Some Fun Things!

Ever wish you could read the journal of a writer? Now you can! (Warning–LONG!  Those writers can just be soooo wordy sometimes, eh?)


The only image outside my imagination that quite captures the magic of this tale is a CD I made from an image I did circa early 2000s to win Bele Chere’s sidewalk chalk drawing contest. The fact that this artifact still exists is magic in and of itself!

I believe in magic.

I recently finished a Terry Goodkind novel.  In it, his characters argue–the magical woman from the parallel world tries to convince the rational man from this one: it’s like technology…can you tell me how your phone works to the inth detail?  No, you can’t.  But you trust it.  (Paraphrasing).

I found the multiple chapters of “is magic really real” to be a little tedious and unnecessary.  But I’ve believed in magic for a long time now.  Magic is creation.  The wah…and wonder of manifestation.

I’ve been retracing my journey in preparation for a prologue–or a foreword, authors note, a hey-checkity-how-cool! note–something to artistically render The Story’s inception.  Of course, the idea denotes time; the more I study dreams and feel the magic of my existence, the more I dismiss time as anything more than a human-and-earth agreed upon construct. But I get ahead of myself, so…

Some fun things:

Last Tuesday I went to Terra Nova.  What’s that?  It’s a place with faeries.  You can heh? or har!, be annoyed or enthused by my total appreciation for the hippy-dippity, but it’s true.  If other personal accounts of this place float your booties, check out this one (make sure to click on the right for the next “part.”)

I found  the journal entry I wrote after waking from the dream that inspired The Story, and I was giggletastically-tickled to learn that the dream had come to me the night after I went to see the faeries six years ago:

Terra Nova is a gorgeous little haven.  It is a manifestation of trust and harmony.  We didn’t pay any money, and we had access to bathrooms, to a sloping lawn ending at a lake, several gardens, and all the water toys we could want.  There was no supervision, and except for some ground rules which they trusted us to follow, we did what we wanted.  And that was to paddle around the lake, to talk in a circle of lawn chairs as the sun set, and a freaking adorable grown puppy came to visit.  We talked about walking the labyrinth, of seeing the Peace Tower, and then we felt the energy of a vortex in the Friendship garden.  My hands tingled.  We prepared for the Angel garden just as the colors were fading to black, and we each said a little prayer before walking through the entrance.  And then we sat.  I chose a mosaicked bench with a faery on it, just discernable in the faded light.

And then they came.  It was another suspension of time.  How long did we really sit there? How long was so long between lights?  I thought that this was such an incredible lesson in patience–to be sitting there, completely quiet, and watching the darkness for a creature to appear (that I was sure was humoring us with its pure benevolence).  I saw several faeries, and yes, I do believe they were faeries.  I was almost stunned when the first one appeared.  Yes!  I did see it!  We all saw it.  Easy as pie.  Of course, I was a raging current of energy, feeling such excitement, and sending out torrents of love to the creatures…  We all saw them.  We all shared this experience of something magical, something other-worldly, a conglomeration of new friends and spirits.

And there was the sound of wings, strong at first, like a dragonfly was chilling out in the bushes beside me.  And the sound of frogs and the waterfall behind me.  And the full moon!  Ah, it was round and vintage yellow when we saw it between the trees for the first time.  And as we walked to our cars, talking about the wonder and impossibility of what we saw, we noticed the light, blinking above a horizontal tree limb that suggested the exit to the world we just witnessed.  First it was red, and started slowly, and a friend said she saw two of them. Then it was the bright blue light, hovering just above the limb.  Ah…it was pure magic.

Magic of getting to know our new friend more, without feeling awkward.  Why?  Why should I ever feel awkward?  I was a bit nervous that she would think we were cooks.  But no, of course not.  She was speaking to the faeries as well, discounting the notion that they could be some kind of bug.  Why that one spot?  Why only between Mother’s and Father’s day?  Why do they seem larger, a vertical spill of light, and then so small and muted when they get closer?  And why the erratic blinking, sometimes a regular pattern, sometimes stronger? …It was bliss.

Last Tuesday, I sat looking for faeries again, welling with pure contentment from spending my days writing, creating—completely gob-smack in love with my job.   And now to learn things have come full circle!

