Wednesday, December 23, 2009

winter sky

reading the jeweled sky

I received this wonderful little artwork from Hybrid J today.  It's called "Reading the Jeweled Sky"... just perfect, don't you think? 
Thanks, J!

Monday, December 21, 2009

happy solstice

It is the Winter Solstice, welcome Winter. Time to go inside. Inside one's home,, and inside one's self. To get plenty of sleep, and to eat Yang foods (root vegetables, and ones that grow close to the ground) to keep one warm inside. A pinch of ground cayenne pepper in each sock, makes for cozy toes, and a pinch in a cup of tea does the same for the insides.

These are just some things that come to mind with the onset of winter.

It snowed here all day yesterday, and we got quite a few inches. Not quite enough to make for that really silent sound outside, but I did get to hear some of that.

Sitting now with a cup of tea, dear readers, and wondering what brings you joy? You can answer in my comments, or perhaps you'd like to make a post of your own in answering that question. Be sure to leave me a link, though!

Right now, this little one and his existence on Earth, is bringing me much joy!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas troll

I haven't done much in the way of creativity in a while. Tonight I took the head and feet of a troll I was going to discard, and decided to dress him... wrapped in chamois; I do not sew well without a machine, and I don't own one, so I like to wrap. He doesn't have hands yet, but he does have a shock of buffalo hair. I imagine I will embellish him with other things along the way. For now, he is enjoying some time beside the Christmas tree.

click image to view larger

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Logan at 4 days

from December 12th, discharge day from the hospital.  Melissa/mommy talking to Logan.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

a baby

More Pics @

Just a note to say that I am the great aunt of Logan James, born this afternoon,12 days overdue.  He weighed in at a whopping 9lbs 4oz, and is 21 inches long.  My niece labored through for many hours, until it was decided the baby's head was just not going to descend into the canal, and a c-section had to be performed.  Both mother and baby are doing well.  Pictures will come in the future, for sure.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

a day to remember

My niece is going to be induced today.... a significant day in that my father died 18 years ago on this day, and John Lennon died 28 years ago on this day... both heroes in my life....... so it turns out this day will be a birthday! I am glad about that. My dad would be glad about that, too. I trust he is looking down on his grand-daughter and smiling.

I am going to go down to the hospital to join my sister and my niece in the waiting, which is bound to be long, as the process has not even started yet.

I have put up my tiny Charlie Brown tree. It is maybe 2 ft. high. I couldn't find any of my hanging ornaments, or the manger, or the star... they are all at the bottom of a storage closet that I just can't tackle. But I did what I could to add a little Christmas charm, lol.  The little elf sitting in the tree was found on the street by my father many years ago.. it was tattered and torn, but he felt it deserved to be on a tree, so he picked it up and took it home.

Friday, December 4, 2009

friday night

I was writing my novel, and came to what was a flimsy ending, saying in one paragraph what should have been said for another thirty pages, probably. This made me feel like I was done with it for a couple of days, so I started editing it from the beginning. I kept having a nagging feeling that I wanted to write more, and felt bad I had ended it.... As if I didn't have the power to undo that.. or do it up better, rather. So, tonight I deleted that last paragraph, and I will be continuing to live with my characters for a while longer. Forget trying to edit on the computer; I need a hard copy for that, and have no ink in the printer right now.

My niece, who was due on Nov. 27th, still hasn't given birth yet. She is anxious as can be, and we are all anxious for her. Come on, little guy, come out and greet the world!

I am finding it hard to believe it is December. I'm not feeling very Christmassy yet, and I think that could change when the baby comes.

The 18th anniversary of my father's death is December 8th, so this is usually a rather down period of time for me. It would be something if the baby was born on that day, transforming it completely. Of course, it is already transforming this time, I believe.

