Originally Blogging the Artist's Way. Thoughts, musings, experience of the 12-week course, January to March 2006. And after that?.... Life, creativity, writing. Where does it all meet? Here, perhaps.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Another week - and what a week!

Last week's check-in did me good. It felt like the blog is being anchored in my life, rather than operating simply as a notebook for poems, haiku and scribblings (much as I enjoy all of those things ), so I thought I'd just give a little time to checking in again today. Tomorrow, I'll be away from the computer, and for another ten days, perhaps, so also it gives me a chance to say "See ya later".

As the post's title implies, this has been a busy week, ending with me tired (and preparing to travel tomorrow), but I want to mention the writers' workshop I'd referred to last week. Deirdre assumed it was a week-long workshop (because I said I'd been all week at it), but it was in fact a 2-week workshop on Women Writing. We were reading, reading, talking, hearing about more and more writers, sharing, preparing for a performance (we finished with a marvellous showcase this afternoon), treasure-hunting... oh... and even doing some writing, too! It was a rich, rich experience, like being in a "fine food" shop, where you stock up on all kinds of treats you couldn't possibly consume straight away, but can put in your larder for lean times or occasions where a special treat is called for. We were reading Virginia Woolf, Margery Kempe, Susan Glaspell, Jamaica Kincaid, Ursula K Le Guin, Sojourner Truth, Dorothy Wordsworth, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Marge Piercy and Nikky Finney... oh, and Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue; creating lists and lists of favourite writers in all kinds of genres. It was wonderful being in a group where the dialogue was continued day by day and created a sense of community that was deep and supportive. Two of the participants are taking their work (with another group of poets) on a tour of Australia - departing next week - and last night some of us were able to get a preview of their performance at a fundraiser with many poets, musicians and artists coming together to wish them well on their journey. What a treat!

Today's finale of the course was preceded with a field-trip (the treasure-hunt). It's a strange thing that I'm regularly reminded of the riches, depth and breadth of my Irish/Celtic heritage by people who come from abroad and share their enthusiasm for things I've known about but not really given a great deal of thought to - aspects of our history, mythology, archeology. All three met in one of the central themes of the two weeks' work - the Sheela-na-Gig. I won't go into detail (because I'd only be quoting someone else anyway), but will say the Sheela is a female form found carved in stones on medieval Irish and British churches and they are fascinating in terms of their original intention and meaning, and the meaning and power they can have for us in the present day. This article has a lot of information, and gives some sense of the spirit of the Sheela-na-Gig. While there are many recorded examples around the country, there are believed to be more which may be hidden, lost or simply not recorded. Some of those which have been recorded have been moved, stolen, hidden or defaced, so sometimes people go to see a Sheela only to discover they can find no trace of her. Carvings may be so weathered that it might be only in certain lights that they can be identified, and when our little group of seven women arrived here

today in search of this Sheela, (not my photograph, but borrowed from here)

we scrutinised the stones of the walls where she is said to be, but could find no trace. ... And yet, in a strange way, it was as though we had found her anyway. It would have been good to take away our own photographs, but we know at least we have been where she is (or has been), and that is enough.

Now, of course, having been exposed to the world of "Sheela-hunters", I'm intrigued and wanting to see at least one in situ, and am gathering information about those I might find near my home place.

So that's been this week's main event! And of course, there was still the sunshine, there was ice-cream, there were afternoon hours in the garden, there has been the collection of items to use for the SpiritDoll I'm planning to make. There's keeping up with happenings in the SoulCollage world, and following the blogs of many pals. I don't always comment, but I love the presence of so many friends out there who share their days with me.

I'll be back in ten days or so. Hope everyone is continuing to enjoy summertime.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Sunday Scribblings --- Thief!

I know the idea behind Sunday Scribblings is that we write something fresh and new off the prompt, and up to now, anything I've posted has been written in that way, but this week's prompt immediately reminded me of one of my poems that I'd like to share (and as I didn't share a poem on Poetry Thursday, maybe this can be a hybrid post this week?). Also, we're enjoying the tail end of a heatwave (looks like the rain will come today), so I want to spend as much time outdoors as I can before that happens, and therefore it's easier to use "one I made earlier".


