Do you celebrate solstice?

Winter Solstice is my time to contemplate the past; celebrate my successes; glean a few lessons from my failures; and set a few goals, née, resolutions, for the year ahead.  Darkest night behind me, Sunday morning I brewed a pot of tea instead of20120826-214538.jpg coffee; I set some sage to smoldering beside the candles on the altar and lit one candle in every room around my home; I open a new journal to page 1; and begin to plan for the coming year.


perle sherri mmdd 2

This year’s solstice, at least in part, was spent at various parties amidst friends.  By day, I began an early spring cleaning/rearranging of my studio/office (aka my aerie).  By night I enjoyed the festive mingling and conversations with friends; listening to live music, over-indulging in good food and wine.

Still, however late I arrived home on Friday and Saturday evenings, I lit the candles that I had set out before leaving the house and recited my annual evocation, née petition, née spell, for prophetic dreams of the path that lies ahead of me for the coming year.

I am one with the uni verse – See me.

Let me slip easily into the stream of time – Hear me.

Let me acknowledge my past, and accept my now – Help me.

Let me see in dream a little of my path ahead – Grant me.

That given time to contemplate, I may make better choices – Guide me.

As I give myself up to the ‘I am’ and slip into dream. Protect me.

So mote it be.

candles 5

Day 24 Another 3500+ words & 1 Blog Today NaNo / NaBlo

Day 24 of NaNoWriMo Wordcount 50,300/ NaBloPoMo (24 for 24) 

Sunday is my fun day…, and although I don’t really have any more Dilbertville manic Mondays in my life, tomorrow begins Thanksgiving’s home stretch prep with all its incumbent chores, and check lists.

Also, during this NaNoWriMo marathon, I’ve neglected too many other writing and painting objectives on my ToDo list.  Those neglected items stand a better chance of garnering income than the fledgling first draft of a novel I’ve just raced through.  I’m entering my current word count to register my ‘finished/winner status’; printing out a triple spaced copy to let cool off before beginning my red pen editing/rewrite process the week after Thanksgiving; and moving on to the neglected items on my list.  I’ve already taken care of # 1 on my list:

  1. Query one of my Children’s’ picture books to half a dozen agents.  (done)perle with Brie Sabrina cropped
  2. Follow up with the editor at Victoria Magazine to check the scheduling of my essay for their 2014 calendar.  Finalize, photograph and post to Amazon 10 paintings that are in various stages of completion.
  3. Monetize my WordPress Blog.
  4. Contact 10 affiliate markets on my list.
  5. Finish building my website beyond the starter page I threw up a year ago.

And so much more…

Excerpt from Murder is a Primary Color:
The Ghost

The sun could not chase away the chill Jade felt.  She shivered again.  The prospect of mind probe with that man was not a happy one.  James was on his phone already calling in the particulars to his captain, asking for permission for a probe and trace implant in case of escape.  It would take at least 24 hours for permission to probe, but the trace implant was an automatic.  He would try to expedite it if he could.  He could only hold Kane for 48 hours without some hard evidence he told her.  “Ghosts can’t testify and she doesn’t seem to know anything about how this happened.

Jade was walking back to the house, Sabrina draped across her shoulder face forward as she stroked her white fluff of hair just under her chin.  “Not bad old girl, not bad at all.” her thoughts went out.

Hmmmmm, Brie purred, what happened to ‘old woman’?

“Don’t know, old girl, she seems to have left us.”

The kitchen staff watched gape-mouthed from the kitchen doorway.  As Jade approached she sent calming thoughts and then stopping at their door, she smiled at them until she received tentative smiles back.  “It’s OK she reassured them.  This is my good old girl, Brie.  She won’t hurt anyone unless they plan on harming me.  Mr. Kane is under suspicion of wrong doing.  Please go about your business and don’t leave the premises in case we need to ask more questions.  Thank you.”  She walked past them to the hall and up the stairs to the room where that which was once Mrs. Kane paced.

Jade sat in the chair by the fire and waited, stroked Brie and prepared.  Mrs. Kane walked over and sat in the chair opposite her.  “Did he do it?  Did he kill me?  And how can I be dead?  I’m sitting here, you can see me, hear me, and I don’t understand.”

“Life has many levels.  Our bodies are just one of many dwelling places for that life.  You are life, some people call it soul and right now, you still have the form of your most recent body.  You never experienced your death, so you still project this form.  Perhaps when we solve your situation, you will let go and grow and assimilate all your lives and choose to be born again.  Perhaps you’ll travel the stars awhile and visit the planets, and sing awhile with the universe.  There are many options before you now – in many ways broader than the life of your once corporeal body.”

“I want to believe that.  Would you help me?  Right now all I know is, I’m dead and nothing more, and I’m scared”

“Of course, I’ll help you.  For now though, I need a little more help from you.”

