The Spiral Grove

The place for creative updates!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Preparing To Go

It is barely the end of June, and though Zooey Rose is not due until the end of August, it looks like I will be traveling out to be with my daughter fairly soon. In the meantime, the other daughter needs to be collected from Chicago so that she can travel along, and won't it be fun to have all my girls in one place? It just occurred to me this morning that all three of my daughters will be there for the birth of my granddaughter. So we will have three generations together to welcome Zooey into the world, then shortly after the birth, the plan is for my mother-in-law to join us, so then we will have four! It would have been five, but great-grandmother Mercado passed away just a couple of weeks ago and she was the last of the great grandparents. We were all saddened by her death and I think it hurt Mali the most because she was so hoping to be able to share the new baby with great-grandma.

Yesterday was an insanely chaotic day for us. Brandon was in a car accident early in the morning which set the tone for the day. Fortunately he wasn't hurt and for that we are grateful. But nothing about the day went as planned and too many tempers flared and there are a lot of hurt feelings smoldering. The cap to the evening was a call from Geri. She was having a rough night and not getting along with her dad. It is always so hard to be so far away when something like that happens, because you can't just go get the kid and tuck them in you know?

As grace would have it though, some good shines through. We were so thrilled that the preliminary tests for Dawnita and Paul's new baby were positive. We are all pulling for little Leanna Dawn! Thank goodness she looks healthy despite the earlier worries!

I am feeling more than a little homesick today. Who ever would have thought I would miss Oklahoma so much? But it isn't really the place so much as the people we miss. I've been thinking a lot about Lissa and missing her very straightforward ways. I sure hope we can work out a get together soon!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

The Buzzzzzzzz

I have been keeping myself very busy of late. This quilt is entitled Beeeee-Cuz of Zooey. It is for my grand-daughter who is due August 27th. This is a photo of the top before quilting, but the quilt is actually finished! The best part about it is this quilt top was made entirely out of scraps! Many of these scraps were donated by members of StashBuilders. Thanks ladies and gents! I strip pieced and hand appliqued the bees and forced myself to do a hand turned binding. It turned out very nicely. I just hope Mali and baby Zooey like it as much as I do.

I have also submitted my annual offering to the New Yorker. Think 2006 will beeeeee my year?

I've written a new and hopefully improved query letter for Legacy of Silence. I have chosen an agency to query after much research. There are a lot of agents out there who say they represent mainstream/contemporary fiction as well as family sagas. There are plenty who are not being dissed on Predators and Editors too (this one is not) so, in the end it came down to having met a man who is represented by this agency and him telling me that they made a difference for him. We met briefly at a writing conference a year ago and I don't feel like I can drop his name, so I am hoping that the letter is compelling enough. Wish me luck!

I find myself red faced with shame at the fact that I am intrigued by the hype over the Da Vinci Code movie. I don't usually care for media frenzy and find it a waste of time. But this one holds my attention. I just don't get the fuss. I read the book a while back. It did nothing to anger me or upset my faith. If anything, it got me thinking about things and in the end strengthened my beliefs. I wish people would get themselves in a check a bit and remember that when push comes to shove it is fiction. Take the advice of Robert Langdon, "what truly matters, is what you believe" (as spoken by Tom Hanks at the end of the movie, not in the book).

In terms of a review though, for anyone who is interested, if you haven't read the book but plan too, see the movie first. I think the movie was better than the critics are giving it credit for. Though it was not Tom Hank's best performance, Ian McKellen was wonderful and I think could easily be up for a best supporting actor nod. He suspended disbelief enough that this avid reader put down her list and didn't care that he was niether red headed nor portly, it didn't matter, he was fantastic. There were a few plot changes/additions that I didn't care for. James really was not happy with the secret group of vatican officials plotting together. he felt it was unecessarry and made the church look worse than the book. That particular change didn't bug me though. Can't wait to hear what others think of it. The whole concept definitely spawns a desire to chit chat about it.


Tuesday, April 11, 2006


You Belong in Paris

You enjoy all that life has to offer, and you can appreciate the fine tastes and sites of Paris.
You're the perfect person to wander the streets of Paris aimlessly, enjoying architecture and a crepe.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Oh The Irony!

