Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Mom and the Book

I am happy to say that my mother is doing much better now. The doctor's office is still on my bad list, though. One of my biggest pet peeves is lack of information or communication. Mom was on the wrong end of both regarding her poor heart and blood pressure. I won't get into it, but I have to say that a certain nurse practitioner needs to start treating the patients she sees with care and consideration. Enough said about that. For now.


Wonderful news! I had a three-way call meeting with my publishing company rep and book designer, and all is going swimmingly! I should have my first galley in two weeks. I'm so excited! The book is still on schedule for the fall release. I can't wait to see it all put together.


I just made some edits and updates to The PayPal links finally work (hurray!) and can be used to pay for Epitaphs magazine subscriptions, single issues and ads.

I've also recently added a genealogy page with the start of a link section I will be continuing to build.

The writing tips section now how photography tips. I intend to make the is a good resource page for prospective contributors to the magazine ... and also people who just want to learn how to improve their writing and photography skills. If you're like me, you never want to stop learning.

Well, that's the news for now. Stop by the site soon. We've had more than 4,000 visitors, which is major for us. I can't wait for the day when we get 4,000 hits a day! Here's to the future!


Thursday, June 23, 2005

I find myself talking or e-mailing about my mom as if I'm writing about someone I vaguely know. It's not because I feel like I don't know her or am not close to her. I am very close to my mother. But when I tell someone that my mother almost had a heart attack this week, it's like I'm talking about a stranger. I think my mind is trying to protect me from breaking down; I am saying "my mother" as if it was coming out "some person I don't know." The emotion is not there.

Perhaps my mind is telling me not to grieve for what isn't gone. Maybe I'm growing up and am being responsible and "strong." Maybe I'm denying it's happening. I feel helpless. What can I do? Can I take her heart in my hand and soothe it? Can I trade it with mine and give hers a rest? I know I cannot. But I want to. I want to do whatever will make her better. She means too much to too many people for this to be happening.

A friend of mine asked me to look after her younger sister in a way the other day. That isn't how she put it, but I know what she means. Her sister is my friend, too, I just haven't known her as long. She's a very cool person. The thing is that while my whole agenda in the world is to make everything in the world better, I know I can't do it all on my own. When a co-worker's parent is sick, I'm the first to run out and buy a card or little trinket to cheer her up. I guess I'm what you could call an "empath." I feel how a person would feel. I get a tinge of the pain, confusion and grief. I want to help. I want to put a bandaid on the world. But since my husband had a serious health scare and now that my mom is in the middle of one, I see clearly how I can only focus myself on them. I understand it now.

World, I love you. I know you are in dire need of being saved. Big bad horrible people are trying to smother you with greed, self-righteousness and my-god-is-better/bigger/awesomer-than-your-god attitudes. You know I will help you as much as I can. Right now my family needs me. I know you understand.

-Minda blog is now available for RSS!

It's Thursday, June 22, the second day of summer of 2005.

I just attended an awesome Writing for the Web seminar in Chicago led by Shel Holtz. Very awesome indeed. I also learned about RSS, which allows people to get updates on my blog automatically. I don't know enough to explain it myself yet, so go to and punch in RSS to learn more. It's a great concept, though. You should also go to or the like and sign up for a free account. It's way cool once you get into it.

I've been sick for the past few days. Not fun when you are in a seminar--especially when the seminar is actually good (some suck) and you don't want to miss anything. I'm feeling better now. But I did find out that my mother was very close to having a heart attack this weekend. She is still not in the clear yet but is doing better. It's really hard to get my mind around it. For the first time I actually had this thought run through my mind: what if something happened to my mother while I was gone/not near/not in the same room? What if my mother had a heart attack and died? How could something like that happen? How could it be allowed?

It, of course, didn't. But yesterday was the first time I ever thought of my mother as anything but eternal. I came to the realization that when your parent dies, you are no longer a kid anymore. If something had happened to my mother, I would have had to grow up really fast. And I'm 32. I am grown up. But no matter how old you are, you are always somebody's baby. My grandmother is sick with worry about her 54-year-old baby. When her mother died (at the age of 98), Grandma was Granny's baby. Her oldest baby, and she was in her seventies.

Oh, the irony of the one who writes about cemeteries and death being afraid of death and losing the ones she loves.


Monday, June 06, 2005

Apologies to all those I haven't talked to in ages ...

It's 6-6-05

It's June. It's Monday. It's two weeks after I thought the book would be done. I have been working nearly non-stop on it during my spare time (what's that?). I did get in two whole bike rides with my husband since he bought us new bikes. With the recent health scares, he is very serious about getting healthy. I'm very proud of him. And he's getting me to get my butt in gear.

Dare I say the book will go to the publisher tomorrow? I've had some setbacks. I'm over them now. One setback is actually a blessing. It has taken some of the stress away and has made me simplify things. I am limited on photos. This is actually not a bad thing. And I could go crazy with pics if I wanted to. For $2.50 a pop! No thank you. Keep in mind, I am self-publishing. I'm not concerned, though. I've got it figured out. Plus, I've got a magazine coming out, and I'm sure I've got plenty more books in me. No worries here.

Before I finish (maybe) the book tonight (maybe), I need to tend to ShangChi the betta fish. His tank ammonia levels are quite high. Just say NO to fin rot!!!! We will not have another death in the family! I'll post pics of him soon ... and also of Sheila, the African dwarf frog. She is spotted green and very tiny. She is not huge like Ghost the African albino clawed frog who is taking over the world. He is going to be upgraded to a 5-gallon tank soon. He's huge! I'd like to get a goldfish to be his tankmate, but unless I get a fish the size of Toledo, Ghost would most likely eat him. Again, no more deaths in the family.

Before I sign off, sorry to all I've been ignoring. I'm really not ignoring you in my mind. I'm thinking of all of you (including Toni, Kelly, Linn, TC, Kristin, Mom and Dad, Grandma, cousins, aunts, uncles ...). I've promised myself to get the book done straight away. It's time. I know all of you understand. At least the ones who know about my timeline as of late. To the rest of you, sorry!!! I will call, e-mail, etc., soon!

Love to you all and good night.


We're starting to get more and more "Epitaphs" subscriptions coming in. How exciting!