My heart & my writing

I wanted to explain where I’ve been. On February 6th I got referred to a cardiologist after enduring three chest pains. That was a Friday. I was given nitroglycerin and admonitions to “be a couch potato” over the weekend. For I had testing to be done Monday morning to find out What The Hell was Going On already!

What was going on was that the doctors proclaimed I would have too many stents “fighting each other” so I needed triple bypass surgery. What?!?!??!  Me, the (mostly) vegetarian who (mostly) exercised? Me, one of the healthier ones in my group of friends and family? Denial is strong, folks, and, fortunately, I didn’t have too much time to worry:  there was a surgical opening the next afternoon there at The Christ Hospital.

Obviously I lived. What a journey! FYI, I’ve posted a few stories on my other blog – The Goddess Babe. This blog was begun and is meant more for writing and teaching and talking about both.

But I discovered the heart trumps it all.

Yes, every evening as I lie down to sleep and each morning as I awake, it is my heart that I remember and thank. I had February and March to ask for help from my writing sisters. They made it possible for me to come home from the hospital. I spent the first month on the living room couch. Not the most comfortable but I made sure I faced the south–sliding glass doors looking out at an expanse of trees, an icy creek, and sometimes a deer or three.

Yes, I have learned gratitude in deeper measures than ever before.

I am writing about my Heart Adventure (The Angina Monologues perhaps). Writing about ‘it’ helps me process. It all happened quickly and it was a profound contemplation on life and death. How many years do I have left and what are my priorities?

So, you see, I’ve been busy–thinking, feeling, writing, and feeling grateful. I recommend them all.

Catch you again soon!


how many writing sites can one woman subscribe to?

I knew something was going on when I found myself irritated this morning glancing at my emails.

Many of them were from various writers and bloggers, literary agents and the like. Grrrr. Then I knew what it was:  all these well-meaning talented writers were entering my psyche because I had invited them. All of them had something to teach me, tips, inspiration, and sometimes something to sell, too. All of them were reminders that, no matter how well-meaning I was to have them as my email consultants, I WAS NOT WRITING.

Yes, I realize I put that in all caps.

A simple realization yet a wake-up call. Time to write (this simple inquiry is just a warm-up).

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2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 890 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 15 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Here I am at a holiday potluck


Thanks to Michael Chanak (aka Mary/Goose) for catching me with a great smile .

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A book collaboration

I have been AWOL from this blog the past few months. Did you notice? I have a good reason, though!


When I traveled to India last November-December, I stayed with Rashma and her family in New Delhi. Blessings to them for treating me so generously! Rashma and I took off by ourselves to South India. Our main motivation was to get organized about Our Book (That’s what I’ve been calling it. We don’t want to give away our working title yet nor too much about the concept). Call us secretive, protective, mysterious.

Working on a full-length nonfiction book is the following:


You get the idea. It’s complex and necessary at the same time. I made the commitment, I stand by it, I am retired and have the time and focus. My main challenge lately is stamina. I am feeling every one of my 64 years. Typing for long periods of time is hell on one’s back and shoulders. I need to remember to take breaks. Past time for a massage…… Until next time……remember: your stories are important. Write them down, if only in a journal!

“i thank You God for most this amazing” by e.e. cummings


This poem was one of my early favorites.


Originally posted on THE POETRY PLACE:

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

e.e. cummings

Commentary: I love this poem.  The last two lines sound somewhat like a paraphrase of Pauline thought … but the whole poem makes me think about how e.e. cummings let all of his senses awaken to the natural world. All of us can be…

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Great ideas here!

Originally posted on SCRIBE'S MADNESS:

A project journal is kept for the purpose of recording thoughts, activities, reflections, anything related to an underway project, from its inception to completion. For writers, their projects could be anything from a novel to a group of poems. As someone who has journaled for over 25 years now, I think keeping a record for every writing project has been one of the most useful activities for my overall writing. No matter what the genre – whether poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction or any other, journaling can be an insightful companion to it.

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Here’s why:

1) Intimacy:
For the duration of writing a poem, I record my thoughts, brainstorms, fears, bottlenecks, its positives and negatives in a journal. This allows me to develop intimacy with my work. I am able to explore the poem in all its emotional and technical complexity away from the pressure of the…

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