Nine Cent Girl is 8!!

Love a party!?!? Well, you’re in luck, because I have an epic reason to celebrate, for this month Nine Cent Girl turns 8! Who would have thought I’d have this much to write, keeping a weekly blog going week after week after week? Hahaha, I hear what you’re thinking, you all do! Let’s celebrate!

birthday girl

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Vote

One of Vermont’s biggest strengths, in my view, is that it’s a place of tradition and a place of change: from legendary apple pies to snappy hard cider. A place with morals that allow for an expanse on the definition: Christian ministers perform same-sex marriage here. A state with an elected Republican Governor, Democratic Senators and Independents sprinkled throughout. People vote for people here, not party. People listen to debates or town hall meetings or their neighbors to get a full picture of the candidates. Political advertisements are a rarity, because  Vermonters aren’t dazzled by sound bites. Maybe you feel the same about your community?

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birthday wishes

What makes creativity happen for you? That thing that gets you to a place where beyond fades in opaque light, just light, that when brush hits canvas or clay first forms or beads reorder in a new order or beats just tap themselves out or the pencil flies across the page, and beyond this spark of creation lays nothing you care for, like the crumpled sheets pushed aside in the night so you now lay exposed under the hot light of imagination. Consumed. You write. You don’t give a hoot about where you’ll end up on the continuum you just have to keep on moving toward that something. You make space for it, like every Thursday night you sit while the stream streams, and all that other stuff fades, the very stuff that might have made you cry or driven you crazy or made you cold just melts like July does on your back deck. And if you don’t write or paint or drum or dance or let yourself enter that space, then, well then something awful happens and you collapse, maybe you just shout or find yourself watching the evening commentary show that has replaced actual news, and you then, without much provocation, are on Twitter, scrolling through hundreds of characters issued by people who can’t talk to each other only at each other. You start to obsess.

highway at night

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Detox-ober

From the vineyards of Cassis in Provence, France, to wineries of Santa Barbara, California, I tasted more fabulous rosé this summer than a Master Sommelier. Bottle after bottle, with an ocean or mountain or city view, shared with friends and family well into the night. I never regret those glasses raised in laughter and love.

But traveling meant there were plenty of meals on the go. Days when chips and m&m’s were lunch or maybe a second lunch. Eating in airports or roadsides where the selection wasn’t a healthy one. There were plenty of fabulous restaurant dinners too. Extraordinary plates of homemade pasta and fresh breads, local fish or eggs, burgers on the grill, corn with butter and peaches over ice cream. Oh, and pies, custards, and tarts. (I was in France, after all). Food highlighted my days, without regard to calories or consequence; I often dined quite splendidly, as evidenced by my scale.

Detox-ober came in the nick of time. Clothes ill-fitting, energy level flatlining, and little desire to run up any of the hills my crazy life demands me to surmount; acting like it was a breeze to keep hiking when in actuality walking through the motions winded me. I owed myself a breather, so, as I do every fall when I find myself in this exact same transitional place from summer fun back to work, I closed the liquor cabinet, stopped eating out, and focused on revitalizing the core of me.

Autumn colors in a maple tree

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the little stuff

Without fail, on certain days, I find myself measuring myself against the giants, those who trod across uncertain landscapes firmly and with certainty, ease. I know I shouldn’t, but it has always been my cross, to want more. I’m not sure I can blame my parents for this one, maybe it was their post-depression dreams feed to me with all they believed possible, men reaching for the moon, a culture breaking sexual taboos and racial barriers, and seeing a world rebuild after war. Today I attempt to content myself by focusing on the little stuff. Finding the joy that nature brings. Taking a moment to look up at the blue or remembering to look down, to really see what’s here and now.

close up of a bare branch

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he said, she said, but who really cares?

  • The senators, Jeff Flake of Arizona and Susan Collins of Maine, did not say that they would vote to confirm Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. But both made positive remarks.
  • Senator Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat who is facing a difficult re-election race and had been undecided, said she would vote against the confirmation. (New York Times)
Well readers, here we go. Abuse got political. How many of you survivors our there have yet to out your abuser? Or worse yet, how many of you have, to only hear you are mistaken? Mis-remembering? Wrong in some sense or another? Take your suffering and bear it. Like the cross.  Just silence yourself, would you now! There is no end to this type of thinking. No one really wants to hear your story. No one wants to hear about your suicidal thoughts or your panic attacks. Deal, please, they say. So you are silenced. End of story. Women all over are nodding their heads. And once again, we all nod. Just be quiet. Face it. You asked for it. He was young. He was drunk. He was …. blah blah blah. Regardless, your story goes like still water under the bridge. Quietly.
Lake Champlain from Mt Philo, Vermont

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Crazy String, Chapter 3

Chapter 3 you say? Wait, what? Thought I’d be weighing in on the Christine Blasey Ford allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, what she revealed to the Senate Judiciary Committee and his indignant rage over even being asked or Trump’s claim that the whole story is invented by the con-artist Democrats? That circus? Nope. Couldn’t do it tonight. 

Thought I’d return to a world I love, where complex characters are round and full, and I really care about their trials and joys. Don’t worry. I will not shy away from my civic responsibilities for long, I just need to dip into my own internal drama, and take a break from the one playing out in Washington. It’s not that I’m not sympathetic to Ms. Ford either. My heart breaks for all survivors. I just am also thinking about Dale’s mom tonight. Who’s Dale you ask? What’s happened to his mom? Chapter 3 starts to really heat up this story line. Wait, you haven’t read any of my novel yet?

Missed Chapter One which was posted on June 28th? Or Chapter Two posted on July 5th? Well, catch the wave of excitement for this yet-to-be-published novel of mine, Crazy String, and straight away read those chapters. The funny part is that if Crazy String had gotten published by that first editor who contracted the novel to her agency for a year, but then dropped me when the contract ended, I would never have crawled into a non-writing hole, and long desperate months later emerged as Nine Cent Girl. My blogger self would never have been born! And oh, I love her.

Chapter 3 is a tease, I mean really, this chapter sets up plenty of questions, but answers are miles ahead. Please let me know what you are dying to find out about. I promise to let you know when the entirety of Crazy String hits the shelves as I’m shopping the manuscript around once again.

novel writing

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