Bits and Pieces

Chewing the Fat

When They Were Young




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November 2007

So proud!

We just came back from the final show. 

Will was MAGNIFICENT!  He nailed the bread scene, the ending.  So proud.  Words can’t even describe the feeling inside.  Watching him learn how to fly.

Yay!  My Christmas cherries have arrived!

For those of you who love liquor chocolates, you have to try Bernard Callebaut brandy cherries!  I, and hordes of others wait all year for these tasty treats.  They are soooooo good!  What it is is a B.C. cherry that has been soaked in brandy and then hand dipped in Callebaut chocolate which is wonderful chocolate.  And I have to confess…I buy huge slabs of it at Whole Foods and lay it out on the chopping board with a big butcher knife in the kitchen and when ever someone walks by they can hack off a chunk.  Yum.  But as good as the chocolate is, their brandy Christmas cherries are even better!  I don’t know what their website is, but if you type Bernard Callebaut into Google it will come up and then click on Seasonal and THEN click on cherries.  They look so pretty too.  The cherries are individually wrapped in pretty red tinfoil with the chocolate covered stem sticking out and are packed in a sort of bronze box tied up with a gold curly ribbon. 

The only reason I can describe the box with such accuracy is because…MY CHRISTMAS CHERRIES JUST ARRIVED!  Yahooeee!  And let me tell you, they are worth the year long wait.  The only thing you have to be careful of is to nibble around the pit.  And also, don’t bite into these babies, because it can be messy.  The brandy can slosh all the way down your arm if you aren’t careful.  You have to either stick the whole thing in your mouth and let the chocolate get soft and smooth in your mouth until the whole thing caves in and you get that explosion of cherry laced brandy.  Or you can nibble a little hole in the bottom on the chocolate and then sip the brandy out, and when it’s all gone then you can devour the chocolate and cherry inside. 

See!  Now not only have you found out about the most delicious liquor chocolates in the world…but now you have expert advice on how to eat them.  All compliments of yours truly.

Love, Meg

p.s.  Again, it’s important for you to know that I don’t own stock in this company or know anybody who works here.  I just love their brandy Christmas cherries is all.

Ravenous Readers and other stuff

Oh my god!  I did Christianne’s Ravenous Readers Book Club last night.  What a treat.  These teens were 12-13 and many of them had been going to Christianne’s book clubs for 5,6, 7 years!  Can you imagine?  Reading great books, having interesting in-depth discussions with each other and their parents.  The fact that Christianne’s Lyceum offers this kind of thing.  The closeness that arises. 

And oh my, all of us, talking about Porcupine, Jack, Afghanistan, life choices.  Why a parent would do what Jack’s mom did?  Such insights.  Such smart kids.  So articulate.  And how fun that they had all READ porcupine.  The kind of discussion their knowledge of the book can open up, takes the Author visit thing to a whole deeper level.

The very first question one of the teen boys asked is, “Does it really work?  That getting out of a headlock thing that Jack teaches her little brother?” 
“Oh yeah, it works all right.”
“Will you show me how to do it?”
“Absolutely!”  My heart exploding with admiration for his bravery.  Admiration and compassion.
“Now?”  His face intent, slightly pale.
“Sure, come on up.”  And I showed him.  We went over it several times until he had it down.  I told him to practice.  He needs to get his weight a little lower into the earth.  I wish I could go over it a few more times today, just to make sure he has it well and truly down pat.

Another girl there had come to my book reading.  I remembered her face.  At snack break, she moved her seat so she was sitting right next to me on my left.  Scrunched up between me and her best friend.  I loved that.  For snack one of the mums had brought, not only all these foods that were in the book, but also lit a little wax birthday candle cake and they all sang happy birthday, because Jack’s mum had forgotten hers.  “I cried so much reading your book,” she said.  “It reminded me of my own childhood.  How hard things can be.”  And she talked about hope too.  How there are those people or experiences that change us, form and fill us.  Hold out a light. 

