Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Difficult Decisions

I haven't been to my favorite park in months. The weather outside is finally bearable, below the searing 100 degree days that have trapped me indoors. It's actually a lovely day.

I'm taking my blanket and my book to the park. I'm going to take a long walk. I'm going to pray and ask God for guidance. I'm going to let the fresh air and exercise soothe me. I'll dust off my Tarot Cards and use them as well, tapping in to my intuition.

When the answers come, I will give them time. Time to sit within me and be sure that they are the true answers from the purest depths of being. Perhaps a month of sitting with this possibility.

But if the deepest answer is to follow social norms, that is what I will do.

David himself has shown me that it is fair to put yourself ahead of any old relationship promises, despite your deepest intentions. Sometimes, life requires moving ahead in a ruthless way, focusing on your own needs first. Right? That's all that's happening, right?

Be careful what you model by example. I am paying attention as I look for ways to free myself from these struggles.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Universe Suggests... Savior

It kills me not to know this but I've all but just forgotten
What the color of her eyes were and her scars or how she got them
As the telling signs of age rain down a single tear is dropping
Through the valleys of an aging face that this world has forgotten
There is no reconciliation that will put me in my place
And there is no time like the present to drink these draining seconds
But seldom do these words ring true when I'm constantly failing you
Like walls that we just can't break through until we disappear

So tell me now
If this ain't love then how do we get out?
Because I don't know
That's when she said I don't hate you boy
I just want to save you while there's still something left to save
That's when I told her I love you girl
But I'm not the answer to the questions that you still have

But the day pressed on like crushing weights
For no man does it ever wait
Like memories of dying days
That deafen us like hurricanes
Bathed in flames we held the brand
Uncurled the fingers in your hand
Pressed into the flesh like sand
Now do you understand?

So tell me now
If this ain't love then how do we get out?
Because I don't know
That's when she said I don't hate you boy
I just want to save you while there's still something left to save
That's when I told her I love you girl
But I'm not the answer to the questions that you still have

1000 miles away
There's nothing left to say
But so much left that I don't know
We never had a choice
This world is too much noise
It takes me under
It takes me under once again
I don't hate you
I don't hate you

So tell me now
If this ain't love then how do we get out?
Because I don't know
That's when she said I don't hate you boy
I just want to save you while there's still something left to save
That's when I told her I love you girl
But I'm not the answer to the questions that you still have

I don't hate you
I don't hate you, no

Monday, September 28, 2009

Book Pick

Bought this yesterday, following a fascinating series of negative then positive connections with others. I think it will be groundbreakingly applicable to the lives we lead. Check it out.

My Yogi Tea Reminds Me...

"You can make your world prosperous and
happy by being you."
-Yogi Bhajan

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Check Out This Story

I just found the coolest story online. The Writer and the Witch by Robin Sloan is the kind of story I love, and lots of you will too.

Plus it's a little bit magical - just in time for Autumn.

Lots of strong power floating through these equinoctial days.

Monday, September 21, 2009

could you please not give up on me?

I've depended heavily on you for years, and I am struggling right now.

I need to believe that things mean something and that the future will be better. Even if it is a long time away, at least it is something to work towards.

Even if it is only illusion, I need that illusion to protect me.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

11:11 pm

“Passion was Some Function of Time” -Dean Paschal, Moriya

I wake in the morning from difficult dreams, hazy and nonsensical. A tall Asian man kissed me. Fancy cakes carved into the shapes of boats and covered with elaborate pastel fondant icings were devoured beside a river. My family fussed over details of some celebration, or perhaps it was a departure.

I come conscious to a cold bed, empty of your form. For a few horrible fractions of a second, I don’t know where I am or when or who. It is a lost feeling, floating unfocused, the blankness of an EtchaSketch right after shaking.

I spy you through the window, sipping morning coffee on the patio. By the time, I make it to the kitchen, you are there. You nuzzle against me, your arms a warm comfort of strength. Your hands seek my shoulders, rubbing gently and I relax, trying to let the sadness that has folded itself around me ebb away into the fresh morning air.

I turn and wrap myself around you, pressing my nose into your neck and inhaling the comfort of your scent. And then it all goes wrong.

“I didn’t know where you were when I woke up and I felt sad.” I offer the words simply, with the faith of a child holding up a broken toy. You will know how to fix it. You know how to make everything better.

