Diving deep and resurfacing

Xmas07 Here are the CBKs, plus Christmas Mouse, partying together recently. Yes, the two that have moved away came home for the holidays.

I’m posting my Saturday words early, because I’m off soon for a weekend retreat where I’ll be doing level one reiki. The Queenswood Centre is run by nuns and does all kinds of spiritual and healing energy work. Isn’t that wonderful?Visit their site. I’ve been wanting to do this for over a year, but the four times they offered the weekend last year I 1) had family here, and 2) 3) 4) was out of town. Their program looked like a conspiracy to keep me out!

(My mind turns to a weirdness I just encountered on the web. I use Skype telephone to keep in touch with far-flung family. Skype It’s internet phone and Skype to Skype is completely free. Skype to land lines costs a bit, but it was free in North America last year. Now they’re charging – the huge amount of $17 a year.*G* So I was signing up when I got a message from them that seemed a bit alarming. “We are about to introduce innovative and disruptive new elements…”

I though, that’s honest, at least. But then, the system comes from Scandinavia, so I reckoned it had lost something in translation.” I mentioned it to my husband, who laughed and said that in tech-speak, disruptive means that it’ll make challenges for the competition. I ask you. Lost in translation, indeed! But I’ve wandered off my point.)

C1831_lady_beware_front_cover
My real point is that I sent off my latest book on Wednesday, and I truly need a tranquil break for body and mind. Lady Beware (lovely cover!) was challenging in places – aren’t they all? – but finishing it over Christmastide was really hard, but it doesn’t matter how all that goes, I have to end with an exhausting deep immersion. It’s my process.

I think I’ve mentioned that I don’t pre-plot my books, but this doesn’t mean the plots are simple. Alas. I keep saying the next one, the next one. Raucous laughter from all quarters.

I keep notes, I go over and over as I write, trying to keep all the details straight from continuity (houses, dress, horses, dates etc) but also the flow of emotions, not just of the principals but of any characters of any significance. Then there are the things that happen that they’d remember and the ones they’d forget. Jokes to be referred back to. Word plays to return, if they’re that sort of character, etc etc.

I do my best, but in the end I have to read it through, concentrating ferociously, submerging myself in these people’s lives as if I was there with all senses on high alert. It can’t help but be exhausting. Because it’s intense, I try to do very little else, and I’ll stick at it for 18 hours or so a day.

Then I slowly come back to the world, in a daze. And going to a reiki retreat just now is absolutely perfect. The only sad thing is that the labyrith will be covered with snow. This picture is from the Queenswood site. Labyrinth_deer

Prince_andrea_casiraghi3
This seems in the right spirit. All this means, however, that I won’t be able to respond to comments tomorrow. I will when I get home on Sunday evening. In the meanwhile, some of the other Wenches will help out. See you later, hopefully invigorated in all aspects.

Jo

60 thoughts on “Diving deep and resurfacing”

  1. The CBKs seem so happy to be together! I really never thought much about them before, but seeing your Kids in so many pictures since we started Wenching has really made me understand their charm. They’re just so happy looking.
    And I LOVE the picture of the deer on the labyrinth. Maybe a path will be worn on the twinings of the labyrinth so you’ll be able to walk it.
    Have a great weekend. What a way to celebrate sending in a book! ( celebrated my last by getting on an airplane and flying over the Atlantic. Interesting, but NOT restful!)
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  2. The CBKs seem so happy to be together! I really never thought much about them before, but seeing your Kids in so many pictures since we started Wenching has really made me understand their charm. They’re just so happy looking.
    And I LOVE the picture of the deer on the labyrinth. Maybe a path will be worn on the twinings of the labyrinth so you’ll be able to walk it.
    Have a great weekend. What a way to celebrate sending in a book! ( celebrated my last by getting on an airplane and flying over the Atlantic. Interesting, but NOT restful!)
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  3. The CBKs seem so happy to be together! I really never thought much about them before, but seeing your Kids in so many pictures since we started Wenching has really made me understand their charm. They’re just so happy looking.
    And I LOVE the picture of the deer on the labyrinth. Maybe a path will be worn on the twinings of the labyrinth so you’ll be able to walk it.
    Have a great weekend. What a way to celebrate sending in a book! ( celebrated my last by getting on an airplane and flying over the Atlantic. Interesting, but NOT restful!)
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  4. The CBKs seem so happy to be together! I really never thought much about them before, but seeing your Kids in so many pictures since we started Wenching has really made me understand their charm. They’re just so happy looking.
    And I LOVE the picture of the deer on the labyrinth. Maybe a path will be worn on the twinings of the labyrinth so you’ll be able to walk it.
    Have a great weekend. What a way to celebrate sending in a book! ( celebrated my last by getting on an airplane and flying over the Atlantic. Interesting, but NOT restful!)
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  5. I hope Mary Jo is right and there is a path to walk the labyrinth in the snow. Imagine doing so by candlelight!
    Here’s to healing, rejuvenation, and fun. 🙂 I look forward to Lady Beware.
    Jane George