Woolworths, Bolgers, Todds
lay out their stalls.
Everything you need to be a woman.
Reds and pinks and peachy shades
for lips -- Catch that man,
Catch that boy.
We have all the tools right here.

I am thirteen.
Stashed at the back of my wardrobe:
three copies of Jackie, a Romeo,
a palette of greens;
a palette of blues;
a little tub of gunmetal grey
for eyes.

Best days are Saturdays,
mid-afternoon, especially
if the countrywomen are around.
They ask questions, distract
the saleswomen, who know,
when they see us,
or think they know.

Holy Mary, Mother of God.
I light candles, pray for my sins,
but neglect to put my penny
in the box beneath the candles.
Sin on sin. I promise myself
to put it right. Next time
I will put it right.

Next time we're in town
Roches has a sale.
Busy in every department.
I come home
with four embroidery silks,
a brown leather purse, quite small,
and lipstick -- scarlet, scarlet, scarlet --
a shade I've never worn.

There will be some proper Sunday Scribblings HERE, and for a story of "If you Build It, They will come", there's my post yesterday HERE.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

This week -- A check-in

I was ruminating lately about what's different in blogging now towards when I started, way, way back in January of this year, and one thing that's changed is that during the first twelve weeks, during the course of The Artist's Way, every week, I paused and reviewed what's been going on, what's been good, bad, what did I get done that I wanted to do, what are my creative challenges... and the check-in was good, the weekly touching base was good, and while I do the rounds of favourite blogs fairly often, I only tend to post here for Sunday Scribblings, Poetry Thursday, and not in between.

So... this week... I didn't even post on Poetry Thursday. , although I have had a chance to glance at a few of the blogs that took the challenge of writing about SEX! I didn't post anything partly because I'm ... well... truth be told, a little shy like that, and partly because on that day, I was at a beautiful wedding - Chinese bride, Iranian groom, under a beautiful Irish sky. A happy, happy day for a family I have known and loved for 20 years, and a family from the other side of the world whom I have just met, but who were taken to the hearts of everyone who met them on that special day.

We've been enjoying a heatwave here too. I've been spending as much time as I can sitting out on my patio, initially layered in suncream and soaking up rays, but for the past couple of days, sitting in the shade, and just admiring the sunlight on the plants. I have some beautiful yellow lilies accompanying a magnificent Fremontodendron Californicum (Flannel Plant? Anyone know it?) that my sister gave me to celebrate my graduation. My roses and lavender are at their best now, and the bees and butterflies are appreciating them.

Every morning this week, I've been at a workshop on women writing - an exciting blend of literature, mythology, feminist history (herstory?), drama, poetry, sisterhood, permission, ideas... and it seems the more time this group spends together, the more connections and synchronicity come into play, so that we keep on exclaiming "I KNOW!" and "Oh, oh, that reminds me... " I'm enjoying it so much, and being so stimulated with ideas, and storing up inspiration, I'm coming home spent, and sitting outside if I can. Since I don't have a laptop, that's keeping me away from the computer. I didn't even switch on my TV between Monday and last night (Friday).

I have gone back to my 48x365 blog. I'd found it hard to return to the routine of writing the 48 words each day, toyed with just quitting it if the energy wasn't there, and then, I started reading the archives of some of the other 365 participants (if you haven't checked out the whole project, and you're hiding indoors from the heat, run through the blogroll, and check out a few of these. I love them!) and decided to get back into my blog, by doing 3 a day until I'm back to the number I'd have reached if I'd continued it as a daily practice. Confused? I'm playing catch-up is all.

Someone linked to a Dollmaker's site - Barb Kobe. I found it fascinating, particularly this doll. It struck a chord in me, and deep in me, I found a voice saying "I want to do that!" I mentioned it at the workshop the next day, and got told "Go make your doll! Do it! Do it!" So that's part of what I plan to do this weekend. Something new.