I think about the 18 years since my father has died. I have never been the same since. I never truly regained the joie de vivre that I used to have. He was the dearest father, and my best friend. Such a large presence in my life that his absence is a huge hole unable to be filled, no matter how many years go by.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

happy full moon to you

The National Writing Month ended last night at midnight, and I managed to write over 75K words in one month. I'm very proud of myself. I'll be continuing it, since I haven't reached the end yet. Not sure how long it will end up being. I learned that I can persevere in a project far beyond my expectations, which surprised me more than you can imagine. When this started I was more than daunted by the amount of words that needed to be written in one month, but I wrote practically every day, and if I didn't write one day I made up the word count the next day. It was very different from the writing I did when I was younger, which had a more autobiographical bent to it. This was pure fiction, just what I wanted it to be. has a free offer (which is actually free, no strings attached) for Nano writers who have finished their 50K (and beyond, up to 800,000 words)... they will print up a paperback proof copy of your book, which I think is very cool. I have 6 months to take advantage of the offer, so I believe I will be able to finish my first draft and do some revision on the whole thing before I send it off to be printed. It's strictly a vanity thing to do, but I am not beyond vanity.
The next time I write about this novel will be after I get it printed.. I'm sure all you readers out there have gotten sick of hearing about this for the past month!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

nanowrimo winner

My total word count is 66,687.  Not sure I'm going to continue it from here, though.  I've about had it for now!

Monday, November 16, 2009

met my nano goal!

Woke up early this morning and wrote over 4,000 words. I have met my goal for the month, with a grand total of 50,131 words so far. The story isn't ended yet, so there will be more to come, but for now, I am going to take it slow, just glad that I reached the goal that I had set... 14 days ahead of time!

Yay me!

Friday, November 13, 2009

nano update

Been a couple or three days since my last NaNo update.  I'm up to 42,070/50,000, so I'm well on my way to finishing the month's desired goal.  I don't know if this thing reads like a novel or not, since I haven't reread anything, otherwise I'd get started with editing, and really hold myself back.  There's so much dialogue that I think it reads more like a stage play than a novel, but at least I am writing it.  I don't particularly think that the whole story can be wrapped up in another 8,000 words, but I'm trying for that.  I can fatten it up when I start doing the rewrites in the future. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

if wishes had wings, I'd be flyin'

It has been years since writing at such a pace as I am now. I had forgotten what a lonely profession writing can be. My characters are interacting, having new experiences, and talking a lot, and I am lonely when they are not talking, and I'm not busy writing. It's a strange phenomenon, waiting for the company of your characters. I think that's why I've been writing so much.

Today is Wishcasting Wednesday and Jamie Ridler asks: "What do you wish to dare?"

These wishes are so wide open that almost anything can fit into them! I wish to engage life.. that is the first thing that came to my mind. That means leaving my house to do more than go grocery shopping, or for a drs. appointment, or to visit with my mom just occasionally. It's about getting out there... somewhere, anywhere, and engaging people... becoming "part of". I miss people much of the time, miss nature, miss life. Of course, I wasn't always like this, which is why I'm able to write stories.

My niece/god-daughter, is having a baby this month, and I look forward to that new life instilling life in me, as well.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

nano update

Didn't write too much over the past day and a half, but managed to eek out over 2500 words today, for a total word count of 30,033 to date.  I'm glad to have gotten past the halfway point, but much of the writing seems less than wonderful, I must say.  Nevertheless, I'm getting the words out, and I guess that's what counts during this crazy month of November. 

Saturday, November 7, 2009

write on!

I amassed about 4,000 words between midnight and this morning, far exceeding my expected output. Different parts of the story were coming at me, so I wrote several different scenes. It'll all be worked out after November, when revisions are in order. Right now, every time I think I'm going to run out of words, some scene or dialogue comes to me. My total as of now is 22,707 words. I want to get to the halfway mark of 25K as soon as possible.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

another overnighter

7am in Brooklyn, New York, and it's 45°F/7°C.

I have been up all night writing, on and off, since midnight. Since I was a kid these were the best hours for me, and I have written tomes of journals at these times. Don't know how many words I wrote tonight, as I'm only keeping track of my totals, and that was 14K+ when I stopped writing.

