question was sleep in until noon and have apple pie for breakfast.  Followed up with cursing myself for not completing eleven projects by 2pm.  See?  The world of Lyssy has not really changed that much, other than the pie...

But change it shall.  A chapter has closed, so something is going to come in to fill the void -- I'm the one who chooses what gets in.  So the next question becomes, what do I want to be when I grow up?

Stay Calm
Be Brave
Wait For the Signs
                              - Dead Dog Cafe (CBC)

Over dinner last night, Don and I were chatting about our recent experience at the OCFF conference in Niagara Falls, and what each of us got from it.  We had both, apparently, come to similar conclusions about a few things.  Namely, our discomfort at the desperation felt in some of the private showcase rooms, plus the (unfortunately, rather large) group of people who were simply bitter that the world had yet to discover them, even though they hadn't done a damned thing to further their careers other than sit and bitch with other undiscovered people.

Oh sure, there are the Justin Biebers of the world, but even then, his mother promoted the hell out of him.  The folks who have actually "made it" in the folk world (and become "hundredaires", as Don says) are the ones who not only have incredible talent, but who have worked their arses off.  They didn't sit around and bitch and expect the world handed to them on a silver platter.

I mean, take Dave Gunning, who was recently nominated for the CFMA's "Emerging Artist of the Year" award.  Are you kidding me?  This man's first CD was released in 1996, and he's finally being welcomed as a newcomer.  He's not an instant discovery, he's worked and worked and worked -- and it doesn't hurt that he's a great songwriter, but he's a great songwriter who has worked and worked and worked (at both his music and his business).

I was in a funding workshop at OCFF, and one of the panelists asked the group how many had applied for funding before?  Big show of hands.  How many had been rejected?  Fairly large show of hands.  How many had re-applied?  Embarrassingly small show of hands.  So... someone doesn't give you what you want (depending on what you're applying for, you're in the same boat with 70-95% of the applicants), you stop asking, and then you complain that nobody funds you?

Can you imagine that with any other job?  I mean, seriously, if everyone gave up trying after their first job interview, it would be a national disaster!  And if they all sat around in the coffee shop whining that they were unemployed, somebody would smack them.  (Maybe me...)

As happens every year, there are private showcases in the hotel rooms -- folks split the expense of the room to do a 30-minute-or-whatever showcase, in the hopes that people will listen to their set and hire them.  As happens every year, there's a handful of complainers who come out to say it's a waste of money and the OCFF is trying to swindle them out of their cash, because nobody's ever hired them from the previous year's showcase.

Well, yeah... maybe because the sound of your whining was drowning out the music.  (Oops, was that my outside voice?)

Or maybe you didn't do anything to follow up.  Or maybe you didn't fit in to their programming.  Or maybe you aren't as insanely awesome as you and your cats think you are.  Or maybe a 20-minute showcase does not a career make...

You know that line about 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration?  Well guess what -- if all you've got is the inspiration, that's not enough.  Nobody else is going to put in the 90% for you if you're not willing to put it in for yourself.  And if you're not willing to put forth the effort, don't go complaining that nobody else has done it for you.

Geez, how did this turn into a rant?  I had a whole other idea when I started...

Both of our favourite part took place in the wee hours of Sunday morning (and by "wee hours," I mean just before sunrise), jamming in the Tunesmiths' room with folks like David Ross MacDonald, Scott Cook, Jesse Dee and Jacquie B, the aforementioned Dave Gunning, Ann Vriend, Dave Borins, Jadea Kelly, and a whole slough of others whose names I didn't catch.  Not a whiner in the bunch, all go-getters making it happen.  Despite the time and level of inebriation, the music in that room was incredible, the musicians sensitive in their accompaniment, the mood jovial and community-oriented.  It was all about the music.  Maybe they'll get a gig out of that room, maybe they won't.  It's not about the room, it's about the music, it's about the community.  And yes, there's a reason why you've heard of many of those folks -- if you don't know some of them, trust me, you will.  Better yet, follow those links and take a listen.

So... getting back to today -- where do I want to put my 90% perspiration?  Once the long sleeps and pie and surgery are over, that is.

In some ways, Don's surgery is providing both of us with a much-needed oasis in time.  We have a darned good reason for saying "no" for the next few months.  (OK, his excuse is better, but I'm taking it, anyhow!)  An enforced hibernation period, when we can both figure out where we want to go, who we want to be, what we want to do, once we can stretch and yawn and go forth.

For me, it's the end of a chapter that has taken up much of my spare (?!?) time and kept me in survival mode for far too long.  For Don, it's this sudden reminder of our mortality, and the need to live our lives before we don't have a choice anymore.

As our friend Ali had on her FB status update the other day: life isn't wrapped up in a bow, but it's still a gift.

As I replied:  you just have to say "thank you" and figure out what you're going to do with it.

I am so very thankful for this gift, for where I am today, where we are today.  I am not going to look that horse in the mouth and complain it's not as perfect as it should be.  I'm not going to hide it in the basement and hope I get something better next year.  I'm going to take it and run with it and enjoy every moment I have with it.

It may not be wrapped up in a bow, but it's the only thing that's truly mine.  I am responsible for every opportunity I've missed, and every opportunity I've created.  I am responsible for every choice I've made, and every decision I've avoided.

As I started singing in January, 2009:
I have cleared the space, it's time to take my place
Prepare to speak my truth, stand up and be the proof 
The war will carry on between the sword and the wand
And I'll keep the rewards I've gained
All advance, no retreat, peel away the conceit
Until only the Truth remains 
Truth remains
Time for some hibernating and soul-searching and truth-finding.  Followed by some making it all happen.

But first, I think I'll have another slice of pie...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

And they all lived...

