November 30, 2009

going west

Not only is this intricate and beautiful, I so appreciate all of the effort that went into its creation. It gives me shivers. Delicious!

November 28, 2009

it is all in the story

"So," said Pellegrina. She coughed. "And so. The story begins
with a princess."
"A beautiful princess?" Abilene asked.
"A very beautiful princess."
"How beautiful?"
"You must listen," said Pellegrina. "It is all in the story."

from The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane,
by Kate DiCamillo

November 26, 2009


Today I choose to pick my battles, and count my blessings.
Today I am thankful for Ailis and Noah, for Laura and Jenn and Emily and Pam, for Aaron and Peter and Kamron, for Jill and Jeff, Pinky Pie, Cissa, and Ca-bob.

Today I am thankful for the people who really seem to care whether I am alive or not, even on the days when I don't.

November 16, 2009

Instructions (Neil Gaiman)

Touch the wooden gate in the wall you never
saw before.
Say "please" before you open the latch,
go through,
walk down the path.
A red metal imp hangs from the green-painted
front door,
as a knocker,
do not touch it; it will bite your fingers.

Walk through the house. Take nothing. Eat
However, if any creature tells you that it hungers,
feed it.
If it tells you that it is dirty,
clean it.
If it cries to you that it hurts,
if you can,
ease its pain.

From the back garden you will be able to see the
wild wood.
The deep well you walk past leads to Winter's
there is another land at the bottom of it.
If you turn around here,
you can walk back, safely;
you will lose no face. I will think no less of you.

Once through the garden you will be in the
The trees are old. Eyes peer from the under-
Beneath a twisted oak sits an old woman. She
may ask for something;
give it to her. She
will point the way to the castle.
Inside it are three princesses.
Do not trust the youngest. Walk on.
In the clearing beyond the castle the twelve
months sit about a fire,
warming their feet, exchanging tales.
They may do favors for you, if you are polite.
You may pick strawberries in December's frost.

Trust the wolves, but do not tell them where
you are going.
The river can be crossed by the ferry. The ferry-
man will take you.
(The answer to his question is this:
If he hands the oar to his passenger, he will be free to
leave the boat.

Only tell him this from a safe distance.)

If an eagle gives you a feather, keep it safe.
Remember: that giants sleep too soundly; that
witches are often betrayed by their appetites;
dragons have one soft spot, somewhere, always;
hearts can be well-hidden,
and you betray them with your tongue.

Do not be jealous of your sister.
Know that diamonds and roses
are as uncomfortable when they tumble from
one's lips as toads and frogs:
colder, too, and sharper, and they cut.

Remember your name.
Do not lose hope — what you seek will be found.
Trust ghosts. Trust those that you have helped
to help you in their turn.
Trust dreams.
Trust your heart, and trust your story.
When you come back, return the way you came.
Favors will be returned, debts will be repaid.
Do not forget your manners.
Do not look back.
Ride the wise eagle (you shall not fall).
Ride the silver fish (you will not drown).
Ride the grey wolf (hold tightly to his fur).

There is a worm at the heart of the tower; that is
why it will not stand.

When you reach the little house, the place your
journey started,
you will recognize it, although it will seem
much smaller than you remember.
Walk up the path, and through the garden gate
you never saw before but once.
And then go home. Or make a home.
And rest.

poem via

behind closed doors

photo by Cynthia Greig

November 15, 2009

the open road

I dreamed that I got in my car in the middle of the night and left town with $200 in my bank acount, half a tank of gas, and a mind to see what lay between me and the Atlantic. I stopped at dawn to call my house and tell J that I was fine. Whatever that means. Then I got back in my car and drove toward the rising sun.

Later I woke up in my own room, which was disappointing. The air was cold, and rain was drip drip dripping down my windowpanes and rattling in the gutters. I wished I was in a car on the open road, unstoppable, with blue sky and white clouds overhead, a good song on the radio, and warm air rushing by.

photos via here, here, here, and here


"Byrd!” she cried, breathlessly, “Byrd, I’ve got it; I’ve got the ring! It was just as you said, all of it.” She trailed off, coming to a stop and looking about more carefully.


She had thought for sure that he would be waiting there for her. This was their tree, was it not? She sat down among the roots to wait. Certainly he would appear at any moment, to collect the ring and celebrate with her.

Coralie turned the ring over and over in her hand. It didn’t look like anything special; but then, he’d said it wouldn’t. The longer she studied it, however, the more peculiar it seemed. She felt a strange pulling sensation on her mind and body, an increasing heaviness which she struggld in vain to ignore. There was something about this ring. Something...

Before she knew it, Coralie was asleep.

She dreamed that a handsome young man was standing right beside her, dressed all in white, and Byrd was perched upon his shoulder. With one hand the man leaned against her tree, and the other he held out to her, as if asking for something. Byrd flew from the young man's shoulder and landed on her knee. He cocked his head to one side beseechingly, a pleading look in his familiar grey eyes.

“What is it?” she tried to say, but her mouth would not form the words. She looked back and forth between the man and the dove unhappily. “What do you need?"

November 9, 2009


There are some pages in this book I just can't bear to read.

November 6, 2009


photo by Tati

I always wanted to be a gypsy. I always wanted to feel powerful and confident. I always wanted to jump on the back of a brightly painted wagon and leave with the caravan. Chin up, shoulders back, eyes steady -- deep, black eyes, fathomless, brimming with mystery, hinting at secrets I'll never share. I wanted to be the one stared at by strangers, with loathing and with awe, and to let those stares slide right off because I know who I am and what it took to stay alive this long, when nothing comes for free. I wanted to be the wild woman that other mothers hastily usher their children away from, rather than the child, being ushered away.

inadequate for the purpose

My stomach, heart, and lungs feel all trembly.
Like they're made of spider's silk, or water.

it could have been

It really could have been beautiful. But something went wrong, inside of us. I felt it happen. That moment, like someone had flipped an invisible switch, and I knew it was only a matter of time. My heart skipped and stuttered, searching for an echo that was no longer there, and I knew things would never be the same.

November 5, 2009


The wind blows so fierce and strong I fear it might blow all my long familiar ghosts away -- and what would be left of me then? Wet leaves cling to the sidewalk beneath my feet. Hold on, they whisper, encouragingly. Hold on.

November 4, 2009

don't think, jump

I just want to feel powerful. In control of something, anything, in my life. I want to know how to set attainable goals -- and attain them. I want to write, and write, and write. Books, screenplays, stories. I think I need a project. It would be fun, cathartic even, to sketch out the bones of the fairy tales I already know by heart, and fill in the empty spaces with my own imaginings. A ready made collection, a place to start. Something to look at and say: "See, I did this. I can do more." And maybe it will help, if I am in every story. If I am big sometimes, and sometimes small. If I am answering riddles, and tricking wolves, and finding my way out of thick, dark forests. If I can find the right words, and arrange them the right way on the page, perhaps it will begin to hush the ceaseless noise in my head, the tumult of lost language, the clamour of a voice held in for far too long.

November 3, 2009


I think I never saw anything as lovely as your face. It squeezes my heart, squeezes it so tight I wonder if I'll ever remember how to breathe. Until the air startles its way into my lungs again for me, reproachful, long after I've forgotten to try.

I blink awake, and you're gone. Gone. As if you were never really here, though I know you were, if only for a little while. I still see you, so many nights; you and that once-possible future that is not possible any more.

tear down the stars

via welovewords