Such sweetness filled the room last night.  I felt blessed to be there.  With Christianne and Susan, among these parents and teens.  And that they loved Porcupine so much, made the evening that much better.

Driving home, late at night, the car still crowded with memories of them.  Their faces, things they’d said.

When I got home there was a lovely email from Chuck (Village Books)  and reading the things he said, on top of this beautiful night at the Lyceum, made my heart feel like it couldn’t contain anymore happiness inside. 

I opened his second email.  It had a link to his blog about the night, which was really lovely, but even better, he told me about  I looked it up On-line and I can’t even tell you how excited I got!  I was really struggling this summer when we were putting the website together because I wanted to have buttons to click on for my favorite Independent Bookstore but I couldn’t put Village Books or Bolen Books or one of other bookstores that I love so much because they are local, not national.

I believe passionately in supporting our local Independent Booksellers.  I can’t tell you how sad I am to see them being squashed out.  It seems every month I hear of another Independent closing their doors.  Stores that I read Gemma in last year, are no longer operating. 

If you are like me, and love wandering into these places, browsing, having a personal relationship with the staff and appreciate their love and knowledge of books, then you are going to love learning about as well.  This way, if you are someone who likes doing their shopping On-line, or you are house bound, you can still help your neighbourhood store survive if you want to buy the books on your Christmas list for family and friends On-line.

If you live in the U.S. check it out! As a matter of fact, don’t just check it out.  Do all your Christmas shopping!  Because with book sales dropping, we need to do everything possible to help these wonderful bookstores survive.  Thanks! 
Love, Meg

village books

I had a wonderful time at Village Books in Bellingham last night! Thanks to all of you who attended.  I know last year when I came for Gemma it was packed, but I certainly didn’t expect such a huge crowd to show up for Porcupine.  It’s not that I don’t think Porcupine is worth it, because I love this book.  But I was led to believe that unless you tie a YA book to a school visit, nobody will show up.  That’s why I didn’t try to book bookstore events.  The only reason I was at Bellingham is because I met Sheri (the events coordinator) at The Pacific Booksellers Conference.  She suggested I come, I tried to warn her off of it, she persisted and SHE WAS RIGHT!

A tremendous turnout of warm, welcoming, intelligent, fun people.  The place was packed, we laughed, we cried, I confessed to things that perhaps were left better unsaid.  Ahem…the occasional R______ N____!  When I confessed to that, a huge gasp ricocheted around the room.  Heh…heh…heh…I’m not what you think!  There was that quartet of laughing life-loving women who came.  I remembered them from last years event.  They invited me to go carousing with them and even though I’m generally not the carousing type, I was tempted, because these women obviously know how to have fun!  I met a very special family who told me it was the first author event their kids had ever been to.  I was moved that they chose mine.  Margaret was there, bearing truffles (what a sweetheart)  Nan did as well.  I am embarrassed to say that I did eat a few chocolates on the ride home.  Okay, more than a few. 

A woman flew in from (I don’t remember where and dang, her name has vaulted out of my head.)  Anyway, she was my stand-in on my least favorite movie of all time.  But I remembered her face.  And her little boy who was two when I last saw him and apparently I carried him around on my hip at the whole wrap party is 25 now!  Gadzooks how time flies!

Hmmmm…I’m wondering if all those YA book experts were wrong about bookstore events.  Nah…They probably weren’t.  I bet no one showing up for YA is the norm.  It’s just Bellingham that’s different.  I love this town-city.  Every time we’ve visited, I always say to Don, “If I had to live in the States, I think I’d settle down in Bellingham.” 

