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November 25

I’ve had readers ask me why I haven’t written Day 365.  It didn’t begin as intentional – I didn’t mean to skip the last day.  I wasn’t ignoring it.  In a way, I wasn’t thinking about it at all.  But then I realized the obligation of writing a daily blog was a kind of practice in meditation – I have been focusing on writing like I focus on meditative breathing; and since I am a beginner at meditation – liable for straying from focus – I would make it a practice to return to the breath, so to speak, to get back on track.  It has been quite a commitment to open myself up to this discovery, or discoveries, that I have hoped would bring me to a higher level of consciousness and enlightenment.

When I realized the analogy of meditation, while it’s equally important to commit to meditation on a daily basis, I also realized that to a Buddhist, days melt together into an infinite stretch.  What is time, anyway?  It’s a measurement man had created for himself – really for farming purposes.  I’m not suggesting there’s no purpose or ceremony in an individual day, but, rather, each day is like a wave on an ocean.  We don’t always look out to the sea and see every single wave that rises, crests and falls.  But those waves are out there, they matter, they keep the rhythm of the ocean alive, they are constant and they follow a larger source and rhythm that we don’t even see.  Most of us don’t even feel it, which is sad.  But, I do.  Feel the source (not see every wave!).  And, thus, are my days – 344, 362, 365, whatever.  It doesn’t really matter.  My journey began long before the blog and my evolution continues to excelerate well past that missed day.

I was going to go back and write it, but when I was collecting the written entries to work this blog into a book project I’m hoping to get published, I realized I had accidentally skipped a day.  So, I’m actually two days short.

But, kind reader, don’t be dismayed that I have skipped or missed two days.  I am not dismayed, myself.  Those blanks, too, have served their purpose in my story.

If there must be some kind of closure to the 365 Days Until Love blog, however, let it be this…

Jane Goodall once wrote:
I have found that to love and to be loved is the most empowering and exhilirating of all human emotions.

And that applies to love in all of its manifestations.

John Denver wrote a song (perfomed with opera’s legendary tenor Placido Domingo) called Perhaps Love.  I write the lyrics below (without permission):

(Placido Domingo)
Perhaps love is like a resting place
A shelter from the storm
It exists to give you comfort
It is there to keep you warm
And in those times of trouble
When you are most alone
The memory of love will bring you home

Perhaps love is like a window
Perhaps an open door
It invites you to come closer
It wants to show you more
And even if you lose yourself
And don’t know what to do
The memory of love will see you through

(John Denver)

(Placido Domingo)
Oh, Love to some is like a cloud
To some as strong as steel

(John Denver)
For some a way of living
For some a way to feel

(Placido Domingo)
And some say love is holding on
And some say letting go
And some say love is everything
And some say they don’t know

(John starts joined by Placido)
Perhaps love is like the ocean
Full of conflict, full of pain
Like a fire when it’s cold outside
Thunder when it rains
If I should live forever
And all my dreams come true
My memories of love will be of you

(Placido Domingo)
And some say love is holding on
And some say letting go

(John Denver)
And some say love is everything
Some say they don’t know

(John starts joined by Placido)
Perhaps love is like the ocean
Full of conflict, full of pain
Like a fire when it’s cold outside
Or thunder when it rains
If I should live forever
And all my dreams come true
My memories of love will be of you

When Denver wrote the song he was thinking about all the ways he experienced love.  He thought about what all people must think of love, and the song came to him effortlessly.  A turning point for him, as an artist and musician, happened when he listened to Domingo sing the song with him in a live concert.  Denver was deeply impressed by the way Domingo sang his lyrics, which, thus, changed the way Denver sang his own songs from there on.  He had said, “when Placido sang the word steel, you felt steel.  When he sang the word cloud, you felt a cloud.”

And that is how I consider my work, now, moving forward, as an artist and as a humble woman – daughter, sister, friend, lover – to say what I mean and mean what I say, to feel and express myself deeply and fully, and to have strength in my love and loving.  And this I mean for love in all of its beautiful manifestations.

