Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleave of care
The death of each day’s life, sore labour’s bath
Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,
Chief nourisher in life’s feast.

~William Shakespeare, Macbeth

I made my last blogathon post at 8:01 this morning, and even though I was so tired I could barely hold myself upright to do it, as soon as I clicked “publish” in my admin interface, I had an adrenaline rush to my oversore brain and had to stay awake a bit longer. Then the dogs needed to go out, and then I had to take an elimination break, and so, by the time I got to sleep it was nearly nine.

I was up at 2 anyway, and I rambled around the house distractedly for a while, trying to figure out what I was doing. Finally I decided a swim was in order, and then I had to find the pump, which for some reason I keep calling a generator today, as if I don’t know the difference, but I DO, I swear, and then I had to inflate my new pool chair/float/thing because what I really wanted was just to float around not to actually swim.

Finally I was floating and Cleo wasn’t barking at the pool or the birds, but I quickly grew restless, so I came back inside and showered, and suddenly it was four and I was pushing Fuzzy into the shower. “We’re leaving for my workshop at 5:15,” I told him, “and I need to get something to drink with caffeine from Starbucks.” Poor bewildered Fuzzy didn’t think to question my declaration of our estimated departure time, which was fifteen minutes later than we NEEDED to leave, coffee or not, and when my brain finally engaged it was 5:20. But I had my chai.

Note: It is possible to drive from South Grand Prairie to the West End of downtown Dallas in exactly 17 minutes. On a Sunday evening. If you’re damned lucky. And there are no accidents or stupid people.

I missed about twenty minutes of workshop, arriving just as the warm up was concluding. S said she was surprised I was awake, and truly, I don’t think I was. I don’t think I am now. I think this whole day has been a case of semi-lucid dreaming because my brain is still at the (Buffy-esque) fire-bad tree-pretty stage of cognizance. (In my defense, I called everyone whose cell # I’d pulled from the forum, and of course they were all off.)

For once my hesitation in workshop was not fear but exhaustion. On the other hand, I wasn’t nervous at all, because the editor/censor part of my brain was still comatose. However, skipping sleep is NOT a recommended technique for dealing with terror. Even if it works.

I was craving a cheeseburger, and had earned it, damnit, by blogging all night, and so Fuzzy met me at Fridays and we had dinner before heading home, where I crawled back into bed, and have been kind of vegging, unable to really stay awake and do anything that requires any kind of participation (also I fell asleep, sort of, while watching Monk, and have no idea what happened) , and unwilling to concede that the tiredness has won, and I have to surrender to sleep.

I’m feeling all inspired and writey because even when I suck (which is usually) I always feel inspired and writey after workshop, but I know I need to rest. Sometimes I guess I do channel my inner four-year-old, the stubborn little girl in feet-in pajamas who never liked to stay in bed.

I have tomorrow off, at least, and the maids are coming, and then maybe I’ll have the urge to write and won’t have lost the idea that’s germinating in my brain even now.


Last call?

My brain’s gone to mush and my eyes are barely staying open. I’m afraid to blink for fear I’ll not be able to lift my lids again, so if I miss anyone in this post, please forgive me.

To the folks to participated in the reading survey, thank you…I’ll be doing something with that a little later.

To my sponsors, both named and anonymous – some of you will be receiving gifts. Thank you so much for supporting me, and this cause. Those of you who chose not to share your identities are no less special, but I can’t gift ppl I can’t identify.

To Rehena, Rebelbelle, Selandra, Sky, Rana and Klae, and to my fellow blogathoners MyssK and Liz, and my monitor Elegy (even if you don’t like Jane Eyre) thank you for your conversation, comments, and presence.

To the folks from ComedySportz, thanks for the laughter. Not only did it reenergize me, but it also distracted me when I needed it.

And to Fuzzy, thank you for staying awake with me through most of the ‘thon, and for fetching me a venti soy chai at three in the morning.

Pledging is open for another 48 hours or so, so if you missed your opportunity, there’s time to catch up.

As for me? I’m going to sleep.


Several years ago JK Rowling published the first Harry Potter book unleashing a series that would cross the defining lines of age, race, and gender, and while publishers marketed the books for children because a child was the lead character, adults were – and are – a significant portion of the readership, so much so that there are special editions available in the UK without the cover art.

In the six books published so far, we’ve met wizards and muggles in many shapes and sizes, and learned that, just as in real life, you can’t tell good from bad among magical folk just by looking at them.

Just as I am at the point where I’m ready to wrap up this Blogathon and sleep for several uninterrupted hours, we as readers are ready to find out how the series ends, but even in our anticipation we sit back, smile, and say with the epynomous character, “I love magic!”