Except you don’t. You push away from me and leave the kitchen. From that point, the rest of the day is a haze of pain and fighting. I can’t report anything accurately. I don’t know what is real and what is only my perception. I simply know the agony. The pain hammers me from inside until I want to actually drop to my knees. I consider trying to turn myself inside out, somehow peeling it away and escaping. I think of running, but where would I go? How can I outrun what I carry inside?

This is all I know. Somehow, to you, everything is my fault. I am too critical. I am too unstable. I do not trust you enough. You do not dare to trust me. You fear what I have done in the past, and hold it up before me as a future probability.

With each breath, a jaggedness catches in my ribs. With each breath, I am conscious of how very few choices I actually have, and how very much rides upon making them correctly.

With each breath, that faithful child inside me looks out at you through my eyes, and still hopes that somehow, you will make everything better.

Friday, September 18, 2009


A waft of heat
From the match I
Carry so delicately before me
Pushes up against my face
Despite my careful attention,
The faith I grab at a second’s notice,
The match burns out
Just before I reach the candle
And I wonder what that means

One time I threw away a
Match blown out to blackened char
And turned around to find my kitchen
Trashcan on fire
Flames licking upward
Where I thought everything was cold

I suppose what I want
More than anything
Is to feel loved without end
To coax one smoldering ember
Back into a candle’s flame of warmth
Without carelessly burning everything down

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Get Your Copy Now!

Michelle Moran discusses and signs her latest novel - Cleopatra's Daughter !!!!

Released on Tuesday, Michelle Moran's third novel is already creating an impressive stir. Fans across the country lined up outside bookstores to buy copies, and also to take their chances with her Literary Treasure Hunt!

Come meet Michelle in person, hear the fascinating research that went into the writing of this young adult historical fiction, and enjoy her generous goodie bags (Roman chocolates, anyone?). I know where I'll be tomorrow night!

Friday, September 18, 2009 at 7:00pm
Vroman's Bookstore 695 E. Colorado Blvd Pasadena, California 91101

"Following the deaths of Marc Antony and Cleopatra, their three children are exiled from Egypt and sent to Rome in chains to be raised in one of the most fascinating (and dangerous) courts of all time. This historical tale, seen through the eyes of their daughter Selene, follows their adaptation to Roman culture, their treatment as both a curiosity and a threat, and Selene's own perilous journey into adulthood. "

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I Love You, Baby

Major disaster averted today! I thought my laptop died. My beautiful little purple plum, the joy of my days. I turned her on at the cafe, all ready for a serious stretch of intense work... and nothing happened.


No screen. No moving lights.

Okay, I thought, stay calm. I'm probably out of battery. Of course, when I packed up before yoga I forgot to grab my power cord. I revised my work plan. I'll just switch Dellilah Plum off and head home to electricity.

I pushed the power button and nothing happened. No turning off, no turning on - just a steady glow. I wrapped her in her bag and we left.

When I arrived, 15 minutes later, I pulled my sweet friend out. She was burning up. It felt like the high grade fever that children will develop in an instant. And she was making a horrible noise, a choking, whirring sound that I had never heard before and assumed was a fan desperately trying to cool her off.

"Oh my God!" Panic tightened its inexorable grip. I immediately began resuscitation efforts, holding her in the cool breeze from my window, fanning her and even blowing into her to try to cool her down before she died completely!

Panicked calls ensued. Staples couldn't help me. I didn't want to wait to talk to Dell. I needed my computer and I needed her now. I easily spend six to eight hours each day using her, pretty much all the time I'm not actively doing parenting/family care, which takes another six to ten hours each day.

She is my work, and my soul. What would I do without her?????

Fortunately, I found a small repair store that answered their phone. Eric talked me through popping out the battery and when that didn't work, I drove her over there, coddled on the back seat, me telling her that everything would be okay.

Just like with kids, by the time Eric was carefully checking her over, Dellilah Plum seemed just fine. Her temperature was normal and she looked great. Eric turned her on and off a few times, checked that Norton was working, and confirmed that she didn't have any viruses.

"So I can just take her home?" I gave a huge sigh of relief, feeling the tiredness that comes after adrenaline.

Walking through the parking lot, I cradled her gently in my arms.

And vowed to back up my files more often.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Missouri Waltz

Below is a video of the Missouri Waltz. My daughters and I loved using our computer to listen to a phongraph album from 1922. Think about it.

