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30 April 2014 @ 09:24 pm

On the one hand: I am tired. I have cramps. I am weary of being the grown-up, the therapist, the voice of reason.

On the other: I am fortunate. I am strong. I am lucky, I am loved, I am thankful.

Whenever it feels too hard, or I run cranky, I need to remember the last bit. Damned if it isn't exhausting, though.

26 April 2014 @ 05:06 pm

I'm a reader. I adore books. I love to reread them, to share them, to gift them, to treasure them.

I suppose that's how I ended up with several groaning bookshelves throughout my house, as well a ridiculous amount of books stashed in the attic. Once upon a time, I never gave a book I'd read away. It was as if the act of reading translated to a soul-deep bond: I carried part of the story in me, the book forever held the imprint of my hands. Then again, that was also the time that I finished every book I started, no matter how laborious or inane. Once I started working at a book store, the sheer number of books begging to be read - from publisher-supplied ARCs to the stacks and stacks I purchased  - necessitated some discernment. If a book didn't hold my interest, or made me cranky, I put it aside. There was an endless supply.

Along those lines, I accepted that I was holding on to books I'd never reread. Heck, I hold on to books I am sure that, some day, I will absolutely get around to (this is in addition to the entire, double stacked TBR bookcase, my ebook backlog, the books that have been loaned/gifted to me, and what I borrow from the library). I've done several purges over the years. I'd sell them to the used book store, send them to friends, heap them upon my nieces and nephews, donate them (in the small quantities allowed) to the library. Each time, it gets a tiny bit more manageable... and then it all starts creeping back.

Of those books in the attic, many have been there since we moved in ten years ago. Some have cycled through the Great Bookshelf Rearrangings that happen every couple of years. There are books in bags, in Rubbermaid containers, in bookstore boxes (I haven't worked there in nine years). They're languishing in the dark and the dust, unread, when there may be readers just waiting to connect with them. So... as part of the Declutter The Attic! initiative spurred by my sweetie, we hauled all of those books to the living room and sorted through every last one. I'm not decimating my stockpile. I'm keeping the ones I love, or just really like. I'm keeping the ones that were important to my childhood* (those Black Stallion books are going nowhere!). I'll do another pass in a month or so to see if my first decision sticks, and to organize the duplicate copies.

Duplicate copies, y'all. Of so. Many. Titles. There are certain books I clearly wanted in both soft and hardcover (one to read and one to look pretty on the shelves), those I buy intending to -someday- give them as gifts, and those I buy whenever I see them because they're hard to find/out of print. I have three copies of Jane Yolen's (admittedly excellent) picture book Merlin and the Dragons. WHY? Three copies of Terry Pratchett's The Fifth Elephant: one trade paperback ARC, two first edition hardcovers, one of which is signed. Three copies of American Gods: regular trade paperback, hardcover signed first edition, and the British trade. Two copies of the entire Westmark trilogy.

It's time.** Time to let go, to be honest with myself, to get rid of books that are just stuff instead of treasured - or potential - friends.

If I regret any of these decisions further down the line, it's a short trip to the library.

*going through books at my mom's house, I found an entire box of my Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden books. I should just let that go through the estate sale, but... sigh

**there's the teensiest possibility there are other reasons I need to get rid of clutter, to unblock, to encourage positive energy flow. but then you all know that. <3

15 April 2014 @ 12:05 am

I have far, far too many things to read. Even so, when I come across a recommendation that piques my interest, I'll pop it to the top of the list. So it is I can thank Forever Young Adult for putting this zippy, delightful graphic novel on my radar.

Thing is, it stirred feelings. Cosplay sorts of feelings. Granted, aside from the story, it's because of the swords. And the wonderful attitude. And the boots. The boots are excellent. I know I should really be about twenty years younger, and twenty pounds lighter, and possessed of even the most basic sewing skills to cobble this costume together...

Still. If I could get this going, I might just have the confidence to visit - and enjoy - a con, in costume.*


She's sort of excellent, y'all.


*I've friends who do amazing, seemingly effortless cosplay, and have a great deal of fun in the process. I am in AWE.

12 April 2014 @ 06:09 pm

This time last year, I was running four times a week and about to run a half marathon. Now, I can't run more than a mile without my hip screaming in protest. Not a huge deal (aside from 'my body is supposed to do what I tell it, with no whinging'), but running does help me lose weight. And I need to lose weight. And a lot of my other friends run and do very well with it and though I shouldn't be competitive about it, I sort of am.