Blessings.

L.A.J.

 

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Wednesday, September 3

I got an email from my former French boyfriend.  Well, on Facebook.  It was sweet.  And it made me feel bad for avoiding his last two emails.  On Facebook.  I don’t know.  I’m bad about Facebook.  I forget to answer emails there.  I’m not sure if I should respond when people write on my wall.  I drink and Facebook.  I’m not the most diligent or responsible Facebooker. 

But, then again, I got a message like this one in my inbox which made me love Facebook:
Hello ! just a little kiss from Paris. I wouldn’t mind talk to you a little. hopefully soon
xoxo

Now, what girl wouldn’t swoon from such a message in her inbox?  The one thing I will give this man, my former French boyfriend, is that he knows how to do romance.  When I last visited him in Paris, ten years ago, I would wake up at his father’s apartment in the Montmartre (he had a couple of fabulous apartments) and Jean would have a fresh pastry, French press coffee and a USA Today on the old, wooden table in the kitchen, waiting for me.  He’d kiss me on the forehead and I’d wonder when he had left and for how long.  He’d wake early and go to the same patisserie on the block.  There were usually some flowers on the table for me, too.

His previous email, that was sent about a month ago, asked me when I was planning to return to Europe.  Ah, Europe.  Let’s see.  I have no vacation time to use.  I can’t afford to take leave without pay.  Um.  That would be never.  Or at least not until I win the lottery.  I’m glad I frivolously traveled in my twenties.  Because I practically live paycheck to paycheck now, which is ironic.  And I just found out today my rent is going up.  My limited funds seem to be flying out the windows.

Not ideal.  Not ideal, at all.  I made a list of where to cut spending.  I am worried about paying for my heating bills this winter.  They were pretty bad last year and will probably be worse this time around.

I worry.  I worry about taxes going up.  I worry about gas prices continuing to skyrocket.  I spend a lot of my time worrying. 

I know it doesn’t help to worry.  But it’s feeds the woe that makes me feel like it’s impossible for me to do this all on my own.  I remind myself how much easier it would be if I just married someone and got it over with.  You’re either taken care of or you split the bills.  Either way, you come up ahead.

It’s useless to lament over my inability to travel.  Which is more or less why I let my French ex’s messages go unanswered – it just isn’t plausible to get over there.  And, even if I could take a leave of absence, what next?  The thing is, Oregon is my home.  It’s funny that the few men I’ve met over the past year or so, that I’ve actually been interested in, all live elsewhere.  Not in Oregon.  I am unwilling to pick up and leave my beloved Oregon.  So, I have already decided it’s not worth getting the heart mixed up with anyone who doesn’t already live in Oregon or love it as much as I do.

As I drove home from work, I thought more about this.  I came to no new relevations.  It’s in Oregon I shall stay, loved or not loved.

At home, I changed and met Susan at Tryon Creek Park, up Terwilliger Boulevard.  We hiked a trail for about four miles or so, possibly more.  It was a nice change from the gym, an old growth forest with perfectly manicured trails and a nature center.  As we hiked, we chatted at length about Sarah Palin.  I have no idea how I’m voting for this coming election, but, because I am an Independent, I am interested in listening to what each of the candidates have to say.  It’s a thrilling election.

When I drove home, I caught the first half of her speech on NPR.  She had my attention.  I was surprised that this was her first major national address.  She sounded confident, competent and she had her own brand of charisma.  She has my attention.

I quickly made a gluten-free pizza for dinner.  This one had a touch of tomato sauce topped with thin slices of yellow heirloom tomato, buffalo mozzarella, shreded Assagio and Provalone.  I then topped it with fresh basil from the garden.  It was my seasonal Margherita Pizza.

While eating, I worked on my latest writing project.  I’m in the process of collecting the copy for each of my blog entries and separating them out in Word files by month.  I plan to organize the entries in a way that I can build a new narrative – the book will be based on the blog.  I don’t want it to be the blog reprinted word for word.  Instead, I plan to highlight themes and begin a meaningful narrative that reads more like a novel. 

