Plant a Garden Around Your Life audiobook

Today I am finishing up the audiobook version of my poetry chapbook. Here’s the poem that inspired the title of the book.

Spring Cleaning

Like an onion
Peeling back the layers
Shedding tears
Dealing with the sorrows
Of the past.

One by one
As they surface
Now that you are in
A safe place
Like timid deer
They surface.

And others,
Like glowing eyes
Around a night campfire
These are the scary feelings—
You must deal with them, too.

Feelings just want to be felt,
Both good and bad,
And now that you feel them
And want to be well
Don’t rush them.
Or you will never have the pleasure
Of hand-feeding shy delights,
Or even see
Your fiercest, snarling caged memories
Set free.

It has been such a cost to contain them.
They may swipe at you
With their claws
When you let them out,
But you are stronger than they are.
Trust me.
Let them go.

Rage or anger
Sorrow or pain
They are only feelings—
When you finally feel
The bravery and desire to face them
Stop for a moment
And let them surface.

Then clear the former cage
Of feelings liberated,
Clean it with you tears,
And make it comfortable.
Be at ease with yourself.
Fill your former prison
With bright images and joy.

Now you can live with yourself
And perhaps,
If you put out a saucer of milk,
The house cat of contentment
May choose to live within you.

And if you
Plant a garden around your life
The pleasant feelings
May even poke their heads
Shyly out of the woods
And fill you with wonder.

Here’s where to buy it.

For Book Quote Wednesday

Today’s #bookqw keyword is “Fast.” This one is a story I heard from the construction manager that worked on a Trump project, 30 years ago.

Photo of Skyscrapers near Riverside Park at Manhattan, New York City

I’m pretty sure the two matching towers are the ones I worked on: they were being refurbished. I took the train and subway to this site. Those coworkers who drove literally parked under the West Side Highway, on the left of the photo, with the Hudson River just out of view to the left behind them. The area by the river is now a park.

If you’d like to hear more of my stories of NYC, and what it was like to be a woman in management on construction sites, you can find my book here:

Cafe Press data breach

This morning LifeLock informed me that my password for Cafe Press was for sale on the Dark Web. Mind you, this was for an account I had closed but they had the information! So I went through all of my passwords via the Google passwords manager and changed any that were the same or similar. Took me 2 hours when I could have been editing or writing. *sigh*

from Plant a Garden Around Your Life

Did you know I have a poetry chapbook about what it’s like to have (and be healed from) depression? Here’s a poem about what healthy boundaries look like.


This is my pile

And that is yours.

The short definition

For detachment.

I never understood

Until recently, that is,

Why Robert Frost said,

“Good fences make good neighbors”.

But, really, if someone is trying

To shovel their stuff

(that they need to deal with)

Onto your personal space,

Well, you make the fence

As high as you need to.

Not to keep them out,

So much as it is to

Corral your serenity in.

After all, you have your own stuff to deal with.

They may ask you to loan them money.

But if they are irresponsible, don’t.

They may ask you to lie for them.

No one should be asked to do that.

They may want you to do their work for them.

They may ask you to cover for them.

The fence is made out of two letters:

N and O:  No.

“Good fences make good neighbors,”

Especially if your neighbor

I determined to spill his or her

Toxic waste dump

Into your yard.

Find the whole collection here, and give it to someone who has a loved one with depression, or buy it for yourself so that you will feel understood.

For Book Quote Wednesday

Today’s keyword is “Promise,” and the quote from Writing the Entertaining Story is about promising yourself.

WTES is at the editing and book design stage, and on target to launch at Albacon in Albany, in mid-September.

Audiobook learning curve

Yesterday I recorded the first half of my poetry chapbook. I chose that as my initial audiobook project because it is short, and the poems are short. I thought it would be better to work on this before I recorded Confessions of a Female Safety Engineer or Writing the Entertaining Story.

I’ve been told that when you make a mistake you should pause so it will be easier to edit and there were a few places I flubbed it. I’m, going to record the 2nd half of the book today, and start if all goes well I will start editing it tomorrow..