What do I do for geeky fun? Sometimes I make up fake memoirs.

The rule for fake biographies is that they have to a) make sense, b)use as much period detail as possible and c) be someone who, tantalizingly, might have been, but....Let me show you what I mean.

It's not often pointed out, but classic Rock & Roll was not much of an equal opportunity employer. As much as people like to point out Grace Slick, and the various J's :Janis, Joni, Judy, Carole, and Laura, the truly epic women of classic rock were not players, nor even songwriters, but wives and muses: Marianne Faithfull, Yoko Ono, Anita Pallenburg, Bebe Buell and Patti Boyd. (This is not to denigrate Women in Rock, per se, but that pre-punk, actual artists were (mostly) overlooked in favor of window dressing.)

Looking over their skill sets, however, they don't look to have done very much other than being muses.

About all you can say is that Yoko Ono is a good-enough conceptual artist to make standard histories the of postwar New York Art Scene without John, and her poetry is fun (though "Grapefruit" was written before she met him), and Marianne made a few more-than good-enough singles. As for the rest, most of the groupies just sort of faded. But I can think of something that could have put any one of them over the top as being, not merely decorative, but dangerous.

 Having some electronics experience -- this isn't as far off as you can imagine, especially in San Francisco (apparently, since Hewlett-Packard & Co. employed women during the War and even after, even gentle ladies in the Bay Area know their way around a schematic) -- could be pretty interesting, in a setting where musicians, and even the people who 'do sound' for them don't know the first thing about how their magic boxes work. Ditto computers -- OK, microprocessing wasn't widely available until the early 80's. But I can imagine someone having a PDP-8 or 10 as an expensive adult toy, and, by the late 70's many people were building boxen from kits.

"She's such a weirdo -- she has a pet computer!"
Fone phreaking was invented by Abbie Hoffman, and as computer historians can attest, he wrote about it extensively. And of course, a little neurochemical alchemy was always in demand. After all, Patti Smith's first love was photography, which art she taught that handsome gay guy who lived with her...In short, what if one of the First Ladies of Rock was a geek?

The key idea, though, is to keep all this kind of a secret. If you're going to be living off the proceeds of some egomaniacal fellow with calluses on his fingertips, you can't appear to be too independent, or else he's going to figure out you can live just as well on your own, which is, after all, nearly unheard of, since you're supposed to be The Girlfriend, all mystical visions and pretty thoughts. That you can electrify a guitar with a dead telephone, play The Game of Life (either on paper or with core) and/or turn worthless diamorphine into gold is not something that will make him happier with you, just a little afraid. Of course, you get to do all the standard rock-muse stuff: all the good drugs, great clothes, hanging around some of the most interesting people of the time...

So how does this work out as writing? It's not, precisely a story. You just have to figure out how this person could have existed, how they got to be there, and what happened in their later life. I'm still trying to think about motives: she's not a spy (the politics are WAY wrong), but she could just be powerfully smart...It's just fun, an exercise, like in The Glass Bead Game. Anyway, it's the geekyest thing I can think of to do.

Lately, too, I've been designing imaginary buildings: a house, a palace...But that's another story.

3 days before my birthday, and I got the most wonderful gift I could ever have wished for. I received the news that my book Cradle Songs: An Anthology of Poems on Motherhood has been chosen by the International Book Awards - Honouring Excellence in Independent and Mainstream Publishing. They are sponsored by US Book News. Cradle Songs won the Best Poetry Anthology Award.

The other good news is that we opened our store on May 1st. it has always been my dream to own an antique store. I was going to call it The Little Shop of Horders, but we decided on Hecho en Echo instead, since we are making many of the items in the store. My specialty is coiled cloth baskets made from recycled clothing and Native American inspired jewelry. Check us out on Face Book. We will be teaching workshops.

