Just Me

I have a good life.  A good husband. Good children. Good job. Good friends. Actually, it is a great life.

I get to spend my non-day job hours writing. I have written books that editors have thought good enough to publish, which is the culmination of a lifelong dream. I have attained my goals. How many people get to say that?

My current goal is to be happy. Being happy, for me, is taking delight in little things: stars in a clear night sky; the colors of a sunny autumn day; an unkempt flower garden; good food; a song that moves me. I’m lucky in that if I want to buy a pretty planning calendar or a cool new computer bag, I can. So I do. But do I need things to make me happy? No.

I try to keep my social media presence upbeat. We all have downsides in our lives, because that’s part of living. That doesn’t mean I need to dwell on bad days. But if I can spin the bad into something funny, something to make someone laugh, that’s a good thing.

I don’t need to pat myself on the back for being a good person. I don’t need to build myself up by judging the choices of others. They do their thing; I do mine.

Life is organic. Go with the flow. Relax. Enjoy the ride.

Poem in Your Pocket

Today is National Poem in Your Pocket Day. Poetry has a bad rap. A lot of it is pretentious. More is sophomoric. I should know. I wrote reams of bad poetry as a self-indulgent teenager.

I grew up on poetry. My mom had a book from which she read to us all the time. My sister took the book and read it to my nephew when he was young. Then I got the book to read to my own children. It’s copyrighted 1926, so it was an old book even when I was a child. I believe it was a 6th grade school book.  And while I have lots of poetry books on my shelves–Poe, Dickinson, Sexton, Thomas, Rumi, and so on, this is the book I gravitate to when I’m in the mood for poetry.

If I had to chose only one poem to carry in my pocket, it would be one from this book. It’s a Joyce Kilmer poem. Kilmer is probably best known for the his poem,

“I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree,”

but that’s not the one I have in mind.

I much prefer “The House with Nobody in It.”

 

 

Songs Behind the Story

I’m working on another werewolf book, with my good friends from Toke Lobo & the Pack.

When I was on a writing retreat a couple of months ago, I had an urge to read a book where the plot hung on the blues–the musical genre. I realized I hadn’t created a sound track for the story-in-progress and that jazz/blues were going to be predominant in the mix. For those readers who are not familiar with my werewolf world: Toke Lobo & The Pack is a country music band, this idea for jazz and blues was a little bizarre.

I think the need for bluesy jazz came because of the moon. The moon is almost a character in this story. It’s also the topic of a lot of music.

Here’s the mix. Several songs have been used in earlier volumes of what I call The Werewolf Chronicles.

  • Bad Moon Rising (Creedence Clearwater Revival)
  • Talking to the Moon (Don Henley)
  • The Moon Looks Down and Laughs (Billie Holiday)
  • Dancing in the Moonlight (King Crimson)
  • Dancing Down the Moon (Debbie Harry/Blondie)
  • Reaching for the Moon (Ella Fitzgerald)
  • Moondance (Van Morrison)
  • The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (Joe Cocker)
  • I Wished on the Moon (Billie Holiday)
  • Shame on the Moon (Bob Seger)
  • Talking to the Moon (Sara Niemietz)
  • Moonshadow (Cat Stevens)
  • Brother Wolf, Sister Moon (The Cult)
  • No Moon at All (Ella Fitzgerald)
  • I Wish I Was the Moon (Neko Case)
  • Moonglow (Diana Krall)
  • Reflecting Light (Sam Phillips)
  • Daylight Again/Cost of Freedom (Crosby, Stills & Nash)

 

 

Maps

I had an interesting conversation with someone the other day. She was lamenting the younger generation’s dependence on GPS and/or their phones to get them places. “Remember road maps?” she asked.

Of course I remember road maps. I have a file folder full of them. I used to keep a couple in the glove compartment of my car. I have an ancient road atlas somewhere in which I would highlight the routes I’d traveled. One of the reasons I once belonged to AAA is because of the Trip Tiks (personalized maps) they offered.

Maps are a handy tool for an author. When I was writing Moonlight Serenade, the state of Montana sent me a free road map.

One thing about roadmaps: they can be a challenge to refold. My dad wouldn’t let me get my driver’s license until I could prove to him I could refold a roadmap.

Happy #ReadARoadMap Day!

Weird Holiday: Everything You Think Is Wrong Day

Today is the day you can avoid making decisions. If you think something, it’s wrong.

Today is the day to acknowledge you are not always right. You are imperfect.

People who accept their mistakes are usually treated with more respect than those who hesitate to take responsibility for their actions. Admitting one’s mistakes then attempting to fix things is the mark of a creative and successful person.

This is your day.