Here’s part of that same journal entry after having the dream that inspired it all:

Holy shit.  This is an indescribable feeling.  But I’ll attempt it anyway.  It’s 5:56a.m.  I’ve been up for an hour and a half, and yet, that seems impossible.  Has it really been that long?  Have I been trapped in this world for that long, and still I feel the effects?  I got up, didn’t think twice and went to tell Momma that I had a dream.  And that I need to write it down, pronto.  That this isn’t one of the scenarios where I dream something, and in the dreamscape, I’m certain that it will be THE BEST story.  This time it really was.  I could see it instantly as a movie, as a pop-culture horror hit.*  And as I sat at my sweet Lola** and wrote, I started to wonder, is this how my mega-millions*** are coming?  Maybe.  Regardless, I feel that the Universe**** has given me a gift.  Several.  Always, she is giving.

Author’s Commentary (AC): *I wouldn’t characterize the current books as horror. The dream must’ve been more frightening.

**Lola is the name of my old Dell computer that is finally enjoying retirement under my bed.

***I was also very focused on making big bucks back then.  I laugh at that now.  Why was I so focused on money?  Better to be focused on doing what makes me happy.

****I say Universe.  Maybe you say God or Allah or Olofi or Science or Hard Work or Unicorns.  It’s all peaches and cream with me.

I continue my perusal down memory-magic lane.  I had left The Story as simple-dream-status described in my morning pages for five months, and then I started to put ink to notebook, keystroke to digi-characters, during November, a.k.a National Novel Writing Month.  The challenge is to write 50,000 words in thirty days.  That means writing 1667 words a day to be safe.  I had been working on my first novel on and off for roughly six years.  I am delighted by my optimism that this story would be done and published lickity split!

Here are some enthusiastic journal excerpts from that time:

Okay!  1667 words!  Here we go!

Yes!  This feels like the day.  My organized tendencies have finally won the battle over my spontaneous self and I want to start a routine for this month.  More so than I have been doing.  I’m writing morning pages, and then I will hop in the shower.  Breakfast might just be spent at Lolacita, as I have plenty to do on her.  I feel ready and willing to work all day and to make some big checks off my list.  I’m gonna add that laundry to Mom’s pile.  I’m going to add yet another pile on the floor to a better spot so that I can start vacuuming in here and make it feel more lived in.  I’m going to dive right into the novel and start…

I wrote close to 1600 words yesterday, just planning.  I thought I had a good enough idea of the STORY just to start writing, but I’m glad I took the time to plan and do a bit of research.  Now there’s more to it; there are more connections and I’m very excited.  I feel very confident to start.  Shit!  I’m writing another novel!  Woooo! … I love that when people ask me about this new novel, I can safely say that they can read it themselves in a few months.  I’m thinking I’ll use the time into January to clean it up, and then I’ll take advantage of the free printing.*  I like that this project has such an early expiration date.  Instant gratification.

AC: *NaNoWriMo was doing a deal with CreateSpace where you could print one copy of your book for free.

…I was dreaming that the right side of my neck really hurt…REALLY hurt, and now I can’t tell if it really does hurt or if the pain in the dream was so intense that I’m feeling it from that.  Hmmm.  Crazy though how real things are in dreams.  Dreams, imagination, “real life”–they are all essentially the same.  Reality comes in all shapes and sizes.  One day soon my characters will be having these conversations.  I swear, I’m only going to do one thing to my website today, then shift gears and let this creativity run through the STORY.

Yes!  Today is the day!  Today is the day that I start my second novel.  Wooo! 

Day 7 woooo!  Funny, I was so pumped about writing more than 5000 words, but I’m still another 5000 behind!  Haha.  Still, if I can have another day like I had yesterday, I will be quite fine.  And yesterday I spent a lot of time researching, possibly more than writing.  I can get so lost in it.

So what’s the plan?  WRITE!  And then what else?  Write some more!

…I had dedicated the night to writing.  I passed 10,000 words, which means that I’m still around 3000 behind for the quota for today, but hey, I’m patting myself on the back for catching up so quickly.  It’s interesting, this whole Nanowrimo thing.  It is very good practice for writing drafts quickly, and not worrying about the quality of the words.  Yet, mine is good, surprisingly good.  I’m always amazed at how a story just comes.  I might have a general idea for where the scene might go, and the characters fill in the rest of the details.  It’s magic, I tell you.

So TODAY is the half way point.  Well, then I’m a couple days ahead.  But that’s not going to stop me from writing.  I took a day off yesterday; it felt like a recuperative measure, and now I feel fresh and well rested and ready to get some words down on this fine Sunday.  The sun is coming out and clearing the mist in the valley, and if it’s as warm as it was yesterday, you better believe I’ll be out on those porches soaking up some sun, maybe finishing some Sookie.*

It’s a very good time write now.**  I got a very good fortune cookie yesterday.  It read: “Happiness is enjoying what you got.  Never from what you want.”  Wow.  Well, how perfect is that?  And I was lying in bed, about to turn on visions of my book selling, and dancing in my apartment***, and in addition to that I admired the light in this room.  I love the cat perched on the end of the bed.  I am enjoying it.  Very much so.

