Remember Savasana

Today is a Sunday with no plans. Nowhere to be. At some point I’ll need to venture to the grocery store for lunch fixin’s for the week. That will take maybe thirty minutes. I did a little laundry. Made eggs for my daughter and her friend. Straightened up a bit. Putzed. Now I’ll write a few letters. Read. Think about things. Wander into the backyard and marvel at the plants and trees. My sweetheart is a good gardener. Two of my favorite TV characters when I was little were Farmer Green Jeans from Captain Kangaroo and the Professor from Gilligan’s Island….

She’s On To Us (For my students)

She’s On To Us (for my students) “She’s on to us.” The classroom of high schoolers shifted uneasily in their seats. Not enough so you would notice, or anyone would notice just casually walking by the open classroom door. In fact, anyone walking by would think Mrs. Wanket was a teacher who knew her stuff better than most. She wasn’t exciting exactly, but she didn’t put you to sleep instantly. The students were amused by her daily attempts to make learning fun. It wasn’t always fun but the attempts were amusing. This was a teacher who read stories aloud in funny accents…

5 Random Thoughts I Had When I Wrote THE ARROW (The Children of Brigid Trilogy, Book One)

I am surrounded by goddesses. I hand wrote the first chapter while on a retreat with a group of twelfth grade girls from one of the schools where I used to work. These students were powerfully intelligent, capable, kind, and just so cool. The retreat center was on the banks of Lake Tahoe, a really gorgeous location. As the sun was setting the first night, I watched the water and snow-covered mountains turn pink then purple. I was surrounded by young women who were set to take over the world and make it a place that made more sense, despite…

A Great Yes: Geminid Press

When I was in grade school, I took the short bus once a week to a special day class for gifted children. The program was called MGM for Mentally Gifted Minors, and our MGM teacher was an evangelical woman named Mrs. Sturtevant who really hated my ideas. My nine-year-old Mentally Gifted Minor brain intuited the deliciously thin ice Mrs. Sturtevant’s sense of the appropriate skated upon. I broke through it during our art unit when we fashioned paper mache masks to go with creative stories we had written. The other children gooped strips of newspaper and flour glue into the…

Goddess University: Athena in the Workplace

Makeover stories are the best, especially during the Back-to-School season. Back-to-School has always been a high holy season for me. Seventeen magazine’s August issue was a kind of bible to me in the eighties. The message was that you could reinvent yourself from the inside out for the new school year. Everything was possible. Clean slates were a real and figurative thing. The movies Working Girl with Melanie Griffith and Sigourney Weaver and Legally Blonde with Reese Witherspoon and Selma Blair embody the rigorous hope that we can change reality through force of will. In both movies, intelligent women step…

THE ARROW Playlist

In my urban paranormal fantasy THE ARROW, research scientist and reluctant goddess Fynn Kildare finally gets her man. That man happens to be rock star Komo, the son of Dionysus, the love of her life since they were children together in her family’s commune Brigid’s Keep. When a local pharmaceutical company run by witches and demons threatens to unleash a catastrophic virus, Fynn must decide between Komo’s drug-fueled ecstatic life on the road or  her family’s work to fight to save humanity. Enter Eli, a surfer biker half-demon who, though bred to kill Fynn instead falls madly in love with her. We’re talking an epic goddess/demon/god love triangle, a rock…

Goddess University: Gemma Teller

If you have not yet watched the F/X series Sons of Anarchy all the way through to the last, then stop reading this post. SPOILER ALERT. The entire thing is on Netflix right now. Watch it. Return in a week. Gemma Teller is the matriarch of the Sons of Anarchy motorcycle “club”, the mother of the main character Jax. She resembles the Hindu goddess Kali in her destructive power. Also like Kali, she means to destroy only harmful people, yet ends up destroying much more. Katey Sagal, real-life wife of the series creator and writer Kurt Sutter, plays Gemma Teller….

You Write What’s Real: The Secret Lives of Young Adults

Last December I visited an English class at a continuation high school. The students had read and discussed  my YA novel HOW TO BE MANLY  (Giant Squid Books) and the plan was for me to give a talk and answer their questions. I came bearing a big pink box of donuts (if you read the book you’ll know why). As I put a donut on every desk, one girl jumped from her seat, unable to wait for my presentation to begin to share her thoughts. “I like you,” she said. “Because you write what’s real.”  Her classmates nodded in agreement, glad that she broke…

Goddess University: Furiosa

Okay, so Furiosa isn’t a goddess, she’s a character in Mad Max: Fury Road. She doesn’t even have magical powers or supernatural forces of any kind. She looks like Charlize Theron, so she has that going for her, but being beautiful is not exactly an asset in her world. I read Cindy Fazzi’s film review of Mad Max: Fury Road that touches on the feminist themes at work in this film. In fact, I read the review on the way home from seeing the film and it was such a joy to see that someone else understood the same things I…

Notebooks

On the way to the gym this morning, I heard this story on NPR  in which Eric Weiner reported that Moleskine’s business is booming, and research shows that  all the cool kids write in notebooks now. I was fascinated but also horrified by this story. Listening to an interview with a guy who revealed that he wrote in notebooks like it was a new idea made me feel  sort of the way I did when the lady who wrote Freedom Writers came to town and everyone at the school where I worked got very excited about her revolutionary teaching technique of having her students write in journals.  My…