Everything’s All Right Up Here

Two items of emotional significance happened to me in the past week: I forgot an anniversary, and I got a song back. And the emotion I’m feeling now because of those two things? Happiness. Sheer and utter happiness.

Last year, on the morning of Tuesday, November 20th, two days before Thanksgiving, I found out something so horrible that a little part of me died — a little part that had to do with faith and hope and my perception of the universe. My already bruised heart shattered into tiny little pieces, and I had neither the energy nor the desire to pick them up again.

Like magic, my friends emerged from the woodwork with velvet-lined baskets and Crazy Glue in hand. They patched me up and refilled my heart with a different kind of love, a better kind of love, a higher quality octane than the bathtub moonshine shit I’d been subsisting on for years. I went through confession, detox, reeducation, reevaluation, and reemergence — a process that swallowed six of the quietest months of my life.

And when I did come out of my cocoon, I had to learn how to walk all over again. Luckily, I had some of the most important people in my life there waiting for me, helping me step out and move on. Luckily. Oh, yes. I am a lucky girl. I stood on an Oregon beach on a clear blue morning and screamed as much to the world. 

I am not a different person as a result of what happened, but I am a stronger person. I am a woman coming to terms with her own fabulousness. And I thank my friends every single day for being exactly who and what I needed them to be, when I needed them.  "That’s what friends do," they reminded me.

Yesterday, I was speaking to a friend and realized that November 20th had come and gone, and I hadn’t even noticed. Which is exactly what I had wished for: that the day would come, and that I would not mark its passing. 

It’s nice to get what you wish for.

This past January, when I saw the Foo Fighters in concert, my wish was for them to leave one song in particular off their set list — and they did. If smells are the number one vehicle for memory recall, songs have got to be a very close second, and I wasn’t ready to deal with those particular memories just yet. Happily, Dave Grohl sang every song I wanted to hear, a few more songs I needed to hear, and I left the crumbling concert hall on cloud nine.

The song they skipped? "Next Year." (I love this video.)

I’m working on my annual Happy Holidays CD (I anticipate a Street Date of December 1st, for those folks eager to get it in their hot little hands), and after hearing version 2.0 for the umpteenth time, I switched iTunes back to Shuffle. "Next Year" was playing before I realized it. Once I did I smiled and lip-synched the words all the way through. The song was on the 2006 Holiday CD. It’s a good song. Hearing it again was like welcoming home an old friend who had been gone for so long you wondered if they even remembered you. I was happy to find that song on my doorstep, and I invited it in. Because that’s what friends do.

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Tea in Space: Extraordinary Engines

Peach Tea & Stupendous Steampunk! Join the Genre Chicks Lillie, Kitti, Alethea, and Janet for this month’s podcast, where we discuss Extraordinary Engines, a steampunk anthology edited by Nick Gevers. Listen in on the conversation here.

What you can’t hear in the background is the banging from the Men on the Roof — Ingram is in month four of a six-month overhaul. We were going to comment about doing the podcast "live from the Ingram Boiler Room" for Victorian authenticity…but it turns out our microphone is actually pretty darned good.

Aviator Alethea enjoying her Steampunk Tea

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Let Them Eat Toast

So Eddie and I had grand plans this weekend. Saturday: Quantum of Solace (a.k.a.: 30 Days Around the World with His Majesty’s Hotness Daniel Craig). Sunday: brunch at Sherlock’s, starring the long-anticipated Bananas Foster French Toast. Bananas Foster reminds me of the Ordoyne’s kitchen in Atlanta, and my pyromaniac father eager as ever to light something on fire. French toast reminds me of Kip and Misty at the Anchor Inn in Oregon, cold mornings, gothic beaches, and gardens bursting with flowers. For over a week I looked forward to sinking my teeth into new maple syrup-drenchedmemories.

I should really know better than to make plans.

