Welcome to my blog Upstate Girl, (a.k.a Follow Your Bliss Part II), I am an independently published author. This blog is all about writing and the stuff that inspires me to write, the joys and obstacles that come along with the writer's life, and my fascination with the psychology of people and what makes them tick...the human condition, as is...and my love for words, playing with them and making sense of them...and I throw in a few photos from my acre of the world just to make things pretty...sometimes there are things I have no words for, only pictures will do.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

How come...

Morning mist at the Floody Place out back, 3/17/2012
 It's a contemplative week...I've been thinking about a lot, and at the moment, I can't think of anything...
Dew Gems on a Tendril, 3/17/2012
It's been a 'real' week, and I'm still trying to digest some of it...lots of things happen for a reason, and all that sort of shit that we can puzzle about for hours, days and years...and still ask "How come?"

My poor father thinks he's a U.S. spy in Germany along with an old friend of his (who has been dead many years) and when he saw us come into his new room at the nursing home, he was surprised that we got through the lines and checkpoints to get there. (My Fred assured him that we had all of our papers in order.) He was surprised that our son had not yet been drafted...Hitler is dead, but still the war was going on...just differently. I'd like to believe these imaginings are the result of his reading a treasure trove of novels over the years...and I'd rather he be living in a fantasy than mourning his loses...it's his way of dealing with it...or it's just the dementia taking him away from me piece by piece...eventually, there will be a day he won't know who I am. This time he still did.

To make a long story short...our son's car died...here's the photos from the week...

a boy and his old car, "Lillian", 3/13/2012

Happy trails, Lillian!
I love this photo of the car on the flatbed (a distant black blob) riding off into the sunset...

My parent's Mustang, the "new" car, Max is giving her a sniff over. I think her name is "Nell", tho' "Tilly" would be a good one too. 3/14/2012
Our son has been notified that he's fresh out of grandparents with cars they no longer need...


It's enough to make my head spin...

I don't know if I'll ever understand the 'how come' of any of this...it's been bittersweet. Visiting my father, picking up his car and bringing it home, walking around their backyard and enjoying the beautiful day...the flowers...

The little purple crocus growing in my parent's backyard 3/14/2012
The weather has become peculiar...too warm for this time of year to be considered normal...but what is normal after this strange winter? Weather in the 70's for St. Patrick's Day in Central New York...it's unheard of!


They're lovely...and my mother would've loved seeing them. 3/14/2012
I'm going out to my garden to toil in the dirt, sit on my porch and soak up some sunshine...write things out...write things down...or do nothing but watch the world go by with my dog dozing at my feet...

Little bugs flitting in the sunset, 3/17/2012





Sunday, March 11, 2012

Spring forward...

Abstraction (old door), 3/10/2012
Layers (a collage of last autumn's debris), 3/4/2012
I really wish they'd leave the clock alone...this time change business is truly socially unacceptable...I hate the feeling that I'm "late"...that I "slept in"...grrrrr. It already feels like half the day is gone...

Blue, a pussy willow leaf, 3/4/2012

Layers, lace and leaves, 3/4/2012
Layers, 3/4/2012
Taking Flight (cornfield pigeons), 3/10/2012


The snow on the ground today should be gone by tomorrow...the morning sun is out making springtime shadows on the trunks of trees and the ground, the sky is that amazing blue and the temperature is creeping above freezing...tho' it will be warm out, there will be the chill of melting snow in the air...it is my intention to spend time in the sunshine from my favorite chair on the porch...the first time since...? Pre-Halloween October...maybe I got one or two times in November since it was an "unusual" November.

Painting...writing...I'm always tinkering with something. I'm going to try to wrap up chapter 35 of Fishbowl today, I'm looking for one more word to set right the first paragraph, (I'll get it with a bit of time, a walk around the acre with Max will help.) The rest of it is done...then I'll move on forward...I'm working my way from the end to the beginning, you see, so I'll be in chapter 34 next, it's part of my editorial system, read it forward, read it backward, line by line, paragraph by paragraph, out of context/in context...when I look back at the beginning, the early drafts of this book, it started in 2000-2001, and grew into a monster of epic proportions sometime around 2003-2004. I've been taming that monster ever since, and have been working diligently for a year getting it publication ready. (It's almost there.)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

March roaring in...part 2


How cool are these? My Fred treated me to a photo fest on Friday afternoon, these old steel-faced printing blocks are gorgeous!








This is how books used to be done...some day, I'd like to work with a letterpress (like Syracuse's very own Boxcar Press or Amaranth Press and Bindery) and make a limited edition book of Po-emz...gotta write some first (well, I do have a few, just not sure if they should see the light of day or not.)

Wow, it's been a while since I posted here...

Snowing today, rain by tomorrow or Tuesday...sunny and 50's by Wednesday (snow all gone until the next time a front passes by with some to share.) For now, the wind that blew away February has calmed down, the flurries are falling in a gentle manner, steady and abundant, reminding us that it is winter after all...

A red squirrel and a gray squirrel were fighting over a peanut outside my studio window a little while ago...a very dramatic furry fight...gray squirrel held on to that peanut, red squirrel just bitched about it while rifling through the leaves at the base of the lilac bush, the gray bushy tail with pale ears munching the prize...once the peanut was eaten the fight was over, gray squirrel went one way, red squirrel went the other...gotta love the backyard drama...

I've been painting much of today and yesterday, and when not painting, editing Chapter 35 of Drinking from the Fishbowl...it's coming along, tightening up, expanding a bit, these last few chapters were always a little thin and felt rushed to me. I'm glad to be spending time with them and making them right...it's a long process, at times arduous (writing a book is a lot about patience), but I'm enjoying the immersion now that I'm returning to the rhythm of it after being so out of sorts for several months, I felt like I was reading and not comprehending anything I had written. Sometimes it's hard to talk about what I'm working on only because I fear boring people with the process, it's like watching grass grow, okay? Some nights I'll work on one paragraph...and the next night, the same paragraph, only I change a word here, add another sentence there...the next night, take that sentence out, change that word back to the original word. (See what I mean?) You'd think I'd know what I want to say by now...I don't believe a book is ever truly finished, I could go back and rework it endlessly...the story will remain the same, but the words might be rearranged to tell it better. (What the hell right? If Stephen King can say the Dark Tower series is done at last, and then add another book in the middle of it a few years later, that's entirely up to him - it's his story to tell, and if it's still being told, let him tell it. If I want to shake my fist and say: "You bastard!" That's fine too. ) I do love Fishbowl, even though I've had such a time with it, the darn thing came from my earliest efforts as a writer, before I really had my literary shit together. I'm sure not everyone will like it just because they can, but the ones who will like it, will appreciate it for what it is...it's a psychological study, the loyalty of friends, a love story (with a little bit of a nod to soap opera's, which makes it a social comedy of sorts, tho' a little darker in a grim sort of way)...it's a book about dreams and realities. I'm glad that I haven't rushed it...it's going to be a better book for the extra effort on my part. I'm sure everyone who has an opinion will try to tell me how to write it, but see, the thing is...it is written the way I want to tell it, it has it's own voice, and who's to say that voice is right or wrong. I'm quite satisfied so far...but then, it's been several years in the making, and I haven't read the first chapter since March 16th of last year...so you see...who knows what I'll find when I pick up the printed hard copy later this spring once I'm ready to do the final pass through this summer! I'm a different writer now than I was a year ago, my vision has sharpened, not that I'm going to carry it off to another realm, there might be something that I've learned since then that I will need to apply to the earlier chapters...

I know I'm excited. It's a beautiful thing.