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Showing posts from October, 2016

Hemn Ola, Deliver Us

In the early 20th century, two prayers of island peoples with threatened languages--Hawaii and Cornwall--were documented as ancient traditions within their respective languages.

Mysteriously, they are very similar.

Both prayers are cries for divine protection from the terrors of darkness, whether on land or at sea, and both were written down (in the earliest text known for certain to exist) within a few years of each other, just over a century ago.

One is the now-familiar Cornish Litany, which goes:

From ghoulies and ghosties 
And long legetty beasties 
And things that go bump in the night, 
Good Lord deliver us!
The link above is to a pretty entertaining story of the frustrating quest to research the origins of this prayer, which all come to the same dead end--a 1913 text referencing another text from an earlier century, which has never been found. The 1913 document claims that the earlier version was a call-and-response element of a Christian folk litany, the first lines spoken by a pr…

Good and Nasty

Why be good when you can be... NASTY?

I don't know about you, but I absolutely can. Not. Wait. To see Kate McKinnon play Nasty Woman on Saturday Night Live tomorrow.

One of my favorite poems by Mary Oliver, "Wild Geese," begins, "You do not have to be good." Decades after publication, it's still such a powerful statement by and for women.

Girls just wanna have basic human rights and freedoms.

I do want to be good--my kind of good. I'm not interested in some gross old dude's definition of "good." Or "bigly" or anything else.

I want to be a good novelist of literature for Nasty Women, just like Jennifer Weiner of Good in Bed fame.

I want to be good at moving my body like this sick contortionist bellydancer I just found on the internet. (Goals!)

But OK, that's a total fantasy--like my manuscript, The Grove of Thorismud, which is ALMOST FINISHED and has grown to nearly the same size as its previous manifestation five months ago--…

Every Pigasus Needs a Window

Oh hi there, you must not be on an internet break like everyone else! Thank you for stopping by the Magic Nutshell. I was tempted to succumb to the political climate and write a post on trumpkins and evil clowns, but I will not.

Because fall is my favorite season, and this is the year I vowed that the pigasus would take flight. At the beginning of 2016, I had a finished manuscript called Briars and Black Hellebore. By spring, a big league literary agent had requested the full. Some weeks later, my Pigasister Christina (of my writing group, The Pigasus Pen) convinced me that my book would be so much better if I lopped off half the material from the beginning and added in all the exciting conflict I had planned to use in a sequel. So I wrote to the agent who had requested Briars and let her know that I had given myself a rewrite assignment. She invited me to resubmit as soon as it's finished. Again.


Meanwhile, there have been massive disturbances in the Force... of artistic c…

A Seasonal Change of Perspectacles

It's the season for gratitude! This is the time of year when I revisit the article by Glennon Doyle Melton that coined the silly word "perspectacles."

I've had a frustrating week as I've rushed to finish The Grove (108K words and not quite done... still... but it's turning out so good, like if Game of Thrones were a Spanish soap opera. Everyone should read it, someday, when I finally get to type 'The End'). When I'm impatient about one big thing, I notice that the feeling bleeds out into other areas of my life and makes it worse. I've been "too busy" to exercise for weeks, which my body doesn't really show on the outside, but on the inside, I feel like I'm going mushy from my lungs out. Ugh! That can't be good for my brain, right?

All of this heightens my sensitivity to my surroundings as well. While I'm loving the autumn colors and mists and architectural storm clouds outside, I just had a relapse of irritation that …