I’ve been struggling with writing the book proposal for this, as most nonfiction book proposals are constructed for writers who are experts in a field or promise to help the reader accomplish something (learn how to cook, self help, etc.).  My nonfiction book is all narrative, so it doesn’t really fit the typical model.  I’m not claiming to be an expert on finding love in all of its manifestations, nor am I trying to teach anyone how to find love in all of its manifestations.  I am simply writing about my own experiences that have helped me to seek out and sometimes find love in its many manifestations.  And I’m satisfied with that.  Now, I have to figure out how to get an agent or publisher on board.  Between that and figuring out how to launch my new website, I’ve got a lot to do in my few hours of ‘free time’.

 

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Tuesday, May 13

Today was one of those days that seemed like there’s just not enough hours in the day to get everything done that I wished to accomplish.  I’ve been juggling a lot of time-sensitive projects at work, and then had a lunch date with a couple of ladies of the press.  We met up at Tina’s in Dundee and had a lovely lunch.  It is invaluable to develop relationships and get to know friends of the media – local, national, syndiated or not.

I signed up for a Scandinavian-style sauna-steam for this Saturday morning at Loyly, which I intend to write about for my next blog post on theantitourist.com.  I’m psyched to check this minimalist Euro styled spa.

After work, I spent my evening doing some yoga and abs strength training.  Due to my recent health issues, I’ve been committed to trying to get back into practicing yoga and meditation.  I would like to attend yoga classes, but I really need to get my finances in order. 

I’m spending money on different things for my writing – blog upgrades, writing contests (yup, most require $10-$15 fees to enter work), etc.  I would like to attend a few summer workshops, as well, either at Sitka Center for Arts & Ecology or Fishtrap.  I have limited funds for that, too.  With the gas prices soaring, it makes it even difficult to figure in when I can sign up for a tour and occassional daily usage of a writing room at Writer’s Dojo in Portland – it’s about a 30-40 minute drive from  my home.

I decided to set up advertising on my blog – it’s another way to make money.  I am aggressively looking into other means of marketing my blog and getting it out to more readers.  I’ve even added the subscribe button – keep scrolling!  It’s after the Archives…after the Blogroll, Recent Comments, and Stats – and yup, there it is!

I learned on ABC’s Nightline last night that a stay-at-home mom, who’s blog Dooce is a huge success, makes a good deal of money from advertisers.  I’m slowly dipping into this opportunity.  Sidenote – I love this blog.  I think it’s funny, honest – and not limited to mommies.  As a single woman I appreciate and enjoy Dooce blogger Heather Armstrong’s candid posts.

After working on these opportunities I tuned in to what’s going on in the world.  For one, I am happy that Hillary took West Virginia, but I am disappointed in our nation’s women, the leading gender in our population, for denying this incredible opportunity.  Statistics show that single women support HIllary – it’s the married women who are backing Obama.  I find that to be really, really weird.

What is making me even more sick right now is the devastation in the Far East.  As if Myanmar’s cyclone wasn’t bad enough, followed by a ridiculous government that would rather see its people suffer than allow global aid – because, God forbid that would show their people how kind, generous and effective the rest of the world is.  The leadership there wants to keep its people ignorant of that kind of aid. 

And then there’s China.  I don’t even know what to say about that earthquake.  The 7.9 scale is unimaginable!  I have decided to emulate the Tibetan Buddhists and pray for peace and the end of suffering.  It is my hope that lives will continue to be saved, that medical care, food and water will be available, that shelter will be available and that rebuilding will soon take place.  I will meditate on this and pray.  I hope the global response for aid will reach the Chinese people as soon as possible.

In February, with the coming of the Chinese New Year, the year of the rat, I remember reading an article about the possibility for natural disasters.  I remember thinking about Katrina, the Tsunami in the East (Dec. 04), and I just couldn’t imagine any more distruction.  But, the prediction for disaster was beyond ominous:

The start of the new lunar year, the most important national holiday for China’s 1.3 billion people, followed three weeks of ice and snow storms that crippled transport and power supplies in many cities.