Anyway, all of you who attended, thank you for coming.  Thank you for opening your hearts to me and Jack.  Thank you Chuck and Dee for having me again.  I LOVE your bookstore!

sponge cake

The wonderful thing about having a blog is that last night when I was still reeling from what-the-hell happened?  I was able to look back at my life for the last little while.  And reading my entries from the start of this whole disaster at the end of October all the way up to now, gave me some sort of perspective.  I felt comforted somehow, by visiting back to those past times.  I did the best I could.  Nothing else to be done but to step off this emotional roller coaster. 

When I woke up in the middle of the night…now that was a different story.  I wasn’t feeling comforted at all.  The thing about those middle of the night rampages where every fear or worry gums you to death, is that there are no distractions.  You put one worry down and another one leaps into the gap. 

Anyway, enough of that.  It’s out of my hands.  Move on.  As I was reading back over the last month and a half, I noticed that right before all this happened I promised that I would post my favorite cake recipe.  I love this cake because unlike angel food cake, you use the whole egg and it’s not as sweet.  I find angel food cake too sweet for me.  I’ll eat it if there is absolutely nothing else around, but I far prefer sponge cake. 

This is not a recipe that I made up however.  I got it from my grandmother’s old Betty Crocker’s Cookbook.  The first edition.  It’s funny how much these cookbooks have changed over the years.  (In my mind, not for the better.)  Anyway, this is an old-fashioned cake.  You can serve it with any icing you like.  My family is partial to my butter icing, but I like this cake best with sliced fresh strawberries and a generous dollop of freshly made whipped cream.  I make this cake a lot once strawberries come into season, filling the front section of the grocery store with their summertime fragrance.  But sometimes if I’m desperate, I’ll make it in the winter with imported strawberries that taste faintly of cardboard, and I have to squeeze half a lemon over them and sprinkle them with a little bit of sugar.  Or I’ll make a compote with the frozen summer berries I have stored away in the freezer.

                        Glorious Sponge Cake (that’s what it’s called.  Honest.  I didn’t make that up.)

ingredients: flour, sugar, 6 eggs, water, cream of tartar, salt, (now the recipe calls for 1 tsp of lemon extract and 1 tsp of grated lemon rind.  I don’t do this.  I use vanilla, which is what I’ll write here, but really, it’s your choice.  What do your taste buds prefer?)

-heat oven to 325 degrees (do not use convection.  Use regular bake)
-separate 6 eggs, plopping the yolks in one large mixing bowl and the whites in the other
-beat the yolks on medium speed
-gradually add one cup of white sugar
-then add alternately one cup of white flour
-and 1/4 a cup of cold water
-add one teaspoon of pure vanilla
-turn blender on to medium high speed and blend for a total of 5 minutes

In a whites mixing bowl
-add 1/2 tsp of cream of tartar
-1/2 tsp of salt
-Beat on high speed until the white form stiff white peaks (this means that when you turn the mixer off and dip the beaters into the mixture when you take them out it makes little snow-capped mountains designs

-fold with a rubber spatula 1/3 of the white mixture into the yolk mixture.  Repeat this 3 times until the whole white mixture is in the yolk.  DO NOT OVER FOLD!  Just fold it in enough so that it is uniform in color.

-pour into an ungreased 10” tube pan (Another description for an angel food cake pan)  Or, if you don’t have an angel food cake pan, dump the mixture into a 13X9’ oblong pan(on this pan you grease ONLY the bottom on the pan.)  It doesn’t look as fancy but it still tastes great!
-put in the oven and bake for 60-65 minutes for tube/angel pan, 35-40 for oblong pan.
-Cool tube/angel cake pan upside down.  Cool oblong pan right side up, like a regular cake.
-Cool throughly before serving with whatever strikes your fancy.

In writing this recipe I realized that I have made this recipe my own as well.  It not written at all like the book and I’ve changed some of the ingredients and tweaked the order and blending process.  Funny.  I never realized it before.  I thought I was doing it verbatim!

letting go

Sometimes the dark side wins.
Nothing one can do
Let go or I will be sucked down as well
Can’t do that to my family, my life.

