Hurricane Kathy

So, have I ever mentioned how my mom is Hurricane Kathy?

(Right now, she’s reading this post and making a mean face. Stop that – it’ll freeze that way.)

I know I’ve mentioned the Jeffe Sunshine Magic (TM) at least once before. David is terribly amused by it. Wherever we go, people will comment that the the weather was bad before we arrived, then miraculously cleared. It’s quite reliable. The only person who seems to be able to neutralize the JSM is my mother.

Before we went to St. Thomas, she asked me about the forecast for rain everyday. I told her it’s always like that. The rain showers come and go, brief and warm, not a big deal at all.

Yes, I had forgotten about her powers.

Remember a few years back when they had the torrential rains in Kuaui? So bad that part of the highway washed out and some homes were swept into the ocean? My mother was on the island.

The first few days were lovely. We spent a lot of Monday doing things like filling Stepdad Dave’s prescriptions, buying groceries and booze, replacing the watch he dramatically smashed during his fall. (The face crystal was shattered into tiny pieces and the metal band torn apart – grim indicator of just how hard he hit.) We put in some beach time that afternoon and crashed fairly early – still recovering from our emotional hangover.

On Tuesday, we experimented with taking Stepdad Dave out and about. We went to a fun beach place, Iggie’s, for lunch, and did some touring about. Wednesday, he had a doc appointment. Afterwards, we took the ferry to St. John. And boy, did it pour. On both islands.

After this point, you may notice that most of the pics have dramatic clouds in the background. A shopkeeper in St. John told me it was the most rain they’d had all winter and they were grateful.

We should totally rent her out as a rainmaker.

But it was still beautiful.


Come Blow Your Horn

A while back, I did a guest post on Elizabeth Flora Ross’s blog about defending your writing time.

I’m militant on the topic. I truly believe that if you want time to write, you have to build a fence around it, possibly with razor wire, and defend it at all costs. No ifs, ands or buts. Otherwise the time will get eaten away in nibbles and bites by everything else in your life.

Over time, it gets easier. Everyone else in your life becomes accustomed to you being unavailable at certain times. And, most importantly, it becomes a habit to sit and write. Defending the time means defending the habit.

In the last year, I’ve gotten really good at this. I drafted The Body Gift in half the time it took me to write Obsidian, plus it’s a much tighter draft. I also wrote Petals and Thorns on an efficient schedule. I’ve been working on revising and tightening The Body Gift and got a good chunk into a new novella.

Then I went on vacation.

I thought I might work on the book some, on long rainy Oregon coast days at the B&B. But my Jeffe Sunshine Magic (TM) kicked into effect and we had gorgeous weather. I didn’t sweat it. I knew I needed to relax, refresh and refill the well after my big push to finish The Body Gift. Vacation can be from all my jobs, I decided.

And so it was.

When I came back, however, relaxed, refreshed, ready to get back to work, I found my fence was in a shambles. Like Little Boy Blue, I’d allowed the cows into the meadow and the sheep into the corn. It’s taken me all week to get back into the habit.

Kerry’s book, Swimming North, is about dragons and dragon-slaying. She often draws a parallel between her day job and slaying dragons. But, last night, she agreed that cows were in her meadow, too.

Screw the dragons – it’s the freaking cows that are our problem!

“Mad cows. Complacent cows,” she says, “all of them are trouble.”

Sometimes you have to look closer to home, for the simple solution.

If you need me, I’ll be out building fences.