Me and My Terror

When UPS came on Thursday, I knew exactly what was being delivered, which is why I waited 30 minutes to open the door.  Then, when I opened the door, I grabbed the box, opened it, stuffed the wrapping deep in the trash and stuffed the contents of the box deep in my desk drawer.  I took nary a look.  I said nothing, not even to myself.

The next day, I marshaled the courage to look in the desk drawer.  There it was: the proof copy of The Goddess Lounge.  I thought I might throw up.  But then I took a deep breath, and LOOKED.  It looks good, people.  It looks good.

It took about 20 more minutes before I could show the book to my husband.  I have told one other person.  Now, three days later, I am telling you.  Again, I think I might throw up.

July 3rd, is the day, people.  On July 3rd, if you are so inclined, you will be able to buy yourself an ebook (instant gratification) or order a paperback (Amazon, Barnes & Noble--I think you should be able to order it just about anywhere.  (There is a slight chance you might have to wait a few days more to order the paper back.  I will keep you posted.)  Starting July 3, you should also be able to click right through to Amazon right from my blog.  It's my hopes to get the book in some local stores.  Again, I will keep you posted.

In the meantime, I will go throw up.


Goddess of the Week: Hestia

The Giustiniani Hestia in O. Seyffert, Diction...
The Giustiniani Hestia in O. Seyffert, Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, 1894 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Lisa needs a goddess that can help her get the recognition she deserves or who can at least help her not mind getting the recognition she deserves.  Lisa needs the Greek Goddess Hestia.

Hestia was the goddess of the hearth.  Her job was to keep the hearth fire burning continuously on Mount Olympus, and she did this quietly and without a lot of fanfare.

She wasn't glamourous Venus for whom all the male gods drooled.  She wasn't brainy Athena or bossy Hera.  Hestia was just Hestia.  She did her work without drama or self aggrandizement.  And, of course, since everybody else on the Mount was into drama and self aggrandizement, Hestia was sometimes seen as a bit of an afterthought by her peers.  

But, here's the thing.  Hestia knew her client base.  She knew what the people wanted, and that was why she had more temples than anyone in Ancient Greeks.  Every household hearth was considered a temple to Hestia.  Hestia OWNED her brand, probably more than any other god.

So, yes, Lisa, recognition matters, but you want to be recognized for the right reasons and, when it comes to careers, you want to think about the long game.  Let others get the limelight if they must, but you just show everyone, everyday, that when it comes to keeping the corporate hearth burning, you are the one who can be counted on to add a steady stream of kindling.

In other words, don't sweat the braggarts and flavors-of-the-month.  Be strong and steady.  That's what wins the race.

Need a goddess?  I got goddesses! Post a comment explaining what you need or want a goddess for, and then check back in a week or two and see what you got.  It's fun!  It's free!  Aw, come on, you know you want to.  
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For Durga

In honor of Durga-of-the-many-arms, I'm sharing my new favorite recipe, which is adapted from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.  Try and it and tell me what you think.

Curried Cauliflower and Peas

1/2 C vegetable oil
1/2 t ground cumin
1/4 t asafetida
1/4 C peeled and finely diced ginger
4 t ground coriander
1/2 t cayenne
1 t turmeric
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 large cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces, including the stems
1/2 salt
1 C frozen peas
2 t amchoor powder (green mango powder)
1 t garam masala

Start by combining your spices.  This will make things easier later on.
Combine the cumin and asafetida in a small bowl.
Combine the ginger, coriander, cayenne, and turmeric in another small bowl.
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the cumin and asafetida and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.  Add the ginger, coriander, cayenne and turmeric and cook for 30 seconds more.  Add the onion, lower the heat, and cook until limp.  Stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes.  Add the cauliflower and salt.  Mix.  Pour in 1/2 C water, cover the pot, and simmer until the vegetables are tender.  The original recipe says about 10 minutes, but it always takes me about 20 minutes.  Add the peas.  Cook through.  Add the amchoor power and garam masala.  Stir together.  Add more salt if needed.

Enjoy with as many arms as you've got!


Goddesses Among Us

I found Venus hanging out in this garden the other day.  Love the juxtaposition with the airplane.
Hope your summer is sparkling.  If not, try listening to Gershwin.  That always helps.