For all of you playing the home game, Sherlock’s doesn’t open until noon on Sunday.  To me, noon says "lunch." Eddie and I arrived with our growling tummies at 10:30 am, prime brunch time. It’s 30 minutes to Lebanon from my house. We now had 90 to kill. And we were hungry. "Come on," I said, defeated. "There must be a Cracker Barrel around here." There was, of course (HELLO, this is Tennessee, after all), and I was able to check out the selection of quilts while we waited for our table. The food was reliably yummy (I recommend the Sunday Homestyle Chicken), and the serving girl was both cute and helpful. I asked her where the nearest Goodwill store was and, despite the fact that she told me she was horrible at directions, she led us straight there.

I loves me a stone house…

But not before I took a small detour. Lebanon, TN is full of antique stores (which, depressingly, are all closed on Sundays), and sprinkled here and there are some fabulous houses, including some like this stone one pictured above. I have always adored stone houses — they remind me of my grandmother’s blue stone house on the hill in Vermont. The House at DeRonde Drive. One day I’ll have a house like that. Maybe even that one. For now, I just covet others.

But the house that made me pull over was a fully restored, completely tricked-out, birthday cake and gingerbread Victorian. Oh. My. God. My parents know I could never own a house like this without a maid and a yard man and a handy man and several other odd people roaming the grounds…but what a dream. A beautiful, frosting-covered dream.

Lee’s house of dreams

The trip to Goodwill was fruitful, bearing a slightly steampunky handbag, a well-preserved tome of Byron’s works, and a pristine copy of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Character-Naming Sourcebook (very useful, and very out-of-print), all for $2.99 apiece. We made our way back to Sherlock’s (stopping briefly so Eddie could take a picture of the shrunken head in the window of Cuz’s Antiques on the square) and I spent a few lovely hours writing, chatting with Jill, and listening as an excited Kelli Dunlap told me stories about her heritage over the phone. Oh…and listening to the stupid football game on the television, because I forgot to put headphones in my new computer bag. Apparently, the Titans lost their first game. I’m not that sad.

I had a caramel latte from Sherlock’s cafe. It was very yummy, and something I would definitely order again. Maybe next week. If I’m not too full from my French toast.

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Sk8er Girl: Week Five: New Skates

…and a new lj profile pic to go with them! Yay!

It was like magic. I was the wind on magic skates. My new skates weigh about 50 lbs less than the house skates, the ankle support is amazingly stiff (I look forward to breaking them in), and THEY HAVE PURPLE WHEELS. How can you not be magic with purple wheels? I hit that floor and remembered what it was like all those years ago, back when I *could* skate. I didn’t feel like a 32-year-old woman afraid of breaking something. I was the wind, on magic skates. And I danced.

I was worried about myself after the lethargy of two weeks ago, but last night I had new energy to go along with my skates. Tamela joined our grrrl party (she’s already picked out her Roller Derby name…I still haven’t found one that quite speaks to me), which made for a happy family since Tracy sat this week out. She had a really bad fall last week, so she’s sitting out until after Thanksgiving. Kitti was still there, sporting her tie-dye rainbows, Lillie tried out Tracy’s skates in her absence (she tried mine too – how else is she supposed to find a pair she likes?), and Jenny came dutifully straight from work, poor thing. Had to eat pepperonis and pickles from the concession stand for dinner. Blech. I still haven’t broken down and bought anything from the concession stand yet. Maybe that can be next trip’s adventure.

I did, however, put in my [way more than] two cents regarding the songs that should be played on the upcoming ADULT SKATE NIGHT (Be there! Sunday December 7th, 7-10pm, Smyrna Skate Center!) I was grumbling about how they rarely ever play songs I like (oh, when I hear Gloria Gaynor or Carrie Underwood my bootie is shaking on the rink), but I figured the same rules of life still applied. If I didn’t vote, I couldn’t complain. And how could I give up complaining about lyrics like "If you text me / I’ll delete it"? NEVAH.