It should be a fairly uneventful day, except for a drs. visit to get some prescriptions. On that note, I had mentioned sometime back about going through some cardiac testing... I have done that, and the results came back that I have a fine heart, and good carotid arteries, so a large scare I felt has been relieved. The cause of my passing out episodes remains a mystery, and may have been due to a drop in blood pressure, I really don't know. I'm just glad my heart is in as good a shape as the doctor said it is.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

wishcasting wednesday

It's wishcasting wednesday, and I haven't participated in this in quite a while.

Today question is "What do you wish to experience?"
Since I am into this novel writing adventure, that is primarily where my head is at these days.
I wish to experience days of easy writing, followed by diligent and excellent revisions (after November). After that, I wish to experience the joy of having a book published, and becoming a best seller! Heck, I may as well put that out there, right?

a novel insomnia

I get up in the middle of the night to keep writing my novel. Everytime I approach this I think there will be nothing new to write, but words come out. I am far beyond the point I thought I'd be at, with over 11,000 words this morning. My characters seem to want to dialouge an awful lot, and I was not really expecting that. I want to work at more description, and perhaps some character contemplation, if that makes any sense. Much of the dialouge is stitled, not quite right, but I can't make time for editing as this is not about editing and making perfect, but gettng the words on the page so that in the winter I will have a real first draft to work on. I truly haven't written at this rate in 30 years.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

NaNoWriMo progress report

5479 words on Day 3.. I am ahead of my desired quota. 

Sunday, November 1, 2009

NYC Marathon

(click photos to enlarge)

Some runners going past my building in Brooklyn.... you can see the Verrazano Bridge in the backgroud, which is their starting point on the other side (Staten Island)..... they've got a loooong way to go!

NaNoWriMo begins

Nanowrimo has started (as of midnight), and I've decided to do 5 or 6 15 minute stints of writing at a time, unless I'm on a total roll. This would get me to my desired daily goal of approximately 1700 words. I started at midnight, doing my first 15 minutes, and wrote 347 words, which put me right on target. That's pretty much writing non stop, no redesigning a sentence or even having enough time to think of another one that's not as corny as the last. But I will not critique, I will not critique.

It's not easy going; I am pulling things out of my head from I don't know where. But it happens if you plow through, and basically throw caution to the wind, so to speak. This is writing by the seat of my pants kinda stuff.

I have the whole day (Sunday) to finish of my next 5 writing sessions, depending on how long I go on each of them. They have to be at least 15 minutes, that's my minimum. Not as easy as it sounds. There's also an extra hour to the day, so I can utilize that, as well.

Afternoon update:  I've written 1927 words, so I got my quota done for today. Yay! :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

a giveaway gift

I was lucky enough to win a wonderful giveaway from Sara, of Mama Craft.  It is a beautiful set of mounted rubber stamps with a Tree theme. I'm going to make something fun for my sister, whom we call Tree.  Also,  a stamp pad, and the most lovely set of Watercolor Pencils.  Really fun stuff; thank you so much, Sara!

tuesday morning

An apartment across the street has a  Christmas tree set up by the window. It's lit by early afternoon, into the evening.  I'll have to get a picture of it later on.  It's not even Halloween! I get disoriented every time I look out the window and see that oddly timed trimmed tree.

[hard to get a decent shot of this, but you get the gist]

A block away, along the bigger intersection, they've strung the Christmas lights already... traditionally they get lit on thanksgiving night or the night after. I hope they don't get crazy and light them up for Halloween... though that'd be spooky.

Last night me and ev played several games of Gomoku, and one game of Scrabble.  It's good to play games sometimes.


Lingering over a cup of coffee now.  The day is grey and rainy.  I have some medical testing today (and tomorrow) around noon, so I won't be doing much before that. 
The streetsweeper passes by; boy does that make a big sound.  Startled me.  Traffic is in full force.  I like the sound of it going over the wet pavement.

My contented cats sit nearby.  They've eaten their morning meal, and all is right in their world.