Goddess of the Week

A distinctive idol of Goddess Durga, during Du...
A distinctive idol of Goddess Durga, during Durga Puja festival in Kolkata, 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Deb says I need a goddess for conquering self doubt.  She's absolutely right!  I need the Hindu goddess Durga.

Durga is a warrior goddess.  She had this epic battle with this one shape-shifter demon.  She would chase him, and he would turn into, like, an elephant, so then she would turn into a big elephant-biting bug, and he would turn into, like, a sea monster, so then she would turn into a submarine.  You get the idea. Anyway, whatever obstacles the demon threw at her, or even became himself, she would just adapt to the situation and move full-steam ahead.  She never had any doubts.  She never second guessed herself.  She never became paralyzed by her own indecision or her fears.  She just did what she had to do.  She became whatever she had to be; she gave each challenge her full attention and her full creativity, and, naturally, eventually Durga beat the demon.

Durga reminds us that when faced with obstacles we must press onward, and when we are our biggest obstacle, we must push the accelerator and move forward.  Doe that mean everything will work out exactly the way we want it too?  No.  But that's ok.  Even falling flat on your face is better than living a lesser life of self-sabotaged aspirations. Because, in the end, that's the only way the demon can win.

Channel this goddess: When stuck in the muck of self doubt and insecurity, when facing obstacles and challenges, when you need to MOVE AHEAD.

Need a goddess: I got goddesses! Post a comment explaining what you need or want a goddess for, and then check back in a week or two and see what you got.  It's fun and free! Isn't that enough?

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Goddess Lounge Book Trailer Winner

Congratulations to Cyndel, winner of the Goddess Lounge Book Trailer Contest.  Here is her picture.

As several people noted, Cyndel depicts a really positive model of aging, one that is active, energetic and eager to learn new things.  Here she is welding, a new art that has become interested in.

I want to thank, once more, everyone who sent me a picture.  The pictures that were not included in the first trailer will be in the second one, which will come out soon.

I also want to thank everyone for their comments and support.  I should tell you, that I feel sorry for everyone who knows me right now.  This whole book business has made me crazy.  I vacillate from feeling confident that the book will find an audience and that people will enjoy it to feeling fear and disappointment that no one will find the book, that it will get lost in the sea of books that exists, and that even if they find the book they will read it and go, "eh."  I admire people who can move full stream ahead without doubt.  What would that be like, I wonder?  How do you deal with these kind of things? Are you the type who can move forward and never look back?  Or do you second guess yourself and even sometimes paralyze yourself with doubt?


Book Trailer--The Teaser for The Goddess Lounge

The first book trailer is ready!  This trailer is more of a teaser.  It tries to give a sense of theme.

If you are having problems with the video you can also see it here.

The rest of the photos will be in a longer trailer that will be out soon. That trailer will have more of a sense of voice because I'll be doing a short reading from the book.

Feel free to link this trailer to your Facebook page, etc--especially if you are in it.  You are a goddess after all, and you definitely need to bask in your few minutes in the sun.  Actually, I would really love it if you could spread the word.  Also, I just want you to know that I feel really cheesy and bad having to ask you that.  My apologies.

If you haven't voted for the book trailer winner there is still one more day!  See the finalists here, and vote in the poll on the top right.

Again, thanks for your help and support.  I'm dedicating the book, in part, to my blog readers because You all have helped me so much.


Margaret's advice for summer

Cover of "Summer Fun (VALUE BOOKS)"
Cover of Summer Fun (VALUE BOOKS)
Summer is a punishing time for parents.  It is filled with either varied camps and classes that require complex carpools and schedules or long stretches of family togetherness that serve mostly to highlight everyone's most annoying qualities.

But fear not!  I have you covered!  These five easy steps will keep you humming all the way through to Labor Day.

1.  Fill your days with screen time.  The American Medical Association recommends that children be limited to one hour of screen time per day.  But hey, if you are a member of the AMA you are clearly an over achiever and have spent very little actual time with your children.  And whose health are you thinking about anyway, because you are certainly not thinking about mine.

2.  Make reading before bedtime mandatory.  Sure.  Reading is good and all that, but people often don't realize that if you make children read before bedtime, you will actually have more time to watch TV without them, and, thus, you will finally be able to watch something that doesn't involve people getting hernias by trying to sing way beyond their range.

3.  You can maximize step two by also requiring early bedtimes.

4.  Encourage wholesome exercise.  If the children exercise, they will not be in your house.  That's a win every way you look at it.