But even though power has been restored to 162 or the 170 worst-hit counties, millions are still without electricity or heating and the China Meteorological Administration warned that the warmer temperatures and melting snow could bring natural disasters, including landslides, in their wake.

And fortune-tellers say that caution will be the watchword for the Year of the Rat, for which they predict financial and political rumblings, tsunamis and epidemics. The reason, they say, is that water and earth – two of the five elements Chinese mystics believe are at the root of all things – are in conflict in 2008.

Text from: ‘China Welcomes Year of the Rat’ by Philippe Naughton, TimesOnline, Feb. 7, 2008.

 

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Monday, April 7
9:19 p.m.

Following two days of glorious sleeping in, I went to sleep last night at one a.m. (not entirely my fault – I was writing a short story and I can’t exactly control when the creativity comes to me), and I woke up this morning at 7:30.  Ugh.  I am not a morning person.  I prefer to get up rather leisurely, do some yoga or meditating, shower, eat breakfast and slowly unfold into my day.  I kind of did that this morning, but somewhat more rushed than what I’d prefer.  I got up, went into my meditation room and did ten very satisfying yoga sun salutations.

After, I took a long, hot shower and my senses awoke happily to the scents of my Origins Salt Suds foaming body body wash with incredible eye-opening scents of peppermint, spearmint, orange and rosemary. 

After a gluten-free bowl of EnviroKidz Peanut Butter Panda Puffs mixed with Perky’s Nutty Flax cereal topped with lite vanilla soy milk, I fed the kitties and was on my way to work.

Monday is my planning day.  I got a lot done, in addition to having a really productive meeting with my co-workers on our summer events.  I am excited about the things we are planning at the winery.

Mid-day I took that interview with the college student from Northeastern in Boston.  I was humbled by her interest to speak with me.  It was very cool.  She did a great job.  She found my blog on BlogHer, a great marketing community for women bloggers.  I’m glad I decided to join that site.  It was good practice to get interviewed.  Following our discussion, I envisioned my future as a successful, published writer of books sharing my insights on my craft, on my inspirations, on my concerns and purpose.  It felt good. 

On my way home I stopped by Home Depot to buy some replacement hallogen lightbulbs, as two out of three burned out over the fireplace, which shines on my glorious Samson & Delilah painting by my friend Erin. 

My living room looks like a gallery with only original artwork hanging on the walls, including two by Erin, three by me, and two paintings I bought in the Montmartre.  I love it!  In my perfect home, which would be modest and not ostentatious, I would love to have lots of original art, to which I’m supporting local artists, a magnificent library filled with great books, an amazing office to write in and a separate meditation room with an attached cedar sauna to sweat out stress and toxins, oh, and a killer kitchen, of course.  I love to dream about the perfect space to live in.

When I got home, dutiful Shadow was sitting on my stoop on guard like a Beefeater!  I pat his head while I chatted with my mom on my cell.  I changed and bolted for the gym.  I got in an awesome workout, a thirty-five minute run and then a hundred crunches.

I repeated last night’s yummy dinner – a lovely, colorful organic salad with shrimp and a mango dressing topped with red pepper flakes.  I accompanied the salad with a small dish of Terra Chips.  And I enjoyed a glass of the organic Italian sparkling blood orange juice.  I was very content.

Meantime, I found out I got a paid blogging gig.  I am excited about this, as it will help me to build my writing resume.  I’ll write more about it when I fill out the agreement.  As soon as my updated website is relaunched, I will include the link.  Between this news of this blogging gig and the interview conducted earlier today, along with the messages I got from Elizabeth Gilbert’s lecture on Friday and the dialog I’m having with a very nice local agent/publisher, I really felt like the wheels were turning, that I was on my way.  This has been about the most positive day in my writing career, aside from the day I finished my novel.
 

 

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Saturday, April 5
9:21 p.m.

