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An Essay Published.

Here’s a journal, Still Life, that often publishes my essays. I’ve pasted in below the url for the digital edition, so hopefully you can pull it up. My piece is called “To Everything a Season” page 58. But there’s so many fine pieces in the journal you might want to begin at the beginning. All you have to do is click on “download the digital edition.” This is also the company that’s publishing my memoir. Let me know if the link to view and download doesn’t work and I’ll see if I can send it another way. You can go to Shanti Arts: https://www.shantiarts.co/ and find it there.

Grandparents and Other Wise Ancestors—View and Download our Spring Journal  |  Online Art Exhibition  | 

Still Point Arts Quarterly  |  Spring 2020  |  No. 37    The theme is Grandparents and Other Wise Ancestors, and the digital edition may now be viewed and downloaded. Filled with art, fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, the digital edition also contains links to additional articles, related websites, and even videos. It’s free, so why not take a look?
 
Read the lead-in essay, Grandparents and Other Wise Ancestors

Featured

Always a New Crossroad

This photo is from Ocean City. I like the crossroad of land and sky and water. There’s an old couple who struggled together up the dune to look. They, too, are at a crossroad. I like to imagine they have come to the ocean for years on vacation and played in the surf. Now they stand and remember.

I’ve often stood at a crossroad. Usually, it reads STOP on the side I can see, but the destination, written on the reverse in ink fated to remain invisible for an unknown span of time, is hidden. I stop, reconfigure, and head off somewhere, not knowing where or why I’m going, trusting I’ll eventually understand.

Day Something or the Other

Image result for phone image

Each day I need to look at my phone to see what day it is. Today is Monday. Our wise city mayor has instituted a shelter in place order (which I tend to do most days, anyway) and for the most part, that’s what Kansas City is doing. We are allowed to go for walks outside as long as we keep “social distance.” The street in front of our house has people walking by from time to time — I know that because my desk faces a window to the street. My rear office window, where I sit to journal each morning while I drink tea, faces the backyard. I must admit, the backyard is more interesting. There the squirrels dash around the yard and up through the trees in the most amazing feats of bravery and balance, and bright red cardinals come to the bird feeder which I fill each day.

The front window shows me couples, some pushing a baby in a carriage although I don’t think they call them carriages anymore. (Strollers, that’s what they’re called! Just remembered.) But whatever baby seats are called, there they are. During normal times, whatever passes for normal, I rarely see anyone outside walking. But now they are as we live on a side street with very little traffic. Earlier, I watched a boy on a skateboard dashing along, followed by a woman whom I presume was his mother, on a larger one. Amazingly, she was reading and texting on her phone as she skated along. She did slip off, once, right in front of our house as I was expecting her to all along. Hopefully it wasn’t my condemnation of anyone skateboarding while reading a phone that propelled itself through the window to make her fall. Actually, she didn’t really fall completely, at which I was quite amazed, but did manage to tip the board enough that one wheel came off. Her son came back to rescue both her and the skateboard and replace one of the wheels that had come off. While pretty nimble, she wasn’t as nimble as the squirrels.

I’m getting used to the new and different WordPress. Mostly, I just start typing. Sometimes, as you’ve noticed, I find a photo to insert, but since we’re all at home, and the television on all the time, there’s not a lot to see unless I take a photo of the backyard trees, now beginning to bloom.

But now, I’m going to go work out in my makeshift gym in our bedroom. And probably listen to more news. It’s addictive.

All of you, my friends online, stay safe.

Janet

What to Do When Covid 19 Strikes

I’m home – as is nearly everyone else in the world – but that’s not especially new and different for me. I’m home most of the time unless going grocery shopping, which, in these days of peril, is doable but not necessary at the moment. I’ve nearly finished editing the main copy of a manuscript on Franz Jung, son of C.G. Jung, for my 90 year old friend who was a Jungian analyst and knew Franz. She’s been working on said manuscript for some thirty+ years so manuscript is in bits and pieces. It’s been like putting a puzzle together. And now, with my memoir at the publisher’s to deal with, I decided to clean out some of the many files I have stored over the years filled with essays.

Maybe you’re as bored with whatever you are doing or not doing and could use a break. The following is from 2003 when we first started cleaning up the farm and put a camper up there. Actually, we thought about going up there when Kansas City shut down, but that would mean — well, getting on the road and not knowing what we’re driving into. The photo above and the paragraph and photo below will have to suffice.

