Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Tonight I ended up at 38,050 and 75 pages. Not bad. I rounded out a tough scene and see a clear direction for the next chapters. I have a rough outline but of late the story has been leading me.

Hopefully tomorrow or Thursday I can crack 40,000 and that would put me at the half way point or nearly so! My goal is to have the draft be about 80,000 words - leaving me room to add as I revise.

Monday, January 26, 2009


another 1000 words tonight. So I am at 36,794. Total of 72 pages. Last week I got busy with life and E is not sleeping well at night and well it took most my mental focus to knock out the last MBA paper.

I have high hopes for this week... 40K here I come.

Taking the bull by the horns

As promised I am posting the response to my email... It is from someone I actually know and have the world of respect for. He is the distract Admin manager. A life time employee. He worked his way up the ladder. He is a good manager. I would imagine his retirement has tanked - given that some of his comp in in ML stock.

When he was the Admin Manager of the Office I worked in, he ran a tight ship and he did a good job. I would work for him again I think.

But still, he is an admin manager of a sales complex of a firm. While he has been to the executive suite in Manhattan, he is not part of the inner circle, by my estimation.

And that is the travesty. Good people, like KH and my friend and countless others, who have built their careers by doing what is right and by growing and learning - they are the ones who suffer - just like those at Lehman. They lose their retirement benefits and all of it - when some small niche of people get together and follow their own vanity and their own greed. When one is an CEO, CFO, CIO or whatever O's - they are an officer of the corporation and it is their DUTY to act in the best interest of the company - HELLO that is Business 101. I think they need to go take a refresher course - because there is precious little of that going on in this Day and Age!

It makes me incredibly sad. And angry.... I was heartened to hear that the Client Associates and other hourly employees did not get the shaft. That helps ease the anger a touch. But still...


There probably is more to come. Unfortunately the press just loves this sort of thing and frequently they spin it to their own advantage. Let me give you a better sense of the bonus issue. Overall the bonuses were down about 40% as compared to last year. You might say that they should be down 100% given the losses that were incurred by Merrill Lynch. But, the great majority of those bonuses, as in the past, are paid to support people. As an example, the CA bonuses, EIP, were basically flat from prior years. There was a tremendous effort on the part of senior management in our division to insure that the CAs, along with other support positions, did not have their overall compensation harmed in any significant way, even in the face of the losses incurred by the firm. Also, CAs did get an increase last year, which was pretty much in line with increases in prior years. At the same time, any employee whose salary was $100,000 or greater was frozen.

A lot of humor has been gained at John Thain’s and ML’s expense over the revelation that he spent $30,000 for a commode. There were other items on the list that seemed equally frivolous. But, to clarify, he did not spend $1.2MYN to redecorate his office. He spent it on a redesign of the executive suites, which included areas outside of his own office. I have seen the executive suites at ML and I have seen Thain’s office. The office itself makes up a small portion of the entire space. Now having said that, was it, in retrospect, a good idea to spend that money on the executive suites with everything else that was going on? Probably not. Some of us in the field take pride in running a tight ship and not spending money when it’s not needed, in both good times and in bad. Just ask E. Or even think back when you were here. We are careful with how we spend money and a lot of management in the field behaves the same way.

Just an update. I understand that John Thain has announced that he is reimbursing ML for the $1.2MYN. I believe that Maria Bartaromo is interviewing him today and this will likely be part of the discussion.

Lastly please remember. A big reason that you still have your account at ML is because of E. I’m certain that E will continue to do the best that she can for you in spite of the bad press that is swirling around ML right now. I am confident that we will eventually put all of this behind us and again will be a better organization for it.

Good to hear from you.


I am not sure I share his optimistic outlook - but HE has been in the business a long time... so I will sit with this a bit and wait and see. I still say we threw Martha Stewart in jail over a few thousands dollars and men like John Thain other executives can play fast and loose and make ridiculous judgments and in some cases commit something that looks an awful lot like fraud and well... it seems like that is going unpunished.

My next class in MBA school is Org. Behavior. Maybe it will shed some light on how those at the top can be so out of touch...or consumed by Mirror Mirror on the Wall, who is the greediest rat bastard of them all....