AC: *At the time, I was reading The Southern Vampire Mysteries books, by Charlaine Harris.  Her main character is Sookie Stackhouse.  Also found in the show True Blood.

**I caught the homonym “write” when I meant “right” in my third read-through edit of this email.  I’m not correcting it.  Sometimes mistakes are perfectly destined to be.

***Like I said, I was mildly obsessed with getting a lot of money.  I had a condo/apartment picked out in Downtown Asheville where I wanted to live.  I would fantasize about dancing in it.

Now, I’m very grateful for those years crashing with my friends and my Mommy.  Condos can happen anytime.  Friends and family are forever

Wowzers Mom.  I am all about my story.  The STORY.  I woke up late, and I wanted to skip morning pages, skip yoga, but of course I went down to cuddle with Mom instead because it’s a rainy morning and I haven’t done that in a long time.  And the dogs.  God I love these animals.  I love treating them like babies and cuddling with them.

And I feel like I should sit here and write and talk about the AMAZING Regina Spektor concert, and the lovely meal at Doc Chey’s with Margaret.  And the little stop in at the French Broad Chocolate Lounge to pick up a minty chocolate brownie and say “Right on!  Write on!” to the ladies working away at Nanowrimo.

I talked to Margaret about how much I love Asheville.  And I don’t get the urges to move anymore, because I just love where I’m at.  Still, I’d like to travel, but I think it’s only fitting that she parked across from my condo.

AC: Or I might travel and live overseas for four years?

Yikes I slept a while!  I went to bed prolly around 10…that’s a solid nine hours.  I can feel it in my tight neck and the slight daze of my head.  And I dreamed a lot, and I remember them.  I started 
The Glass Eater of the Dream Books.  So far, so good.  In fact, I was sure I would write more than I did yesterday, but the book was my weapon of choice.  But I’m at 45,630, so no worries there.  It’s amazing what a couple hours sitting down and writing will give me.  Another scene.  Another chapter.  I feel like it’s going to be a busy day today, but probably not too much.

Yesterday I was going to go get Thai for an early dinner.  But they were closed, so I went to the Brew n View.  I sat in the booth next to the window, and when the very tall, big man came to take my order (Louis, is that his name?) he offered to shut the blinds.  No way, I said, I wanted to sit in the sunshine.  I read while I waited to order, then for my food, and there was a guy sitting with another guy (I’m pretty sure they were conducting a business meeting)…

I figured the one guy was attracted to me.  While his associate went to the bathroom, he came over and asked me about the book I was reading.  We chatted for a minute; his friend came back and he sat down.  But after that I was very much aware of him catching glances of me while I scarfed down my quesadilla.  I went to the bathroom and left my book on the table, imagining that he would take the opportunity to slip a note into it.  “Hey, I’m gonna be honest and say that I think you’re cute.  If you are available to meet up later, let me know.  Todd 828-867-5309.”  Haha.  I’m pretty sure his name was more hippy than Todd.  He had long hair and dark green eyes.  Not drop dead, but nice.  Anyway, no such thing happened.  And I suppose it could’ve been the other way around.  If I was with someone and noticed a guy, alone…would I have the guts to chat with him?  Ah, but that’s what I’m trying to do.  That’s what I’m doing–opening up to people.  Trying to actually acknowledge and speak to them instead of it all being in my head.  It turns out I have a big one.

…Pretty cute because Phyffer dreams that Suki wants to kill Sookie.  Oh, it is all intertwined isn’t it?  I also remember writing the word “intertwined” twice last night.  I wrote two good sex scenes.  Or sexy at least.  Yeow!  With all the cursing and sex, it’s becoming less and less of a young adult novel.  Especially with Dan and Len and Rochelle’s story being so prominent.  And Marie’s story, even though she’s 18; it’s pretty heavy seeing as she’s a whore.*  Ah, yes, this is one of those times when I’m really pumped about what I’m writing.  I can see it as one solid piece, a gleaming thing that makes all the points that I want it to make.

I am in a very good place.  I know my novel is good.  It might be cross-genre, but it’s what I like.  I like to include all peoples, all ages, all philosophies and cultures.  Okay, maybe not all, but a few.  Like I said, I see this novel as gleaming.  And soon, very soon, it will be.  By the end of December?  If I keep this  up, writing every day…easy.  Perhaps split it up, research for a couple hours, work on website for a couple more, and then write, write, write!