Jade prepared as she faced the ghost of Mrs. Kane.

Mañana y’all.

Day 16 Another 3500+ words & 1 Blog Today NaNo / NaBlo

Day 16 of NaNoWriMo Wordcount 24,155/ NaBloPoMo (16 for 16) 

Today is Saturday, and I wrote late into last night and picked back up again from 6 a.m. this morning coffee in hand to meet my word count for the today.  I’m writing this Blog and scheduling it to post tonight at 7 p.m., as I’m picking Mom up for breakfast this morning around 9:30 and it’s almost 9 now.  She and I are off to Cocina Superior at Brookwood Mall for a Mexican breakfast of bacon and egg tacos, thick creamy black beans, fried breakfast potatoes and lots of their smoky hot salsa.

Maybe I should call it Brunch since Mom always has one Bloody Mary and I have 2 or 3 Mimosas and 2 or 3 cups of coffee.  Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s are $2 or they were the last time we were there.  They only open early on Saturday and Sunday for breakfast/brunch.  We always take the third table by the window, so we can watch the activity on the street: walkers, runners, gardeners tending the potted plants and sweeping the sidewalks, and the food wagon lady delivering her home-cooked fare to the wait staff up and down the street.fall yellow leaves 6

By the time we’re finished eating, the stores will be open and we plan on getting a little bit of Christmas shopping and/or looking done.

I probably will not get back to my desk for NaNo

Excerpt from Murder is a Primary Color:

Leaving for Mayax University

Just north of town west of that awesome concrete ribbon that circled the city, called the Loop, rose Mayax University.  It was a city unto itself.  From a hard-packed rocky floor where once you could see for miles, rose man-made edifices of stone and glass and walkways and trees grew where none had grown before

It loomed in the distance as I drove in from the mountains.  The new land rover handled well.  Father had surprised with it this morning.  “So you can always get home, no matter the terrain.  Do well daughter.”  He took my shoulders with his large gentle hands and kissed me on the forehead, turned and went back through the house. 

I knew he would go to his chair on the back porch to smoke his pipe and contemplate the mountain.  As I watched his tall lean figure walking away, I sensed an odd mixture of emotions: love, fear, loss all a jumble – so hard to sort. 

Nanna patted my arm.  “No worry Jadee, no worry.  He is a good man, but just a man.  He never understood you had to go away and now you are back a day and again you must go away.  You were his favorite you know – go everywhere with him, hunt and ride and climb trees.  He is so proud and loves you so much.  Send him thoughts of love and visit when you can.  You can do no more.”

“I always felt loved Nanna; I’ll be back as often as I can.  I promise.”

Then it was mother’s turn.  “Don’t do guilt little one.  You are a good daughter, and we are as good a parents as we know how to be.  Letting go is part of parenting, but knowing it does not make it easier.  You belong to yourself and to your destiny.  Always remember this.  We bear children, but we do not own them.  We share a place and space in time with them, nurture, teach and love them and let them be the best that they can be and that can only happen if they are free. Be free.  We all know you love us.  We will come to see you soon in your new house.  Nanna and I have some things to bring you.   Be well.”

I climbed in the rover top down and was off bag and baggage and a sack of lunch down the twisting path to the silver ribbon that would take me to the city and the House.

Mañana y’all.

Day 15 Another 3500 +10 words & 1 Blog Today NaNo / NaBlo

Day 15 of NaNoWriMo Wordcount 20,610/ NaBloPoMo (15 for 15) 

Enjoyed visiting all the shops at PepperPlace last night, particularly chatting with the folks and some of the actors at the Terrific New Theater who were excited about their upcoming shows.  girl on ribbon

Stopped by Aero Joe’s (Pilates-yoga-aerial) on the way back to the car and watched a young instructor do amazing things on what looked like a large ribbon suspended from the ceiling. I have a card for a free Pilates mat class.

From there I drove over to Frontera Ironworks for what was going to be a short visit, but I fell into several good conversations (football was never mentioned!).  A couple at the buffet table joined me at one of the hand wrought tables with bar stools we fell to chatting about education, special needs children and of course Obama care.

Heading to the car through the back door, I met several young men sitting around a large firepit 1open fire pit and took their offer of the empty chair in the circle.  Discussing the ironworks, lead us to fire, then to ritual, the potential for good and evil in each of us and the role of choice, followed by life and death, the existence of the soul and reincarnation.  Another good conversation (football was never mentioned!!!)

Good thought-provoking conversations always leave me invigorated, so writing was a breeze this morning.  I easily logged my 3500 words this morning, wrote my Blog and again scheduled it to drop at 7pm this evening, and moved on to the agent query letter for the children’s book.