Mug Shots
(Little Guy & Morrison)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Early morning wake up. I go to the store at dawn; sugar for my coffee, and a bagel for my stomach.

The world is already rushed at that time... people going to school and work... the subway steps streaming with people, and buses packing up. Heads down, cell phones abundant, as usual.

That intersection is a block away, and the block makes all the difference. The traffic here isn't light, but at least I don't have to listen to all those buses pulling in and out. I can hear and feel (even up here on the 6th floor) the train going by underground, but that's not disturbing to me at all.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009


Another bout of insomnia. No big deal. I amuse myself by drinking red wine and perusing writings on the net. Camomile tea and soft music might be the better alternative here, but oh well.
Little Guy walks around my legs, tickling me with his fur. Morrison is on the couch arm, and decides to jump down and check the kitchen for food. I hear him crunching on the hard food, which I always leave down for them.

I've been pondering over this novel-in-a-month venture...Nanowrimo... trying to plot out my story, and get a feel for the main characters. It's nerve wracking, because when I think about it, no words come to mind, and I wonder if I will be totally blocked for this endeavor. There's no time to think about it once it comes, though, and quantity seems to be of the first order. Truthfully, if I ended up with 50K words of anything I'd be happy. Well, that's not true; I can do without thousands of words of crap.
I have an idea of the beginning of my story, and a scene I would like at the end. The middle I don't have mapped out fully, except for certain ideas of characters meeting, and a turn-around in the main characters life... that'll have to be okay, because I don't think I'll be working on this plotting stuff much more this month.

Seems some heat came up, as the radiators were hissing. Now it's a little too warm, so I opened a window. Surely it's not quite time for heat just yet. It's 41°F/5°C. I guess a little heat won't hurt. The wine is warming me too, I suppose.

Well, that's enough rambling for now. Hopefully sleep won't be far behind.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


autumn falls overnight
brisk winds blow the scraping leaf
the people scurry


winter can't be far
songbirds are disappearing
the earth gets quiet

Friday, October 9, 2009

one year blogging

It has been one year since starting my blog. I think I've kept up with it pretty well (despite deep lulls, like lately).
The sky has been grey, and not yet the crystal blue and white October sky that I love so well.
The leaves are yet to turn, though a few have started. The green is fading from all of them. (photo from an earlier autumn, taken while driving upstate)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Halloween goodies

Today I got a wonderful Halloween package from Gail. I won a giveaway at her site, and here's the stuff I got. The witch is just too cute! Thank you, Gail!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

offerings & tai chi

prayers at the Medicine Wheel, with a tai chi player in the background
burning sage and cornmeal offering bundle

my morning tai chi
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 19, 2009

upcoming project

I must be crazy. I joined up to participate in this year's NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). (see my personal user badge at the right, which will give you my word count, starting in November.) I don't know what possessed me to do such a thing, and I am daunted at the scope of it. The target is to write (mind you, quantity counts over quality in this case) 50 K words during the month of November, starting (anew, no old stuff) at the stroke of midnight on November 1st. That's something like 1700 words a day! And I am starting at zero these days. Some people are doing enormous pre-nano tasks, like writing a short story every day, just to get in the groove! Hahaha... if I have that much to write, surely I'll save it for my word count when it starts.
I have an old very-unfinished novel that I won't use words for in this new venture... since there is to be no old writing.. but I think my story will come from that one. I'm not sure, I have to see what happens when I start writing this thing from scratch. Sometimes, oft times, writing takes you where you'd least expect.
I'll try to keep my blog updated with my progress, and if I'm really writing that much.

