Looking Forward

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Today I’m feeling happy. Just happy. LAST CHANCE LLAMA RANCH is in copyedits and off my plate for now. I’m working on a new idea–it’s got interstellar bimbos, and comic books, and feminist themes. My friends are by my side and the sun’s out, shining as it does only in Santa Fe. I’m eating stale chocolate cake at Santa Fe Baking Co. and us gals are talking about which is better, Star Trek Voyager or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. One can’t ask for much more (except maybe cake that isn’t stale).

Soon enough I’ll be leaving Santa Fe, and there’s real grief when I think about it. Fear, too. Will I come to regret this? Was everything just about to gel for me here, and I’m ‘quitting before the miracle’?  I’ve no way of knowing. I only know it felt like time to move on, and so that’s what I’m doing.  After a lunatic year of loss and grief and moments of passion I never expected, I need to roll forward instead of drifting in their wake and losing all momentum.

I think I’m ready, and I know I’m grateful for it all.

On the Cusp

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A few years back, someone asked me what my goals were. I said, “By the time I’m forty, I want to publish a book and get back to the weight I was on my wedding day.”

Well, I accomplished both of those goals with six months to spare. But then a lot of things happened in those spare six months that I didn’t expect – the death of my father, my divorce from my husband – which shook me up and perhaps didn’t allow me to revel in my success the way I’d have liked. Now, on the cusp of turning forty, I’m looking around asking myself, “What next? What matters to me? To what am I looking forward?”

The truth is, I’m not sure. Right now I’m heart-wounded and tumbled upside down, and the everyday routines that formed my life are all unnecessary. I don’t need to cook anything for anyone, or pick up dry cleaning, or remove my dirty socks from the poor unoffending floor. My father’s long crisis is over, and there’s nothing to be done for him.

I’m free. But is free a good thing?

In the wind

In the wind

I’ve been told more than once that I’m an object of envy. This is a deeply uncomfortable thing to hear. I’m definitely conscious of how lucky I’ve been in my life. I’m healthy, stable, and have been given many opportunities, while others I’ve managed to carve out for myself. I’ve accomplished a lot in 39.99 years. Yet I can’t say that now is a very good time for me. I can’t call myself happy, or secure, or serene. Three months after my last parent’s death, one month after my husband and I split, I don’t feel safe, or optimistic, or raring to go. I still feel that sense of shock, that inner earthquake, and all I want to do is dig all ten claws into the dirt and hold on for dear life.

I’m grateful for many things – my dear friends, the new leaves on the aspens slapping softly together outside my window, the whistling hummingbirds’ return. I take delight in the little pink-padded feet of my rascal orange tabby as he shovels them into my face at five a.m. I’m fortunate to spend springtime in stunning Santa Fe, and for excellent books to read in my wildly unkempt backyard under endless cloud-strewn skies.

And yet, the sense of not belonging to anyone, or owing myself to anything urgent… it’s unnerving. I’d like to come to appreciate it, and I hope that I soon will. Until then, I’m untethered and in search of I know not what.

Overwhelmed and Grateful

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Since I posted my kitty cri de coeur two days ago, I’ve been flooded with amazing advice, offers, and info about how to help place my father’s cats when the time comes. It’s almost overwhelming, and I am so touched and grateful for the support. I have a ton of new resources and some very generous offers to sort through now, and one potentially perfect possible scenario, all of which will help enormously.  Now I need to do some legwork, and also focus my attention on my family situation, but I shall update the blog with news when all becomes clear.

With thanks from Mr. Darcy, Mr. Knightley, and myself.

Darcy & Knightley as Kittens

Darcy & Knightley as Kittens


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Dear friends, family, and countrymen (okay, colleagues at ye olde day job), I just want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who bought BLISS, everyone who let me know “Amazon says it’s in the mail!” and expressed excitement on my behalf. For those who read it early and enjoyed it enough to post a review or tweet kind words, thank you, you’re amazing, and your cookies are baking in the oven.

Speaking of which, the whole latter part of this week is going to be me completely blowing my Weight Watchers points and baking up a storm… (in the middle of a winter storm, which rather sucks). The reason for this is that I’ll be reading and signing copies of the book at Barnes & Noble at the Coronado Mall in Albuquerque on Friday, and chatting with readers at Self Serve Toys in Albuquerque on Saturday night.  The details are on my Events Page. Of course, I don’t want anyone to go away hungry, so I’m making everything from cupcakes to biscochitos to lemon bars to bring along. Let’s all get fat and BLISS out together!

Again, my friends, thank you for the support, the great feedback, and for being in my life. Feel free to send pics of yourself holding up your copy of BLISS, and I’ll post ’em!

You Like Me… You Really Like Me! (At Least 4 of You)

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So, I’m driving a shopping cart full of cat litter and trash bags around Target this afternoon (oh, the joy!) and I stop to check my phone.  (Hey, shopping is boring, what can I say.  At least I didn’t block anyone’s path to the yogurt.)  I see an email from my delightful, I’m-eternally-grateful-to-them publisher with some feedback from readers who participated in last month’s Goodreads first-read giveaway.  (Check it out here to read reviews.)  Not to toot my own horn (okay, totally to toot my own horn), but WOW!  The ones who took the time to write reviews really seemed to enjoy BLISS the way I’d hoped.  One woman said, “This was, for me, a one-sitting, pages flying read.”


Those of you who are writers know just how important it is that somebody see the same thing in your work that you see in your mind, and that you spend all those hours trying to shovel in there.  It’s why I spend weeks dithering over exactly the right word; why I corner friends and fellow writing workshoppers and demand, “Is this funny?!  Does that make sense?”  But in the end the novel is just out there, alone, without you to explain or excuse or butter up your reader.  If you’re lucky enough to find readers, that is.

BLISS isn’t officially out until November 19th, but already, people outside of my immediate circle have gotten their hands on it.  Woman’s Day online said they loved it.  Library Journal gave it the thumbs’ up.  And now, real readers!  People who read the kind of books I read are finally being introduced to my work – and so far I haven’t been beaned in the head with a rotten tomato.  I know the responses can’t all be good, but for now, I’m just swimming in delight and so very grateful.

Oh, and one-sitting lady? Slow down. It took me a long time to write that book!