My new ghost? I shall name her Mabel.

It’s quite possible we have a ghost in the new place. We have settled down, (details in a future post) and today I am alone here for the first time. Love the peace and quiet. I was just sitting down to resurrect the blog I have neglected over the past few hectic months having put on one of my favorite records, “The Great Band Era”. Glenn Miller, Earl Hines, Hal McIntyre, Sammy Kaye, you know, all the good ones circa 1944. I love the sound of old records. Scratchy, tinny and original. Like the times and people of the past, it can’t be reproduced today. (With the exception of one band that hits it darn close, but I’ll get to that later.) So anyway, I was sitting here listening and the hair on the back of my neck raises. I get a shiver that runs through my whole body leaving electric tingles. Almost simultaneously, I feel as if someone has entered the room. I could feel it the same as I feel my husband or son enter the room and I have heightened paranoia about that because I’m weird in the way that I can’t have anyone looking over my shoulder when I write. So my radar goes off whenever anyone is around. Trouble is, as I said, I was home alone. I got the deep-rooted feeling that someone was looking right at me. And my mind flashes back to when we first bought this place and the elderly woman across the street came over to welcome us. She went on politely in a slurred, dementia filled ramble and I could tell she was quite lonely. She talked about the people who lived here before and had good words for them. And the old couple that lived here before that. Then she became quite lucid, looked me in the eye and said, “She died here, you know. Right in that back room.” Oh. Crap. My sister, who was here helping me with some of the demo work, went into crisis management mode, knowing how I am about such things. Thank heavens she works with mentally unstable people and knew exactly what to do! I’m a big friggin’ chicken and the hyperventilation started promptly. The older lady finally went home without dispensing any further wonderful news and I started trying to figure out how I was going to live here knowing that. Having no other home, I had to suck it up and much to my relief, all has been quiet. No paranormal activity, no things misplaced or strange noises in the night. I thought, “Good. She’s moved on.” After all, not all who die hang around. But then today I put on the old music and suddenly I feel something, as strongly as I’d feel a living, breathing human and I wasn’t afraid. That is very unlike me, who beats feet out of a room before I bother to find out what a noise or shadow was. I wasn’t scared. I had the detached thought that the music must have attracted her. I turned very slowly and looked at the living room entry where the feeling was coming from. Nothing. No shadow or apparition. The feeling left instantly as well. Electricity disappeared and raised hairs fell. So, if we don’t have a full time ghost, I think I have someone returning to enjoy the music. At least she has good taste. I think I’ll name her Mabel.

Oh, and the band I mentioned earlier is “Boy and Bean” I lived in the Pacific Northwest all those years and never got down to Oregon to see them, but I’d still love to manage a show sometime. I donated to them on Kickstarter to help get their first album off and running. Great sound. Check them out and tell them MLGardner sent you.

http://boyandbean.com/boy_and_bean_video.html

Boy and Bean

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What doing?

When my children were little they used to come up to me and ask, “What doing, Mama?” I get asked that a lot these days as well. Several emails a day ask me when 1930 will be finished and I always cringe and feel guilty. Believe me, I want it done just as bad as some readers! I thought I would do a post, (since it’s been so long and all) about what I HAVE been doing, since obviously not a ton of work on 1930 has been accomplished. And some readers are actually angry at me for that. I try not to take this personally, but as a good thing. They are really into the book and that is wonderful. Still, I feel the need to produce and since I cannot immediately produce, I thought I should at least explain. I do want to keep my readers.

What am I doing. Wow. Where to begin. First, I suppose, is the largest endeavor we are undertaking as a family. We are transitioning into Tiny Living. Google it, it’s an amazing concept, (albeit not entirely new) and we fell in love with the idea. Our family will consume a fraction of the electricity, water and produce a fraction of the waste that we do now. Not that we are raging hippies or anything, just consciously aware that things are changing, more changes are on the horizon and while preparing for these changes we can do our part to reduce, reuse and recycle. Living well, living simple. When we got the idea to jump into Tiny Living, we didn’t like the idea of buying land near the city and in these parts in order to get way ‘out there’ it would be impossible to commute. So, we bought an RV, gutted most of it and have been rebuilding the inside, custom to our needs. And when I say rebuilding, I mean we are doing it ourselves. I have learned to work with all kinds of power tools, built cabinets and sofa frames, laid hardwood floors and found trim to be my best friend. I’m not the “hire it out” kind of person unless I truly don’t know what I’m doing.That said, we are bringing someone in to do some custom electrical. Sounds nuts, I know. The idea of giving up everything and going mobile to look for our little piece of America is terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. One of my friends shook her head at me, baffled. “Most people UPGRADE after writing a few books, M!” Yeah, I know. But I’m not most people. I do sort of walk to the beat of my own drum. And I do feel like I am upgrading, in my own way.  I’m totally fine with giving up most material things and going on an adventure to search for that perfect piece of land to build a tiny home. We will winter here in Washington  since the season is so mild and then head out into the wild blue yonder! The house plans I am drawing, (oh yeah, I’m learning how to do that, too) have the Tiny home at around 600 sq. feet. (plus a writing cabin) Which will seem enormous after the 300 sq. feet of the RV!

This has had the bulk of my time this summer. But, on the upside, when we do get moved in (roughly a month from now) I can sit in the woods with my solar laptop charger and tap away at 1930! “Housecleaning” will take all of an hour and even though I homeschool two boys, we have been turned on to the idea of “Unschooling“. I have been reading some of John Holt‘s books (literally a few minutes at a time whenever I can grab my kindle) and we are going to dive into that this year. Which will actually give me a little more free time. And by free time, I mean writing time. I am really looking forward to it and so are the boys.

Let’s see, what else have I been doing…our cat very unexpectedly had kittens, then Mama cat got a scratch on her face that required medical attention. We’ve had to wean the kittens early and feed them individually. My daughter is tranistioning to the University and my husband has been working overtime being summer and all. In his line of work this is the busy season. What does he do, you might ask? Well, you know that little heart on your drivers license that indicates you are an organ donor? Enough said.

So, with all that, I will apologize to readers who have waited so patiently and ask them to wait just a bit more. Believe me, I miss the characters just as much and can’t wait to get back! I don’t like waiting either. I was, after all, one of those women in line at Barnes and Noble at midnight when “An Echo in the Bone” came out. I will try to make an effort to update this blog more often as well. Someone emailed me asking me to drop non spoiler tidbits about the next book in my blog posts to give her something to think about while waiting. That just made me smile! I am rolling that idea around. Thanks for reading and for your emails. They mean alot to me.

MLG