Isn’t it ironic that after 10 years living in Oklahoma, we move to Kentucky and my son lands a key role in the local production of “Oklahoma”? For years, we thought of Oklahoma as the “red dirt prison” and dreamed of escaping. Now we sit talking about how if we were to win the lotto jackpot, the first thing we would do is move back to Oklahoma! Not because we don’t like Kentucky. In fact, we love Kentucky. But we really miss long term friends, people with whom we have a history. Even though we have family here, we don’t really know the family that well. The friends we left behind have been our family and now we really feel the lack of them in our lives. It has been such fun watching the performances of the play. Though it is set a hundred years ago, so many Oklahoman’s, particularly the men, still dress the same, and talk the same. It’s as if time stood still in some ways. It's left us all wistful and nostalgic. Here is a photo. Brandon is playing the Persian Peddler, Ali Hakim!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Grandmother Moon

Well, I must give my eldest daughter credit for her classiness. A package arrived in the mail bearing a lovely bottle of wine and instructions to call her. I did and she told me her exciting news! How has it come to pass that I am soon to be a grandmother? I certainly don't feel like a grandmother. But I am excited about the baby to be.

My new year is off and moving. I am up to my ears in craft making for the upcoming expo and I am working on my health issues. I have lost another 4 pounds since the holiday and that is very encouraging. I have been thinking a lot about my latest novel and I am inching toward finishing up the fine tuning and sending out queries. So there is plenty to do on any given day, just the same, I spent the past couple of days cleaning house. It is amazing how much dirt and clutter built up while the kids were home from school and all.

This one is just the facts I guess, but there it is. Hope it finds you all well.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Just In Time

Well, today I recieved an envelope in the mail. It was of course a dreaded, self adressed deal which is always a bearer of bad news. Another rejection, just in time for new years.

This time it was from a publishing house, rejecting, without any comment, my novel Legacy of Silence. On the one hand I know I have not tried hard enough. I have only sent it to 3 agents and this one publisher. But on the other, part of me feels like burning the manuscript, erasing the files and stomping my jump drive to bits, obliterating the humiliating proof that I slaved over this "novel". I haven't come to any firm decisions. But those are the things that come to mind. 2005 has been a ver sad and sorry year for my writing. I sold exactly one piece, a short story and then I lost the check and never got paid for it. A bad year indeed. Here is hoping that 2006 will be much, much better, for all of us.

I don't have one of those "current mood" tickers, but if I did, it would not have a smiley face right now.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Long Nights Moon Wishes

December always puts me in a misty sort of, nostalgic mood. I get to thinking about my great, great grandmothers and the very real struggle they endured to survive the winter, and see their children alive on the other side of it. We take so very much for granted today. We don't have to walk to the river and break through the ice to get water, or go to an out house to relieve ourselves. And those were the least of the problems in the pre-industrial period.

Last night was the longest night of the year. Today the sun came out and filled our living room with brightness. The candles we lit last night at our annual winter solstice observance were still burning and their cinnamon odor filled the room. Life is good. Despite any problems or dificulties we might have, we are truly blessed and have nothing to complain about, even thoughI am certainly guilty of whining about our problems.

I know that is not true for everyone in the world. I read the stories of real suffering each day. I wish there was more I could do to stop it. Like most idealistic dreamers I want to fix all the problems in the world and put all my brothers and sisters to bed happy and fulfilled. How much can I do to achieve it though? Oh I can donate money, or work for a charity, but I think real peace begins as a tiny seed, then hopefully takes root and spreads like an unruly vine all over the place. So here is my effort at planting a seed.

One thing I have been noticing lately is how quick those around me are to take offense and grow anger toward their family and friends. My kids illustrated this just last night. My 17 year old daughter and 14 year old son were talking. She took something he said offensively and got angry. She shot off some unkind words. He became upset and shot back. She then did the one thing she certainly knew would upset him, she knocked over his bass guitar. It got hairy from there. They are still not talking and all over a root problem that in essence was no more than a misunderstanding. Had she simply not assumed malice, or asked him what he meant by his comment all of this could have been avoided. I've been noticing a lot of this kind of thing in my family and friends lately. I wish it would stop. That everyone will give the benefit of the doubt, communicate and remember that the relationship they have with the other person is worth too much to just let anger grow like a cancer until it consumes everything good that used to be between them.

You gotta give peace a chance, at the grass roots, in your own life, long before you can hope to change the world.