Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Making Waves: 4 Voices

It's done!  I have a copy in my hands of the poetry anthology my southern writing group has published. 

The process has been a fun one, most of the time.  The four of us meet weekly, critique one another's work, laugh, snack, cry, inspire, help one another through writing woes and celebrate our acomplishments. 

Making Waves: 4 Voices is a sampling of our poetry.  It is also the "demo" for our next project: publishing a journal of poetry, essays and short stories written by emerging and established artists, with an emphasis on women over forty.  Now that we've finished our book, I can't wait to get started on my new "job" as a co-editor of Rising Tide Review.

Stay tuned for more on Rising Tide Review!  If you're one of my writing friends and have something you'd like to submit for possible publication, email me at  We are in the process of developing our website, getting our post office box and all the little details that must be attended to in order for Rising Tide Review to become a reality.

If you're interested in reading Making Waves: 4 Voices, it can be purchased at  I'll sign it for you next time I see you! 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Want vs. Need

Our goal to downsize and simply our life is nearly met.  Nothing new comes in now unless something old goes out.  This isn't simply because we've chosen to live each month on the amount of money one of us used to make in a week.  It's more a commitment to weeding out what's truly necessary.

We're not quite to the point of only owning 100 things -- our CD collection alone would put us far over that yardstick, and then there are cassettes, LPs, 45s, reel to reel and, yes, 8-tracks.  We consider "music" one "thing:".  Same with books.  More than anything else, our music and books define us.  We consider these items "needed".

We only have one set of dishes, a half dozen coffee mugs, minimum cookware, etc.  I don't miss fancy china, table clothes, or that gravy boat I only used once a year, if then, cluttering up my limited cupboard space.

And clothes -- gone is the closet full of black pants/skirts/blazers I once wore to my 9-5 job.  My daughter, hoping to borrow something from my closet during the time I had a real job, stared at my work wardrobe and asked, "Just how many funerals a week do you go to, Mom?"  Hubby had button down shirts, ties, suits.  Today you'll find only jeans, bathing suits, tie-dyed t-shirts and such in our one closet.  Sandals, sneakers and mud shoes are all we need.  Most days it only matters that we're dressed, not what we're dressed in.  Ah, the freedom in this alone!  I've cut all hubby's shirts into strips for a rag rug that now collects sand at our front door.

I've always tried to instill in my kids and others that taking care of basic needs then allows you to enjoy all life has to offer as well as better handle those occasional curve ball tossed at you when least expected.  I feel the truth in this every day now as I tend my garden, walk Rupert, make chicken soup, walk the pier while sipping a cup of tea from my own kitchen, or relaxing in the yard when friends drop by. 

I am blessed.  What I need is all I want.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Going Back to Sleep

That's what we do these days, we go back to sleep.  Awake before 6:00 a.m., we'll read or snuggle or simply listen to the laughing gulls, terns and doves beginning their day.  Then we find ourselves waking again later -- sometimes late morning -- and our day starts by coaxing Rupert the Wonder Dog, seven years old now, into going for a walk.

We've had a couple of years now of tremendous work that equalled the successful re-birth of a used bookstore, so much so, we had to walk away to conserve our health.  Our only regret is not having made the move to open the store about ten years earlier, before age caught up with us.  The agony of that decision to shut the doors of Book Hounds PLUS weighs on me still some nights, but never in the morning when I'm able to roll over and go back to sleep.

My mind and my body thank me for this new habit on those days when the feeling of total renewal washes away the memory of not having any feeling left in my feet or legs after fourteen hours on my feet.

Rupert's morning walk has become a joy again, welcoming a new day by wandering down by Chincoteague Bay instead of rushing down the Island Trail to get the walk over before opening the store.  We take our time, refreshed by those extra hours of sleep and the sweetness of knowing we have all the time we need.