My little letter to President Obama

What is going to be done to ensure that those firms on Wall Street- who have accepted tax dollars spend them wisely and not foolishly as Merrill Lynch did in the days prior to the merger with Bank of America. When Americans are losing their jobs by the thousands - it is unconscionable that John Thain spent $1.2 million on office furniture. Corporate executive entitlement must end - I think before Americans will once again trust our financial system. It is a shame if not criminal their conduct.

I sent this via the Whitehouse.gov website. I was limited to 500 characters - so I think I will be drafting a letter in long form and mail it the old fashioned way.

I really feel like this an issue that must be resolved and resolved before the economy will actually get better. These bubbles that burst are fueled by Greed pure and simple. Greed, which breeds lack of judgment and an abject lack of integrity...

I still say they all need their knuckles rapped, their butts paddled and then they need to stand in the snow on line at the local soup kitchen for a week or so. A lesson in humility is in order.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Open Letter to Merrill Lynch

I sent this to the manager of the Columbus, Ohio sales distract of Merrill Lynch.

Mr. C –

I have been irritated and I have been astonished over the last 3 years at the gross mismanagement of Merrill at the corporate level. As a client and a shareholder it is beyond appalling. First Stan O’Neil and his questionable dealings, which put ML under further financial hardship and negatively affected the stock’s valuation. Then the sale of the ML to BOA, which I think could turn out to be a homerun or a total stinker, depending on how it is orchestrated and managed. Sadly the news of the last minute bonuses and $1.2 million worth of office furniture purchased by James Thain, I am inclined to believe that it will be a total stinker.

As a former employee, I am also willing to bet that none of the client associates or back office employees received a bonus much less new furniture this year. I would also imagine that they have been working under a wage and salary freeze over the last few years as well. Never mind that they come to work and put in their full day and then some – whilst the gentlemen of James Thain’s ilk bilk the company for all it is worth and then take the tax payers money as well. I ask you – how was his contribution so more significant than the young woman’s who answers your phone. Other than she has performed with integrity and dedication and he – well at best he exercised poor judgment and at worse he committed fraud or dare I say theft?

I think the world of my advisor – XX. She is responsive and knowledge and a real asset to your organization. SHE is the only reason my husband and I have stuck it out at Merrill Lynch for as long as we have. But at this moment I think I am done feeding this mad cow. I am done paying top dollar – so that the executives can waste, squander, lie and cheat. I am done supporting an organization which is lead by men and women so devoid of any moral or ethical fiber. Where is the sense of corporate honor and respectable citizenship. Honor used to be a time honored value and sadly now it would seem that it is every man for himself – grab, grab, grab and take, take, take.

I also know that you are but a small cog in a very big wheel and that this message is a touch self serving and my chance to vent – but I would like to think that you will share my thoughts and words with your boss and take this as far as you can. I am also publishing this letter to my blog and will happily post any substantive response that I receive.

I used to be proud to say that I used to work for Merrill Lynch, now I am trying to dream up ways to highlight my experience there and not name the firm, as it is form shame, that a once trusted and revered investment house is now synonymous with greed and greed and dishonor, mismanagement and other less than desirable business principals.

I am currently finishing my MBA and I know that it takes many to make an business function but in the end those at the top set the tone, but I also know that those at the bottom have the ability to rise up. If I were still employed at Merrill Lynch I would be running a revolution. Every employee deserves more than they got – the employees, middle management like yourself, your staff and your brokers. Your investment of time and energy and integrity is worth more than you have received and for that I am truly sorry – my hope is that perhaps my words can motivate you to be an agent of change. To share my words and perhaps add those of others who simply cannot take it any longer. But I also know money speaks louder than words and I am considering my options. Perhaps if enough people take their money out of Merrill Lynch then and only then will Wall Street and the big movers and shakers learn that bad business will in fact eventually hit you where it hurts. After all men like James Thain are only concerned with how they might benefit. When the well runs dry – perhaps then and only then will get what they deserve. Mud.

All the Best—

Thoughts from the edge...


I doubt it will do much but it is time - I am no longer willing to feed the bloated cow...

Low Iodine cooking update...

So I have 4 servings of yummy homemade chicken noodle soup completed. (Well first - I made 2.5 quarts of my own chicken stock to use in the low iodine recipes.) And I have three single serve chicken potpies made. They are very cute and I have to say making the pastry shell with corn oil shortening is harder than butter and I have no idea how it will turn out - I will say - they look nice and the chicken mixture looks yumm-o. Not that I can taste any of this - seeing as none of it is gluten free.