AC: *Marie refers to a character that exists, but her name is not Marie, and she’s not a whore anymore.  I guess it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Rabbit rabbit rabbi!*  May you hop through this month with as much gusto as you did in the previous!  I was thinking about how much I’ve accomplished in the past month…loads.  I’ve got two photographs in a show, I’ve got two photography jobs lined up, I’ve got a new website with a sweet slideshow on the homepage, I’ve gotten some nice dough from two housesitting jobs, and the biggest of all, almost a complete draft of another novel.  In 25 days!  If this feeling of exhilaration lasts, then you better believe I’ll have it nice and polished by the end of this month.  It’s not even 7a.m. and I’ve been awake to think of the wonder of my bed and my dreams and my life.  I’ve made my bed and stopped the bleeding from my chapped lip.  It’s going to be another full day babay!

I also dreamed a lot for an early morning, but I can’t remember them right now.  Perhaps because I’m too pumped to get back to my story, to finish it?  Part of me just wants to start from the beginning again, fill in all holes, but I say, no!  I will finish a draft, as I’ve got four total**, and I will finish this one.  I really think I’m nearing the end.  I can smell it.

Perhaps today?  I love that my room is in order.  No worries about that.  I could go straight to yoga, without having to vacuum or anything.  And I don’t have to worry about a dog being outside wanting in.  Just Zena and her ultra fluffiness.***  She’s exposing her belly.  Brb.

Okay, that was a nice love fest.  That’s how I feel lately, like I’m right smack dab in the middle of a love fest.  I wrote a lot yesterday, [REFERENCE TO SCENE OMITTED SO AS NOT TO BE A SPOILER!], a definite keeper.  I had a welling of emotion sit right on my chest while I was writing it.  During a rainy day with two dogs and a purring cat nearby.  I think I wrote around 8000 words yesterday. Woooo!  Can you imagine?  If I spent that long on my story, for a good amount of days per week?  Baby, I would have this draft nice and shiny polished in no time.  I think the Universe is wheeling and dealing with me.  And since I’m saying, hey, I want my condo, she is saying, hey, write your book.

Sure thing.  I can do that.

Mamacitas with Momma was great.  And then the Chocolate Lounge before and after that.  Downtown in general is magical.  I was peering into the hallway of my building, and then noticed all the condos in the building beside the Chocolate Lounge.  I’ve never seen them before, but there are several condos up there.  For a cool 1.3 million.  I don’t care, as long as there’s room to dance…;)

The dark and Indian kulfi hot chocolates were like a dream.  God I live such a good life.  And here I am, back at home; it’s just now 7:07 in the morning and I am back to being regular!  Wooo baby!  I got too much momentum to sit here another moment.  This fire engine’s ready to blow!****

AC: *My childhood best friend told me that if I say “rabbit rabbit rabbit” before speaking when you wake up in the first day of the year, you’ll have good luck.  I took the liberty to bring myself magic more frequently.

**I think my reference to four drafts is from my first novel.  The Story has now gone through so many, I’ve lost count.  I’ve disregarded my original advice and have gone back so many times to fill in holes that I’ve created more holes and filled them…holes, fill, holes, fill…(Woowee, is it becoming clear how amazing it will be to have The Story finished and in your hands come October??)

***Zena is a cat.  In case you were wondering.

****Yes, yes, I was referring to an impending bowel movement.  And metaphor for the magic of my life, of course.

Last Tuesday, I did see faeries.  Before the first one appeared, I had a vision.  The Faery Queen solidified from the black trees in swaths of silver.  Long hair, long gown–ya know, typical Faery Queen stuff.  She came over and pet me (just as I have and always will cuddle dogs and cats and Mommy) and she lit the bright blue orb in my center.  Then a message from the Faery Queen: You don’t have to come out here and look for magic.  You have it in yourself.

Of course, she’s right.  The Story is magic.  I feel it everyday as it comes closer and closer to this time/space-flux-capacitated dimension.  It is the joy of story, tapping into worlds, creating them, relating them to ours.  F!!!ING AWESOME.

I hope you appreciate the magic in what you’re creating.

(And if you really have read all this, then woo hoo!  You are awarded a million magic bonus points!  Thanks for playing!)


P.S.  I  never before considered myself a cat lady.  But I journal, and pet, and photograph, and love on a lot of cats.  Sometimes, you simply must admit to being a stereotype.

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