Day 12 Wrote 2000 words & 1 Blog Today NaNo/ NaBlo

Day 12 of NaNoWriMo Wordcount 15600/ NaBloPoMo (12 for 12)

Aimed for 3500 today, but fell short.  I logged a hard fought 2000 though before heading out to run essential chores.

First up were items due at library today or I’d be charged a dollar a day each – fridge redonetoo much with 12 movies checked out and several books.  Run by my P.O. box to check for incoming and mail the car payment.  Annoys me that I can’t pay it on line because the bank that holds the note won’t set me sign up unless I have an account at their bank.  No thanks, I’ll mail it.  Grocery store for coffee, an essential of life.  Golden Temple for Essiac tea ingredients – don’t ask.

No momentum for writing when I got home, so I spent more than a few hours doing my monthly refrigerator and kitchen thorough cleaning which I’ve skipped the last 2 months (major ewww).  Completing such a chore gives me the satisfaction of finishing something start to finish. Much needed feeling when writing a novel in spits and starts.

This morning’s writing was spent on the some background.

As the century waned in the decade of 90, more and more seeking enlightenment found it.  Those who believed achieved each to his or her own dreams.  Second sight for many became second nature – the gift held peril and obligation.  The Wyse and ordinary people had been seeking and finding the truths and marrying like-minded and like-gifted, and by the year 2020, their children were being born with the inherent gifts and their parents were at once thrilled and afraid. 

Also born in those days was a mounting fear of those with so-called unnatural powers.  So the parents of the psy-child did not brag, did not speak of it and kept the children home to protect them and teach them control.

Hidden and quiet they went about their lives as normally as possible.  Time passed and things were calm, but tense.  Only among their own were they free to be themselves.  And so there were coded emails and actual letters crossing the country; there were coded ads in the digital and print papers, followed by phone contact, then mind as one by one they identified each other.  Their desires were the same.  To live a good and fruitful life and leave behind something better for their children.  But there was a cloud on the horizon and it was not just intolerance and bigotry.

Day 10 New project started late last night NaNo/NaBlo

Day 10 of NaNoWriMo  – New project started late last night – 10,050 / NaBloPoMo (10 for  10).

As I posted yesterday, I just lost all momentum followed by interest on the Wadenhoe novel, so I just stopped and decided to go with a sequel to an old Nano Novel from a few years back whose
characters still live in a far corner of my mind.

Tentative Title:  Murder is a Primary Color.  I’ve been writing on it most of last night and then again today to get back to the 10,050 words I had already written on Wadenhoe. I’ll have to do 3500 words a day to get back on schedule by this coming Friday.

I’m beat.  I’m looking forward to pouring a glass of cabernet and tuning in PBS Masterpiece @ 8 to watch Paradise followed by a rerun of season 2 episode of Downton and book

Dessert will be a second glass of wine and as many chapters of current new book, an ARC of ‘Hild’ by Nicola Griffith which is due out Tuesday.   Set in 7th century Britain, the style is much like that of Mists of Avalon and I am so loving it.  

Meanwhile, here’s new NaNo excerpt:
Scene: Breakfast bar in Jades sunny kitchen:

…”Hmmm? Oh – yes, Mira. I’ve been called in by my friend in law enforcement. You remember the Lt. Jeffries I worked with several months ago?”

“Yes Miss, it’s the murders on the news. Isn’t it?”

Jade’s white forehead furrowed and she gazed from beneath black brows. Mira was momentarily frightened and Jadeah sensed her fear and relaxed her face and smiled. “I should view the news more often, you apparently know more than I. Yes, I suppose it would have been on the news. But please, no questions. I must plan my day. When the bell rings, it will be Lt Jeffries. Please let him in.”

Sabrina was suddenly on the red leather stool next to Jade, carefully preening her paw with special attention to her claws. Their eyes and minds met and Sabrina queried, “We have work?”

“Yes, will you help?”

“Of course. I might be an old woman, but I am quite able.”

“Point taken old girl. We wait for our ride; be alert.”

Mira watched in awe from the stove as she poured the steaming chocolate almond milk into a large blue mug of equally steaming black cayenne laced coffee. She knew her mistress talked to this feline, and she was sure the feline understood and talked back.

Mira’s grandmother had explained to her about curanderas and their familiars and told her to treat the cat as well as her mistress and speak to her as to a human and with respect. This cat was not like her little Sabato at home, not at all. This one looked at you when you talked. Mira only hoped it could not read minds, too.

The doorbell interrupted her thoughts, and she put the coffee on the bar in front of Jade and left the kitchen to let in the Lt. She touched the keypad and stood with her mouth a little open. She had forgotten how fair was this gentle giant. All blond longish hair, clear amber eyes and legs that went on forever. “My mistress waits in the kitchen, sir.”