And here's my If You Build It, They Will Come story. I like frogs. They make me happy. I always thought if I ever owned a coffee-shop, I would call it the Green Frog Cafe (with a nod to Guy Clark, of course). Well, although I don't have a pond, stream or fountain in my garden (the only water is an outside tap, and buckets that collect rainwater, and get left to develop their own ecosystem - unintenionally) during the past few years, every once in a while, a frog might show up in my garden at night, and I would be delighted, but it would then disappear and not turn up for months again. So, because I like the idea of them, I put in a little frog statue (I have a hedgehog statue (with a baby) for a similar reason). I like the frog statue. It sits outside my kitchen window, on a raised area, where I've planted a few alpines and put gravel around it. Well, wouldn't you know it? The frog has returned. She's bigger and happier looking, and is living in a cool bucket with some well-softened peat briquettes and comes out at night to help with my slug problem. Yesterday, she came out in daylight, and here's where she turned up:

And after a few hops, she found herself right beside the statue I'd put in. (can you see her? Just to the left?) I just was tickled to see this manifestation in reality. I wanted frog energy (transformation, I believe) in my garden (and in my life). Well, it seems I have it a-plenty!

And when my transformation is complete? Well, who knows what's going to happen!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Urban Haiku

This week's topic at One Deep Breath is Urban Haiku.

My memory of my hometown, and the trip home from school:

From town on the bus
Pass jail, asylum, graveyard,
houses in neat rows.

Read more Haiku Here.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Sunday Scribbling - With Baggage

It’s how I like to arrive – with the baggage I set off with. I’ve been parted from my baggage twice in my life – once in Holland (and then the airline managed to find it and have it arrive at my lodgings before I got there), and most recently on my trip to the U.S. There I was, standing at carousel 6 (or was it 16, or was it 8? – It’s all a bit of a blur now. I had just flown 14 hours) at San Francisco airport. Fellow passengers dragged, hauled, pulled their baggage from the circling, ever-circling rubber conveyer. One by one, they left, and I stood, and I stood. The final few cases remained. Lonely, looking like they’d been here before. No-one wanted to claim them. Nothing about them remotely resembled my pair of black canvas cases, so there hadn’t been any accidental mix-up. I was sure. Within 15 minutes, there were just two of us. An equally tired, equally despairing-looking man. Did you transfer at JFK? I asked. Mmm. From Italy. I nodded, knowingly. Apparently, my 2-hour transfer time hadn’t been long enough for my cases to make it from my first flight to my second, either.

Had I followed conventional wisdom and packed a few essentials in my hand-baggage? If you consider books, pens and notebooks to be essential, yes. Did I have toothpaste? Underwear? Deodorant? Spare T-shirt? – No, no, no, no, (in that order). I did have my money (hurrah), credit-card (hurrah). You remember the despair? It lifted very quickly. A sense of acceptance, a Que sera, sera attitude arrived in its place, and I found a calm quietness in me as I went to check in with the lost luggage people. We’ll send your luggage on to your hotel when it arrives. I noticed that WHEN. It was so comforting. There was no IF in it. They said WHEN. Ok, I thought, I’ll trust that.

Hotel check-in. I told them my baggage would be arriving later. The sceptical glance from the hotel clerk said it all. How naïve is that? They provided toothbrush and toothpaste. My room was comfortable. I read. I wrote my ten gratitudes. I prepared to sleep. That was easy. It just involved taking off my clothes. Well, it was a warm room. I didn’t actually need pyjamas, did I? My thoughts before I went off to sleep ran thus:

Maybe it’s meant to be. You wanted this journey to be an adventure, yet you packed two big suitcases like it was any other holiday. Maybe you’re not meant to be traveling trammeled with all that stuff. Maybe you can let it all go. Maybe it’s just what you need – to be travelling light and unburdened with possessions. If it wasn’t for my collection of SoulCollage cards tucked into one of those cases, I would have been ready to just let it all go at that stage, and then I remembered that I have scans of all my cards on my computer at home, so they could be reconstructed easily enough. Ok. That thought allowed me to accept the baggage is gone, gone, gone, and that is a good thing. I fell asleep with a plan to buy a pair of jeans, a pair of shorts, a couple of t-shirts, and a pair of sandals to travel with.

The 4 a.m. call jolted me out of such a deep sleep. I’d been travelling for oh… my brain was too tired to calculate, but something like a full day. The call? “This is the front desk. Your luggage has been delivered. …Two pieces. …Yes. You can wait ‘til morning to collect it. Sleep well.”

That’s what I find so often in life. It’s not so important to actually let go of the baggage as it is to be willing to let it go. Even though I travelled on with all my “stuff”, it didn’t burden me, and it didn’t matter if I lost any of it again. Now, I hope the next time I travel, I’ll pack lighter, and I will really not worry about whether I arrive with or without my baggage.


