Tuesday, March 25, 2014


I haven’t known that word forever.  I’ve only known it for a few years.  Sometimes my friends ask me what it means.  I don’t know the real definition, but this is what I think.  Dystopian: a utopian society gone wrong.

It sounds funny doesn’t it:  a utopian society gone wrong? How can a society be utopian if it can go wrong.

They always do go wrong.  Utopia is an illusion.  It always means control and loss of freedom.  It has to fail, because freedom is in our blood.  We cannot breathe the air of control. 

Dystopian books are wildly popular and I always wonder why.  I think it is because we see in them a mirror of our own ideals, and our own society.  We see in them our lust for freedom, our distaste for control. 
Sometimes when I read dystopian I feel that it is a little too close to reality.  It’s troubling and frightening.  Is it a warning, or is it just entertainment.

Currently, Friend-husband and I are reading Matched.  We are nearly finished with the first book in a series of three.  We are completely drawn in to the poetry of Ally Conde’s story, the music of her words.  We are invested in the story, the characters.  The characters feel real.  They feel like they could be our neighbors, our friends.
We talk about the motives of the society, and the cunning of their control.  We talk of their experiments, their deceit, their lies.  We can feel the violence coming.  Dystopian stories always seem to come to violence. 

Who is the society?  It is not the people.  Is it the officials?  The officials are polite thugs, courteous bullies.  They are not to be disobeyed.  There are consequences for even slight infractions.  The officials represent the society but reason tells me they are not the society.  Who do they answer to?

Cassia wants to choose her own match.  “Where will it end?” asks the official. “Would people then want to choose how many children they have; where they will live; what vocation they will have?”

"Why not?"  we thunder--we who breathe the air of freedom--we who value choice.

Linda Garner




Saturday, March 22, 2014

Must Write!

Must keep writing...

Feeling hungry (run to fridge).

Must keep writing...

I need to check facebook just once more.

Must keep writing...

Aw look, gotta text from the kids. Look on pinterest? Why not.

Must keep writing...

If I can just do one batch of laundry, than I'll feel like I'm getting something in the house clean.

Must keep writing...

What? It's midnight? *sigh* 

I really need some butt glue.

This had been my week (even with my swollen ankle). I have a deadline *squee* and I'm scurrying though my book, trying to clean it up, rewrite things, and yes...finish my dreaded query.

So if I my post is short today, you'll know that I'm keeping up with the writing! OH, and I totally missed posting on Saturday. I was trying to get ready to write.

Have a great week everyone. =D

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Morning Swim

The water feels slick against my skin.  I stand for a moment and then slide in.  The water gathers me up in her arms and holds me close.  I feel safe, but it may be an illusion, for water is sometimes hungry, and I’ve heard of those who have been swallowed whole.

The water carries me as I move to her gentle music.  My muscles expand and contract obediently.  I cup my hands and move my legs in and out.  Kick, relax.  Pull, release.  Push, glide.  It feels good, this rhythmic dance.
We embrace—the water and I.  We are friends.  We cannot do this alone.  Together—it’s a good word.
The water is reflective, and shiny, but not as shiny as light.  The water is clear but not as transparent as air.  It shimmers.  It waves.  It ripples.   Pull, release.  Hold on.  Let go.  Breathe.

I cut through the water again and again.  Slice, breathe.  Slice, float.  Hold on.  Let go.

There is a nothingness about the water.  Yet there is substance.  What parallel can I find? Perhaps sun-warmed jello.   I imagine that I am swimming in a giant pool of warm colorless jello.  I am the only color in this jello.  I bob and glide through the jello.  Pull, release.
Rhythm.  Movement.  Power.   Is it about water, or is it about life?

The water cradles me.  I enjoy her touch.  I am lost in her arms.  Hold on.  Release.  Hold on.  Let go.

It’s a familiar song.   Hold on.  Let go.  I’ve sung it before.
How do I know when to hold on, when to let go?  I’ve always wondered about that.

It’s one of life’s great questions:  When to hold on, when to let go?
I feel safe, but it may be an illusion, for life is sometimes hungry, and I’ve heard of those who have been swallowed whole.

Hold on.  Let go.  It’s the rhythm of life.
Linda Garner



Wednesday, March 12, 2014

It's Not Too Late

I just finished rereading a remarkable book called Sensibility and Education by Haruko Kataoka.  Haruko Kataoka is credited as being the founder of Suzuki Method for Piano.  Shinichi Suzuki developed the method for violin and created a wonderful world of possibility for children everywhere.

I am a Suzuki piano teacher and I owe much to Dr. Suzuki, Mrs. Kataoka, and countless others, for Suzuki Piano Method has enriched my life.
In Sensibility and Education, Mrs. Kataoka tells of an orchid plant she received as a gift.  Orchids are tricky to grow, and seldom bloom in the second year. Apparently only professional orchid growers are able to achieve this.  Knowing this, Mrs.  Kataoka was pleased to see her plant developing buds in January of the second year.
She called an acquaintance—a professional florist, and asked what she could do to help the plant.  She wanted big full blooms. 
Her florist friend replied, “It is too late to do anything now.  To have nice big flowers, how you take care of the plant from spring to summer is the key.  If you didn’t take care of it properly at that time, nothing will work later.  It is just a waste of effort.”
I couldn’t help thinking as I read that story, of many similar things in life, for which there are few if any second chances. 
Mrs. Kataoka related this story to the importance of choosing the best teacher for child’s first piano study.   As I piano teacher I can relate to this, but I am inclined to take it a step farther. 
Is there anything more sacred, more important than the early years and moments of a child’s life?  Sometimes we are too busy, too distant, too distracted to be the best parent, the best teacher, the best friend.  Meanwhile, children’s needs go unmet.  What are we thinking? 
What is the cost?
Those precious moments, once lost, will never return, but it is not too late to make a difference.
Make a difference for a child. Nothing is more important. Don’t wait until you are not busy or distracted.  That day will never come.  Do it today.