    Reply
  6. I hope Mary Jo is right and there is a path to walk the labyrinth in the snow. Imagine doing so by candlelight!
    Here’s to healing, rejuvenation, and fun. 🙂 I look forward to Lady Beware.
    Jane George

    Reply
  7. I hope Mary Jo is right and there is a path to walk the labyrinth in the snow. Imagine doing so by candlelight!
    Here’s to healing, rejuvenation, and fun. 🙂 I look forward to Lady Beware.
    Jane George

    Reply
  8. I hope Mary Jo is right and there is a path to walk the labyrinth in the snow. Imagine doing so by candlelight!
    Here’s to healing, rejuvenation, and fun. 🙂 I look forward to Lady Beware.
    Jane George

    Reply
  9. Jo, I hope you do get to walk the labyrinth. You might see faint furrows in the snow. I remember years ago in England being amazed when a light fall of snow revealed medieval strip fields in a previously featureless green paddock. It was a moment of luminosity for me, and I’ll never forget it.
    I’ve had a yen to walk a labyrinth ever since I read Mary Jo’s SPIRAL PATH. Every time I reread that book (which is wonderful) , I go out to my pocket handkerchief garden and try to work out how I could fit a labyrinth into it. Someday, somehow, I will.

    Reply
  10. Jo, I hope you do get to walk the labyrinth. You might see faint furrows in the snow. I remember years ago in England being amazed when a light fall of snow revealed medieval strip fields in a previously featureless green paddock. It was a moment of luminosity for me, and I’ll never forget it.
    I’ve had a yen to walk a labyrinth ever since I read Mary Jo’s SPIRAL PATH. Every time I reread that book (which is wonderful) , I go out to my pocket handkerchief garden and try to work out how I could fit a labyrinth into it. Someday, somehow, I will.

    Reply
  11. Jo, I hope you do get to walk the labyrinth. You might see faint furrows in the snow. I remember years ago in England being amazed when a light fall of snow revealed medieval strip fields in a previously featureless green paddock. It was a moment of luminosity for me, and I’ll never forget it.
    I’ve had a yen to walk a labyrinth ever since I read Mary Jo’s SPIRAL PATH. Every time I reread that book (which is wonderful) , I go out to my pocket handkerchief garden and try to work out how I could fit a labyrinth into it. Someday, somehow, I will.

    Reply
  12. Jo, I hope you do get to walk the labyrinth. You might see faint furrows in the snow. I remember years ago in England being amazed when a light fall of snow revealed medieval strip fields in a previously featureless green paddock. It was a moment of luminosity for me, and I’ll never forget it.
    I’ve had a yen to walk a labyrinth ever since I read Mary Jo’s SPIRAL PATH. Every time I reread that book (which is wonderful) , I go out to my pocket handkerchief garden and try to work out how I could fit a labyrinth into it. Someday, somehow, I will.

    Reply
  13. Hi Jo,
    As I write this there are 8 little girls (ages 10 and 11) eating pizza and shrieking at my dining room table. It’s a sleepover! 24 hours of sugar and giggles! Plus dancing and DVDs and soda pop! And lip gloss!
    I so envy your time of quiet and I hope you have a wonderful time learning reiki.
    You should know that I do feel much calmer right now just looking at the labyrinth you posted. . .
    Melinda

    Reply
  14. Hi Jo,
    As I write this there are 8 little girls (ages 10 and 11) eating pizza and shrieking at my dining room table. It’s a sleepover! 24 hours of sugar and giggles! Plus dancing and DVDs and soda pop! And lip gloss!
    I so envy your time of quiet and I hope you have a wonderful time learning reiki.
    You should know that I do feel much calmer right now just looking at the labyrinth you posted. . .
    Melinda