Find more Sunday Scribblings HERE

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Poetry Thursday. Humour

Over at Poetry Thursday, this week's suggested theme is humour. Well, when someone says "Say something funny" that's it for me. I'm stumped. So, the best I can do (unless I just go and link to some of Billy Collins' clever, clever, and sometimes hilarious poems) is to dig out a poem that has a slightly offbeat metaphor in it anyway. This one hasn't been published elsewhere. It's sat for over a year now, and maybe it was due to see the light of day at this stage!

The Poemdog

Hangs around sniffing places
I wouldn’t think to check out;
puts a warm head into the cup of my hand,
looking for comfort, offering contact,

asking me to scratch behind its ears.
Shaking imaginary prey in a game,
my poemdog lollops from subject to subject,
won’t settle to serious business,

has never been trained to fetch and come back.
I want it to run through the long grasses,
scaring up images, making them rise,
but this undisciplined creature

leaves words uncollected, fallen amid rushes,
quivering ungathered among the reeds,
and me waiting for something to be laid at my feet,
for the poemdog to finally bring something home.

For other participants takes on the humourous, go HERE. Enjoy!

The Lost Post

I had quite a long post ready to publish, and my computer froze up. Nothing would happen, so I had to switch off and back on again, losing the entire post. It was witty. It was clever. It had a wealth of cute little anecdotes in it that will never be recaptured or recounted with quite the same panache again. Irretrievable. Believe me. ... What? You don't believe me? What can I say?

In fact, it was a post entitled "Why is my kitchen in such a mess?" And it may have been witty. But mostly it was a Blowing My Own Trumpet post. I wanted to announce (as I am doing now, in fact) that I GRADUATED yesterday with my B.Sc (Hons) in Psychology (Frist Class Honours!), with all the pomp, pageantry and ceremony these events involve, and loved it, loved it. It took me six years to achieve the degree. Or it took me 31 years. - When I left school at 17, my ambition was to do a degree in Psychology, but I got waylaid, and followed different paths, which twisted, turned, diverged and brought me here, to this place, now, with my degree finally completed. I had a great day, and a wonderful evening's celebration with my sister, my son and a dear friend, and that's how the kitchen ended up in such a mess... shoeboxes, flowers, cards, discarded clothing, shopping bags, make-up items, all abandoned when we left for the ceremony, and just left after we'd returned from the evening out. Today, I've been basking in my success, and seeing friends, so tomorrow, all will be returned to what passes for normal around here, but I will continue to enjoy the array of congratulatory cards that have been arriving over the past two weeks, and the magnificent bouquet of yellow and white flowers that came from my colleagues in the Women's Centre where I volounteer.

I've been noticing a few bloggers debating the wisdom of returning to college, or wondering whether they can cope with courses of study at "a certain age" I say if it calls you, go for it. If it takes you twice as long as a youngster fresh from school, so what? Enjoy it, relish the challenge. Now that I've got it done, I say it was worth it for me. Now that I've got that done, you may find me casting about in the next few months for the next challenge. If anyone hears me mention words like "Masters" or "PhD", just turn me around and send me home and say "Enough is Enough!"

Photos? Another day, perhaps. Trust me. It really, really did happen!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Poetry Thursday - Personal Poetry

Well, there's a Post Title to send people running for the hills! Don't we all dread the times when we get stuck with an enthusiast armed with pamphlet, declaiming their poetry about the dog who died, the childhood that's long gone, the loves mislaid (or otherwise lost), misery, sadness - the entire human condition, as exemplified in their own lives? Do we?

The question we're asked to consider this week at Poetry Thursday is about "maybe just putting some thought into how this kind of poem (confessional or personal poetry) might fall flat, or on the other hand, might be so powerful and universal that it changes someone's life, truly changes someone's response to pain and circumstances.” - For there is the other side of personal poetry. - For every instance you find which leaves you cold, there is also one that illuminates an aspect of life, touching the heart in a way that no other literary form does.

To me, confessional poetry, when it's done well - when it rises above simply the telling of the story of some event in the poet's life, and hints at the universal emotions within the story - allows the reader, if they have never shared that experience in real life, to experience now the emotion involved; and if they have had the experience dealt with in the poem, very often they will find that the poem expresses the emotion inherent in it so perfectly and completely that they wonder how the poet knew what they had felt.