Sometimes the dark side wins
but a small triumph on my part
which I hold to my chest

She can’t dispose of him anytime soon
Everyone would know where to look
Follow the money
the stench of ill gotten goods

And there you will find her
licking her lips
feasting on blood.

Sometimes the dark side wins
but at least I am able
strong enough
to keep it’s from contaminating
the rest of my life as well.

Thank God for small mercies.

Farewell, sweet ____
even in your blindness
We love you still

good morning bloggers

I don’t have much to say today.  I am all set to wade back into The Big Muckle and thought I’d drop you a line first, since we went on a day jaunt to one of the Gulf Islands and I didn’t have time to write yesterday.

I’m the lunch cook this week, so I dropped Will off at school.  A cozy ride.  He was more awake than he usually is in the morning so I received interesting conversation instead of god-I’m-sleepy-and-why-is-she-talking-to-me grunts.  It was a lovely ride that lifted my spirits enormously.  Coming back home, our sky was, as usual, low hanging and grey, but when I was drove up over the hill, I could see all the way to Mount Baker and the cloud bank seemed to end a little before it, and golden early morning sun was pouring down, lighting up Mount Baker up so that the world could admire it’s snow clad beauty.  The far off horizon streaked with dusky rose and peach and violet pastels.  And somehow, the contrast of all that light and beauty against our dark low lying clouds and grey, made everything seem even more beautiful.  I came back home and right away I got set up to write.  No lolly-gagging!  I feel very organized this morning.  I have my cup of jasmine tea.  One teaspoon of sugar.  I have another cup that has food to nibble on.  Some salted cashews, some crisp organic dried apples, some dried organic cranberries, and just so all of you out there don’t think I’m too virtuous…I also have the second to the last Cranberry Port Dark Chocolate truffle.  And the only reason there are any of these truffles left is because nobody was really crazy about this particular mix.  The rest of the truffles are gone.  Sigh.

It’s interesting to me, that I need to have things to sip and nibble on when I write.  It’s like keeping my mouth awake, wakes up my brain and subconscious as well.  That’s why I have to be careful about what I place by my computer as nibbling treats, because if I’m not careful…I’ll have to bring out Mark’s pants expanders!

Anyway, dear bloggers, I’m off to write.  Have a good day!  xo


Will was WONDERFUL in the play!  I was so proud and impressed and moved.  Dave kept saying, “That’s a Will I’ve never seen.  He never gets mad or mean like that.”  And it’s true.  Will is such a sweetheart, and to see him play such a disappointed curmudgeon.  To see the subtle layers he wove into his character, the motivations, the fullness with which he was always present.  I was very glad the lights were out because towards the end of the second act, the person behind me was sobbing and I found that tears were rolling down my cheeks as well.  All the kids in the play really gave it their all.  Michael W does an amazing job directing these teenagers. The quality of shows, the sets, the wardrobe and make up, the creative sound design and lighting is so good.  The shows he puts on, in no way, have that taste and smell of high school.  I had absolutely nothing to do with the production of the show, don’t know most of the teenagers that up there on stage and yet there I was, bursting with pride for all that they had accomplished.  Bravo.

Driving home in two cars, because we all won’t fit in one.  Don drove, ____ and C______.  And I got to drive with my boys.  Me and Dave talking excitedly about the play, Will’s performance, how much we loved what he had done. Will quietly pleased.  It felt like old times.  And if Emily could have been there…Ahhh!  We got home, had some more pie.  Yum!  Talked a little bit more and then the boys disappeared downstairs to play a new video game. 

I talked a little more with Don and then went downstairs to help ____ with his packing.  He wanted to take the new Apple computer we bought for him to use up here.  He wanted to pack something else that he has always left with us for safe keeping.  He was brusk, bordering on grouchy, and I knew then, when he insisted on bringing these two things back to L.A., which way he was leaning. 