Did I mention finding unsalted frozen mixed veggies is almost as hard as finding the HOPE diamond in a garbage dump? But I found some! I ready every label in Giant Eagles Frozen veggie section and have the frost bite on my fingers to prove it!

Next on the parade of fab low iodine food - corn muffins and apple sauce muffins!

Take that you pesky tumors!

Chai for Me

I love Chai or as the Indian restaurant by me calls it "Special Tea." But the milk really is a no no and sometimes I indulge, I really should not. At Christmas my friend A came over and brought her Chai kit and made me Chai and I saw how easy it was and thought, mmm maybe I can do this.

So I treked over to the Indian Market and bought the loose black tea, masala (spice blend - I bought 2 - one designed for tea and the other for a curry dish and I have to say I like the one for curry better - it is zippy and hey it is my cup of chai.)

I made it a few times with half and half and yeah buddy that is good stuff. Then I tried to make it me appropriate. After a few tries, I think I like it made with plain rice milk or unsweeten Almond Breeze best. (I add my own sugar to the brew.)

So the general recipe for one large mug full is as follows -

1 tsp of loose black tea
1 tsp masala
1-2 slices fresh ginger, cubed
1-2 Tbs sugar
1.5 c water
1c Rice milk or Almond Milk (to taste)

Use a metal - non reactive pot.

Heat water in pot over medium heat. Add tea and masala and stir. Toss in the fresh ginger and bring just to boil. (3-5 minutes) Then stir in the sugar to taste and then the milk or milk alternative. Heat for about 2-3 more minutes.

Pour thru strainer into mug. Enjoy!

It really is good and satisfying. This makes enough for two smaller mugs or one large mug. Adjust the spices and tea depending on your taste, but this is the guide I use.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Let's buy HIM a hot seat

I worked at Merrill Lynch from the spring of 1996 to the early summer of 2004. I have been a shareholder since 1996. My stock (now Bank of America) is worth shit and I am so angry about this news story on top of all the other crap that has gone on at ML - I could spit.

But I think a better idea - give me 10 bucks and a folding chair... I will give John Thain the hot seat of his life... - which is exactly what he deserved. NO ONE - needs an office outfitted in over $1.2 Million worth of office furniture. I am sure they had extra office furniture in the building and frankly - while my stock is in the toilet I think he can use a folding chair and a card table from COSTCO! Better yet I think he could have taken a spare seat in the men's room - seeing as that is where my stock is.

The unbelievable gaul and sense of entitlement is appalling....

Read here & watch here....

While I am at it I would like to go after the Board of Directors - who clearly have their collective heads up their asses. I have something for that too....

Next in line every single senator and house member who voted to give these people all of my tax dollars. They need to take it like men, downsize like the rest of us and try waiting in line at the soup kitchen. They need a lesson in collective humility and they need to learn the hard way what it feels like when the world shits on you for fun... which is what they have built their careers doing to the general public.

I used to say tarring and feather and now I think we need to drag out some retired Nuns and have these self centered, self absorbed and Greedy rat bastards drop TROU!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A smile... Priceless

I think I have been clear that I tend to shop at Whole Foods. I trust them. If it is in their store, they know about the item and the ingredients are clearly labeled. All good. Also as a point of truth and full disclosure - I am also a shareholder... not a major one, but I wanted to be clear...


I know everyone calls it Whole Paycheck and the bit. Some of the stuff is more expensive than Kroger and Giant Eagle and so forth. I get that. I will also submit, when you compare products apples to apples Whole Foods is actually cheaper. My Fav Nut Thins - yep, cheaper at Whole Foods. High quality produce - all Grade A and above. No model or tiny tiny organic produce at three times the price. Heck the produce is super fresh and not suspect like it is at other groceries.

So today - today I was shopping at Whole Foods with E. We had a fair amount to get today. And maybe it is because I am in freaky human resources MBA mode or maybe I was just more aware of my surroundings today. But I made a startling discovery.


Wow! In what store does that happen? Last week when I ran into Kroger I had to practically beg someone to help me and that person was not busy, just not real interested in doing anything it would seem.

