Here are my Rita Mae Brown letters and Bear messages. The first couple RMB letters explain their purpose. They are sent to her via the US Postal Service and I am forever grateful to her for allowing the letters to flow. I am adding some fiction shorts now on the "Writings" page. I hope you find something here of significance, something that brightens your day, entertains you, or touches you in some way. All my best to you.
Summer has arrived. The air
is a dryer, at least here in Southern California that’s the case. The deserts
are heating up to triple digits. The days of daylight stretching into the
evening hours have reached their peak. Dusk will join us a bit earlier from
here on into fall.
I’d like to say that I spent the time since my last letter finalizing my novel, or finally fixing up that spare
room, or on making headway on some giant goal. Alas, there were wonderful adventures,
like viewing the Ramona play in Hemet, celebrating its 96th season, and
the recent family reunion in Seacrest, Florida. However, the vast majority of
moments were simply lived.
Our Writers Circle met last
night and our ten minute writing theme was “Lost dog”, which I shortened to “Lost”
Lost days mount up. All that I could do or would do remains
undone, and a challenge for my future self. That future self will be more
efficient and accomplish so much more than present me, who’s highest priority
is to watch the last few shows of Alias, season 4.
Future self can juggle writing that novel, work, home
repairs, mastering tarot card readings, and, of course, watch season 5 of
Alias. Yes, future self will get it all done, or at least that is what present
me believes, so that I can put off to tomorrow what I don’t feel moved to do
This is a Universal quandary, not mine alone. That brings
some comfort. Still, I don’t look forward to the talk with my future self about
all that is still left undone when the time of doing anything ends.
It has been a good few
months, not really “lost” in a sad sense, just gone with little progress on “my
list”. And now we move onward to make the next few months better, starting with
this RMB letter and a this inspirational note from Jean Trebek’s website www.insidewink.com.
Today begins it.
Today is the fresh start.
Today is the new year.
Today is the joy.
The one thing.
new year has stormed in, literally. What started as a fall full of welcome
rain, has turned into a winter deluge. My heart goes out to those badly affected
by the storms nationwide. My friend the Sun, “Grandfather” to Teddy who follows
Native American traditions, is shining brightly today, a most joyous site.
apologize for the lapse in letters. I have no good reason for it, other than
life itself. It seems to fill up days until they become weeks and then months. You
have been on my mind, despite or maybe because of, the lack of letters.
read about your happenings in the news, new books, talks, and so forth. I
believe your most recent publication is Whiskers in the Dark. Your ability
to turn out entertaining book after book amazes me.
accounting guru at our small publishing company came in with a 2 x 2 square
inch of paper a few weeks ago. Handing me the crossword puzzle of the day, she
said, “I saved this for you”. The answer to one clue was “Rita Mae Brown”.
would think that might nudge me to write, but words had not gathered to form a
letter yet. The next day, I was driving
along minding my own business, when the license plate ahead nudged me again, “VIRGINIA”
it said, big and bold.
California, license plates from other states are common, although normally not
from so far away. I planned to tell my friend Carol about the second nudge when
we went for our walk in the park that evening. Before I had the chance, we
passed a young man wearing a black sweatshirt with large bright bold white letters
reflecting the evening’s lamplight, “WISH YOU WERE HERE”.
explained the license plate and passing the shirt proclaiming the title of your
first book collaboration with Sneaky Pie Brown. She had noticed the shirt too. Okay,
I thought to the Universe, message received.
the Universe wasn’t done playing. Carol accompanied me on a book delivery to
Cabrillo National Monument the next day, where we enjoyed our daily walk during
a rare beak from the rain. On the way to our car afterwards, we passed another
VIRGINIA license plate. We both laughed.
cap it off, we as we were driving home, we looked at the license plate on the
car in front of us at the same time and rang out with “VIRGINIA!” simultaneously.
November has brought us enough rain for the land take a good
long drink, a little too much for the California parts touched by fire this
On the drive home last night, raindrops rested on the
windshield and captured street lights and headlights, small spheres reflecting
green, red, yellow, and white, and then rolling down fast, only to be replaced
by another and another. It was a vision of water at play. “Wheeeee” they
wooshed by. It brought me a smile. Although rain is more plentiful in your neck
of the woods, I hope this observation brings a smile to you too.