Later, sitting on the sofa with David and Don, I tell them what ____ needed to pack and sadness fills my boy’s eyes.  All of us sit with that loss and there is nothing we can do.  We talk of other things then.  Life and relationships and growing up and moving on.  And we are so close tonight.  Soft warm family room light, darkness outside. 

Don and I talk late into the night.

In the morning I bring ____’s breakfast tray down.  I am determined to keep it light.  Last minute reminders, “I’ve put your passport, your money, your keys and your credit cards in the side zipper compartment.  Your blackberry is in the upper inside pocket of your light jacket upstairs.  Promise me, you won’t let C______ go until you have found a good replacement.  Someone whose only concern is to keep you healthy and safe.  Who will make sure you take your meds and eat regular meals because if you die, they lose a well paying job.  Promise me.”  And he promised.  He gave me his word.  And I pray he keeps it.  “I feel like I’m sending you off to University,” I say, and tears come, even though I was determined not to.  I don’t dwell on the sadness, bustle around the room.  Carry his book bags upstairs.  Make sure C_____ knows they are leaving in 20 minutes, that he brings ____ his morning meds.  I wake David up because he wanted to say good-bye.  The car and driver are waiting outside. 

Lots of hugs and suitcase lugging up and down the front steps.  I come up from dropping off his carry-all of meds, and two bags of books and go to hug ____ good-bye and his face crumples and he starts sobbing.  I pat his back, wish I could make all this turn out right, but I can’t.  And I feel this sadness in my chest because he wouldn’t be sobbing if he didn’t think that this might be good-bye for good.  And then he straightens.  Puts a smile on his face.  I hold his arm as he goes down the steps, he gets in the car and disappears behind the black glass windows.  I give C_____ a hug.  I’m actually going to miss him.  A good person.  I sorry ____’s decided to let him go.  ____ unrolls the window slightly so his hand can wave above the glass.  I can’t see him clearly, only a pale silhouette behind glass.  He does that wave my grandmother used to.  Small tilting movements of the palm and fingers.

The driver rounds the car, in his suit and tie, his long spiffy overcoat flapping around his legs.  “Bye!” I say, a smile on my face.  I know the drill.  Had to say good bye to too many people in my life.  “Good bye…love you.  Safe flight.”  I wave until the car turns out of the drive and disappears.

Back in the kitchen, everyone needing cheering up.  “How about dim sum?” I say.  And it’s a good idea, so Dave takes a shower, Don makes a reservation and when everyones ready we drive into town.  Dim sum is good.  Delicious actually.  It is good to look over at both my boys faces across the table. 

We go home.  Dave and Don battle it out on the NHL Hockey Video game.  I would put money on my husband having Sidney Crosby on his team.  And then it’s time to take Dave to the sea plane.  We drive back downtown.  The girl at check in thinks he’s cute.  He doesn’t even notice.  He’s just out of a three year relationship.  She offers to make him a latte.  “Why don’t you ask her out?  She likes you,” I say. 
“Mom,” he says in that tone of voice all young adults use when their parent is being ridiculous.  “She does not.”  He shakes his head, like I’ve lost my mind.  But I saw the way she brightened up when he approached the desk.  I saw the faint flush on her cheeks.  I’ve taken this plane before and they offer complimentary coffee and tea, but nobody has ever offered me a “espresso, or would you like a cappuccino or I could make you a latte?”  Never.  And I watch closely, and a lot of people come and go from her counter and nobody else gets a hot steamed latte, complete with a dark foam series of hearts that Dave said was “A leaf, Mom.  It’s a leaf.”

