Monday, September 6, 2010

Making Runes

A recent storm brought down a large branch from the cedar tree next to our house. On further examination we realized that one of the large, trunklike branches was growing into the roof. We called a tree guy to take it down. This is the tree that was next to the bedroom in which I grew up. In my youth, I would sometimes imagine it to be my guardian, protecting me from tornados and thieves.

Yesterday, I was mowing the lawn and returned to the tree when I finished. I thought of the recently removed trunk and wished I'd grabbed a branch from it to make runes. I got off the mower and asked the tree if I could have a living branch so that I could make a set of runes. It's best to use living wood because a piece of the tree's spirit remains in the runes. I don't know if I believe that, but it still seemed polite to ask. I was hoping for a sign.

To my surprise the answer was clearer than I could've imagined. The stump that was left from the trunk removal was a perfectly shaped heart. The tree – my guardian tree – showed that it loved me. I sawed off a branch that looked like just the right size for runes.

I had to borrow a neighbor's electric saw because ours was too small (a kid's jigsaw). I made a quick trip to the hardware store for sandpaper, safety goggles and a pair of leather workgloves (my pair is missing one glove. Wish I could find it). Then I put the branch in the vice down in the basement and started sawing. I made 35 rounds (I needed 25, but I wanted extra blanks in case of errors).

I then sanded each of the rounds with coarse (60) sandpaper and then with finer (120) sandpaper until they were smooth. I have to admit that I love the smell of cedar and this beautiful, fresh wood was so aromatic my nose was in heaven all night.

Next, I took the sanded blanks and drew the runes on them, using a pencil. When I had everything to my satisfaction, I took the wood burner and burned in the runes. I was a little sloppy on some, but that's why I had the extra blanks. In the end, I had my full set of runes, made by my own hand from a tree that had grown up with me, sharing a wall of my room. I can't wait to use them. Runes are never stronger than when made by your hand from wood that holds personal meaning.

This is going to be fun!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Me Want

On the flight home from Christmas I sat next to a woman who had a Kindle. It was so cool. I immediately got a bad case of Kindle Envy. Now they have a new version (too bad everyone who paid the big bucks for the first one) and it's even cooler. It reminds me of the whole iPod/iPhone thing where each successive generation has more and more features and memory and it's impossible for anyone to keep up. Well, some people could keep up and I could keep not being up at all. Maybe some day I'll Kindle with the best of them.

Friday, February 6, 2009


By now you've figured out that I love to play games. There is a subcategory of computer games called "Casual Gaming". These include Hidden Object (HO) Games, Puzzle Games, Adventure Games, Time Management Games, SIMs and more. I'm a big fan of casual gaming. I love HO Games and tend to get very envious of the PC crowd because they tend to get so many more choices than Mac people like me. For example, Amazon has a new casual gaming center.

Just click on that and it'll take you straight to their game center where you'll find truckloads of games for under $10. You can try most of them for one hour free. If you like it, buy it and it's yours. No box, disks, or fuss. Just a download, a free trial and a credit card. However, you'll notice that none of them are Mac games despite there being Mac versions of quite a few casual games.

That's where Big Fish saves the day. I love Big Fish Games.


If you join the game club you can get games for as little $6.99. Oh, and yes, that "2 free games" thing is for real. I know because I grabbed my two free games. They also have really great customer service. I've been impressed with the folks at Big Fish and their games are an awful lot of fun.

This isn't meant to sound like an ad. For some reason I enjoy getting other people hooked on these games. I think it makes me feel better to know I'm not the only person addicted to them.

Anyway, I hope you have fun at bfgads_125x125 (yeah, that's clickable, too)


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Out of Print

Two of my books are going out of print: Explore Your Destiny with Runes and 10 Spriitual Lessons You Can Learn From Your Cat. I had intended to get fancy and make both titles links to Amazon, but it's late and I'm feeling a tad lazy. If you look on the right side of the page you'll see a picture of the books with links to Amazon. Much easier that way.

Get'em while you can cuz soon they will be no more. Well, except for used copies. And foreign editions. In fact, I received the letter telling me they were going out of print and two days later I received the Hungarian edition of the Rune book. One must assume the "going out of print" thing refers to the English versions only.