I went through my iTunes and selected a fine list of Alternative rock (heavy on Foo Fighters, Gorillaz, and Green Day), punk, ska, UK Wuss Rock (thank you, nihilistic_kid ), and classic good 80’s stuff like Tears for Fears and Crowded House. I even suggested a Madonna song! (and no, none of the ones you’re thinking of.) I have faith that none of it will get played. But I’ll still have fun, and I’ll still be out there gliding along to the music. At the very least, I’ve just made myself a lovely new car CD or two.

So…if you had a skate night, what would you like to listen to?

Every Thursday is like a slumber party. Without the pillows.

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Blue Canary Friday

 This time a happy dance classic to start off the weekend. Enjoy!

(I dedicate this smiliness to Toby Buckell, and everybody in his hospital room…)

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Other Mother, Other Movie

Think twice before you put those button eyes on your snowman.

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Goooooood Morning

 This is my new favorite song. I had it saved on my desktop so I could dance to it the moment I got up this morning. I am bound and determined to have a good day! 

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Book Purchase of the Day

And there are discounts if you buy it from the publisher’s website!

(God, I love this cover.)

High school teacher Danny Wakeman has spent sixteen years believing that his childhood friend, Marcus Gaines, saved his life after an accident. But Danny’s perspective on the world gets turned inside-out when he and the woman he wants to marry, Sara McBride, drink from the mystical waters of Dreaming Creek, trade bodies, and get stuck that way… Trapped in each others’ bodies, struggling to fit in to each others’ lives, Danny and Sara will have to pull together to overcome a perplexing lawsuit, a plot to defraud Danny out of his recently deceased parent’s farm, and an attempted rape—all of which ultimately prove to bear Marcus’s sinister fingerprints. And before it’s over, Danny will discover that this pattern of treachery and violence goes all the way back to his supposed accident, which Marcus designed to cover up an even blacker secret…


Edmund R. Schubert is the award-winning author of over thirty short stories, having been published in magazines and anthologies in the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain. In addition to writing, Schubert has held a range of editorial positions, including serving as fiction editor of the online magazine, Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show. An anthology of IGMS stories, co-edited by Schubert and Card, was published by Tor (August, 2008). Dreaming Creek (LBF Books, October 2008) is his first novel.

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I Am Spartacus

Stephan "Spartacus" Pastis recently attempted to sign up an account on Facebook for his mostly-autobiographical character Rat. Listed as "Pearls Rat," it lasted for less than a week before Facebook deleted his account because Rat wasn’t a real person.

I get the rules…but I have to say, I’m bummed. Stephan doesn’t have a website, or a blog, or a MySpace page — as far as I know, this is the first time he’s attempted any of this social networking nonsense. Plus, he wrote a message on my Wall, and I never got to read it.

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Awesome San Francisco Pics

Sunset on the Pier 43 Arch

I had a free afternoon this time in San Francisco, so I explored Fisherman’s Wharf through the lens of my camera. Ghirardelli Park, the shipyard at the Hyde Street pier, Alcatraz, the Coit tower, Golden Gate bridge, Golden Gate park and greenhouse, hilly streets, trolley cars… I’m always conscious of the fact that I’m living vicariously for more than a few people, so I try to make it worth their while.

My favorite part of wandering amongst the tourists was taking pictures for other people. I must have taken ten photos, both asked and offered. I know what it’s like, coming back from a town as picturesque as San Francisco with no pictures of yourself, or you and all the loved ones who suffered beside you for hours on the airplane beside you. Since everything’s digital now, I always asked that they review the photo and make sure it’s okay. It made me feel good, and I got to try out a few different brands of digital camera.

I’ve always said that when I die, I want to be taken to the place where we get to see all the photos we didn’t know we were in, stuck in the back of someone else’s vacation pictures. In addition, I think I’d also like to flip through all the ones I’ve taken for other people. So far, I think Facebook’s the closest thing we have to that on the mortal plane. (Kudos to all you folks who take the time to tag things.)

Enjoy the pics!

San Fran Part One — Scharffenberger tour, Jeff Carlson signing, and Berkeley (earlier this year), Fisherman’s Wharf
San Fran Part Two — Fisherman’s Wharf, Golden Gate park & greenhouse

Always take advantage of a full moon.

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