I got my cook book back from the editor yesterday for me to go over once more before we lock the text portion of the book, and one of my poems is in the forthcoming anthology Woman in Metaphor: An anthology of poems inspired by the paintings of Stephen Linsteadt. I have 3 more poems coming out in 2 other anthologies.

My novella is almost finished and I have been accepted into the Women's National Book Association critique group.

It looks as if this is going to be an exciting year for me in publishing.

Yesterday was a really good day in terms of productivity. I also learned something new about my oldest daughter. We were in After School Care when she brought a notebook over to me. She's a doodler so it was covered with ink, inside I started reading about a girl who discovers a mermaid when she's scuba diving. There are two main characters, the diver and the mermaid, they meet, become friends, and want to spend more time together, but are limited because they live in different worlds. When the girl has to swim back to her parents, she thinks about the mermaid, and tells her how much she's going to miss her friend when the cruise ship has to sail back home. The mermaid tells the girl that she's part mermaid, the girl is excited, but then she starts thinking, what if her tail falls off, or people find out she's part mermaid? She wonders about her gene pool, and who may have passed this trait along to her. That's where my daughter is in the story, so far it's a delightful read, my daughter has a way of capturing the personalities of her character, the dive down seems realistic, and I love the inner monologues she has going on inside of her character's heads.

She had to serve a two-day in school suspension this past Friday and Monday. A friend of mine mentioned that the library was looking for mentors who could help them with their summer reading program. After school, my daughter biked down to the library, picked up an application, and my husband went with her to drop it back off. These past few days I've seen a turn in her attitude and her level of preparedness, and responsbility. She helped me clean the bathroom last night. It grossed her out, and I think in the past I've wanted to shield my children from that sort of thing because it makes me uncomfortable when the bathroom hasn't been cleaned in a while. Normally that's my youngest daughter's job. I don't know what went down between her and her father, but she was sent to her room, and consequently went to bed early. She missed supper although she had a hearty breakfast this morning, and I packed her extra to eat for lunch and snacks today.

A couple people I follow on Twitter are into film, whether they're directors, producers, or write screenplays. I follow people I know on E2 who have similar interests, and this morning I tried a writing tip someone suggested where you write down a hundred words as fast as you can. I did that, and it was harder than I thought it would be, a lot of fun, as I wrote, words came to me, some I included, but others I chose to exclude in favor of their opposites. When I was done, I was intrigued and proud of what I had written. I ended up three words short, and I did something fun with the ending that I won't share here in case anyone wants to try this exercise.

Being a creature of habit, I'm working on transforming my former bad habits into better ones. I didn't wake up early this morning, but I had a big day yesterday, and today I realized that I need to lower my expectations of myself in some areas. I needed sleep, I slept fairly well last night, and I've already had a better morning than some other days. A friend of mine who is in the film industry does a daily baseball podcast. I like listening to it, but sometimes I don't make the time to listen to what he has to say. Today I combined listening to the podcast with a short work out. I wanted yesterday to be my food prep day so today I could get a work out in, and that idea was more successful than I thought it was going to be. Having the podcast gave me a definitive time period to work with. I learned more about who owned baseball the previous day, and I gleaned some insights into movies that were released during the summer of 1999.

Yesterday I down loaded some Dale Carnegie apps. I went through them, and so far I'm enjoying them although I'm not sure if I'm going to have to pay for the downloads which are the next steps in the programs. I've decided that I can learn about leadership even though I'm not in a traditional work environment. I took some quizzes, and I'm going to incorporate this type of experiment into my daily routine. I personally admire the producer of the podcast I listen to because it's produced every single day, and that type of habit is what I'm interested in cultivating. I didn't get fat by sitting down and gorging myself, it was a long term sustained effort that included more calories, and less exercise.

