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FALL!

What's dropping this fall? The temperature. The leaves that look like they're on fire. A vicious hailstorm of black walnuts. Maybe a completed draft of Matka Danu Miklagarth. And, one can only hope, Rammstein's last and greatest album of all time.

I'm hurtling toward the finish of my work in progress, Matka Danu Miklagarth, listening to Rammstein live tracks while I write a scene of bloody battle in the old Cauldrons of the Iron Gates before the Danube was dammed.

And I'm itching with anticipation for the upcoming Rammstein album, which is now being finished up with freshly recorded orchestra and choir tracks. It's gonna be epic. Ecstatic. Obscene. I hope!

In the meantime, here's a cool mashup I found.

Recent posts

Racing Rammstein

I do enjoy a slow burn, but I have to admit I'm getting impatient for Rammstein to release their last album after nearly a decade of waiting. We've heard that it will come to us sometime near the end of this year, but no other details have been made public yet. Meanwhile, I am still pounding out my own heavy work, my historical novel Matka Danu Miklagarth. I have set a goal for myself to try to finish the first draft before the Rammstein album release. In my mind, I'm sailing the Danube rapids on a burning ship, racing Rammstein.

Yes, I know that makes no sense. And that's okay. Inspiration doesn't need to make sense.

I need something to drive me to get this thing done before the end of the year. I've promised myself a sweet reward of whatever gloriously shocking special edition Rammstein ends up blasting into the world for their swan song--once I finish this draft. It's going to be a monster somewhere in the realm of 150K words, but that's okay--I like…

Summer's Best of Weather and Autumn's Greatest Cheer

Fall is my favorite season. The colors, the smells, the sweaters, the pies, the tacky and flashy and spooky and glittery holiday decorations, the hysterical cheer as summer's warmth and light fade away. I love it all.

I am as excited as the next Pumpkin Spice Girl about the imminent change of seasons, and yet you will not see me out there at Target and Starbucks binging on hoards of fake plastic orange vegetation or diabeetus drinks with fake chemical aftertastes.

You might, instead, see me outside, soaking up every last gift of the beautiful transitional month that is September in Michigan. Yes, I've been to a cider mill already and tasted the fresh harvest of pumpkin spice donuts. I also went to the beach just a few days ago with my daughter and friends. Nux reveled in the muck beneath the sand like a happy little piglet and swam to her heart's content in the still-warm water of a forest lake, because in September, fall is coming in, but summer hasn't left yet either…

Hallelujah, Back to School!

Nux Gallica has begun second grade! The bus stop has been assigned to our house--not that we need it, because walking takes less than 10 minutes, but it might be nice to use it this winter.


All school supplies are communal. There are no required purchases of supplies, though there was a list of things we could donate voluntarily, so we sent in some of those.

Breakfasts and hot lunches are served free of charge to ALL students in the district.

And the new dress code, below, is the SAUCE and the JAM and all the good things. It makes a strong, positive statement intended to sweep away barriers of sexism, racism, and classism wrapped up in respectability politics. It places responsibility squarely on each individual to mind their own business and manage themselves. I love it!


This district continues to amaze me every year by keeping on the forefront of progressive, inclusive, and thoughtful policies that are implemented with sincere caring and effort. My daughter is getting an excellent…

Grief Is a Heavy Blanket

As I write this, my grandfather is dying. The family is gathered around him to say goodbye.

Grandpa has lived 97 years of a life filled with hard work, personal pride, admirable style, strength of will, serious accomplishments, good old-fashioned homesteader skills, World War II medals, dazzling stunts--horsemanship and roller skate tricks and tying cherry stems into knots in his mouth--survival through unspeakable tragedies and traumas, and a marriage of nearly 65 years characterized by a rarely witnessed level of mutual devotion with my grandmother.

Also meanness. I've never known anybody as mean as my grandpa could be. He was a master of shocking, heart-stopping, shame-as-a-weapon emotional cruelty, focused mainly upon his children. It took a break sometimes, and laughter and tenderness slipped through, but it never went away or even retreated to a safe distance. I think punishment was a love language of his. I think it was a protective charm, a blessing marked with blood, a f…

Purrthday Party

We had a birthday party for our cat. It was our seven-year-old's idea, and she did most of the work--decorated the living room (with a little help hanging up the banner), picked out new toys at the store, wrapped them in tissue paper, and ordered a "cake" made of canned cat food with cat treat "sprinkles."


Gretchen played with her new toys so enthusiastically she started panting with her tongue out and had to lie down.

I can't remember the last time I had a birthday quite that fun, can you?


It was serious fun for the rest of us as well--for our daughter, obviously, because what child doesn't get a kick out of throwing a silly celebration? And it was good for me and my husband as well, because adults just don't laugh enough in this tense world, where the internet facilitates the viral spread of anger and worry and sadness.

We need more real-world healing to keep our creativity alive. More play and more humor and more snuggles and more kitty purrs. On…

Waking Inside the Dream

Writing this book feels like having a dream that is becoming more and more lucid.


It's the weirdest thing I have ever written, and that feels right. It's populated by misfits and outcasts who form their own little society at the fringes of other people's, and that feels right. Every time I get to a turning point in the story, I write out more than one possibility for what happens next--whatever pops into my head, no matter how horrific or gross or frightening or painful, and then I pick the stream that flows the fastest, and that feels right.

It feels good to slip into my own nightmares, half-lucid and trusting the creative process and my ability to sort it out later. The risks taken in a dream can feel like matters of life or death, but they aren't. We have nothing to lose but the dream itself.

It's important to stay inside that flow state, inside of the dream, to keep the creative energy alive and allow unexpected connections to spark. It's also good to gain …