To me this is an example of good management practices at work. People like working there. I know WFs is committed to paying a living wage and I know the employees have a good benefits package! It showed today.

But still I was surprised and delighted to see it in action. I wrote them a comment to that effect! I am often the critic - but I can also be quick to praise what I see going right.

If this was not enough... as I was leaving a young Amish couple was walking in. They had brought their eggs in. They supply some of the locally produced free range eggs.

They looked happy too. They have a market for their product. (Which I bought today! They are rockin eggs.) They have a venue to sell their products and make a living wage also. They are part of the American agricultural landscape and they are doing it the right way - earth focused and humane.

Another example of good management. Supporting the local community in a variety of ways. Worth a few extra pennies in my book. So I guess I could get surly service or no service, highly processed and so not me friendly foods, quasi labeled prepared foods, and factory farm eggs alittle bit cheaper somewhere else.

But Why?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A writer writes....

I did it! I applied for my first ever in person - writers workshop. The Kenyon Review Writers Workshop! Check it out....

I haven't a clue what I will do with the kiddos if I get in - but why borrow trouble - I will figure it out!

Monday, January 19, 2009


So last night was a bust - but this afternoon after a lovely lunch of India... I managed

about 1800 words or so and a few quick edits...

I am at 35,783 and 70 single spaced pages. The flow is good and I would keep going but I have to be somewhere... maybe more tonight!

I think my goal of 40,000 words for the week is doable if I can keep this pace!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Let them eat fruits and veggies...

Yeah that and meat and basmati rice. I cannot eat about 90% of the food found in the grocery store. People ask me what I like to eat... well frankly there is so little for me to pick from I like almost all of it. Beets and Turnips I refuse to eat. Ugh! I am also not a fan of potatoes so much. Certainly not baked or mashed or boiled. Roasted I can handle and damn I love me some French Fries.

But today I found - well an even more restrictive and complicated set of dietary restrictions. My mother prior to her big mega does of Radioactive Iodine, has to go on a Low-Iodine Diet. Everything except for salt free herbs and spices, fresh (no frozen) meats, fresh fruit and veggies. Some grains and unsalted unroasted nuts. No baked goods - but you can make your own bread if you are so motivated - but can only use certain yeasts and no salt and only certain additives.

Ok this is a nightmare for the obvious reasons but also for the following!

A) Mom has to go off her med - her thyroid hormone replacement med. She will be a walking zombie! No energy. She also has to somehow work because she does not have that much time and she needs to conserve it for the Chemo portion of this fun odyssey. Couple that with the fact that my mother has next to no appetite at all.

B) My mom is a huge fan at this point in her life frozen meals. She comes home from work and nukes and then is done.

So today my bro and I divided up the tasks and he is going to do the every other day salad and fresh veggie prep! It is only a little over 2 weeks that she has to go this route! I am going to make her a series of "frozen dinners" which she can nuke when she gets home and that she can take to work with her. Also with dairy and eggs totally out - she is short short short of breakfast ideas - so I am going to make some great morning muffins for her.

The recipes which came in her packet are easy and seem like they would taste good.

I mean I am good at reading labels - but this diet almost seems impossible. I swear with this endeavor and my normal hyper vigilant food label inspections - I am so going to need reading glasses.

But this is her last shot at Radioactive Iodine Treatment - with this she will be at her lifetime exposure mark and we all want this to be as successful as possible. The better this works - the better chance we have for the Chemo to do something meaningful...

Saturday, January 17, 2009


34,003 words as of tonight. 66 single space pages.

I made decent progress this week and aim to try and be at 40,000 by this time next week.

Big progress in terms of the development of the story and moving it along...

All and all I am happy with where I am and I am tired tonight in any event, so I am done. I know when to say when.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Too cool for School

Well not really - but I am back in MBA school. For a variety of reasons. This round it is Human Resources Management. A subject I both enjoy and loathe.

I was speaking with EP today. She is a friend from back in the day at the former JOB. She and I think alike. Difference is she is still there and I am sitting here writing for you all to read.