    Reply
  15. Hi Jo,
    As I write this there are 8 little girls (ages 10 and 11) eating pizza and shrieking at my dining room table. It’s a sleepover! 24 hours of sugar and giggles! Plus dancing and DVDs and soda pop! And lip gloss!
    I so envy your time of quiet and I hope you have a wonderful time learning reiki.
    You should know that I do feel much calmer right now just looking at the labyrinth you posted. . .
    Melinda

    Reply
  16. Hi Jo,
    As I write this there are 8 little girls (ages 10 and 11) eating pizza and shrieking at my dining room table. It’s a sleepover! 24 hours of sugar and giggles! Plus dancing and DVDs and soda pop! And lip gloss!
    I so envy your time of quiet and I hope you have a wonderful time learning reiki.
    You should know that I do feel much calmer right now just looking at the labyrinth you posted. . .
    Melinda

    Reply
  17. Hi Jo!
    I hope you have a wonderful time away and I’m looking forward to LADY BEWARE.
    I’ve always been fascinated by labyrinths, especially the Tor. They seem so true to life, reflecting the way life always seems to come back on itself. And the only thing that seems to change is our perspective.
    Speaking of perspective, thank you for sharing the little insights into how you write. As a struggling writer, I find it very comforting.
    Nina, hoping Jo gets to walk the labyrinth.

    Reply
  18. Hi Jo!
    I hope you have a wonderful time away and I’m looking forward to LADY BEWARE.
    I’ve always been fascinated by labyrinths, especially the Tor. They seem so true to life, reflecting the way life always seems to come back on itself. And the only thing that seems to change is our perspective.
    Speaking of perspective, thank you for sharing the little insights into how you write. As a struggling writer, I find it very comforting.
    Nina, hoping Jo gets to walk the labyrinth.

    Reply
  19. Hi Jo!
    I hope you have a wonderful time away and I’m looking forward to LADY BEWARE.
    I’ve always been fascinated by labyrinths, especially the Tor. They seem so true to life, reflecting the way life always seems to come back on itself. And the only thing that seems to change is our perspective.
    Speaking of perspective, thank you for sharing the little insights into how you write. As a struggling writer, I find it very comforting.
    Nina, hoping Jo gets to walk the labyrinth.

    Reply
  20. Hi Jo!
    I hope you have a wonderful time away and I’m looking forward to LADY BEWARE.
    I’ve always been fascinated by labyrinths, especially the Tor. They seem so true to life, reflecting the way life always seems to come back on itself. And the only thing that seems to change is our perspective.
    Speaking of perspective, thank you for sharing the little insights into how you write. As a struggling writer, I find it very comforting.
    Nina, hoping Jo gets to walk the labyrinth.

    Reply
  21. Oooh, it sounds like peace and benediction all the way. I hope you’ll fill us in on the retreat so we can live vicariously, and that your time spent was everything you hoped for.

    Reply
  22. Oooh, it sounds like peace and benediction all the way. I hope you’ll fill us in on the retreat so we can live vicariously, and that your time spent was everything you hoped for.

    Reply
  23. Oooh, it sounds like peace and benediction all the way. I hope you’ll fill us in on the retreat so we can live vicariously, and that your time spent was everything you hoped for.

    Reply
  24. Oooh, it sounds like peace and benediction all the way. I hope you’ll fill us in on the retreat so we can live vicariously, and that your time spent was everything you hoped for.

    Reply
  25. Anne–
    There might not be room for a labyrinth in your garden, but there may well be a labyrinth near you. I went to Google and put in “Locate labyrinth Australia” and came up with lots of links. Here’s one: http://www.labyrinthlinkaustralia.org/find.htm
    There are lots more labyrinths around now then when I first wrote THE SPIRAL PATH. There is something immensely calming about walking one–with or without a deer in sight. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  26. Anne–
    There might not be room for a labyrinth in your garden, but there may well be a labyrinth near you. I went to Google and put in “Locate labyrinth Australia” and came up with lots of links. Here’s one: http://www.labyrinthlinkaustralia.org/find.htm
    There are lots more labyrinths around now then when I first wrote THE SPIRAL PATH. There is something immensely calming about walking one–with or without a deer in sight. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  27. Anne–
    There might not be room for a labyrinth in your garden, but there may well be a labyrinth near you. I went to Google and put in “Locate labyrinth Australia” and came up with lots of links. Here’s one: http://www.labyrinthlinkaustralia.org/find.htm
    There are lots more labyrinths around now then when I first wrote THE SPIRAL PATH. There is something immensely calming about walking one–with or without a deer in sight. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  28. Anne–
    There might not be room for a labyrinth in your garden, but there may well be a labyrinth near you. I went to Google and put in “Locate labyrinth Australia” and came up with lots of links. Here’s one: http://www.labyrinthlinkaustralia.org/find.htm
    There are lots more labyrinths around now then when I first wrote THE SPIRAL PATH. There is something immensely calming about walking one–with or without a deer in sight. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  29. Yes, I discovered Grace Cathedral’s site a week or so ago, but my finger goes all wacko on it, too. Messing with technology is never restful.
    We have lovely icy trees and deers checking out our bird feeders today. I trust Jo stayed warm for her sessions. Labyrinths at 30 degrees don’t sound like fun to me.

