Life Savers

“Our lived lives might become a protracted mourning for, or an endless tantrum about, the lives we were unable to live. But the exemptions we suffer, whether forced or chosen, make us who we are.” ~ Adam Phillips* When I was growing up, there was a Life Saver’s commercial featuring a little girl watching the sunset with her father and just after the sun slips down past the horizon, she whispers, “Do it again, Daddy.” I’ve always loved that commercial. I easily placed myself under that tree at sunset with my own Dad, who I believed knew everything. I hadn’t thought about that commercial for many years until after my father died. I was brushing my teeth when a vision popped into my head of myself on my own death bed, my father waiting for me on the other side,...

Queer as Folk

A few weeks ago I attended an art gallery opening for queer artists. I started chatting with a lovely, quirky woman about upcoming events for our local Pride Week. As we then talked about where we were from and the kinds of things I taught, she awkwardly fished for something else, but I wasn’t sure what she was getting at. Finally, she got flustered and said, “I’m trying to ask if you’re queer, but you’re obviously not, because you’re not picking up on any of the language.” “I don’t know the secret handshake either,” I deadpanned. She laughed and offered to demonstrate. She had caught me off guard. The thing was, neither “yes” nor “no” felt like the right answer. Neither would have been sufficient in expressing my personal journey nor revealing...

The Art of Uplift (aka – Be a Star Among Stars)

up*lift verb 1. to lift up; raise; elevate. 2. to improve socially, morally, or the like. 3. to exalt emotionally or spiritually. 4. to become uplifted. noun 5. an act of raising; elevation. 6. the process or work of improving, as socially, intellectually, or morally. 7. emotional or spiritual exaltation. For the past few months I’ve been thinking about the ideas of UP and DOWN in terms of language, emotion, and physicality. When we are UP we are high, exalted (“closer to the heavens”), floating, light, standing tall, open. We love looking up – – to the sky, birds, clouds, sun, moon, future. When feeling liberated, joyous, elated we throw our arms up. We want to “reach for the stars” not “dig ourselves”...

This Space for Rent

Moving Stats: two cuts six bruises a round of kidney stones two head/chest colds an ear infection one bookshelf dropped on head ~     ~     ~ Despite the physical ailments, the renters who flaked out on us TWO DAYS before we were to move, and the ferry schedule to get the Uhaul to the Sunshine Coast and back in one day, we have done it!   We have moved to a greener, slower, more remote location. And I already love it, even though it has been nothing but grey, and I am surrounded by unpacked boxes and unorganized kitchenware. I love the quiet growing of our surroundings. I love the nestiness of our new space. It is much smaller, alas, so the Den of Destiny is no more, but I have found a fabulous new cafe that opens early. I have decided it is my new office:...

Poetry, Prose, and Purpose: an Interview

A few months ago I was interviewed not only by March Twisdale of Poetry, Prose, and Purpose (aired on Voice of Vashon) I was also interviewed by her 12 year old son, who had just read the first three books in my White Forest series. The interview is now officially posted online for listening!   It’s lovely. March is a fantastic interviewer and adds much to the discussion. But it’s long interview, over an hour, and we’re all so busy these days. So, I created a handy-dandy Table of Contents for the Interview so as you’re listening, you can just click to the part that piques your interest. ** TEACHERS, LIBRARIANS, and other EDUCATORS:  there’s a portion about what I do in the schools that begins around 45 minutes in. ** If...

What do Your Stories Reflect?

The test of a book’s quality is not if it reflects my life, but if it reflects yours. ~E. L. Doctorow I came across this quote this week and fell immediately in love with it. How very true that if readers cannot connect with our story, if they don’t see some of themselves in it, then it will fall flat. I’m having this issue with the book I’m currently reading, because I can’t relate at all to the protagonist or his life (though I’m sure someone might). And even though the author is clever and writes interesting dialogue that has made me laugh out loud on several occasions, I still can’t get into the story. I just don’t care. I think the same sentiment could be used for social media, and blogging in particular. Facts,...