My beef with HR is not actually with HR. My beef is with the text books and the corporate disingenuous rhetoric - which perpetuals the myth that all the HR mumbo jumbo actually matters. I am behind the idea of actually using intrinsic and extrinsic motivators. I am behind 360 feed back and peer evaluations and I am behind compressed work weeks and health benefits and gym membership discounts. I am behind team building exercises and the whole bit... but what I am finding hard to stomach is the the way they dress it UP and make it sound like these lofty principals are what drive corporate decision making. That is BS!

The almighty dollar is what drives corporate decision making. Intrinsic rewards and praise for a job well done be damned. When the chips are down - as they are now - the CEO and the CFO and the CIO and so forth and so on are gunning to keep their jobs and could give a shit about yours - other than it costs them money and they would like to cut it. You are just a pile of zeros.

You can emasse years upon years worth of glowing HR reviews, a killer sales record and/or perfect attendance from 40 years ago. Never sick one day and frankly it is all for shit. Cuz when they cut - they cut and it is not based on fact or reason or anything. It is a free for all! They chuck the HR manual and start looking at fiance reports. If they even ever bothered to look at the HR manual. And I know that is why MBA school is pushing the HR piece - but really. I read the news... it is about money. ML has an HR department - which they outsourced to INDIA. That says alot about the value they place on that part of th MBA ciriculum.

I was a model employee at the former JOB. Good reviews and the whole bit. Showed up gave 110% and at the end of the day the whiny guy on the team whined louder than I worked hard and no one but no one cared. When I sought a lateral move or something, that bite me in the butt. Besides I was a woman in an all male business. I was told by the HR designee in our office that "getting your MBA is a waste of time and the companies money - Because we all know you will just end up a mom - like all the others before you!"

My friend who has worked for 10 years at her company and is a middle manger - yep she is drawing unemployment. Not because she was the weak link or anything. The company's profits are for shit and 1/3 of the work force was laid off and yet the CEO is enjoying wine and veal at Cipreoni's.

I get that business is about making money. Duh! But we need to as a culture decide if we want to define value solely as money. Is shareholder value solely about the bottom the line. Cuz the same shareholder is paying the good for nothing CEO - to eat at Cipreoni's and my friend to draw unemployment. Is this a VALUE? I think not.

The CEO should be paid only if the company makes a profit. If the theory of business is that the business is in business to make model holds true.

I am CEO of Images Written - my business and I only make money if I make money. I work for myself - but the point is.... that is the CEOs job. To run a profitable business. His/Her decisions shape the business and he/she should be held directly accountable. The buck stops at the CEOs door.

The big guys, by my estimations see it that we work for them to make them money. While they hang out, drink martini's and play golf. Something is wrong with this picture.

Oh I get that they are networking and visioning and thinking... my ass they are loafing. And they are stealing from those of us who just want to work hard, make our mark and feed our families.

It takes - in my mind - the balls of a brass monkey to get on national TV or appear at the senate hearings and start crying now that the auto industry is for shit and you need my tax money or else the world as we know it is going to end.

Well they should know - the greedy corporate jet flying, multi million dollar earning BIG GUY. You ran it into the ground. Stop shifting the blame and take it like a man. You want the rest of use to eat rice and beans - pony up and share your can!

Same for the Lehman goons. They trashed a legitamate bank and put 1000s out of work for greed alone. They should be tarred and feathered. No amount of HR razzle dazzle could save any of the lifetime Lehman employees - who did nothing wrong - other than to trust the BS coming out of the CEOs mouth.

I think they should have to pick up trash on the side of the road from now until eternity to atone for their egregious breach of both their employees and share holder's trust - the rest of us have bills to pay and team building meetings to attend.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Hang 10

Ten years ago today - a Saturday - I was dressed in jeans and H's flannel shirt, my chin length light blond/brown hair in hot rollers - H's boots on - and I was.... shoveling the driveway! It was my wedding day. We had had a winter storm like none other. We had canceled the rehearsal and had pizza with our friends in the living room of our tiny house. Now I was shoveling so we could get out of the drive and make our way to the church.

J and her husband. H's mom had come from Cleveland with J and her husband.S in from Maine. In on the last flight into CMH I think. A few other friends at our house for the rehearsal. My mom and bro stayed safe and warm on the other side of town. No need to risk the 30 minute drive in the ice and snow. JS called, she and her husband were stuck in Maryland, the interstate was closed.

So there I was, shoveling the drive way. Having lived with H for well over 2 years at this point, bought a house and car together, I decided to get traditional and make him sleep in a hotel and not see me until I walked down the eile all dressed in white.

