Monday, June 27, 2011


I committed to sharing a completed manuscript by the last day of June and that will not happen. Then I committed to sharing the first 50 pages of a completed manuscript and that will not happen either. But still, I can see that a book I have snippeted my way through for months will now be taking near final form. I still have days and days of editing and new writing and bridges and ordering to do, but there is form now. I love the work involved in this part. I don't know if this will remain the opening chapter, and I've been warned not to post this material yet for fear my work on novel # 2 will suffer for it, but I cannot resist. ♥

Chapter 1
“Give it a rest,” Catherine said.
“Every contact reactivates,” the therapist said.
“Step back,” Casey said.
So when she called Catherine, two days after Catherine told her she cared only 50-50%, Casey left a shaky voicemail message which at the time she desperately mistook for strength.
“I need a month, Cat. I am too hurt to think straight. I want you in my life but I need time. I hope you know I will be there for you.”
Almost instantly Casey regretted that last sentence. It sounded hollow; it did not play to her strengths. Even though she meant it—despite the circumstance she frequently worried about Catherine—she knew Catherine would snicker at that part.
Whatever strength Casey might have managed to store in reserve folded within hours. She left another message for Catherine the next day, but this time her words were muffled by breaths that were really sobs.
“I’ve moved out and I need support. Please call me, Cat.”
Catherine did not call that day or that week or that month.
“I won’t recover,” Casey told Priya, told her friends, told anyone who happened to know.
“Yes, you will.”
“No, I won’t.”
And two years later, in a perplexing twist of unfathomable one sided disdain, it turned out Casey may have been right.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Company We Keep

I am madly in love with the way my house looks. I don't say this to brag: I am just amazed how the removal of one wall has changed the total energy of the kitchen and living space.

I've had weekend of family. JB bought the wine and plenty of milk. She made potato salad and I made shrimp jambalaya and before that garlic bread and before that red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. I spent three hours in grocery stores, $ 175 worth of food to feed a household of twelve people over three days. JB's sister from Colorado and her family arrived Saturday afternoon and then JB's niece from Tucson and now Boston and then Jess and Mike and Mr. Ryan and No Longer Baby Drew.

JB and I spruced up the house and fired up the gas grill. Salmon and Swordfish and skewered scallops.
Nothing makes me happier than having Jess and Mike and Mr. Ryan and Drew here overnight.

There should be a picture of my Jess here too, but I will just say she is almost 8 months pregnant and radiates both beauty and fatigue.

Company is a good motivator. JB and I finally got a few things painted, hung, organized.

By my friend Gordon

JB cut flowers from our yard

And we faced and figured out how we would sleep twelve people in our six room ranch. We had an outdoor backup plan :^)

And in the end, we had a great time. Our families come together like this rarely, every few years or so. This is the cost of mobility: sometimes I wish it were not so easily to transplant roots.

The weekend is not yet over: some of us are still here, still eating, still sipping cappuccinos, still sitting chattilly and then quietly together, now waiting for a fireworks show from the park next door. As I type this, I wonder if my mundane family weekend is of interest to anyone outside my family. I often wonder this about my blog; then I remember how much I enjoy the snapshots of daily life from so many visitors and friends I've come to know.

So this is my weekend, in the company I keep.



Monday, June 20, 2011

Sunday Mish Mash

This is the view from my kitchen window and this week the zinnias got planted. Sometimes they dance and sometimes they wave at me. This week they were joined by a cement birdbath made by my grandfather Benjamin, who like my father was a mason. The birdbath is the only tangible memory I have of him. Within minutes of it being moved to the zinnia patch two doves appeared. Doves are not common in my yard. I easily accept their splish splash as a good sign.

And this week I attended Mr. Ryan's preschool graduation and witnessed his debut as a singer on the big (ah, little) stage. He was fabulous.

And this week I spent four days in Provincetown and three of those days were in the company of a very good, very dear, very special, very fun friend. This is not her. But if she were not herself, I think she would be a very good, very dear, very special, very fun dog.

This is my friend in human form: you may know her:

We are fresh from the beach here, our faces burned just enough for bragging rights that we have spent some glorious minutes feeling the warm sun and hearing the gulls and the tide and the voices of beach-silly children and their beach-silly parents.

The talented Ms. Lo and Ms. kj and Ms. JB had a fantastic weekend. We walked a good length of Commercial Street, stopped in just about every gallery, we met wonderful people and wonderful dogs, we ate waterfront and we ate on the patio outside my kitchen door. We laughed and talked non-stop and acknowledged that electric currents of inspiration were running through our very receptive selves.

I'll be damned if I am going to let myself be saddled with chores or real or imagined worries this summer. I admit JB and I came home tonight to a bit of chaos: we lugged a 100 pound excitingly new dining room table home from Provincetown on the top of my Toyota RAV and we made arrangements for a very nice guy to meet us here to assemble it for us. And....the bolts are missing. No table, just a mess of screws and dowels and legs, but no table yet. BUT: now that I'm done with my temper tantrum about it, I imagine all will be well within a day or two.

And meanwhile, I had a good week. I'm looking ahead to another good week.

My zinnias are still dancing.

My heart still quivers and still shakes its head sometimes (if a heart had a head).