    Reply
  30. Yes, I discovered Grace Cathedral’s site a week or so ago, but my finger goes all wacko on it, too. Messing with technology is never restful.
    We have lovely icy trees and deers checking out our bird feeders today. I trust Jo stayed warm for her sessions. Labyrinths at 30 degrees don’t sound like fun to me.

    Reply
  31. Yes, I discovered Grace Cathedral’s site a week or so ago, but my finger goes all wacko on it, too. Messing with technology is never restful.
    We have lovely icy trees and deers checking out our bird feeders today. I trust Jo stayed warm for her sessions. Labyrinths at 30 degrees don’t sound like fun to me.

    Reply
  32. Yes, I discovered Grace Cathedral’s site a week or so ago, but my finger goes all wacko on it, too. Messing with technology is never restful.
    We have lovely icy trees and deers checking out our bird feeders today. I trust Jo stayed warm for her sessions. Labyrinths at 30 degrees don’t sound like fun to me.

    Reply
  33. Thanks Mary Jo
    Still can’t find one anywhere close. Mostly they seem to be temporary things associated with church activities, moving from place to place, or in private retreats. “Walk the labyrinth” was some kind of campaign a few years ago, so the net is littered with dead links.
    Never mind.
    As usual, I’ll go and stare at my garden and see how I can fit a labyrinth in… and maybe write letters to the various local municipal councils suggesting they make a labyrinth. You never know…
    If only the Monty Python guys had said “Bring me a labyrinth” instead of a shrubbery…

    Reply
  34. Thanks Mary Jo
    Still can’t find one anywhere close. Mostly they seem to be temporary things associated with church activities, moving from place to place, or in private retreats. “Walk the labyrinth” was some kind of campaign a few years ago, so the net is littered with dead links.
    Never mind.
    As usual, I’ll go and stare at my garden and see how I can fit a labyrinth in… and maybe write letters to the various local municipal councils suggesting they make a labyrinth. You never know…
    If only the Monty Python guys had said “Bring me a labyrinth” instead of a shrubbery…

    Reply
  35. Thanks Mary Jo
    Still can’t find one anywhere close. Mostly they seem to be temporary things associated with church activities, moving from place to place, or in private retreats. “Walk the labyrinth” was some kind of campaign a few years ago, so the net is littered with dead links.
    Never mind.
    As usual, I’ll go and stare at my garden and see how I can fit a labyrinth in… and maybe write letters to the various local municipal councils suggesting they make a labyrinth. You never know…
    If only the Monty Python guys had said “Bring me a labyrinth” instead of a shrubbery…

    Reply
  36. Thanks Mary Jo
    Still can’t find one anywhere close. Mostly they seem to be temporary things associated with church activities, moving from place to place, or in private retreats. “Walk the labyrinth” was some kind of campaign a few years ago, so the net is littered with dead links.
    Never mind.
    As usual, I’ll go and stare at my garden and see how I can fit a labyrinth in… and maybe write letters to the various local municipal councils suggesting they make a labyrinth. You never know…
    If only the Monty Python guys had said “Bring me a labyrinth” instead of a shrubbery…

    Reply
  37. The giggling girls are gone and the exhausted Mom is going to take a nap now.
    But first, thought I’d pass along this link for a company that makes labyrinths, including portable ones that seem to roll up for shipping and storage. I looked at a 24-foot Chartres replica, but they seem to come in many different sizes, surfaces, and designs for use indoors or out. There even seems to be one that’s 6 feet for “personal sacred space.” Here’s the link:
    http://www.labyrinthcompany.com/view_category.php?category_id=2
    BTW, Anne, I love your books and I’m looking forward to the next one!