Beyond Blame (Defensiveness, Guilt, Innocence, Accusation, Denial and Responsibility)

I love you very much.

Thank you - for everything!

Target Therapy

After yoga today, I stopped by Target for the flimsiest excuse of buying B a red shirt. Surprisingly, they didn’t have any. (I mean, it’s their signature color and all – what gives?)

Shopping often lifts my moods for a couple of reasons. First, it’s SHOPPING. It just rocks by its very nature. I love the stores, the people, the products, getting stuff, picking out stuff, giving stuff to people, spending money frivolously – all of it. Second, it’s productive. When I’m on an errand, I’m actually making life just a little better for my family. Bringing home the comfort and joy.

Here’s what I had in my cart after 10 minutes –
· An end of summer bikini for each girl - to get us through winter trips to the beach.

· The huge carton of whole grain goldfish crackers – to donate to B’s classroom snack pile.

· An on sale T-shirt for B – purple with two butterflies. For $3.48, how can you go wrong?

· An on sale T-shirt for J – white with sparkle rainbow and also a purple skirt because that’s her signature color and they’re not always easy to find. She prefers skorts, but she can wear leggings.

· DVDs of Season 3 of How I Met Your Mother AND Season 2 of The Big Bang Theory.- This was an amazing coup. When I’m stressed, I LOVE to watch absorbing TV shows or movies. Problem is, I’m fairly picky and don’t get engaged by much of what passes for entertainment. So to find two whole seasons of shows I like was like manna falling from heaven. I actually felt my brain relax –ahhh – just by holding them in my hands. They’re even better than therapy –a guaranteed 910 minutes of being able to sit on the couch with Shawn, snuggle, laugh and be taken away from most of my own life, responsibility, and thinking in little 20 minute bursts. Add some alcohol and that is heaven to me. (A great book works the same way, except Shawn and I can’t share it as easily.)

· Dog food – because we need it AGAIN. They eat like horses, not dogs.

· Alright, this is the embarrassing part. I actually bought, yes, choose to hand over hard won money for, Demi Lovato’s new CD because I am hooked on her song “Here We Go Again” and I can’t get it out of my head. I’m ashamed to admit that there is entirely too much Disney Channel going on in our house. I guess after the twentieth or thirtieth time you see a video as you’re going about your own routines, it just slips in when your guard is down. They are masters of the self-promotion, that Disney franchise and it is just relentless.

The other day I completely pissed off my older daughter J by commenting about Demi’s angst throughout the video. “She could totally do without him,” I said. “She just thinks she can’t. But that’s ridiculous. If she spent a few months away from him, she would be strong and happy and look back and say, ‘Good Lord, what was I thinking? I’m so past him now.’”

“Mom, don’t ruin it by talking,” is the response I got.

So much for sharing of our family values. I just hope it sinks in and my daughters don’t think it has to be all dark and stormy and complicated to be a relationship. Because I don’t want them to be pawns of our cultural crush on infatuation. All the more depressing to see that I am pretty indoctrinated myself. Thus I identify with the song. Now I own it.

I did manage to stop myself from buying The Wizards of Waverly Place movie soundtrack that was sitting next to it on the shelf. Because I am almost 41, not 12. Although I do like that catchy title track. Fortunately, a calm voice of reason came to my rescue and guided me gently away.

20 minutes, $125, and some cool stuff – about the same expense as therapy and with just about as good a result. Maybe even better. Because you can’t wear talk to the beach in January.

Many Things to be Happy About

When I last left you, I was in the throes of some pretty bad feelings. Depression, anxiety, despair – that flavor of yucky. But I also was experienced enough to know that I needed to just keep moving on and I could prompt a happier state of mind.

Mercifully, my friend called me and asked me to meet her for coffee and tutoring. I’m helping her two or three times a week with her English 015 class – a joy for me, agony for her, but we love working together. Nothing like interaction with others to get me out of my fixation with my own life.