To reverse that, I've stocked my fridge with a wide variety of healthy choices so they're there when I need them. I'm trying to surround myself with people who are positive, and believe in me, and I try to encourage others to pursue their individual goals. I have a new book to read, I read a lot of fluff at work when the kids are doing their homework, and I'm integrating deeper material that helps push my mind instead of entertaining it. Just like writing is a daily habit of mine, I want to make meal planning and prep weekly routines so the girls have options when I'm not around. Tonight my oldest has a soccer game, I'm nervous about getting lost on the drive there, but excited to see her play, and hoping that we can enjoy some mother-daughter time while we're together.

Tomorrow we're going to a field trip to see the Brewers play. My daughter is very excited, and I have to admit that I am too even though the weather may not cooperate with our plans to tailgate before the game. I'd like to take my daughter mini golfing again, the place we went to last time has batting cages, and I'd love to sit there and either watch her hit, or hit with her. A friend of mine who is a hitting coach was recently invited to help the players of USA Baseball improve their swings. He's super excited about it, and I'm so happy that he's getting some of the recognition that I feel he's earned. I follow a lot of coaches on Twitter, he's introduced me to others who are now friends of mine, and it's been really interesting to hear these people share their stories about success, and how they're developing the people they're working with.

Another friend of mine is involved with open source healthcare information. He's an artist, he did a quick self portrait of himself, and it made my day when he and another friend of mine who runs a healthcare forum that helps connect patients with support groups, experts, and physicians told me that they enjoyed interacting with me. A couple physicians I know are also artists, I find the connection fascinating, and would love to someday meet some of these people so I can hear more about the guy who almost flunked out of college, turned to art, and then turned back to medicine because his grades improved after he took several art classes. Music, art, photography, languages, there are so many creative outlets to explore, I want to do everything, and I want to be able to expose my children to the diversity of talented people I'm privileged to know.

Today I had planned to write about why I don't go to the gym. Today I worked out at home, I have a fitness buddy, I've found some classes we can take together, and I'm excited that better meal planning and recipe organization is finally paying off dividends. I'm having a fabulous day, I'm thrilled to be alive, a part of life, and proud of myself for the accomplishments I have behind me because I can use them as stepping stones for future success.

Take care,


A Little Help from my friends -

It's been a while since I've posted here, though I haven't stopped trolling Etouffee's poetry. Catharsis is catharsis after all. I'm only a little ashamed to say that for the most part, I've stopped posting here because I've been trying to get my pieces published in Literary Journals of resoundingly suspicious quality, but that I have been moderately successful. I've gotten over a dozen poems published to various journals, and if all goes well I'll have a chapbook published soon. A chapbook is a weird little medium, it's essentially a half book of poetry. It's mainly used for those who don't have the stones to write an entire book of poetry.

This whole enterprise has been made possible by the good folks at Duotrope Unfortunately, they've started charging five bucks a month, but it's been a really awesome resource for me, since I'm a notoriously lazy submitter. I hated writing cover letters, trying to find back issues to see if they published anything that remotely resembled my stuff etc...

But I didn't come here today to shill for Duotrope, with whom I have no business affiliation, but to shill for myself, with whom I have an unfortunate affiliation.

A buddy and I had been musing for sometime that we didn't have anything close to a good system for keeping track of what books we wanted to read. Though I've been taking a few off of this for years. With that in mind we got together and started brainstorming about releasing a combination app/website devoted to people recommending books to their friends and contacts, swapping and trading books, writing reviews, and just for the hell of it leveling up. We don't really know how to make/do any of those things at present, but the business plan is coming along, we're both learning the basics of coding and startup laws, we've almost got an Alpha Version of this thing ready to hit an iphone, we've even got a name...almost.

We also realized early on in this process that we are making a lot of assumptions about what people who read books do, based on what we do. The first thing I do when I read a really good book is try to find a friend who will be into it, and hit them in the face with it. Most other people probably do something else. So we devised a sarcastic little survey to try and take the pulse of the avid book readers out there to help us develop what will hopefully be a very effective and free tool to help we small group of literati throw books at each other faster and "appier". So I need a little help from E2. Anyone who could take a few minutes to fill out this survey would really help me out. Thanks guys.

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