I was very tempted, after we waved from the dock until Dave walked down the ramps and got smaller and smaller and then finally disappeared into the float plane, to ask her for her email or phone number, to set up a blind date or something when Dave next came into town. Because she was very sweet and pretty and hard working and obviously can cook as well because that was a very fine latte.  But Don talks me out of it.  “He’s 21, Meg.  You would embarrass him.”  So I reluctantly follow my husband outside and get into the car.  And I don’t care what anybody says, I still think they would have made a very sweet couple.

early morning thoughts

I woke up at 5:20 am today.  I tried to hold on to my sleep wave but it didn’t work.  A million thoughts pushing sleep away.  So I lay there in bed, still very dark outside, and let the thoughts float in and then released them.  The nice thing was I didn’t hang on to any.  The “good” ones or the “bad” ones.  Just let them drift.  Maybe I’d go back to sleep, maybe I wouldn’t. 

I thought about talking to my daughter on the phone last night.  She was at a friend’s house.  She sounded happy.  I thought about Kae on The Biggest Loser and how much I admire her.  I thought about how I ate too much of my delicious pie yesterday, and that maybe instead of eating a proper breakfast this morning, I would warm up a nice slice of apple pie instead.  I thought about Cary’s sweet and thoughtful email yesterday and how grateful I was that we became friends.  I thought about getting to see Will’s play tonight and it’s a double-your-pleasure night, because my boy, Dave’s flying in as well.  I thought about how Will’s Dad is flying from England on Monday so he can visit with Will and be there for closing night.  I thought about my reading coming up in Bellingham this Tuesday and how nice it is that Will’s dad will be here so Don can come with me and I won’t have to do the jaunt across the border by myself. 

I thought about how ____ stayed to see Will’s play and is leaving tomorrow and how I don’t know if this is a permanent leaving?  Or if he is going back to do what (in my mind) needs to be done?  I thought about how I’ll feel if he doesn’t.  And honestly.  I don’t know.  I am not God.  I think I know what is right for him, best for him, but do I?  Maybe a shorter life, but going out with a reckless and angst-filled passionate bang is what would make him happy?  Maybe he doesn’t want the comfortable, slow, peaceful, perhaps boring existence that our writerly life can offer him?  I don’t know what is right for him.  Only he can choose that. 

The only thing that I have any say or control over is if I have the strength to do what I need to do, if he chooses the other.  I feel that I do.  I have done enough personal work to honor the fact that I have to listen to my belly.  And my body tells me loud and clear that if he needs to stay in that other kind of life and place, with people who I feel are extremely dangerous for his physical, emotional, mental and financial health, I must, for my own heart, step away.  Because it is too hard to see what is happening, witness that kind of corruption, selfishness and greed and not get upset.  He almost died.  And looking at the hospital records.  The blood and urine tests, it is clear to me that if he goes back, he is in danger.  So to stay, yelling “911!  Danger!  Danger!”  And not be heard.  To allow myself to be in a situation where I see the de-railed train heading for the brick wall, and not be able to do anything to stop it or to help.  Who needs that kind of stress?  Especially when the person you care so much about, chooses it?

Anyway, tomorrow morning he goes.  Is it for a couple of days like he says?  Will he be able, or even want to clean house?  Or will tomorrow be the day we close the door on fourteen years of friendship?  Whatever he chooses, even if I am no longer be in his life, I will always think of him with affection and love.


To my friends in the States, Have a great Thanksgiving.  For those of you who are wrestling with your first turkey, a reminder that if you click on my recipes tab, there is a step-by-step guide to stuffing and roasting a turkey, and how to roll out pie dough, make gravy and sweet potato mash recipe as well.  Happy cooking!  Happy eating!  And all of you who aren’t participating in the cooking aspect of the dinner, make sure you pitch in with the clean up, because there will be a lot of it, and the cook’s feet will be bone tired by the end of the day!

Okay, back to my writing!  I just wanted to get this reminder off to those of you who are newcomers to my blog and have been offered up as the Sacrificial Thanksgiving Day Cook and don’t have the foggiest idea what to do.  Follow my recipes and you’ll be fine.  It seems more daunting a task than it is.  You can do it.  Courage!