By the time I was in my car, I was writing this post in my head. Originally, it was called Two Things To Be Happy About. Then I kept noticing more and more. So here goes:

1. My father came through his surgery just fine and is recovering nicely. Thank God.

2. My toes are painted silver. I just did my fingernails in bronze. Together, I’m elemental.

3. It feels good to be reliable for my friend. She’s counting on me to mentor her through this class that just overwhelms her. Every time I give to her – my time, my energy – I get just as much back in return through the joy of our friendship and being able to share our lives. She loves me just right – enough to listen with care to any feelings I want to vent, but still give me the firm, sensible, advice of a true friend. Then I listen to her vent about her troubles. Yesterday, her eyes filled with tears as she said, “I was so glad when I called and you were available. It just felt like such a hard day.”

Sitting in the cool afternoon patio, sipping our drinks and sharing was a true blessing. And we kick ass at writing paragraphs together!

4. My husband and I are both making successful efforts at getting along and treating each other with love and consideration.

5. My daughters came home with their school portraits, and they both look gorgeous!

6. The weather was extraordinary yesterday, sunny but cool with a breeze. After days of 110 degree oppression, it felt good enough to eat.

7. I got to sleep more easily and logged a good seven hours of rejuvenation.

So there you go. I still have my eyes open and I’m noticing more and more.

Monday, September 14, 2009


I am not, by nature, a patient person.

People often mistake me for one, because I am kind, and I have taught myself to pause and breathe.

But I am not.

There is nothing I hate more than wanting things to be different and knowing that it is simply a matter... of... time...

That all I can do... is... wait...

... and hope...
...and wait... some more...
to see what will happen next.

And then after that.

(Why do I believe anything that anyone ever says? Why do I believe things that other people swear are so when I can see they're not? Why do I let myself have opinions about it at all?)

Friday, September 11, 2009

From the Mouth of Babes

Love and Time is
A big, winding path
Through a forest
With a flowing creek
And wildflowers as you go
When you leave the forest
You will have the answer
To a question
You wanted
To know

Words spoken extemporaneously by my extremely wise younger daughter
as she plays Yoga Class with her friends.
(I guess this is my family's version of playing school?)
This is her amazing version of a teacher's closing remarks.


"When you are on your path, and it is truly your path, doors will open for you
where there were no doors for someone else."
- Joseph Campbell

A Request for Blessings

Right now my father is in surgery, being mended of his physical ills.

Right now, I sit with pain so intense I believe my heart would break

...if it had not broken long ago.

Right now I tell myself, "Breathe, Everything will be okay. Find the positive thread. Find the healing path."

I wash the pain out of my heart and replace it with love, and hope, and gladness for new possibilities.

No matter how threatened or empty I may feel, change brings possibility. The flow of life's patterns do not diminish me; they do not leave me behind, forgotten and unloved. Rather, they open new and exciting doors to new possibilities.

Please, can we move past the pain and the illness, in the same way that my breath is even now soothing my aching heart? Please, mend the bridges, write the letters, offer that open, forgiving hand to someone in need next to you.

Focus on the healing and the love that connects us.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

List of Things To Do

1. Take dinner, pie and full attention and daughterly devotion to parents' house tonight and comfort father who is having surgery tomorrow to remove early-stage (and hopefully benign) bladder cancer.

2. Sit with younger daughter and proctor her through the five Lang Arts practice tests she has missed in class over the last three days, thereby helping her to feel successful and relaxed about returning to school.

3. Sit with older daughter and supervise progress towards a long-ass brochure project about Missouri to include various hand-drawn pictures of state seal, bird, tree, and other arcana. (Did you know the show-me state has a state fish, state dinosaur, state horse, state amphibian, and state invertebrate among other things?)

4. Write brilliant and flattering review for friend who has book launching next week - and post in appropriate places. (Hmm - consider having text made into T-shirt for more publicity??)

5. Try not to brood over fact that kidney recipient is out-of-sorts with me as I have not yet offered up kidney in dramatically life-improving surgery for her, crap extremely painful and I can't drive for six weeks surgery for me.

6. Try not to brood over fact that I still have not lost the 30 pounds I want to lose before I feel comfortable undergoing surgery.

7. Continue food diary and restricting food intake. Try not to eat when stressed. HA!

8. Begin walking daughters to school daily. It's exactly one mile and by leaving 10 minutes earlier, they would get benefit of fresh-morning-air exercise and I can add two mile walk to my daily routine. Plus we can have more bonding.

9. Continue yoga as often as possible. Classes are great but I have to be careful not to go to classes instead of spending those precious, fleeting, daytime, alone hours working.