I feel a nervous excitement about this. I think that's good.
Maybe I will spend the next month trying to flesh out a plot and some main characters. A little preplanning can't hurt. What a crazily ambitious venture. I have not known myself to be too ambitious these days, but it is a familiar feeling from days gone by.
This is a project that forces one to kick the critic off one's shoulder, and just muddle through, bringing out garbage and gems alike, as long as you bring it out and get it on the page. There may be many pages of non-cohesive writing; bits and pieces, as I've been known to do. But that will be okay (I have to keep reminding myself). When the muse doesn't move me, sheer perseverance must... maybe the muse will hop on board if given half the chance.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

no new brew

Past 7am and I've been up a couple of hours. Just enjoying a cup of coffee. I can hear the seagulls making their way down to the water, for breakfast. Wonder what the fishing's like today.
There's nothing much to tell, though I've been away from current blogging for a while now. Yesterday's post doesn't exactly count as "current".

I've passed out a couple of times over the past month or so, and I have to see a cardiologist, and get an echocardiogram & carotid doppler, to get a definitive diagnosis. Since my sister went through the same symptoms last year, and was diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis (and underwent some serious heart surgeries) I am admittedly scared of the outcome. Also there is the nervousness of thinking I may pass out again. Mostly I can feel it coming on, so that helps a little (in the event I'm in the street, I'll know to sit on the ground before I go crashing). This has kept me a little bit more than distracted from things like blogs and online activity.

Creativity has suffered the brunt of this distraction, as well. For the most part, next to nothing is being produced.I hope this blocked period will pass soon. I was making a Halloween witch, but her head fell off her gourd body, and her hat cracked in two while curing. Poor ugly witch. I don't have much desire to repair her, as my attention span is wickedly short these days.

Friday, September 11, 2009


911 memorial

the river rats are in my harbor
watching the waters now
flat grey no shimmer
secret light no flare

I feel it on my back
I smell it moving in the sewers
What is there
and what is not there,
odors of a parallel stink
burdens that bend me

tears tumble over the month of days
the hard smudge on the calendar
"has there been a day you haven't cried?" I ask my sister

the river rats are in my harbor

(written one month post 9-11. The photograph, taken from the Jersey side, was from the nephew of a woman I worked with; unfortunately I don't know his name)

Monday, September 7, 2009

damn spam

I am sorry that I have to start moderating my comments, but I have received an onslaught of spam comments suddenly, and it sucks! So, forgive my moderation, but the spam is too annoying.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

old school film photography

These 35mm black and white photos were taken a long time ago when I was taking a photography class. They are film photographs, developed and printed by me in the darkroom. Many of these photos were already matted, so some light peeked through while scanning, making them look a little blurry.

Photos top to bottom:
shore road in winter
man on the sidewalk
old Italian people
lunch break
needlecraft hands
my friend Carol
kids at a street fair
city kids in the playground
the Brookyn Army base

Saturday, August 15, 2009

hawk inspired art

evie tirado, my best friend of 34 years, took that walk with me around the lake at Bear Mountain the other day. The hawks were the inspiration for the day, and they appeared to us 4 times. Here is a link to evie's inspired piece, hawks overhead. The painting has an amazing textural aspect that is hard to see in a picture, but click on the pic to see a larger version. Do pay her a visit.

the energy of one (with thanks & apologies to The Walking Man)

I resonate with the energy of one
still intact
No trail of DNA running around
no trace other than myself

I am whole
my solar plexus has no hole

and now I am a crone
my knowledge not so set in stone,
as waves of change must change
what we know
In one way or another, we
shift perspective, see with other eyes,
and live in synch with natural forces

As these years gather
so do I

bark and bone, leathers and stones,
treebeards and weathered wood

these are my tools
for creating art and ritual

My ancestors live on in my blood.
I am a final product.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

witchy woman

Thanks to Dreamwriter
for giving me this fun award today!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bear Mountain

I left the city today, and went up to Bear Mountain State Park, which is situated in the mountains rising from the west bank of the Hudson River.
The first thing I did when I got there was hug a tree. It seemed the natural thing to do, and I could feel the energy of the earth again; always there, sustaining us. It was good to watch the gentle waters of the lake. Me and my friend, evie, took a long walk around the entire lake. Hawks (one of my favorite good omens) greeted us in large numbers, swirling overhead for a good long time. It was a good day.