And little-grown-up Emily.  So sorry that you couldn’t find somebody to watch the pets.  We love you and miss you.  Will’s first matinee is today.  He was a little subdued at breakfast.  Only managed two pancakes.  Our fingers are crossed that it goes well.  Dave was able to switch his work schedule so he will take the little water hopper plane after work on Friday and get here in time for the evening show and ____ has switched his flight to Saturday morning.  So Friday night we’ll all be there and I’ll try to get Will to hold still for a few pictures so I can send them you.  Miss you honey.  Love you!  xo

School Library Journal!

I just got an email from Pamela Osti and Porcupine has gotten a starred review in School Library Journal!  Whoohooo!  I never thought I’d ever get a starred review anywhere in my whole life!  I knew I wrote what was in my heart.  I knew that you guys out there are buying my books.  But I never, ever thought that my writing would ever be accepted in that way.  Never!  And now look, a starred review in School Library Journal, a highly recommended in CM Magazine.  I know it’s not proper to be proud and happy about this type of thing.  I know it’s not good manners to dance wildly around my writing room.  But what the heck?  There’s no one to witness my tasteless, giddy celebration.  Just you my dear bloggers.  Because I’m all for showing the real me to those that care to know.  Today, I revel in all my glorious imperfections.  It’s way more fun this way!

A little bit of this and that

Hello everybody,
We have real sunshine today.  Sharp, blue, squint in the eyes sunshine.  Cold crisp frost on the ground, turning the blades of grass in our yard into a winter wonderland.  Tiny droplets of water catching the sun in their prisms, shimmering from a small slender tree’s outstretched arms, like a strand of jewels.  Watching the dogs smell every inch of the shrubs, grass, stiff crunching noises every step they take.  All of us, puffing out warm steam clouds of air.  It’s a beautiful, perfect day.

Will might be coming down with a cold though.  He wasn’t sure.  Woke up foggy headed.  “Stay home.” I offered.  “I can’t.  We have rehearsal and tomorrow’s our first matinee.”  And I want to say, all the better a reason to stay home in bed.  Save your energy.  Not to mention, if you are getting a cold, you don’t want everyone else to get it.  And yet, this is their last rehearsal and if he is getting a cold he probably got it from somebody in the play because that is who he spends all his time with, so they have already been exposed to the germs.  Not to mention, there is no understudy.  Anyway, he went off to school and I’ll just hope that he’s feeling groggy because he got to bed rather late.  I thought he was already in bed, and so I didn’t give the bedtime call, but he wasn’t. 

Scooter just did his ferocious growl, half a bark, and trotted towards the front door.  It’s funny how it’s the very same posturing that he did the other night, but with all this bright sunshine and a house full of people, it doesn’t make me feel nervous at all.  I barely noticed.  And certainly didn’t think it was a bad guy or a burglar or a wild cougar come to try to do damage.  Hmmm…Interesting how I said “a bad guy or a burglar.”  Wouldn’t you call someone who makes their living ripping off and stealing from other people a bad guy?  I guess what I mean is, stuff stolen is just stuff.  I mean, it hurts your feelings and all, but it’s just stuff.  But the other kind of thing.  The ones that hurt your physical body and soul, for no other reason but that they can?  To me, that’s a bad guy.  Like Hazen Young.  The big stupid jerk and pedophile that I used as a kicking off point for Hazen Wood in Gemma.  BAD GUY!  Glad he’s dead. 

Wow.  I’ve really run the gambit with conversation today.  Might as well spice it up with another announcement that has nothing to do with anything aforementioned.  The Gemma audio downloads are going to be posted sometime today.  So for those of you who were waiting to buy both for a better price, today’s the day!  I’m sorry it took so long.  I was busy with all the travel and then Susie was racing to get the second edition of her Blogging for Dummies to her editor before the deadline.  But today, all the stars and planets and our own personal schedules aligned and so my blogging buddies…Behold, the audio version of Gemma!  Click the audiobooks button, follow the instructions and Volia!  You can hear me read my books how I hear them in my head.  An interesting place to be, if I do say so myself.  (I’m not saying you want to be there, in my head with me.  You might hate it.  But I’ll tell you one thing, it’s certainly not boring!)

another brief Muckle update

I just lopped off another character in the book.  She was there and now…poof!  Gone.  Interesting how that goes.  I thought she was an important piece of the whole.  Apparently she’s not.  It’s tighter and better without her. 