...well, anyone who's read a fairy tale knows how that sentence ends.  And anyone who's been on the planet long enough knows that the end of the fairy tale is when the real story gets started.

Note to my ten-year-old self:  you know that day, the one you're waiting for, that day when truth and justice shall win out and your past hurts will be vindicated and the promised happily-ever-after will begin?  Well, it is coming, do not give up hope, but... seriously, just kick him in the shins while you still can, it will be MUCH more satisfying.  :-)

Because that day has come.  I won.  After an over three-decade wait, the day has finally come when truth and justice has prevailed.  I was right, they were bad.  Yet, ironically enough, the quest for truth and justice has come with a price of sworn confidentiality.  Oh, c'mon, how sick a joke is that?  (Ah well, I'm sure it'll all make it into a song, somehow, someday...)

There will be no singing from the rooftops, there will be no kicking in the shins.

There is a tremendous relief, of course, that a three-decade battle is finally over.  There is a certain confidence that comes from the official declaration that I was right and they were bad.  I was not crazy.  I was right and they were bad.

But there's also a certain hollowness.  Because no matter how right I was, or how many people declare me to be right... they were still bad.  The scars don't suddenly disappear.  The lies that were told and the choices I made based on those lies don't suddenly get reversed.  The secrets I kept to defend myself from those lies don't retrospectively get revealed in time for anyone to save ten-year-old (or twenty-, or thirty- or...) me from the damage they caused.  The people who were protected by my silence do not have to deal with the consequences -- they're long gone, forever consequence-free (unless there is, in fact, a place called hell, in which case, I've got some marshmallows that need toasting!).

And yes, those of you who have been paying attention through the years and have a certain skill of reading between the lines have probably figured out by now that this all ties in to the abuse I endured as a child -- not directly, of course, but intertwined enough to be tugging at far too many strings than my heart and mind really know what to do with right now.

Those who have been on this path with me in recent years have been expecting pom-poms and champagne.  I suppose a part of me was hoping for the little happy dance, too.  But the most telling comment, when I was talking to both my sister and honorary sister after hearing the good news was "I can't believe how much I've been crying today!"

Some of those, of course, are happy tears.  Some are tears of relief.  Some come from the sadness that the man who started carrying a sword with us almost two decades ago died suddenly on Monday, two days before he could have celebrated this victory with us.  (Thank you, Jim, for standing by us all these years.  I hope there's champagne wherever you are, or at least a really awesome single malt!)  Some come from the fact that it took us this long to get here.  Some come from all that we lost, and missed, in the meantime.

Mostly they come from knowing I was right, they were bad.  And that it doesn't change anything.

The happily ever after is never the end, it doesn't really exist.  There is much still to be done.  There is much that can never be undone.  I still need to get back on the treadmill (literally!) and back into shape (a shape that doesn't involve waves and ripples...).  There are still cobwebs in the corners.  My husband still has to go for cancer surgery on Tuesday.  I still have to practise my cello and plan a tour and pat the cats and brush my teeth and pay the bills.

Nothing has changed.

Of course, the here-and-now me in her fifth decade (!) didn't really expect it to.  She knows better.  But the ten-year-old me was still, I guess, hoping for the magical fairy tale ending -- and I was still hoping she'd get it.  Not to mention the twenty-year-old me, and the thirty-year-old me...

So, where do you go when you hit the end of the story?

If it were Hollywood, I guess I could go for Return of the Revenge of Lyssy, Part II.  But I've always been more into books than movies -- more room to think your own thoughts, dream your own dreams.  Pick up a new book and try another world.

Better still, write a new story.

I could easily waste a lot of time going through the what-ifs, what-might-have-beens and what-will-never-bes.

Instead, I choose "now what?"

I have come to the end of one story.  And I am eager to devour the next.  Which one?  Which one?  True to form, there are a few dozen on the side table, wanting me to pick them first.  Or, even truer to form, read three or four of them first.

But I'm kind of tired of reading other people's stories.  Living other people's stories.  Dealing with other people's stories.  Reacting to other people's stories.

It's time for my story.  My life.

And so, here I am, walking into the sunset.  The beautiful sunset.  Where the Hollywood story usually ends.

The way it works in the real world, however, is:

After the sun sets, the heroine puts on her snuggliest flannel, hops into bed to cuddle with her hubby and cats, and falls into a deep, delicious sleep.  And then the sun rises again.  And then she sits, and waits, and gathers her thoughts and her pens and her paints and her tunes.  And then she embarks on her next adventure.

Once upon a time... there was a little girl who had faith.  Faith that she would survive.  Faith that things would get better.  She was right.  The Beginning.

Coming home

Yes, it's been a while.

I've been writing tour blogs over at, but have been ignoring my own...  As well as my own creativity.

A number of things have happened in the meantime, which make me want to get back to it.  Some difficult chapters have ended, some new connections made... and now it's time to get back to me.

I have been enjoying my new friend Louise's blog over at, and mentioned I wanted to get back into it, myself.  See what happens when I open my big mouth?  :-)

It's been surprising to me how many people were reading the tour blog and getting something out of it.  Apparently, my musings and blatherings do touch others, give them something to laugh about, think about... who knew?  And I have to say, that as much as I DON'T miss blogging in the car, I do miss having that time each day to focus in and just write.

Creatively, I mean.  My morning pages (3 pages of longhand, as described in The Artist's Way) seem to have descended into to-do lists and griping sessions.

I don't think to-do lists and griping sessions will touch many people...

So, here I am, committing to ripping my guts out in public once more.

Bring popcorn.  And a helmet.

Because today, apparently, is the first day of the rest of my life.  And I've run out of excuses for not living it my way.  (Well, I'm sure I can think of some more, but... I'll try hard not to!)

See you in cyberspace,