There’s nothing like sleeping in on the weekend.  Granted, I don’t usually sleep in very late, I was up at 9:30, but it was delightful to wake up and not feel tired, to stretch and feel ready to get up and begin enjoying my waking hours.  So, I fed the kitties and watered the plants. 

I entered the  kitchen and made a bowl of my gluten free oatmeal.  After I ate, I ran the dishwasher and then charged the battery of my camera.  I turned on the computer to check emails and then opened up my WordPress account.  I decided it was time for a change.  I didn’t feel like the design template really reflected me or my work. 

When my camera battery was finished charging, I took a bunch of random photos of my feet.  There’s a local modeling opportunity for sandals.  I have always been told I have cute feet – well, they’re small.  I don’t know if feet can really be cute.  But, I figured why not send some photos and see what happens?

After, I got back on the computer and began the customized designwork of the photos that make up my new blog header.  I like it.  It shows my personality and makes the blog look more authentic, I think.

Meantime, I relaxed in front of the television and watched movies.  It was dark and rainy outside, so I wasn’t really motivated to do much else.  First, the movie She’s All That  was on.  Okay, not quite a classic, but I grew up in the John Hughes high school movie era, so, I can put up with a teenaged prom flick now and again.

Next, the 1998 film Great Expectations, an adaptation of Charles Dickens classic, came on.  It starred Ethan Hawke, Gwyneth Paltrow, Anne Bancroft, Robert Dinero, Hank Azaria and Chris Cooper.  The soundtrack is especially great, which I have on CD.  This is by no means a great movie, but it has its moments.  I like Gwyneth’s green wardrobe.  She wears green throughout the movie until the end, when they meet again at her aunts decrepit plantation, she’s all relaxed and glowing in cream and off-whites.  Anyway, the thing about Great Expectations (the novel and the movie versions), I am terrified I’m going to become an embittered Ms. Havisham, calloused by a former love who broke her heart and, never able to bounce back again, was left alone with her adopted daughter, Estella, to wither in her decrepit estate that’s lost in time.  She’s the ultimate old woman with her cats! 

After I gave my blog its new facelift, I stayed up to watch Saturday Night Live because Christopher Walken was hosting.  He is the classic and ultimate SNL host.  He always does his skits in a way that it’s obvious he’s reading straight from the teleprompt, but it kind of adds to the humor of his performances.  It was a funny show, but lackluster compared to his classic skits like his Blue Oyster Cult -More Cowbell genius or his classic Continental hilarity.  The best skit tonight was a Walken Family Reunion, where all the SNL cast come out as his family members, impersonating him, as he played himself.  That was pretty funny.  I fell asleep before the show ended.

 

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Wednesday, April 2
9:37 p.m.

So I have decided to do some casting calls to make some extra cash – both in print photo shoots (oh, nothing glamourous – just local businesses needed a thirty-something, attractive wife sitting at a banker’s desk with her husband, or at a computer in an office) and as an extra in locally shot films.  I need to beef up my savings account.  I used to model in DC back in the 90’s – again, just local stuff.  I’m hoping to do some head shots – for local skin products (all natural markets, etc.).  I was an extra in a few movies filmed in DC, including The Replacements , which was filmed at the Baltimore Ravens stadium, starring Keanu Reeves and Gene Hackman.  And when I worked for PBS, back in 1998, I was on-air talent (reading from the teleprompter) for the satellite service pledge drives, which reached a few million viewers – the programs I did the pledge drive for included a Mary Chapin Carpenter concert, a Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band reunion tour show, and a kid’s programming special called Peter, Paul & Mommy, too (featuring Peter, Paul & Mary).  So, we’ll see what we get.  I’m hoping if I can get a few gigs here and there, I can free myself of the pressure to perform in my writing, so that I can enjoy the process and focus on my craft – not the results or the price per word.

In the meantime, I was flattered to get contacted by a journalism student today who came across my blog and wants to interveiw me for an article she’s writing on blogging.  It will be good practice.