I'm sad to see them go, but that's publishing. They've both had a good run. Besides, they'll still be hanging around on bookshelves for awhile yet.

Monday, May 26, 2008


I know, it's been way too long since I posted but I had to take a little time out and blog about yarn. A dear friend in Australia is going to the hospital for a tricky operation. She's a member of the writing list I'm on and we decided to do something a little special for her. She's passionate about knitting, but lives in the Outback, so doesn't have access to all the fancy-shmancy yarns that some others do. Instead of a bouquet of flowers, why not send a bouquet of yarn? There's a yarn shop where I live that has quite an amazing selection. I don't know a lot about yarn, but even I could tell this was quite a cool place (it turned out to be internationally famous).

The other writers on the list got behind the idea and gave me an enormous budget to do the shopping. This meant I could get the really, really good stuff. The store owners helped me out in a big way, giving great suggestions. They even threw in a knitting bag with their logo for free. Wonderful people. I'll call them today and let them know that the yarn got to Australia and was everything we hoped it would be.

My favorite selection were two very small skeins of hand-dyed cashmere. I was assured this was the best stuff made and I believed it. It was the most expensive in the lot and it was also the very first thing I purchased. I wanted to make sure she got something spectacular and one touch told the story. Beautiful, beautiful stuff. I learned a lot about yarn while I was there and enjoyed the experience immensely!

So to my friend, Bron, I wish you a wildly successful surgery and good health from now on. To Edith and Merrill at La Knitterie Parisienne I give you my sincere thanks for all your help. And for all the batty folks in my writer's group -- what an incredible bunch you are.

Monday, February 11, 2008

And the Music is Silenced

A couple of days ago, one of the sites where I post my music had a catastrophic failure of their back-up systems and -- okay, I don't really understand exactly what happened. I just know that the site lost all of its data. They're trying to raise the money to send the corrupted, failed drives to a data recovery place. The site is icompositions and there's a donation button on the page. I mention this because it's always possible a billionaire might be slumming and run across my blog and decide to save the day. Or maybe a millionaire. Or a thousandaire. Or someone with a spare $10. Or not.

I miss the site. I had tons of really cool comments from people who had listened to my music. The music isn't lost. I still have my copies of everything. It's the comments and the threads in the forum, and lists of favorites and well, everything that's meaningful and worthwhile about a place that's a much-loved community. I still have my music on Macjams and MacIdol but I hate to see any of the music sites disappear.

Anyway, here's to you, iComp! May your data be recovered and the music play again.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


I gave blood again today. My least favorite part is when they prick your finger to test the hemoglobin count. Hate that. The guy took my pulse right after and it was a little high. I thought, "Duh, you just pricked my finger and made it bleed. That made me unhappy." Five minutes later he took my pulse again and it was fine. Yeah, I get over finger pricks pretty fast. Amazing, huh?

When I finished giving blood, I had four elderly volunteers hovering around me because they thought I was going to pass out. What they didn't know was that my semi-wobbly walk from the cot to the snack table was caused by arthritis in my knees plus cold, somewhat damp weather. Dry warmth is a lot kinder to me. After they plied me with water and cookies, I finally figured out why they were concerned and told them the cause. That made them all relax and they went back to work. Have to admit, it was kind of funny to see these four frail women staring at me with fearful eyes when I had absolutely no idea why. I felt fine. Still do, but don't tell me that.

Why "don't tell me?" I should be working on the next part of the Supergirl story I'm posting on my Comic Books Revisted blog, but I'm copping out with the ole "I'm a pint low" excuse. Yeah, one part of my brain is trying to snow another part of my brain. The sad thing is, it's working.

I also need to do my taxes, but I hate working with numbers. So I'm avoiding that, too.

And finally, I'm avoiding editing my novel because it's tricky and difficult. I'm turning it from Romantic Suspense into a Suspense Thriller and that means tough decisions have to be made at almost every line, especially since I need to cut nearly 20,000 words from the thing. It's a daunting task.

I guess I need to chuck this avoidance behavior and get my nose back to the grindstone. The pint low excuse has a statute of limitations. It is never allowable on any day but donor day. So tomorrow, it's back to work.