10. Bill clients for work completed in August, thus making payment ever so much more likely.

11. Check to be sure all household bills for September have been paid and all accounts are in good standing.

12. Egad! Prepare quarterly tax payment and put in mail ASAP! (Bye, money. It was nice knowing you.)

13. Arrange to have flowers delivered to elderly aunt whose birthday was on Tuesday.

14. Call other elderly aunt to see how her chemotherapy is going.

15. Call sister-in-law on birthday and express regrets and sympathy that she'll be spending the day at a funeral for a close friend. (At least, I ordered a gift and it should be delivered today!)

16. Put gifts for other friend in mail, as I missed lunch with her.

17. Reschedule tutoring of close friend from this evening to this weekend.

18. Drop off flowers, cake, card or at least call and congratulate other friend on her first week back at work.

19. Decide on day to collect urine for 24 hours straight. Then stay at home and do that (while also writing.)

20. Take urine to hospital the following day, wait for an hour to let them draw blood, wait for another bit to have appointment with transplant coordinator.

21. Take transplant coordinator the erroneous bill for one of the tests and have it taken out of my name.

22. Call my health insurance member services to find out if they will drop my coverage for donating my kidney. (Good to ask ahead of time.)

23. Write about 20 proposals and make about 20 phone calls to funders and send about 5 official emails to catch up with workload.

24. Email friend who is attempting to be novelist after unexpectedly losing his job this spring and failing to become a successful grant writer and tell him that his first chapters were more compelling than I found them to be.

25. Submit the stories that are collecting on my hard drive.

26. Research submission markets for those stories.

27. Write final project for class - due in 10 days. Try to finish promising story begun three years ago.

28. Work on Family Journal. Attempt to bring entries up to date and paste in photos/memorabilia collected in last three months. (I love the Family Journal, but I seem to be always one to two months behind.)

29. Spend all day tomorrow at hospital with mother and father, offering encouragement about surgery.

30. Book reservations for trip to see niece for first time, hopefully in October.

31. Maintain spiritual balance, compassion, sense of humor, and equanimity.

32. Breathe and enjoy.

What I Try to Live By

'Be kind because everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.' - Plato.

Plans Change

I was supposed to be at lunch with my friend. A chance to catch up, chat about her book that's coming out next week - as exciting as a birth! I have birthday presents to give her.

Instead, the school called. Whenever I see that name come up on my cell screen, I know it's not going to be good news. Bump-thump, bump-thump, goes my heart. Sure enough, my little one's still ill and I'll have to go pick her up. Even though her fever's gone, she just doesn't have her energy level up yet.

Driving home in the car, I find out that she also stressed out when faced with a practice Language Arts test. "I think I'm not good at school anymore!" she confesses in a low voice. Only in third grade, and the pressure to excel on the class, school, district and state level tests is so intense that she is in tears over her perceived failure. She thinks she forgot how to learn in her two days of being home sick.

"Honey," I remind her, "it's just a test. You'll have lots of chances to practice and learn. They make them hard on purpose. But I guarantee, you're one of the top students; you're doing just fine."

She takes a deep breath and relaxes, her face opening into a small smile of reassurance.

"I bet it just seemed hard because you're still tired from being sick. Let's go home and rest."

And there you go. My lunch plans become taking-care-of-offspring plans. Same thing happened yesterday. It's all just part of the package, the deal I signed up for. Once again, I send up a fervent prayer of thanksgiving that I am blessed with such flexible work and proximity to my children's school. I'll be able to continue on with the next project on my list.

Too bad about the lunch. Indian food would have been nice.

But at least we can watch Charlie and Lola together at 11:30.

Today's Writing Quote - Yeats

"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric,
but of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry. "
- William Butler Yeats, "Anima Hominis" Essays (1924)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Borderline Personality Disorder

So I was reading an article in this week's LA Times, and my intuition alert started going off big-time. Bingo! Bingo! Bingo!

"What?" I asked myself, a bit annoyed. "This doesn't apply to me or anyone."

Still, I couldn't shake that nagging sense that this might mean something I should pay attention to. I do have a bit of an interest in mental illnesses and their effects on people's lives and interpersonal relationships.

Who knows? Maybe this is research I'll need for a story some day. Or maybe it's something helpful to you, and that's why I was moved to post it here, where I can always find it again.


Borderline personality disorder often can be difficult to distinguish from bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety.