When H gave me the ruby circled in diamonds, he promised me a life of adventure. He promised to love me and walk beside me. And here we are 10 years later. So much has changed. And here we are - together...

We have had two babies and lost one. We have added friends to our circle, kept many and some have drifted off - no longer in close contact but never far from our thoughts. We have traveled near and far. We have each changed careers. Both living our passion and pursuing our dreams.

Sadly we have buried his mother. We stood by her in her struggle and gave her what she wanted. She wanted to be in her own bed when she passed onto the other side and we did that for her as a team.

We have been at a crossroads and to the edge a few times. But each time we have grabbed the others hand and made the choice to change course together - it has been an adventure. No day like the day before.

We have both grown up and changed and struggled.

It is hard to believe that the sweet goofy guy, who was knocking on my dorm door freshman year, to see my roommate is now the man I kiss good-bye as he leaves to fly a multi million dollar airliner and I am sure he never imagined that the shy and bookish girl who answered the door and politely told him her roommate was not in, would be the woman who is writing professionally now and dreaming of one day seeing her book in Barnes and Noble. Who is presiding over the house.

I am sure he would tell that he anticipated my scary food issues. Afterall I am the woman, who when we met and ate together in the dinning hall, who ate only things out of bowls. I will never forget the day he asked me in all seriousness, "Do you ever eat anything off a plate?"

It has been an adventure. It is an adventure. I hope it remains forever an adventure.

We got married the day after a HUGE snow storm. The snow plows where plowing the run ways at our wedding reception - I have pictures. But as with any storm, the sun rises again and there is true beauty to be beheld. (We are going away together this weekend and yep you guest it - forecast - Wintery mix with possibility for 3 to 5 inches of snow...)

Nothing could be more true. We have had hard times. The edge can be scary, but each time we have turned to each other and smiled and there is the sunny day. Sometimes our storms have been fiercy but then the sunny day comes with its brightness and there is peace and tranquility and great beauty.

I will not even presume to predict what the next years hold... other than to say that it will be an adventure - just like he promised.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

WIP (work in progress...)

Well I worked on it tonight... after the MBA paper and the 2 proposals I wrote. I am going to finish another unrelated short story now - but I promised progress updates so here it is:

previously written 28914 55
newly written 2010 4
total 30792 59

I am single spacing the pages. I like the way it looks as I write. I will reformat when I ask people to read it. My goal was 2000 words night and I met it. I could push more, but I am at a good place to stop. This is a very important part of the book.

I am happy with where I am heading. I have not outlined this one. It is in my head and I am letting it flow out of me organically.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Ok I have been silent for a bit, but this is beyond the pale. I am sure we are all aware that I believe that hate begets hate. Close mindedness begets Closed mindedness.

I am going to state something that many people will not agree with BUT I feel it is the TRUTH. My motto of late is "I cannot tell you what you want to know, only what I know..."

  • On 9/11 a group of MEN blew up and slaughtered many innocence people. They were men who where not "right minded" and loving. They were fanatics. They happened to be from countries in the middle east. They spoke languages other than English.
  • An American blew up the the Federal building in Oklahoma City. His command of English was fine and he was also not "right minded" and loving. He slaughter Innocent people who were just working and making a living...
  • In 1776 - depending on the view the revolutionaries began a revolution which while grounded in honorable ideals - was viewed by many as an act of terrorism and sedation. It turned out to be an amazing choice - but it was viewed by many as not right minded and loving... How about the civil war?
  • The French Revolution saw the slaughter of 1000s of people - what began as a movement founded in philosophical principals, melted and morphed into a blood thirsty reign of terror.
  • When the police killed the protesters at Kent State, they committed murder - I am not sure it was right minded or not. They followed orders. But what about freedom of speech.
See every issue has so many sides. Acts of hate beget more hate and confusion.

But this has to stop. Arabs, Middle Easterners and those who are Muslim are not guilty by proxy. Just as those of us who are Euro American are not all militia members and we are not going to blow up federal buildings. I am Euro American and I have never been a militia member, have no interest and frankly think fertilizer is dangerous to your health - blowing it up is just plain stupid.