I have read poems and wondered how that poet knew my heart, my feelings so well. That is to me the key - that the poem deals with a personal experience in a way that others can identify with it, empathise and imagine that the experience is their own.

When Poetry Thursday began, my intention was to alternate between sharing well-known poets' work and my own, and then, when we were reminded of the necessity to obtain permission to publish copyrighted work, it seemed, I'll confess, too much trouble to go seeking permission, so I've slipped into the habit of offering my own poetry over the last few posts, and somewhere in the back of my mind was a nagging little voice saying "people are going to get sick, sick, sick of hearing about your marriage break-up" It was in poems. It was seeping into Sunday Scribblings, and still, very often, whatever prompt was being offered would seem to lead me in the direction of a piece of writing drawing on that experience. I have an entire sequence of break-up poems I call (very originally!) the Parting Sequence. Never published. Perhaps never will be, they were mainly written during the first few months of our separation. Maybe people who have been through the end of a relationship would relate to many of them, considering that they convey a feeling they had also felt. I haven't read any of them in public, not trusting myself to maintain composure, but there was a need to have them validated - heard in some way - so I asked for time from one of my writers' groups to read them. My colleagues all spoke of how polished and complete the poems seemed (although I hadn't done any editing work on them).

These ramblings don't really help me come up with a definitive answer to the question - What makes a poem powerful enough to change someone's life, change their response to circumstances? I only know that they do. I know when I read Pablo Neruda, when I pick through an anthology like Staying Alive, or consider the wonderful work of John Fox in the field of Poetry Therapy that I have felt the impact of a poem on my spirit, have felt the lift that comes with knowing that another soul has been in the place mine now is, or mine can feel itself in.

Here are some words of Nobel Laureate, Seamus Heaney:
"The virtue of poetry, of art in general, resides in the fact that it is first and foremost a whole thing, a hale thing, a thing formally and feelingly sound, right within itself, a thing to which the ultimate response - if not always the immediate response - is 'yes'. And this yes comes from an assent that is as bodily as it is anything else. The viewer, the listener, the audience recognise that something has come through to them intact, or perhaps better say they recognise that something has been brought through to them and brought home..." ("The Good of Poetry, Eisteach, Winter, 2004)

There, for me, is the key. When a personal or confessional poem draws out a Yes in me, a knowing, then it has transcended mere marks on paper and become something that is transmitting a complete feeling. (Am I really trying to paraphrase the above and make it more sensible?) You know the poem that you respond to with "Aaaah"? That's the poem that is doing it for me. The poem that causes a vibration in my sternum. The poem that finds me nodding, saying Yes, Yes, Yes.

My offering of poetry for this week is a suggestion that you follow the link to John Fox, above, and enjoy his poems there. I was lucky enough to do a short workshop with him a few years ago, and gained so much from it, not just as a poet, but as a therapist and for myself personally. He is a beautiful soul, and a wonderful poet.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

One Deep Breath - Journey

Given the day that's in it - my little tribute to America.

Everything's bigger
in that country: such tall trees,
such sky, such space. Aaah.

Other Haiku HERE

Monday, July 03, 2006

Re-Connecting: Blogging as Spiritual Practice?

Fran at Sacred Ordinary asked recently for people's responses to the question "Is Blogging a Spiritual Practice?" Hmm. My answer is It can be. If the blog is being used to try to become more your true, authentic self, then yes, I think so. I'm sure there are blogs that are kept in service to the ego, too, but of the blogs I seem to come across - or those I return to more than once - most seem to be people trying to figure out their way in the world, celebrating what's good in their lives, trying to connect in real ways with others of like mind, or to learn about what's important to other people. Yes, there are times we write of the things that are bothering us, or of past hurts, present troubles and so on, but this is also part of the emerging picture of the true self of each person.

I'm not sure I've been really present in my blog for a while, though. What I noticed is that I found it hard to regain a sense of community when I returned after my break in May/June. I posted for Sunday Scribbling and Poetry Thursday, and the new One Deep Breath Haiku group, but nothing in between. I felt disconnected, and oddly enough, part of that is because when I went to other people's blogs I was following a link to a specific post, and not the blog per se, so I wasn't catching up on people's activities, and not connecting in that way. Ever since the conclusion of The Artist's Way 12-week program, there's been a gradual shifting away, a loss of focus on the creative life within this blog.