Looks as if I really do need to add weight training, but I am not joining a gym simply to use the machines. Whatever free weights and kettle bells I have at home will have to do. Once things are a bit more settled with lawyers and cleaning out Mom's house, I can take a few more kickboxing classes on top of what I teach. Certainly I will do my Sunday yoga until my Sundays are no longer free, which is in about six weeks. I could also be smarter about what/how much I eat.*

Got a bit of extra exercise in today. Yard clean up totally counts! I raked and pruned and hauled wheelbarrowsful of leaves and branches and bits of plants I really ought to have cleaned up in the fall. The upshot is my veggie garden is cleared out, and the strawberry plants are uncovered and cleaned up. I still need to turn the soil; have done it by hand the past two years. May rent a tiller. Herb garden is ready for planting. Flower beds and shade garden are ready as well. It's too early to plant much, but I am eager to go. In the meanwhile, I'll have to satisfy myself with surprise!snowdrops and the other spring bulbs that are popping up around my yard.


Glory-of-the-snow and a budding hyacinth.

*so very unlikely

07 April 2014 @ 08:38 pm

There was a moment at the lawyer's office this afternoon when I looked down at the list of Mom's accounts and assets, at a chart centered on a piece of plain white paper, and thought, "This is all that's left of my mother." I took a few deep breaths, blinked the tears back for a later time. Listened. Nodded. Signed a hundred papers.

As we walked back to our cars, I told my sweetie about that awful, aching moment. He put his arm around me. "Your mom's there every time you cry over a lost kitty finding its way home."

I know. I know this. I know she's there when I get excited over a book, or fold towels as she did, or choose kindness even when anger would be easier. There are a thousand examples. A million. More. At some point, that will be a comfort.

For now I'll just be happy if that little tortoiseshell cat made it home.

01 April 2014 @ 11:13 pm

I was being so good, so focused, about my health and fitness. I can't do much in the way of running any more (short version: December challenge, screamingly painful hip, never really loved it anyway), but I was taking a few kickboxing classes in addition to those that I teach. One boot camp class, one to two yoga classes, two to three walks each week. Looking to add weight training.

Then, as it does, life got in the way. There was lots of driving. There was physical and emotional exhaustion. There were poor dietary choices.

I've been slowly making my way back. Weight training remains an issue, and one that must be addressed, but I'm doing vinyasa strength and flow once a week. Took a private aerial yoga class last Friday.* Today, I decided it was time I got my sorry butt back in kickboxing class. Mind, this might not have been my best decision. I taught two classes today, as well as a small group boot camp session, but hey... have to dive in at some point, right?

It was rough. My muscles felt heavy and slow. My energy was low. But I did it. For an hour, I let someone else call the shots. I focused on my bag, on my form, on getting the job done. It was lame, but when it was over I felt BETTER.


Why did no one tell me my hands were so far forward? YOU GUYS!

*TERRIFYING! Also: challenging, frustrating, and fun. But so, so scary. I am old and not bendy and deeply suspicious of the need to hang upside down. I'll be back this Friday.

29 March 2014 @ 06:26 pm

Went into the studio with the Crimson Pirates to record our seventh CD. It's been over two years since the last, and a lot has changed. We've lost members to cross-country moves and time/work/life commitments. We've reconfigured the group,  completely rearranged older songs,  performed at REP's two other Faires, and grown a bit more comfortable with the process. We no longer, alas, have a guitarist, but we still have mandolin, concertina, and - heaven help us! - ukulele. That's me. I've been playing for a couple of years now, but I've never been a musician. I mean instrumentalist (though this makes me feel as if I should really be more accomplished). Anyway, you want basic strumming? I'm your girl. You want fancy-pants? Not so much.

Fortunately, my level of 'basic' suits our arrangements. Of fifteen tracks, I played on twelve. Bonus: I was so worried about Not Fucking Up that I had very little nervous energy left to stress over my vocals. There's still mixing and other engineering to be done but it looks as if we've got the solid makings of a pretty great CD. Woot, I say. Woot.

15 tracks in just over 5 hours. Of course we're smiley.

27 March 2014 @ 06:16 pm

The good news (or so I hope): I'm reestablishing my presence here, as a run up to starting an actual blog.

The bad news: no witty novel has been finished. A novel or two is in draft form, but I can claim neither polish nor wit.

The other news: I am in the process of training a wild squirrel to eat from my hand. Following that, we will be best friends and have madcap adventures. It's a work in progress.

26 March 2014 @ 07:17 pm

Wow. It's cold and dusty in here.

Been a while. How are all of you?

22 July 2013 @ 10:38 pm

I've got so much to tell you - several month's worth of things. For now, though, I'll just say that we're two weeks away from opening NYRF '13. I'm glad I'm part of the show, but it has its challenges. Soldiering on...