    Reply
  38. The giggling girls are gone and the exhausted Mom is going to take a nap now.
    But first, thought I’d pass along this link for a company that makes labyrinths, including portable ones that seem to roll up for shipping and storage. I looked at a 24-foot Chartres replica, but they seem to come in many different sizes, surfaces, and designs for use indoors or out. There even seems to be one that’s 6 feet for “personal sacred space.” Here’s the link:
    http://www.labyrinthcompany.com/view_category.php?category_id=2
    BTW, Anne, I love your books and I’m looking forward to the next one!

    Reply
  39. The giggling girls are gone and the exhausted Mom is going to take a nap now.
    But first, thought I’d pass along this link for a company that makes labyrinths, including portable ones that seem to roll up for shipping and storage. I looked at a 24-foot Chartres replica, but they seem to come in many different sizes, surfaces, and designs for use indoors or out. There even seems to be one that’s 6 feet for “personal sacred space.” Here’s the link:
    http://www.labyrinthcompany.com/view_category.php?category_id=2
    BTW, Anne, I love your books and I’m looking forward to the next one!

    Reply
  40. The giggling girls are gone and the exhausted Mom is going to take a nap now.
    But first, thought I’d pass along this link for a company that makes labyrinths, including portable ones that seem to roll up for shipping and storage. I looked at a 24-foot Chartres replica, but they seem to come in many different sizes, surfaces, and designs for use indoors or out. There even seems to be one that’s 6 feet for “personal sacred space.” Here’s the link:
    http://www.labyrinthcompany.com/view_category.php?category_id=2
    BTW, Anne, I love your books and I’m looking forward to the next one!

    Reply
  41. I’m back. Thanks for all the lovely wished. I enjoyed my weekend tremendously. I heartily recommend reiki, if only for personal use. It’s simply and unthreatening, but it really does tap into healing energy.
    It’s true, the labyrinth did start to appear as the snow melted, and it was right outside my bedroom window, but I’d neglected to take shoes that could take 1 1/2 inches of snow. But I’ve booked to do level 2 reiki in June so that’s good. There are others around town.
    The deer were strolling around the grounds all the time. This morning, a group of zen meditators were there doing a walking meditation — moving very, very slowly, and not far away, three deer were picking their way through snow in that delicate, slow way they have. The two groups seemed to be mirroring each other.
    Good energy,
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  42. I’m back. Thanks for all the lovely wished. I enjoyed my weekend tremendously. I heartily recommend reiki, if only for personal use. It’s simply and unthreatening, but it really does tap into healing energy.
    It’s true, the labyrinth did start to appear as the snow melted, and it was right outside my bedroom window, but I’d neglected to take shoes that could take 1 1/2 inches of snow. But I’ve booked to do level 2 reiki in June so that’s good. There are others around town.
    The deer were strolling around the grounds all the time. This morning, a group of zen meditators were there doing a walking meditation — moving very, very slowly, and not far away, three deer were picking their way through snow in that delicate, slow way they have. The two groups seemed to be mirroring each other.
    Good energy,
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  43. I’m back. Thanks for all the lovely wished. I enjoyed my weekend tremendously. I heartily recommend reiki, if only for personal use. It’s simply and unthreatening, but it really does tap into healing energy.
    It’s true, the labyrinth did start to appear as the snow melted, and it was right outside my bedroom window, but I’d neglected to take shoes that could take 1 1/2 inches of snow. But I’ve booked to do level 2 reiki in June so that’s good. There are others around town.
    The deer were strolling around the grounds all the time. This morning, a group of zen meditators were there doing a walking meditation — moving very, very slowly, and not far away, three deer were picking their way through snow in that delicate, slow way they have. The two groups seemed to be mirroring each other.
    Good energy,
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  44. I’m back. Thanks for all the lovely wished. I enjoyed my weekend tremendously. I heartily recommend reiki, if only for personal use. It’s simply and unthreatening, but it really does tap into healing energy.
    It’s true, the labyrinth did start to appear as the snow melted, and it was right outside my bedroom window, but I’d neglected to take shoes that could take 1 1/2 inches of snow. But I’ve booked to do level 2 reiki in June so that’s good. There are others around town.
    The deer were strolling around the grounds all the time. This morning, a group of zen meditators were there doing a walking meditation — moving very, very slowly, and not far away, three deer were picking their way through snow in that delicate, slow way they have. The two groups seemed to be mirroring each other.
    Good energy,
    Jo 🙂

    Reply

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