But the essential feature of BPD is a pattern of unstable personal relationships, self-image and emotions and impulsivity.

Traits (at least five of which must be present for a diagnosis) include:

* Efforts to avoid abandonment * Unstable, intense interpersonal relationships * Identity disturbance * Impulsivity * Suicidality * Mood instability * Chronic emptiness * Inappropriate, intense anger * Paranoid ideation or dissociation -- Shari Roan

Source: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, American Psychiatric Assn.

Copyright © 2009, The Los Angeles Times

For help in coping with BPD, check this article and resources through NAMI.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Speaking of Cups...

"We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled.
The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out."
– Ray Bradbury

Monday, September 7, 2009


You know you're really into this writing stuff when you're off on a fabulous three day break in San Diego and you're thinking how you can't wait to set your laptop up next to the pool...

and it could not be more gorgeous here.

Sun, a breeze wafting through the palms, water splashing and kids laughing while I look over the boats in the marina and string my words together...

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Universe Suggests

If you're still alive
My regrets are few
If my life is mine
What shouldn't I do?
I get wherever I'm going
I get whatever I need
While my blood's still flowing
And my heart still beats...
Beating like a hammer
Beating like a hammer

Thursday, September 3, 2009

This One Is Mine

This One is Mine by Maria Semple is, simply put, the most engaging novel I have ever read. The prose sparkles; the plot surges forward from page one.

With its compelling depiction of class intersections and the compromises people make to achieve their own comfort, This One is Mine is part romance, part cautionary tale, and part tribute to the sunny, unique world of Los Angeles and its supporting canyons.

The characters are so fully drawn and compelling that I was halfway through the book before I realized that a main character shares a name with an extremely unpleasant colleague of mine. The character is such a completely separate person that I didn’t even make any real-life connections. The world of the book IS real life while you’re reading.

Violet, the main character, struggles to find her new identity after leaving her TV writing job for the less-defined challenges of being an at-home mother and supportive wife. Her husband balances the increasing strain of his music executive career against the fraying of his marriage. His sister, Sally, deals with not one, but two, life-threatening illnesses while searching for her Mr. Right and the social status she presumes he’ll bring with him. The other characters interact with them in fascinating trajectories along their own lives.

In a book that is completely readable and a gripping page turner, Semple deals with some surprisingly grim subjects: diabetes, infidelity, poverty, drug addiction, social climbing, Asperger’s syndrome and abortion. Yet, despite their many flaws, or perhaps because of them, the characters are likable, believable, and, most of all, forgivable.

This is a book that must be experienced. Believe me, purchasing This One is Mine and immersing yourself into Semple’s amazing story will be the best thing you’ve done this year.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Today's Quote - Richard Bach

A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit.
-Richard Bach

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Writer's Digest - September 2009

Today I'm working in the cafe of my local Barnes & Noble. After sufficient amounts of diligent application, I stopped for a snack. From the news rack behind my table, Writer's Digest caught my eye.

I'm glad I decided to flip through this month's issue, and I highly recommend that you do too.

Featured are articles about how to write a query letter, the details of contracts, and descriptions and contact info for 24 agents who are actively seeking new authors. That's gold right there, baby.

And if you don't have an agent yet, yes, you probably should.

At least grab the magazine, and send out a few queries. What do you have to lose? Think of them as the slightly alien, vaguely aggressive salespeople who protect the purity of your art by dealing with the commerce aspects of publishing. If you ever hope to make money or a living from your writing that is.

If you don't care, then by all means, continue to devote yourself only to your self-determined message and your own Musings.

There's also a set of very useful articles about writing Memoir. My own is a few years down the road, I think, but it won't hurt to set the magazine aside and refer to it then.

I was in a friend's Memoir manuscript once, and the result shocked me. It was like being erased. The character who showed up in my place was so completely unlike me that I wasn't sure whether my friend was trying to be protective, trying to be insulting, or, the most depressing possibility, simply had never really known me as a person at all.

So I can't complain too much if I don't agree with the portrayal. At least no one will ever recognize me!!

And I'd have to say that this month's WD is a resounding success. If their goal is to write content so compelling that a reader wants to keep reading, well, they hooked me from the headlines. One more copy sold - tough economy be damned. I'll be taking my September friend home.

And reflecting on which of the agents has the most warm and friendly-sounding name.