I read an article on WordPress.com last night reporting two bloggers who got book deals for their blogs – one of them got a $300K advance!  It’s time to start thinking about finding a developmental editor!

After a very busy day of work, I went home to change for the gym and ran to the grocery store with the gift card my mom sent me.  Yes, she sends me gift cards to grocery stores.  I tell her she shouldn’t do it – but, she feels badly about the cost of my gluten-free diet and wants to encourage me to eat healthy, organic fruits and vegetables and whole, gluten-free grains.  The woman was a dietitian for years, I can’t stop her.  I’m not a mother, but I suppose once you are, you never stop wanting to mother your children.  And my mother isn’t the controlling, intefering kind, rather she just wants to do everything she can to ensure her children are happy and healthy.  I appreciate her gestures, even if I do feel badly that she’s spending money on me that she could be spending on herself.

At the gym, I ran on the treadmill for thirty minutes then went home and made myself a beautiful salad of organic baby romaine lettuce, red, orange and yellow baby peppers, red onion, carrot shavings, pecans, and yellow and red grape tomatoes with a lite, homemade honey mustard dressing and then I sauteed broccolini in olive oil with chopped garlic, pine nuts and lemon juice, which I topped with parmesan.  I had a tall glass of water with a fresh slice of lime.  It was fresh and tasty.  My mother would have approved.

 I had a cup of Yogi India Spice tea afterwards.

Well after the food had settled, I meditated for 15 minutes.  I have been trying to stop stressing, to come up with sensible, creative solutions to take care of myself, financially, and to get more disciplined about making the most of my workouts, eating well-balanced meals (small portions), sticking to a yoga and strength training program, all to get balanced. 

I embrace myself – my single, happy, soon to be balanced and enlightened self.

It’s funny.  After I engage in activites and practices that are supposed to help me to acheive balance and enlightenment, I have closed myself off from the idea of partnering up, getting hitched, looking for a man.  I don’t look for men.  I hate the idea of seeking out love, because it seems to me that if you are actively looking for it, then there’s something inside of you that’s terribly lacking to send you out in the world to seek an idea of happiness in the form of another person.  I just won’t do it.  Being lonely is not a reason to search for the love of your life.  And I’m still not sold on the idea that there’s just one love in a lifetime.  So, you live your life to the fullest and resolve what has you so scared about being alone (as if being solo is like having the plague).  

Anyway, I am comfortably alone and not seeking love.  I’m not 100% closing off the idea of falling in love, but, it will have to find me.  Which may sound like a contradiction to this whole blog.  The thing is, my 365 Days Until Love search may have started with a starry-eyed concept of finally being ready for love.  But, perhaps I was wrong.  I mean, that was only the beginning.  And, besides, are we ever truly ready for love?  Or does good love come when you least expect it, when you least want it, when you are making big plans for your wonderfully solo life?  Hell if I know.  But, I suspect much of this journey of journaling through a year of my life has led me to identifying certain patterns – and looking back from the beginning, reading along what I have written, I see many subtle changes in my mindset and even in the direction of the path I’m headed down.  The quest for enlightenment and compassion only evolved in the new year, not from the beginning.  I have been able to experience the causes of my own illnesses prompted by stress – mostly my bouts of congestion.  So, I have experienced optimum health when I am happy, relaxed and balanced.  And as soon as I got stressed again, the congestion is back on and I’m riddled with physical tension.  So, I have seen the power of the results – I just have to get disciplined in my practices.

By writing through the mundane, I have learned some extraordinary things about myself, that I am not seeking the kind of life that has so many trying to keep up with the Joneses, where I am culturally obligated to marry, work hard to make a lot of money so that I can buy really cool things, and a huge house that my husband and I can’t really afford, then pop out 2.5 kids, go nuts trying to balance work and my crazy family, to the point where I am exhausted, unhappy and unfilled, but I have to lie to myself and the world that I am happy, balanced and fulfilled or else I’d be a terrible mother – and that is the worst thing a woman can be, worse than a prostitute servicing government officials. 