That’s all.  Back to my writing!

an interesting tidbit

So…she who shall not be named must read my blog. 

I came back from picking up my son from rehearsal, did a couple of errands and in the amount of time I was gone, my friend had done a 180 degree turnaround.  He has to be in L.A for Thanksgiving.  He has to leave this Thursday.  There are no flights available the day before or after so he has to leave on that particular day.  (Never mind that he travels via Netjet and if you give them 48 hours notice they have to come up with a plane.)  So cancel the order for the turkey, and forget about the fact that Will’s opening his play and David’s flying out to see, not only Will’s play but also ____ who won’t be here because he is scampering back to plunge himself in the midst of that ick. 

Whatever.  He’s a grown man.  I’m done worrying.  Done crying.  He told me.  I didn’t get mad.  Didn’t feel anything much.  Just tired is all.

A sunny Sunday morning

The sun has managed to light up the sky.  For us Vancouverites this is a bright sun-filled celebration outside!  To the rest of the world, if they were standing in our yard, it would probably look a little grey, overcast with the hint of a sun peering through the thick fluff of the clouds that are liberally and evenly spread across the horizon.  Never mind.  It’s not raining at present, there is enough light so that the trees and bushes can cast faint shadows on the ground.  So it’s a sunny day to me!

Sunny in many ways.  When I brought my friend’s breakfast down on a tray, he said he is really happy here and is getting more and more distanced from that situation back were he was living.  And that he thinks he is going to manage to break it’s hold on him.  And I’m so happy.  But cautious too.  Because the break still hasn’t occurred.  There are still phone calls and I hear of plans being made that say otherwise.  I get the worried phone calls from the people in his life, the true friends that don’t want anything from him or for him but his own happiness and good health.  To be able to have a few more meals, a few more good laughs, a few more adventures.  The ones whose hands aren’t outstretched trying to grab, and gorge on as much as they can. 

The other ones.  The ones with no care for him, his well being, his safety.  The ones who can’t even see the sensitive person that is standing in front of them because their vision is too clouded with the greed glittering in their eyes.  Shame on you!  And someday you will be old and vulnerable and lonely and my God I would hate to be in your shoes, because what you’ve done will come back to you and bite you in the butt.  Because Karma’s a bitch.  Live with that.  It’s coming.

But back to pleasanter things.  When Don dropped Will off for rehearsal.  Actually, Will dropped himself off, because he’s learning to drive.  I’ve gone through this whole, teaching your child how to drive, talk in a calm voice, try not to show when you’re scared, try to teach them all you can so they will be safe behind the wheel and Oh my god, this is happening too fast, and you’re way too young to ever drive! three times now.  First with Emily, then Dave, and now little (not so little, but the image of little Will is stuck in my head) Will.  And I have to say, it never gets easier!  It is always hard to sit in the passenger seat while your child tries to navigate the road, freeways, parallel parking, shoulder checks, and so on.  I don’t want to be melodramatic, but the word “terrifying” comes to mind.

Speaking of which.  I’m off.  They have a shorter rehearsal today.  It was only from 9-1.  Oh and I almost forgot.  The whole reason I was telling that Will drove to school was that when Don dropped him off, the principal (who is also in the play, and has quite a lovely singing voice,) told Don that the play is going to be really good and that Will (my chest puffs up with pride)  is doing a wonderful job!  5 more days until we get to see him.  I CAN HARDLY WAIT!

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