Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Happy New Year & Last Minute 2014 Post!!!

Hello, my Chickens!!!

It's been many-many moons, I *know,* but rest assured that you've been in my thoughts the whole time. And thank you for checking in!!! You are very sweet, and the best of the best.

My most recent publishing news is that my flash essay, "Nobody Loves You, Nobody Cares: Why Your Unpublished Memoir Should Stay That Way" has been published on Intellectual Refuge, you can read it here: http://www.intellectualrefuge.com/vol7/your-memoir

My beloved sweetie-catgirl face, Kiki, passed away on April 6, 2014 from stomach cancer and this event destroyed my world. She was almost 19, I'd had her for 12 years, and we were mates to the soul.

I was in quite a dark place for many months afterward so was not writing, or thinking of writing, or caring about writing, and was radio silent on many fronts, including this blog. I then had the impromptu chance for a trip to San Francisco with the lovely & talented Patti Vonne, my best friend from high school who is an accomplished actress and Austin-based rock star (http://www.patriciavonne.com/):

This trip was a lovely break from my sadness/daily routine after Kiki's passing, and it was great to see Patti again in person for the first time in 8 (!!) years. I was born in the San Francisco area, so Patti kindly indulged my desire to dine at Fisherman's Grotto, my parents' old hangout:

  We had a lovely time, it was such a great trip!

Before Kiki's illness, I had already planned my trip to the first annual Walker Percy Weekend, a literary festival in St. Francisville, LA, June 6-8, 2014. It was good to see family in the area and experience the festival, meeting folks from all over who shared a love for Percy's work. And, of course to share the incredible food provided by Chef Cody Caroll of Hot Tails restaurant! They're doing it again this year, you should check it out: http://www.countryroadsmagazine.com/miscellaneous/walker-percy-festival

There were scholarly discussions of the themes of Percy's work, held in the old town hall by panels of  LSU professors, and tours of the nearby Entergy nuclear plant and Angola prison (sites in Percy's books; I went to Angola), and a whiskey porch tour, where various historical houses hosted a Percy-approved whiskey cocktail on their porch, and attendants mingled before yet another feast in the center park. I highly recommend this literary conference, even if you haven't read a word of Percy's work (but, regardless, you should TOTALLY read The Moviegoer): the fantastic food and kind folks are too good to pass up, just GO.

I attended the 4-day Writers Police Academy in Greensboro, NC, in early-September (*awesome*), then in mid-October went to San Juan, Puerto Rico, for the first time in far too many years to visit family:

I had a wonderful time in the Caribbean, but unfortunately the nerve root compression issue that first reared its head during my writer's conference in North Carolina increased in severity upon my return to Seattle, and I experienced buzzing/tingling/paralysis of my arms  4 x a week. A visit to a neurologist explained nothing, just called for an MRI which I can't afford. Physical Therapy/Posture Correction has helped a *bit,* but am still experiencing frequent paresthesia episodes despite my best efforts. So, it seems an MRI is in order whether I want/can afford it or not, and I assume will lead to ever more costly procedures after that.

In short: I haven't been writing much these past months.

I am volunteering with the local Humane Society, and fostering cats, and reading as much as I can (140 books this year, with the Goodreads challenge). It has been good to have a cat around the house again, and good to luxuriate in reading, but I know that decisions soon need to be made: a cat must be adopted at some point, and an avid reader must turn to writing.

I am on the verge. I know that I'm a writer, to the bone I am a writer, but I just can't produce words at the moment. It's not due to a lack of ideas, or a lack of needed revisions to existing work. There is work to be done, oh BOY do I know there's work to be done. I, however, currently lack the desire? strength? will? to do it. My cat is dead, my arms seize up at random, I am awash in self-pity and am using these arguably valid excuses to keep myself from writing. I am not a good patient, and am *barely* a decent writer, so this situation does not bode well.

In any event, all of this is why I haven't blogged for a while; it's messy, no?? I'm proud of my Intellectual Refuge publication (http://www.intellectualrefuge.com/vol7/your-memoir), but know that I need to work on the next piece; am only as good as the next piece.

But my goodness--my darling chickens!!! You did not tune in to hear of all this silliness. You want to know that I am okay, and that I'm writing, and these things are indeed true but I do not know when I will have another published work for you to enjoy, but you will be the first to hear, *here* on this blog, which I will attend to in future better than I have in 2014.

Thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU for your continued interest and support, it means a great deal. Blessings and facilitations, --P

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