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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.

Featured

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

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.

Since You Asked

A blogging friend, Brian, asked, Where are you? Haven’t seen a post in some time. Well, you’re right. You haven’t. In fact, I haven’t posted since my June birthday post.

I don’t know about your lives, but mine has been, again, pretty nuts. I’ve written about cleaning up the farm – did I write last fall (2018) about the noise of having our 1924 house completely rewired? If I didn’t, well, it was loud and costly and went on and on with banging and pounding and etc etc etc. There were, the electricians discovered, bare wires in the attic. Ergo, top to bottom rewiring.

But we finished, eventually, and managed to sort out the bills, which we are still paying on, but we have new wiring, new panel, and new outside wires with new weather-head.

This last part blends into this year’s chaos. Last winter, we had a huge snowstorm that dumped enough snow to bend over tree branches and pull out said weather-head along with chunks of stucco and the eaves.

While we have insurance on our house, it does not cover everything I learned. In fact, I learned so much about house insurance I should be an adjuster…NOT. I also learned a considerable amount about contractors: I’ll call you next week…NOT…we’ll be out next week…NOT.

This went on and on for weeks/months and I became crazier and crazier and my desk filled with pieces of paper on which contractors’ many names/phone numbers were written. My previous post about all my kids coming home for my birthday was my one bright spot in the year in which I put aside all calls and complaints and just played.

So here’s the good news: I’ve not found a publisher for my memoir but I have had three essays picked up for publication. I’ll post the info once they are published. If I remember correctly (and that’s always somewhat of an iffy proposition) I also posted a URL to some or one poem that was published.

And now it’s Christmas. I’ve baked between six and eight loaves of banana bread and sent them off to various children along with chocolate chip cookies, keeping track of which child liked nuts along with chocolate chips and which didn’t, although I had to be reminded. And last week was the finale task, Kruschiki for Cliff’s brother in time for his Dec. 21st birthday, the same Kruschiki their grandmother made by the box full. I made a small box full.

Essentially, it’s fried dough covered in powdered sugar. However, one has to first make the very sticky dough, knead and knead, let it rest, and then roll out the dough to about 11″x8″ and one twelfth of an inch. Yep. That thin. Then cut 1″x11″ strips, make a slit down the middle, loop both ends through the slit to make the bow tie shape, trim the ends, fry in hot Crisco (yes, Crisco – these are very healthy cookies…) drain on brown paper, transfer to clean brown paper and cover with powdered sugar. Probably the most healthy Christmas food you could have (and yes, I’m kidding).

Now, Brian, do you understand why I haven’t been posting much? hahahahahaha…

But now all the cookies/banana bread are mailed, presents wrapped and under the tree, (oh, yes, between or among all the above we decorated the house) and Mrs. Claus is ready for a long winter’s nap.

Solstice has come, the Sun stands still for a couple more days, and then begins it’s northward journey. So however you celebrate these holy-days/holidays, Happy Sun Return. I wish you all good times, gracious friends, and more food than any of us really need but it’s fun.

Once the New Year passes, we’ll all enter the next phase of holiday-making, the diet.

Cheers!!