James strode down the hall and Mira did not catch up with him until he was seated at the kitchen bar on the other side of Brie – and now there were three.

Day 9 – Dumping Current Novel – NaNo/NaBlo

Day 9 of NaNoWriMo  – Dumping current project and starting a new one (sigh)/ NaBloPoMo (9 for  9).

Met with Alabama Writers group for NaNo write-in at Panera’s Main Street @ 10 this morning for a write in and we got no writing in.  It turned into a kibitzing session.  murder cover 1

That was fine. I’ve pretty much lost steam on this project and seriously considering a sequel/spinoff of a previous NaNo Novel.  I’ll have to double up to catch up, but those characters live for me and I can rethink the Wadenhoe project for later in 2014.

I’ll be updating title, etc., on Nanowrimo tomorrow, and start doing some furiouswriting most of tomorrow on new project to make up for lost time.  Tentative Title ‘Murder is a Primary Color’.

Met two interesting young women this morning whose Indie Publishing Company is worth a look.  Check them out at Matter Deep Publishing.

p.s. My own indiepub e-book (How to Journal and How to Publish from your Journal) will be going on sale as an Amazon selection on December 2 @ $2.99.  I’m hoping it will kick up sales.

cover 7 -2journal


Day 8 – No Words Written – NaNo/NaBlo

Day 8 of NaNoWriMo Wordcount Still 10,050/ NaBloPoMo (8 for  8).

They (not sure who they are) say it takes 30 days to build a good habit and 3 days to break it.  Well I didn’t make the 30 of building, so it only took 1 to break it.  The day out with Mom yesterday took the edge off my urgency to write.

Althouth I’ve journaled, written emails and made lists of agents to send the children’s picture book to, I’ve written nothing to speak of on my NaNo Novel. IMG_2375

It’s going to be a long weekend of catch up.  I plan to go to 2 NaNo write-ins. One at Riverchase Panera tomorrow morning and another at Beans, Books, and Candles at 2pm.  Taking the spiral notebook which I usually write in and the laptop – if I can’t do one, I’ll do the other. I’m  3000 behind.

My ToDo list is not working today.  I’ve added an item in all caps in red – STOP PROCRASTINATING!!!!!

Day 6 To Do List NaNo/NaBlo

Day 6 of NaNoWriMo Wordcount 10,050/ NaBloPoMo (6 for 6).

The ToDo! List is working – sort of.  I am now at 6 days of accomplishing numbers 1 – 4 on the list consistently, so there’s hope for the rest of it.IMG_2338

  1. Walk 5 miles from 5-6:30 a.m. Do stretches, yoga and/or wgts 6:30-7.
  2. Coffee on, BF in oven then quick shower, be at desk by 8. (I did it when I had a ‘real’ job’, no reason I can’t do it now.)
  3. Write Blog and schedule for posting at 7pm daily  (note: I’m writing as many as I can in advance and programming them to post in a timely manner)
  4. Write 1668 words a day or more on my NaNoWriMo Novel.
  5. Finish Drawings for children’s book that is already written.
  6. Peruse markets for essays.
  7. Query w/Food Tips – various magazine. (I’m a serious cook; I have a jillion tips, but I’ve only sent out 1 to although the list is extensive.)
  8. Finish Website – It still sits as the starter page.
  9. Bank 30 days’ worth of tweets.

There are more I haven’t done, but I won’t bore you nor flagellate myself anymore than I already have.  You get the point. Procrastination, is my middle name.

Oh, yeh Scarlett had nothing on me. “…I’ll think about it tomorrow… I’ve squandered too many today’s with that line.

I’’ve been spending time like so much loose change, and I’m trying to stop.

Day 4 NaNoWriMo & NaBloPoMo

Day 4 of NaNoWriMo/ NaBloPoMo and I was behind by 1000 words yesterday but made it up today plus a few (county 8664), on track for Blog Posts (4 for 4).


I spent part of my morning transcribing about 1000 words from my spiral notebook, but I’m falling behind, so have to get cranking to stay on track.

As I’ve said before, I’m most comfortable and even more creative when I write with a pen on a pad.  My favorite size is approximately 5×8, as it fits in my smallest Coach purse.

IMG_2337I journal daily, but this time of year I carry a second notebook that is dedicated to my NaNo Novel.  I did the math and @ approximately 7 words a line, 25 lines and 80 pages front and back, I can get 28000 words in one notebook, which is a little more than half the objective wordcount for NaNo. I’ll blow through 2 notebooks

They’re available at the big supply stores. And although I IMG_2338prefer the classy Mead Cambridge below, Walmart has some smaller cheaper brightly covered ones that I use for my daily ToDo List that stays on my desk and other small projects.

If you’re an internet shopper, you can order from Amazon.

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