I suppose what I'm saying is I'm not sure why I'm keeping this blog right now. I'm hanging in here because I like so much being around all the people I've come to "know" since January, but I don't know what I have to contribute, really. It's not just this blog. Since I came back, although I had intended to maintain my daily writing of 48 words - nada, one little bunch of entries, and since then, nothing. The impetus has dwindled for me. But, But, but... I'm not gone yet. So here is what I've been up to:

Yesterday, in my garden
I changed this

Into This

I spent all day with HER......................

I figured out how to drag pictures around a blogger post!

I cooked a healthy dinner (no pictures - too hungry, just ate it up as soon as it was cooked. Trust me. it was healthy!)

I read some of Anne Lammott's book Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith.

I watched Grey's Anatomy and a missed episode of Lost on TV

I posted to my SoulFragments blog something I'd been wanting to comment on for a while (now I know how to drag pictures around a post)

I wrote my Morning Pages, and my Ten Night-time Gratitudes....

Apart from Trixie (above), I spent the day alone, and it was good. My sister had been visiting all week up to Friday, and suddenly the house was empty. I didn't go out to buy sunday papers, I didn't go to the beach as I'd thought I might. I just cocooned with my pots, compost, plants, book... (OK... phone... I wasn't totally cut-off from the world), and came back to myself again.

And today... seeing if recounting this will help me feel connected here again a little more. I think so. Tomorrow, I go shopping for something to wear to my graduation next week. Oh... and I've been noticing 43 things on some people's blogs. I think I'll start work on my list for that. It's interesting, and it makes me feel good, because when I see other people's lists, there are things I have already done, and reminders of new things I would like to do. Lots of them.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Sunday Scribblings. Two Peas in a pod

Two peas in a pod

That’s us in many ways. That’s not us in so many other ways. Fifteen months apart, so I have no memory at all of a time before A. She’s my little sister, but it’s always been “us” and “we”. We like… we remember… we used to… Me and A. A and me. Two peas. You see?

She’s the blonde one, with the Paul Newmann-blue eyes. I’m the black sheep of the five siblings – brown hair and brownish-greenish eyes. I started out a blonde baby, but went dark as soon as my baby-hair went. Still, sometimes people see the resemblance straight away. We sound alike. When she’s around, my voice takes back our childhood accents and intonations. I speak more excitedly, and I acquire a new vocal range. People notice.

She’s the animated one, the one who befriends old ladies and children. I’m the watcher, but we’re two peas in a pod. We share memories in a deep and strange way. The neural pathways linking something to an old, old memory were formed the same ways in us, so we can see one thing and be reminded of something else entirely. Like… The clock on top of the RDS… well, it means Joni Mitchell, so you think of a song, but not just any old song… it will be Green, and we’ll start humming it, and people will look and wonder what on earth made them both start in on the same song at the same time. Oh, I can’t really think of more examples, but we have a sharing that we recognize. Likes and wants, and fitting together born of all the years of being “us”. Me and A. A and me. Sometimes we buy the same clothes – in different shops, in different towns. Sometimes we do sing the same songs. We like the same books. I can pick out almost anything for her, and she for me, and know the other’s taste.

She knows my heart. I know her heart. We’re two peas. Or we’re peas and carrots. We’re sisters and we’re best pals. We have a beloved older sister. We have two younger brothers. But me and A, A and me, we’re a pair.


I've posted only briefly over the past week because A was visiting, and time with her was better spent with her. I've hardly left a comment for anyone, though I've been scanning the blogs and catching as quickly as I could Poetry Thursday stuff. I missed out on most of the Sunday Scribbles last week, but will have a double helping this weekend, just as soon as I've posted this. Summer doesn't lend itself as well to blogging, though, does it? I've got a lot of bedding plants out in the backyard, waiting to find pots just as soon as these rainshowers have passed over, and if tomorrow is fine, I think the beach will be calling. And then there's The Secret Life of Bees, and a stack of more new books. Now that I'm not studying, I can read without guilt, and feel inclined to. But first... let's see what other peas look like... over at Sunday Scribblings