But gosh: I think it's time for me to dance too.



Sunday, June 19, 2011

My Dad

He was the first person to tell me I drank too much. I rolled my eyes every time, which was often, that he'd announce the best day of his wife was when he met my Mother. He was so proud of his cement mixer and the modest houses he and his brother built that I think he infused some of that pride from work into my veins. Before he died, he told me was sure he would see his Mother again and he asked me to make two promises. First he asked me to return to the Catholic Church and second he asked me to take care of his dahlias.


I couldn't bring myself to rejoin the church and although I tried the dahlias died. I imagined I would carry a certain guilt about one or both of those unfulfilled promises but I never did. My father died at home in his own bed and on the day he died I stopped being afraid of dying. My memory is that my Mother told him he could go and my Father left us escorted by his own Mother.

Happy Father's Day, Dad. I turned out to be honest and hardworking too and I've done my best to help Mom. I think you would be proud of me and I thank you for teaching me the most important things simply by how you lived and by how you died.

Love Me

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

About Friendship

I changed the wording in this poem tonight. I had written it some time ago, with high hopes that over time deteriorated into one of the lowest periods of my life.

I was able to easily change the wording tonight because to my delighted amazement I have somehow reassembled the loyalty and love that good and true friendship requires. For me, this poem can finally be real again.

I have the most wonderful friends these days. I am so thankful. This didn't happen by accident. I've worked hard to be a loving and loyal friend and when I gave it I got it back.

It's a new day and I'm so glad. I wish everyone can have a friend like this:


I tell you about my bank account
The challenges I mount
My heart’s desires,
My passion and fires
The guy at the bar,
My avatar.
The near accident,
The words I meant.
The way I pace,
An occasional grace
The lights at the park,
My fear of the dark
The reasons I cry.
The times that I try.
My zero fashion
My deepest passion
My life on the lane
The times I’m insane
My college days
The places I’ve played
When I fall down
My sacred ground
Time in the Midwest
Time put to the test
Living abroad
Loving lobster and cod
All that I feel
When I try to be real.
Will you patiently listen
No matter what’s missing?
I could chatter all night
Lost in delight.
Would you just smile and say,
“Gosh--you’ve had quite a day!”

Sunday, June 12, 2011


I have been in Provincetown since Friday morning. Since mid May this is my third four day stay here and something feels so right about it I just might finally be back to where I started before I...hey, no need to mention that. I'm just glad to be here.

Yesterday JB and I bought a patio set. And what a patio it will be. I am sure I will sit this table and write and JB and I will sit together and smile at our good fortune and my family and friends will sit at this table to my total delight.

It has been raining most of the weekend and that has been fine with me. There has been a few breaks so a few hours ago around dusk I took a walk in my neighborhood. Honestly, I wanted to show you where I am living here. We are one block from the bay and from the action of Commercial Street, but 'here' is actually a quiet neighborhood.


(my place)

wi walk up the brick walkway we

all had built

into this yard that Marc, our neighbor

in the unit next to us,


the back of the house: the sea

weathers shingles including damp moss when wet

And back where I started: a brand new patio set and a brand new connection with the patio.

I am feeling pretty damn good here.

It's been a ride to get here.

Thank you for caring about what I do.

I wish you love.



Thursday, June 09, 2011

Animal Wednesday: I Am Innocent! by Emily Rabbit



It is 100% NOT FAIR that I got arrested again, not to mention that I am too little and innocent to be threatened or punished just because I threw an artichoke at a mean woman who told me I was a brat and threatened to call my Mother, all because I borrowed a little kid's colored markers. What was that little girl doing with colored markers at the farmer's market anyway; she was sitting in the grass pretending to draw trees that really looked like dried up lollipops and when I hopped up to her to ask if I could borrow her purple marker so I could draw a picture on an eggplant but not get caught so it would be a secret picture, this little girl pretended she was afraid of rabbits and she started yelling for her Mother, who came running and almost stepped on my tail just as I got out of the way and I probably shouldn't have picked up that artichoke and thrown it at her but how did I know the sharp little needle would hit her nose and make it bleed not to mention she was a total crybaby.


So I am in jail for the third time and this time there are three women with me who have secret candy bars and told me I could borrow their nightgowns to use as a pillow if I would teach them how to cry from their stomachs which of course I will because remember, I do that better than anyone but do you think I will get in trouble if they start BOO-HOO-HOO-HOO-ing in the middle of the night because I am pretty sure they won't care if anyone gets mad because they told me they are women of the night, whatever that means, but I think it means they already know how to make sounds at night.


I think kj is going to pay the $ 35 and pick me up tomorrow morning but she told me this is the last time she will help me if I ever throw anything at someone again because she said I could have hit that mean woman with the whimpy kid in the eye or broke her glasses but really, she deserved it, don't you think so?

And guess what? I still have the purple marker and I am keeping it but I might trade it to one of these women of the night in exchange for this little rubber balloon one of them has in her wallet. I told kj and she said NO WAY EMILY! but why would she say that?

I hope you have missed me and I promise when I am out of jail this time I will try to write more plus I will keep teaching you how to have more fun but I don't think I can teach anyone how to stay out of jail because really don't you think it was worth throwing the artichoke?


I do.....


Emily Rabbit