Scope for the Imagination

I don’t have red hair, but I’ve always felt as if Canadian orphan Anne Shirley was my kindred spirit, even so.

From the moment we see her telling Matthew about her carpetbag, to the moment when, several books later, she FINALLY marries Gil, Anne lives and breathes as if she were a real person, thanks to the skill of Lucy Maud Montgomery.

I read the series the first time as a very young girl, and the second time just before I got married, and each time I felt as if I got something new from the books, even if it was just some new nuance of Anne’s speech, or an extra bobble of her braids.

The spunky redhead with the active imagination is always with me now, as happens with good characters.


The first time I heard the phrase “wormhole” in science fiction, and then heard the explanation, I thought, “Oh, it’s a tesseract.” The second time, I said that aloud, and someone said, “It’s a what?”

So I explained about this great book that had been handed to me on a stormy summer night in Colorado, with Dracula lightning arcing across the sky, and the wind making monsters of the trees, and me reading all night with a flashlight under the covers. I think I was all of eight. And I think that was also the night I ate so many carob chips i made myself sick. (To this day the waxy not-quite-chocolate taste of carob makes me nauseous.)

Meg and Charles Wallace and the twins, and their mother, Calvin and the Witches (Mrs. Who et al) quickly became my friends, as their adventures leapt from one book to another, though time, and even into mitochondria, but they never became boring.

Since then, I’ve also read a lot of Madeleine L’Engle’s normal (adult) fiction, and the characters in those works are just as compelling.

If you haven’t travelled by imaginary tesseract, you’re missing out.

Charlotte’s Flashier Sister?


Originally uploaded by Ms.Snarky.

Charlotte’s Web is a favorite novel of many people in my age group, because we all grew up with the book and the movie, but my back yard hosts spiders way prettier than the divine Miss C. After all, isn’t she a common grey or brown orb weaver?

This stunning young woman is last year’s representative of the argiope family, and she’s also known as a writing spider.

Legend says that if a writing spider spins your name into their web you’ll die, but so far, I’d not worry – she only ever seems to spell ZZZZZZZZZ.

Argiopes only live about a year, so this one’s likely moved on to a different plane of existence, but her daughter or sister or…whatever…took up residence here just a few days ago.

Spooky, non?


I don’t remember how I managed to acquire a copy of Richard Peck’s Ghosts I Have Been, but it was probably school-related, and I probably thought it sounded cool, or scary, or both.

In any case, I was easily hooked on the tale of Blossom Culp, a grade-school seer from the wrong side of the tracks who isn’t just a character of the book, she’s also the narrator and as she explains, she’s not only seen several ghosts, she’s also been a couple.

Blossom’s adventures have her travelling back and forth in time and distance, including a meeting with the Queen of England (she’s American, herself), and debunking a famous medium, but it’s the relationships between the characters that make the story so readable.

I definitely recommend it.

Run, Runaway

I don’t think there’s anyone alive who didn’t, at some point in their childhood, declare that they were running away.

But most of us didn’t actually do it.
Then again, most of us aren’t Claudia or James Kincaid, the two young protagonists of the Newberry Award winning novel, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiller.

Claudia and James are siblings from Greenwich Connecticut who not only run away from home, but decide that they need to hide somewhere comfortable, so naturally they choose the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in Manhattan.

It’s a fast read, but a good one, no matter the age of the reader, and the mystery within the book is a bit of added spice.


This one’s for some very special people.
THEY know who they are.

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.” — Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

It’s a simple fable about two toys, a velveteen rabbit, and a skin horse, but in it’s 40 or so pages, this book holds magic and wonder, innocence, and the essence of love. I first encountered it as a small child – another of the books my grandfather read to me. As an obnoxious teenager a television show brought it back into my life, and though I’ve never really paid it much attention, it’s lurked in the back of my brain seemingly forever.

I offer it now, as a tribute to my grandparents, both deceased, and to the legacy of literacy they gave to others as volunteers in the Right to Read program at their community library in New Jersey.

Whatever else they were, they were both Real.

Young Wizards

I’d been reading Diane Duane’s work for years when I was recently (2004-ish) introduced to her YA series about young wizards, which began with So You Want to Be a Wizard, and continued from there. (I’ll confess that I first read her it was a Star Trek novel – see – told you I was a geek).

This series, though, is completely original. It ties into another work of hers The Book of Night with Moon which is a must-read for cat-lovers everywhere, but can be read without that volume as well. The characters are, for the most part, realistically drawn gifted children, and the plots, while resolved, always have some loose thread that could be a sequel, or just a tangent.

I read them as an adult; so should you.