5.  Above all, remember that love in a family comes from spending time together, but also in not spending too much time together.  So encourage your children to make friends, and encourage them to make friends with kids whose parents will invite them to interesting outings and adventures because that will save you time and money.  And isn't the summer memory that you will cherish most?

PS: Don't forget to vote for the book trailer winner! See Below!
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Book Trailer Contest Finalists

Remember the book trailer?   Every picture that was sent was fabulous, and I want to thank everyone who sent a picture.  All the pictures will be in the book trailer.  There might even be two trailers!

I promised that the picture that most said:  "Here I am! I own my life!" would win a copy of my novel The Goddess Lounge and a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card.  So here are the five finalists.  It was really hard to choose, so, ultimately, I narrowed the photos by trying to balance women at different stages of life, doing different sorts of activities that suggest not just self possession but the variety of ways women attempt to either challenge boundaries or just be truly authentic.  It's up to you to choose the winner.  Frankly, I am glad it is up to you, because I don't think I could choose.  It was hard enough narrowing it down to five finalists!

Jamie, a forest nymph if ever I've seen one, says energy, movement, and growth.

Adrienne as Pele, the volacano goddess, is full of passion, confidence, and strength.  

Lorena, as painted by Jean Spitzer, channels Venus because of her loveliness and her look of self determination.

Cyndel in her welding garb is Athena, goddess of arts and crafts.

Kymborli, singing her heart out, is Persephone, goddess of spring.


Goddess of the Week: Uzume

Amaterasu, one of the central kami in the Shin...
Amaterasu, one of the central kami in the Shinto faith (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Mary wants a goddess that will help her make the most of summer vacation.  Mary needs the Japanese goddess Uzume.

Uzume knows how to have a good time.  Once, the Japanese sun goddess got really upset so she went and hid in a cave.  Without the sun, gods of chaos descended upon earth wrecking all sorts of destruction.  The other gods and goddesses tried everything to get the sun to come out, but the sun goddess couldn't see past her own drama so chaos went unchecked.  Finally, Uzume just said, "Enough, already!  This gloom and doom is bringing me down."  She started to dance, and she danced so exuberantly that all the other gods started to laugh, and they laughed so enthusiastically that the sun goddess had to take a peek to see what was going on.  She opened the door, and that glimpse of sun was enough to restore balance on the earth and to convince the sun goddess to just loosen up already and join the party.

Uzume reminds us that even in the summertime you can't see the sun if you ain't got no spunk.  Sure, problems don't melt away just because winter has passed, but the days are growing longer!  You can use that to your advantage or you can sulk in a cave.  Either way, you are making a choice.  So why not make  the choice that ends with you dancing?

Move it or lose it.  It's summertime, baby.

Channel this goddess: when inertia pulls you down.  Go!  Move!  Make the most of the light.  It will be winter soon enough.  

Need a goddess!  I've got goddesses!  Post a comment saying why you need or want a goddess, and then check back in a week or two and see what you got.  It's fun!  It's free!  No sunscreen required!

PS: Coming tomorrow--the book trailer contest finalists! 
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Camping with Girl Scouts

Took the Girl Scouts camping this weekend.  Here's an ambient poem made up of overheard snippets of their conversations.

Girl Scouts, Paradise Camp, June 2012

Girl Time!
What color are your flip flops?
Who moved my shoes?
Let's go outside and put our heads under the water fountain.
There's a turkey! Some people told us, last year, it attacked their camp!
I can't believe how blue the sky is.  Isn't it amazing?

Margaret, they want cookies.
Can we have this Nutty as a Fruitcake thing?
I found more yogurt balls.
That was supposed to go in my mouth.
Cashews are curvy, like me.

Oh. Oh.  Oh my God.
Circus people.
That guy is riding on the back of his car.  What an idiot.
That lady looked like she was topless.

B.S., Mary, B.S.  B.S. to Mary.
Right now, that is a synonym for cousin.
She said she was gonna put Nair in my shampoo.
And when I count to three, draw your weapons.
I'll be the victim.

All that physical work.  Is it really necessary?

The book trailer contest is now closed! I'll be putting up the top five photos later this week.  But here are a few more beauties to contemplate:

Here's Laurie.  Definitely Isis!
Here's Deb looking incredibly strong.  
To me, strength says the Indian goddess, Devi, who saved the world.