March Madness

Nah, not watching the b-ball. It’s just in the air. Madness, I tell you. Whack-a-mole at work, on the streets, working its mayhem everywhere. Must be spring.

The equinox is tomorrow, time to celebrate. Something.

I have a stack o’ bills about three feet tall that are begging for attention. Wait, my darlings, I say, and they do. But they do not lie listlessly. They multiply. Oh, how they grow. I am going to dispatch any number of them shortly.

I finally finished reading Shogun, three times through, one after the other. I didn’t actually finish the last round, just set it aside. I have lived in that world for long enough. What next? I am finishing The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way (Bill Bryson) — I think that’s the title. Entertaining chapters on swearing, British place-names, why Americans sound like they do and how dictionary-writers ruined everything by codifying spelling and separating the Brits from the Yanks. I have not finished The Red Book yet because I don’t want it to end. I think all I have left are the indices and appendices. That’s pathetic. But true. Haven’t progressed much in The Sound of Paper because she gives such good instructions for writing and for life that I can’t seem to get past Chapter 1 — which tells me to slow down and meditate. So I do. I truly haven’t had much time for reading lately, just the occasional newspaper or shelter magazine or the like. Glimpses, glances, nothing too heavy because there’s been no downtime sicne my birthday. Too many fires to put out, so books get pushed aside (not onto the fire, though).

I got a letter from my neice Abby, 5, today, an e-mail that was titled “From Abby” and had her full named spelled out, Abigail Rose Park, and then about 20 lines of gibberish as she clearly enjoyed the use of the keyboard. It brought a smile to my face.

What else? Oh, the St. Patrick’s Day party was a blast last weekend. If you missed it, come next year. If you came, thanks for joining us. There’s still a whole corned beef waiting to be eaten in the fridge. We had vats of potatoes and cabbage cooking, and boiled six corned beefs. Lots of people were here to eat it — maybe as many as 30 all sitting, maybe not so many. Fun stuff. I enjoyed seeing the dining room set up like a restaurant or a boarding house, with two long tables set for the masses. New additions this year: Irish Car Bombs for the wicked, and lots of extra true-Irish stuff that Mia brought back from Dublin, when she visited there last St. Patrick’s Day. We had authentic Guinness beer mats and towels, a big blow-up orange-green-and-white hammer to “get hammered” with, Guinness and Jamieson’s whisky toffies, and a pint stone, which is said to bring you luck and a pint of your favorite if you rub it (keep in pocket for constant use). And more than I can mention in this small space.

My favorite addition this year was the lime cake I made, with lime juice in the batter and a cream-cheese and lime filling (like cheesecake) between the layers. White frosting and green shamrock decorations made it A-B-C-Delicious. Guests made all gone with the cake. I didn’t even get a picture. Close your eyes and imagine…

At the magazine, we’re finishing with the April issue, making final changes to the copy and looking for errant commas or lack thereof. In the Alameda Sun this week, check out the review for Simone’s play (look for Island Arts: Footloose). I’m to be a featured writer in the Alameda Magazine June issue so I have to come up with a head shot and a bio by Friday (yeeps!). I’ll be asking my youngest girl to make me look purty in a photo. Music Scene deadline is this week, so this weekend will be more of the same: writing, listening to music, writing about it, writing some more.

There is also a poetry reading at Wilmot’s Books at 5th and Central, Alameda, Saturday night, at which I am planning to read, except it starts at 7:15 and Simone’s show starts at 7:30, so I’ll be dashing from one to the next. Or skipping the one altogether (the reading, of course).

Alameda Literati is set for Nov. 3 this year — at some point I’ll need to form a committee or a posse or a fan club and get jamming on that — like in September. Prior to that we have our hands full: The Big Apple in mid-April (a year since my last big trip to Europe), poetry book publishing in June, our wedding in August, and a family vacation somewhere between now and September. Then we can work on Literati. And you can call me Mrs. Tracey from then on (After August 11, that is).

Um, what else? We’re collecting essays for our anthology on parenting (co-editor Andrea and I), we are waiting to hear back from agent, we are waiting to hear back from poetry editor again, we are waiting for five minutes to rub together so we can craft our verse, we are hoping to do more writing in the new year but people are everywhere and wanting everything, and thus it is nigh impossible to find the time. I’ll just have to play like Rumplestiltskin and make it myself.

I think I’ll start on a few new projects just to see what happens. Maybe a book of Irish recipes or our party favorites: Mrs. Tracey’s Treats…Because why not?

Advice to Aspiring Writers: If you’re busy and you know it, clap your hands. If you’re busy, you won’t have time to clap your hands. But if you’re busy (writing), you’re probably happy. So clap your hands!

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