I mean, if that happens, it happens, and I’m sure I’ll learn a lot more about myself – certainly in setting boundaries!

I would be remiss not to mention the eel that I had met back in October, when I first returned to Oregon.  I didn’t take that encounter seriously, well, because he left two days later to move to San Francisco.  Oddly, I get random emails, including one today, as part of a group forward.  I appreciate the gesture, of being included when the email is an informative one like the one I received today.  But, well, I couldn’t help but wonder, why do some men orbit  your atmosphere?  I mean, what’s the point?  I can’t exactly be friends with someone who I don’t really know, who lives that far away, right?  There’s definitely attraction, but, again, what’s the point?  I kind of feel like if the eel wanted to hang with the salmon, he’d swim upstream for a visit and test out the waters, so to speak.  So, by the grace of logic, I have figured that one out.  I think.  The eel isn’t interested in swimming with the salmon right now, but the eel is interested in keeping in touch with the salmon just in case a climatic change occurs where the eel and salmon might be swimming in the same waters.  Meantime, the salmon is happily swimming in her clear, temperate, safe stream.  (note: if you’re reading this and you’re confused about the eel and the salmon, you’ll have to go back to the beginning of this blog to understand).

I would have to meet someone exceptional, someone who just exceeds my expectations exponentially before I am willing to let go of that comfort and safety – someone who’s going to arrive without a search party reeling him in.  Someone who I meet serendipitously in a moment of synchonicity.  Otherwise, I’m just not interested.  And this isn’t necessarily directed to the eel.

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Sunday, February 17
10:33 p.m.

I didn’t fall asleep until after 2:00 a.m., which means I slept past noon.  I was supposed to go to a party at my friend artist Erin’s house.  It was from noon until three and I knew I wasn’t going to make it.  I was bummed.

But as soon as I woke up, I was aware of the beautiful day that was burgeoning outside!  Clear skies and sunshine, I actually opened the drapes in my room and smiled.  It felt like spring.

I vacuumed and dusted and took out the trash, gave Shadow her ear drops, fed all the kitties and then headed out to the northwest to pick up my bound novel.  As I past the Terwilliger Blvd. exit and came round a corner, a snowy Mt. Hood greeted me.  The Cascades ahead were snow dusted and up ahead I could see a snow white Mt. St. Helens.  It was warm out and just gorgeous, a beautiful change from the long, rainy winter weather, which was forecasted to return in a couple of days. 

When I arrived the guy who checked me out at the register congratulated me.  He proceeded to tell me he was an English major and wanted to write a novel.  He asked me how I did it.  I chatted with him for about 15 minutes on craft, process, and named a few good books that helped me to see the project through, including From Where You Dream: The Process of Writing Fiction by Robert Olen Butler.  I was flattered by his interest in learning from me.

When I left Kinkos, I realized that it was beginning to happen.  I was really on my way to getting published.  I could hear it in the rustling of the trees, feel it in the air that breezed past me, I just knew it.  From the connections I’ve been making with other writers who’ve been reading this blog, to the agents I’ve been in touch with, I could just feel it.

I returned to the Tea Zone.  I ordered another hot cinnamon spice latte and got to work on this blog – as I had been a little behind in putting up the posts.  I kept staring at my manuscript.  I mean, it all seems so real now looking at it bound. I was very proud of it.  I’d type then look over the top of my laptop to make sure it was still sitting on the small table next to the half-full ceramic pot of remaining tea.  Of course it was still there!  I wrote a book.  There.  Sitting next to a tea pot in a tea shop.

When I got home, I finished cleaning then heated up chicken broth, chopped up carrots and celery, added a melange of colored chard, then cooked up some gluten-free noodles.  Before I ate, I did a set of 100 crunchs and 20 push ups, stretched and then enjoyed my soup.  I read in this month’s Natural Health Magazine that people with Vata doshas (which is what I am) should eat hot stews and soups.   I made a note to myself to learn more about Vatas.

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