I went to the young socialists meetings in college - but that did not mean I was going to join a group like the SDS in Germany. They were urban terrorists.

Arabic language t-shirts are not the problems. Arab or Middle Eastern Families, who are having a conversation about their fears of flying and the safest place to sit in an airliner - a conversation I had with L when we went to NYC are not a threat to the safety of other passengers.


The real threat to security is not those who are Arab or those who are wearing clothing we do not like. The real threat - the threat to humanity is our own illusions, our own prejudices and our own arrogance.

If you think striping at the airport and having your bags searched is going to solve this - then I have some swamp land in Florida... cheap cheap cheap...

If you think discriminating against a certain group of people - Arabs, women, French speakers or whatever is going to help make us safer - I am here to tell you - IT IS NOT. HATE IS NEVER ENOUGH. Small mindedness is NEVER ENOUGH! Just look at what is happening in Israel and Palestine as I write. There is so much hate and violence and blood on hands on both sides in that conflict. Love and compassion is the only true resolution and that is hard. Hard to love with bloody hands... but it in the end will only be enough....

I have always thought that it is my right as an American - it is my legacy and my duty to live the principals of freedom. Freedom is a costly adventure my friends. Freedom lives in love and rightmindness and Freedom is a hard road. I ask you... Are we on the right road.

Delaying flights, covering T-shirts and bowing to the small and petty mean - well that is not courageous and it will never - not ever - BE ENOUGH.

Monday, January 5, 2009


Ok, so I have been writing but not in my novel for a long time. I am resolved to finish my work in progress. Or at least have a workable 1st draft by March 15. I think I can do it. I am about a third of the way into it and it is flowing and taking shape...

So my plan is to have a draft done March 15th.

I will take a page from Nadia Lee and list my progress here weekly on Fridays and reflect on how I am progressing. This is going to be a huge goal, given I am in MBA school - but the freelance stuff has tapered off and I am going to try and capitalize on the down time. We shall see.

Example of the table I will use...

word count page count
previously written 0
newly written


other projects

I edited a touch tonight and did write but did not do a count. I will start the count when I write again. I know I should set aside time everyday for this project but I cannot. My days vary and every time I have done that - picked a certain day or days, it does not work for me. I end up stuck or frustrated. So I will write when I have the time and while I will make the time, I am not going to get all mired in the exact when. If I wake up early, I will write. I image this will be a Sunday morning project and on Tuesday and Thrusdays - my work days. I will devote an hour or so.

The idea is to getit done and not send me into a full on case of stress induced writers block.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


E says to me a few days ago, whilst tugging on his drapes - "Will you help me open my carpets?" I laugh and tell him they are called curtains.

Today we are getting ready to head out and he is once again tugging on the curtains - "Will you help me open my covers?" I laugh and remind him they are called curtains.

Tonight - as we are were getting ready for bed, he asked me to "close his rugs...." I reminded him once again they are curtains.

But this reminds me about hard it is to learn a language. Which he is doing everyday. I am now correcting his verb tense and helping him learn the exceptions to the rules. Like it is make - made and not make, maked. He is applying patterns and English is not a language of patterns. So many exceptions to the rules.

The language acquisition process has always fascinated me. It has since I learned German. As an adult - you have to memorize and cram and practice. As a child you just soak it up like a sponge.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year

I am a day late. It has been a busy holiday season. Today I am spending my day organizing my office and working on my business accounting and taxes. The joys of being a small business.

2008 and has been a big year. A lot has happened for me both personally and professionally. I am hopeful that 2009 will bring much of the same.

I have made some tough decisions this year and I have grown so much as a woman. I have written a ton. I cannot believe the sheer amount of words I can write. I know my posting in this space has tapered off and that is both because I have been focusing my time on other writing ventures, posting elsewhere and focus on my short stories and novels. It is not that I have a lack of things to say - merely other venues to say them in.

I toyed with shutting the blog down. Perhaps it has served its purpose. It was my space to speak my mind, explore various ideas and share events of my life and make observations.

But that choice does not seem good either. I still have things to say, just perhaps less time to say them. So I am going to commit to another year on the Edge. I have thought about a posting schedule but I am just going to let it flow in an organic way. I will write when the mood strikes me and when I think I have something of value to share.

I feel very convicted that 2009 is going to bring good things. I am feeling very positive indeed.