“We just spent three days up on the farm. I didn’t want to come back. We’ve put a camper up there and this past weekend was our first time getting to stay overnight. In the evenings, the sun sets red, red, red. Amazing really. I know there was a big volcanic eruption in the Pacific a couple of weeks ago so I expect that’s about the time it would take for an ash cloud to reach this part of the world. Between the redness of the aura and the colors in the sunset, the air took on an almost purplish color, and as I looked out to the west over the tallgrass, the prairie looked like an African velds painting. A solitary bird flew some distance away. I’ve always liked these moments just before sunset – the wind drops, birds stop calling, a stillness reigns, a waiting, almost as if everything recognizes an end of time and holds its collective breath.”

We’re all holding our collective breath. Or breathing into a face mask.

My mother’s favorite phrase, “This too shall pass,” seems appropriate.

Be safe, dream of your favorite places, and keep your face mask handy.

J>

A Spam Cavalcade

How can there possibly be thousands of spam comments on my site which I have to delete daily or they get into the thousands!!

Does any one know how to deal with all this spam that’s happening on WordPress or is it something we have to do every day?

Perhaps I haven’t been paying close enough attention. I’m working on my own writing as well as editing a book by my elderly friend about Franz Jung, C.G. Jung’s son, whom she knew for some years back in late 80s/early 90s. And it’s a great project!

But I forget the daily sludge of going into my WordPress site and deleting spam. I mean, I had some 2 million or some such today and had just emptied it two weeks ago!

I do not need information on how to find a hot bum – or anything else for that matter. I need to be left alone. But alas, I am not so am writing and whining to you, my loyal readers.

Do any of you understand how to block spam?

Okay. Whine over. And out.

Cheers to you all who are still struggling along with the “new and improved” site. And hugs all around. We could all use them.

New News

A Long Road

While cleaning up all the spam on my site, I forgot why I came here in the first place. But in coming back, I also realized I hadn’t heard from any of you in months and months. And then, in realizing this, I also remember why I’ve avoided posting these last few months and it probably relates to many of you.

In addition to holidays and all the other things that overwhelm our time, I stopped writing here because I didn’t like and couldn’t master the new format. Everytime I turn around, I’m confronted with new and different in the world of technology. Ergo, I’m still living with a 2010 cell phone. I know how it works.

However, that’s all old news and I’ve titled this piece New News, so here ’tis.

I have a publisher for my memoir!! – the same memoir I’ve been writing and revising and editing and revising for about five years. Over the past few months, I spent a lot of time researching and querying agents. No doubt, you have an idea of how that endeavor turned out. Several rejections, and most of the time no answer at all.

So. I began researching small publishers. For months and months and even sent proposals/synopses/ full chapters etc etc with about as much success as I had with agents.

And then, a sudden realization came. I’ve been working with a small publisher for years: Shanti Arts which along with publishing books, publishes a bi-yearly journal Still Point. Christine, the publisher, has published several of my essays over the years, most recently accepting an essay, To Everything a Season for the Still Point Journal coming out any day now, with the focus of elders.

So I queried her about the book manuscript with the required several documents, pdf of contents, etc etc, and a pdf of the entire manuscript. She replied to me in about four day. It’s such a cool reply, I have to reprint it here:

Janet, Thank you for your patience. I always get a bit behind during the last couple of weeks before the journal needs to be finished. But, I just sent it to the printer, so now it’s catch-up time. I proofed your piece “To Everything a Season” just a couple days ago, and I was thinking how much I love your style. It’s free and easy, the power of it sneaks up on you and that keeps moving you forward. Because I get so many submissions, one of my rules is that if, after reading the first couple of paragraphs, I’m not eager to continue, I stop. Not the case with your work. So, I’d be delighted to publish your book. It will be great fun to work with you on this, and I look forward to it. I’ll put a contract together and send that to you soon.  Thanks for sending this to me. Many thanks!

Wow! I immediately wrote back with capitalized and YES!!! And a profuse thank you.

At the moment the title is From Ocean to Desert: a journey to find me although she’s said she wants to change the subtitle to stronger words – which is fine. This manuscript has had so many titles over the years — The Reluctant Master was one — and I trust her judgment. The subtitle can be whatever she chooses – as can the title for that matter!

So. That’s my “new news.” I have a publisher for ‘da book!!

No doubt there will be more work involved and that’s fine. I’ve been working on it so long, what’s another few months.

But I wanted to spread the news and I knew you, who have been writing here and responding to my posts and have become friends if only on paper, would be happy for me.

Janet

Thank you all for being my writing friends and for coming with me on this new ride.