With your birthday fast approaching, I wanted to get this
letter out to say Happy Birthday! I wish for you a wonderful “new” year. May it
be filled with little happy surprises, companionship, and a wealth of good
tidings that fill your days with joy.
Election day is passed and it is good that people are
voting. Our America can be better than this, more united, more compassionate,
and wise. We will get there.
The fires in California are a challenge and have left
heartbreak in their wake. Survivors will rebuild or relocate, and we all mourn
the loss of animals and loved ones, whether we knew them or not, it takes a
toll to hear the news and our hearts go out to those effected.
The same for the other tragedies happening around the
country. People are connected. Together we grieve our losses.
We also celebrate our accomplishments, our good deeds and
triumphs. It is so easy to see in the eyes of one another whether we are
discussing a football game or the nightly news, an invisible connection of
energy, full of possibilities.
As with the old theme of good vs evil, it takes only shift
for the connection to be lost and destruction to ensue. Perhaps with recognizing
the connection, writing about it in a letter to a favorite author, discussing
it with a friend, or just giving it a moment of thought, we can strengthen the
bond. United we stand.
July, with her high temps and summer activities, is coming
to a close. August promises to be just as warm, easing us closer to fall.
Comic Con was fun this year and, again, I marvel at what it
has become, having lived and participated in its humble beginnings. The
costumes have moved from mostly handmade contraptions to elaborate designs
worthy of a movie set. A Storm Trooper here, Wonder Woman there, Rochelle Ibarra
even donned a costume: Negan from Walking Dead.
Despite the immense size and massive attendance, it is still
a place of magical energy, where strangers meet and find common ground,
interests and experiences, within minutes.
This year, while waiting in one of those lines that goes forever,
where some sleep overnight and many have that zombie look, not from make-up,
nor a costume, but from staying up all night for days on end, we met an older woman
and her grown daughter. They had traveled from Texas. For the duration of that
line, from dawn into the week hours of the morning, and into Ballroom 20 for the Supernatural show’s panel,
among others featured, they were “our” people. People who we will likely never
see again, yet for those hours of that day, we were connected.
It is interesting how people will travel great distances to
be at one of the many conventions, rallying around a common interest. I suppose
it is much like any group activity, a fox hunt, a horse show, a political rally,
and so on. Each has its own sort of magic, its own energy. However, I feel
there is something more that draws us, more than the interest or focus at hand,
it is the gathering, the sharing, the sense of belonging.
What would it take for us to feel that sense daily, to be
able to walk anywhere, among strangers and acquaintances alike, and feel that
sense of belonging, for all people to be “our” people? We share the planet
earth, her resources, the sky, and the seas. We have more in common than we
allow ourselves to acknowledge.
It is the first weekend of summer here in sunny southern
California. Our deserts have settled in up in the 100s during the day, with
warm, windy evenings.
I’m listening to Magic Streetby Orson Scott Card. I enjoyed Enders Game very much and
expected the same experience with this one, but it is a far different read.
Although he draws a person into the characters with drama and intrigue, I am
looking forward to my next Rita Mae Brown book, Puss'n Cahoots.
On the non-fiction front, I’m listening to Brain
Warriors. It is a bit deep, with talk of brain scans and medical terms I’m
only vaguely familiar with. I’ll take bits here and there that I can apply to
my own life and leave the rest for someone much more ambitious than I, someone more
I’m also reading a Jack Canfield book, The Success Principles.
He is a good guy, that Jack. He writes of good things, inspiring things. This
is the second time I’ve read this book. And it is as good, if not better than
the first time. I’m a tad bit older and maybe able to digest it better.
Interesting how the same experience is felt differently as time goes by, adjusted
slightly by the wisdom of age.
So there we have it, summer is starting out well in my
little corner of the world.
The corners of other people’s worlds are less calm and
peaceful and some even tragic. I send well wishes out to those facing
challenges every day, that their hearts stay strong, and good, and that they
have moments of happiness to hold on to.
“I have a dream”… that those who cause strife be guided by a
kinder heart and that those who are in the position to mend our world’s aches,
do so with unending support.