Panorama of San Bernardino

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Thanksgiving thanks

Every year, I write a Thanksgiving blog. I've talked about how my memories of Thanksgiving revolve around my father and my remembrances of his Thanksgiving meals.

This is not that kind of piece. This has been the weirdest year: Covid, the election, working from home, starting a creative writing Masters program and a podcast. I don't really know what to say except that I'm thankful that I'm here. That my family is here. 

What I guess I could also say is that I'm still grateful, but I'm feeling sad. I will miss seeing my sisters and family tomorrow. I miss concerts. I miss interacting with people like normal.

I have a dark side people rarely see and this pandemic has brought it out. Perhaps, I will have to make a conscious decision to go back to who I was. Because the one thing I've learned is that there is always light. Always. And, it's up to us to reach for that light.

Yesterday, I took the day off and woke up early and made my stuffing muffins. I chopped celery and apples and my mind went back to my dad again. I'm still missing him more than ever.

Feeling melancholy, I responded by finishing my homework for the week and the semester. Then I finished binging season one of The Crown.

At night, my husband and I made s'mores in the cold and listened to music. The sounds of INXS wafting in the air, I tapped my feet along to the beat.

Things are what we make of them and tomorrow, I pledge to make it a good day. A good day. I'll say it again. It will be a good day. 

Now back to sleep I go. It's 3 am and what I didn't realize when I started writing this is that it's already Thanksgiving.

I am craving an expresso but will wait two hours at least to be civilized.

Happy thanksgiving my friends. Reach for the light.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Pandemic times

It is the week before Thanksgiving. The pandemic is raging through the states. Some countries and states are considering locking down. Again. California just imposed a 10 pm curfew. 

Work is surreal. I go into court and try and get in and out, but I miss the interaction with the lawyers and staff in mental health court. We are a close knit group who work in the trenches trying to help the most voiceless of populations.

Once I get home, I work some more. The work never ends. My clients need visiting which we do remotely. There are motions to write. Notes to update. Files to read. Reports and documents to review. It never ends.

But I feel off kilter. We all do. The world is in a precarious place. We are in the midst of one of the most trying times in history both medically, socially and politically.

Where will this all go? What will happen? A vaccine is on the horizon, but I fear there will be severe economic repercussions for years to come.

It is not all misery however. This pandemic has resulted in some artistic inspiration. I'm working on my last podcast of the year and finishing my first class for my MFA creative writing program. My weekends are full. I've replaced busy weekends on the go with writing.

Still, I yearn for the carefree days where I could travel and roam and see my family and friends sans mask.

Yet, gratitude is key and today I'll end with that. I'm grateful to be here writing today. The blank page is my refuge. My solace. My pen to the page is my everything.

Saturday, November 14, 2020


As Joni Mitchell once sang, "I wish I had a river to skate away on." 

The idea of escape is something I cannot stop thinking about. I want to be in Hawaii or Cancun, Dublin, Paris or somewhere new like London or Barcelona. I want the pleasure of being somewhere where I am a new me. Somewhere I can discover new places and things. The joy of vacation. Maybe I want to be anywhere except where I am. 

It is the pandemic that will not let me go. And the election. I feel unsettled. The disquiet is in the air. It feels as if something bad is going to happen. I'm not imaging it I don't think. Perhaps many of us feel this way. 

The infections are rising and there is no avoiding it unfortunately. We can only skate away in our minds while the ice breaks beneath our very feet. I'm sorry for the morose tone. It is the only one I can find right now. 

Everything will be OK is the mantra I use to calm myself. But still, I feel uneasy. Breathing in and out, I practice my gratitude exercise, and whisper what I am grateful for in my head. My husband, my dogs, our moms, my sisters, my friends, my job, and my health. I keep repeating this to myself whenever I get anxious.  

I want to be a child again and be reassured by my dad. I look up into the ceiling and picture my father up in heaven playing cards and wish I could just hear his voice. Just him saying my name would make me feel better. But the only way I hear his voice is when I write stories about him and right now, I can't. I can't write anything but this.

Thursday, November 12, 2020


Earlier, I tried to write but couldn't. I could barely string words together. Maybe, I have too much on my mind. 

My writing process is usually muse based. I get inspired, I write a story. It's not the best way to finish a book, but I'm trying. 

Sometimes, a goal itself inspires me. I had a performance for a live show that was cancelled due to the pandemic, but it was the impetus for the last chapter of my book. Another time, I put my mind to writing about my Dad's bar and a piece of a story came out that I recently finalized for a chapter of my book.

Maybe I can use that tactic this weekend. I've decided I'm going to set a few concrete story goals and see what happens.

Unfortunately, I'm under the gun. My deadline for the final draft of my memoir is January. And yes, the book is almost there, note the use of almost. Perhaps, I'm too much of a perfectionist. The final stories are coming along. Yet, I feel as if I'm on the verge of writing a needed addition to the book. Something necessary that will take it to a higher level. 

The real problem is now that the dream is so close, I'm terrified of failure. What if no one reads my book? What if people dislike it? 

What if I disappoint myself? Ultimately, what matters most is that I end up satisfied and content with the final version. I am not a content person by nature so this could be tricky, but I'm not going to block myself. 

And then, it's on to book two, which I've started but it is kind of a secret for now. It's law related and I already pitched it to a press.

This writing thing is not a fluke you see. It's my passion. It's everything in some ways. 

So watch out writing world. Here I come.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Democracy daze

Four years ago, I was devastated and surprised by the presidential election. This year, I voted early morning on Election Day then turned off the news. This time, I decided, I would not be hurt. I ate two donuts and went to bed early.

Waking up, I was pleasantly surprised with the results. As the day went on, the good news trickled in. By the end of day two then three, I was cautiously optimistic.

Still, I am not jinxing it. I will not celebrate until it is officially called. You can call me superstitious, but I will call myself smart.

If Biden does win, I will breathe a big sigh of relief. These last four years have been difficult. I rarely wade into politics here, so forgive me, but our standing in the world has been forever harmed. The rhetoric that has been used by the hopefully soon to be former President is dangerous and inflammatory. 

Perhaps, it is a good thing that we know now that the democracy we cherish is so fragile. That it was almost brought down by one man is terrifying. That so many stayed silent and joined him is horrifying. And I am praying that soon, very soon, this very long nightmare will be over. Then we can all heal and build new bridges.

So fingers and toes crossed, I sit and wait.