finishing up Austin and word count

I am so behind in my 'reports' and I feel sad about it. Between the whole have to work thing, having another fabulous weekend here at home and now a nasty draining head cold my days have just been slipping away.

Word count = 70,771. I know I look at that number and think 'who are you?' I have about 4/5 of the story down so the first draft is almost done. It's been great. Though not today when I tried to open my saved copy which had tons of new stuff that was not backed up anywhere else and my computer told me my document was corrupted. Things were pretty fraught for awhile there. All is well though.

So our last full day in Austin started with a lovely springtime thunderstorm The rest of the day was quite cool but nothing we hearty northerners can't handle. That was just full of fun again, more yummy mexican food, great people, then part of the showcase at Bookwoman. The store's new location is very nice and their southbysouthequinox show was charming. Chris Pureka wrapped up a showcase, it was great seeing her in such a relaxed setting and I appreciate her picking up my hat. I see she is coming into Minneapolis on Beltane.

Then we went back to Trophy's for the second GoGirls showcase. Another very interesting mix of music and I sure appreciate what Madalyn Sklar and her group is trying to do - getting women in music out there. No big stand outs like Melissa Ferrick was the night before though. I did find the earplugs for the taking by the sound guy, they really helped me appreciate some of the lyrics of the performers. My neck was so sore that night but new friends were so sweet about trying to rub that out.

Another super late night, we snacked on tacos and went home again. Only 12 more hours before we left Austin. They were spent hanging out, packing, walking around on the trails in the brisk morning sunshine, talking and shopping. It really was a great break. The company was so wonderful and the music, city, weather, everything else so enjoyable. Except the leaving.

Here's my wish for you; that you have a great vacation this year as well!

Friday at sxsw

The incredible weather and relaxation continued on Friday. I was the plan 'boss' for the events. I tried to feel flattered but I am pretty sure the rest of them didn't want to bother to make decisions.

We had some great Mexican food at Habanero's for lunch. Then later we headed up South Congress to catch Amy Cook's set at the San Jose hotel parking lot. Thank goodness it was a beautiful day because the band right ahead of her was so horrible. The musicians were fine but the 'lead' singer--seriously think of the harshest thing you could say and say it. He was really that bad. This was the first time I have seen Amy Cook live and I enjoyed her. Not sure how much I like the newest songs but listening conditions up and down congress street were not ideal. After getting some crepes from a street vendor for dinner we went to the Magnolia Cafe for dessert then hit the go girls showcase. It was an interest mix of sets, a nice crowd of women, not too great sound system but we left right after the awesome set by Melissa Ferrick and so went home happy.

It's been pretty interesting having all these late nights but it has been so worth it. More to follow.

friends and hill country

Happy Spring all! It's the vernal equinox.
We have had fabulous weather here in Austin. Warm and sunny, today we are getting rains to coax even more flowers into bloom.

Wednesday and Thursday were great days. We met a lot of fabulous women and got to hang out with a few. On Thursday we took a little trip into the hill country. I loved all of the stone buildings everywhere [stone is my favorite] and toured the river road along Guadalupe river. This was truly gorgeous, it's still too cool for tubing so it was fairly empty. The water was this incredible shade of turquoise like the pacific around La Jolla. I have never seen a river that colour and with the trees all leafing out and blooming it was truly spectacular.

I feel so fortunate in the people I have met, the beauty I see and having those to love. Happy Spring all!

Delightful Dallas

We rolled into Dallas Tuesday evening around 6:00 pm. We had driven south to find the spring and by the time we were in Texas I was no longer feeling disappointed. There were flowering trees everywhere.

We pulled into the parking lot of Poor David's Pub and immediately got a great surprise. The back door was open and the musicians were jamming before the shows. It sounded awesome. That area, being right across from the police station, feels very calm and safe.
I talked to one of the doorman to get the low down on places to eat nearby and when the doors would open for the second show. Less than a block away was an gorgeous restored warehouse with shops on the ground level. We got cleaned up/changed from spending the past 12 hours in the car, food from the deli and sat outside enjoying some of the music during open mic night at the Opening Bell. The coffees we got were good, although they took forever, with the thickest creamiest foam I have ever had. It was like dessert.

Then we went to get in line. The doors opened at typical pub time only 20 minutes late and we got our 'will call' tickets with no problems. People were great. I have seen Melissa Ferrick many times, she is one of my favorite performers but this was by far the smallest crowd I have ever seen at one of her shows. It was nice for us to have such an intimate show although I am sure it is a drag for the musician. We had great seats and her fantastic playing staved off my extreme sleepiness. We enjoyed chatting with people about Austin and sxsw. Then by midnight we were back in the car and headed to our friends in Austin playing the loudest music we had in order to stay awake.

A great start to our vacation.

springy rituals and joys

I love a personal simple rituals. I seem to create them with ease and before I know it there are little ritual flags all over my mental calendar waving at me.

I love flowers as well, and since I live in a place where flowers are non-existent in the winter I look forward to the first flowers of the spring. As I child I remember waiting for the lilacs or lilies of the valley to bloom, the first violets then I moved someplace with longer and colder winters, so I adapted without realizing I didn't want to wait for May.

By the middle of March you start to see bunches of daffodils in the grocery stores. I love these flowers, for me they are the heralds of spring. Although their scent is elusive I also play with the idea that they have sound, that one can actually hear them singing with the waking world. I thought about all of this last week and pondered if I should buy some when I knew I would be going out of town all too soon. Should I spend the money? I was going to a place where spring is in full swing surely that's enough?

I didn't need to decide, my dear wife saw them in the stores and picked them up for me as a matter of course. I love them. They are spring and joy embodied by slender green stalks and golden trumpets.
I am so grateful for the turn of seasons and the sweetness of a spouse that notices and remembers. I love to hear about the rituals of others. I wonder how mine will evolve this year.

a gift from the universe

I was given a huge gift last week from the universe. I have been babbling about it in email to virtually everyone I know.
A random comment on a blog I read gave me some new information. Tara Brach has an online presence. Who is Tara Brach? She is an awesome woman, who wrote an awesome book, who I whole-heartily adore. She also has tons on meditation/dharma talks online. Seriously I would marry the woman if it wasn't for the whole fact of us being married to other people who we love and... oh you know what I mean. Did I mention she is awesome in every way?

Well I could go on gushing about it. I could tell you how every other day I have been taking time for myself doing restorative yoga and listening to a download. I could spend time talking about how even though work is hellish I feel like I am feeling more spacious and at home instead of contracted and hard of heart and how it's a pretty wonderful and remarkable thing. But seriously, do yourself a favor and just go over there and check her out. That's where I will be this weekend when I am not working, dancing or packing. I am so grateful. namaste

writing check in

Word count: 68,493

I am still writing and I give huge thanks to my writing partner. Without her support I may have just let my story slip off of my radar. But instead I am still having a relationship with it. I realize now that nanowrimo is all about starting the new and falling in love. The lust, the excitement, it is intoxicating and fun.

Now I am really getting to know my story. Sometimes I have to push through a bit of confusion and doubt but more and more I realize that I love writing this story. I love working on it and when bits and ideas flash into my head it feels like coming home. [and I still have a crush on one of my characters]

I wonder sometimes about the parts of us we don't know about. What other interests or talents could be hidden in me, in you? You can't tell by what went on before. What does it take for us to really bring our awareness to ourselves and just let us be? What could flower out of us then?

week went whoosh

I was shocked when I realized today that I haven't posted for a week! The time went by so fast, my hormonal fluctuations were a drag and now I know I am not remembering even half of the great stuff this week contained. Before I forget even more I better post something.

This weekend was our 30th annual Playford and it was fabulous. We were back at an old location, Mt Olivet Church over in St Paul which is a nice facility with a great floor. The program had some really lovely and fun dances on it though not as fun as last year's program I think. That meant I had planned times for breaks and chatting so it all worked out.
Favorite dances for the night: Well Hall, Key to the Cellar, Hamilton's Round O.

The food was outstanding as usual. I think I saw only 2 people not formally dressed so we were quite an elegant group, and there were some outstandingly beautiful costumes. My hair done by Andrew held up all afternoon and evening and I really loved how my hair vine turned out and the huge ring I wore. My feet are handling the hours of dancing better and better all the time.

Mental note: next year either go with a long skirt or try harder to find more neutral dancing shoes. and anything you can do to avoid wearing tights do so!

All in all in was a lovely, enjoyable evening. I spent most of Sunday trying to catch up and resting. Next week looks great but grueling. Hopefully it will be mostly great.