Linda Garner

Saturday, March 8, 2014

When Plans Change

ninjas photo: ninjas ninjas.jpgLet's face it. Plans change.
It's sadly...sadly true.
For instance; I have been running for some time now, and I had made a goal to run 3.5 miles at least four times a week. I achieved my goal in February!

Woohoo! *running power*

By the end of February, I was at 4.8 miles four to five times a week. (I know! Awesome!)  And I was feeling pretty good about it.

And then it happened... walking on flat pavement... on a clear dark night... (Oh the gravity of the situation.)

I rolled my ankle.

It didn't even happen in a cool way, like:

"I was attacked by super ninja warriors and as I leaped to kick the last standing ninja (in the face), I twisted my ankle."

or "I was almost to Mordor, about to throw the ring in the volcano, when Gollum attacked me from behind - grabbing my ankle and twisting it until it cracked."

Nope, just a dumb-old "I was walking in the garage and my ankle gave out under me." *sigh*

Now I'm off my ankle for four to six weeks until it heals (yes, I already tried to push myself and re-injured said ankle).
Plans also change when it comes to writing.

When I started writing, I thought I would be published in two years. *ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha* (Sorry, I can't stop laughing.)

My plans changed.

I thought at my first pitch session, I'd have an agent. (Oh, now I'm crying from laughter.)

My plans changed.

But one thing remains the same:

So I am still going to find agents, still working on craft, and still handing my babies over to my crit group. Even though things change, they can still be achieved.

Okay, now I'm off to dust off my weights and find some good routines that will keep me off my ankle. ;)

How have your plans changed? How did you keep going?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

...or I can Write

It was a familiar feeling, but I couldn’t place it at first.  Tired?  Almost, but not quite.  More like inertia.  Can’t get moving.  No energy.  Sluggish.

I’m completely familiar with tiredness.  I’ve always struggled with energy.  Diabetes has something to do with it.  Thyroid issues don’t help.  Is it emotional or physical, I sometimes wonder.  I had a really good winter, and lately, even with allergies coming on way too early, I have a lot of good days.
Today I’m not tired, I just can’t get going.  At first I avoided my writing project, because I knew it would suck me in for the rest of the day.  I had things to do. After staring at facebook a little too long, I chose the writing after all.  I wasn’t getting anything done anyway.
It was a good choice.
Writing always energizes me.  At least inside.
About the tiredness.  It’s hard to understand.  It comes on suddenly for no reason.  It feels like a short circuit  in my wiring.   It’s as if someone turned the light switch off.  Even after 8 hours of sleep, I can’t get going.  Sometimes there’s brain fog, but not always.
That's probably why I talk too fast, and work too hard sometimes.  When I feel good, I know it won't last forever.  I try to squeeze all the juice I can out of those feel good days.
I listen to my body, and do the best I can.  I eat the right foods.  I exercise regularly.  I drink a lot of water.  I listen to my doctor.  I use herbs and take vitamins, but sometimes it doesn’t work.
Sometimes the dishes pile up.  Laundry and paperwork pile up too.  It’s okay.  Friend-husband helps a lot.  I do what I can.  And when I can’t do anything else, I can play the piano, I can read,

…or I can write.

Linda Garner



Saturday, March 1, 2014

You're a Bully...just saying

bullying photo: No Bullying anti_bullying.gifRant: beware!

We found out this week that my little guy was being bullied on the way home from school. Not cool!

Thankfully, we found out that the boys who were doing it, will not be around in that area to do it anymore. *whew* But the problem is that my son didn't even tell me about it until the end. It made me so sad. (He has a disability and didn't realize it was as bad as it was. It wasn't until he got hurt that it became apparent to him.)

We live in a time when people are bullied. Not just kids. I read a few weeks ago about people getting bullied at work. By ADULTS. I could not believe it! Did we forget to grow up or something?

And then something happened to us. A text was misconstrued by someone (we offered to help them with babysitting and they must have thought that we thought they were terrible parents. I don't understand it myself.)

Anywho, this person decided to retaliate and posted something on facebook about us. We were very disheartened and surprised that they acted so irrationally and defensively. We were honestly just trying to help out. (Remind me not to offer to babysitting to people unless they approach me first.)

Okay, so what does this have to do with writing? I'll tell you...

This week there was controversy about a very popular writer and how she should stop writing. Huh? (I'm sure if you are in the writing community, you've heard about it). But it wasn't the popular person I was worried about (let's face it, she's awesome and will keep writing...and did I mention, she's awesome?)

But what about the woman who posted the bullying words? I couldn't help wonder if she was being bullied herself for what she said. I am almost sure she was. Although I DO NOT agree with her opinion (because did I mention the popular writer is AWESOME? She really is and my daughter just finished reading her books...and cried...Proud mom here.)

But can I just say...I'm tired of the bullying. It needs to stop. And for one, I'm going to stop it here in my home. I'm going to talk to my kids about it. I'm going to take things a little bit slower when I get an electronic message if I don't understand it, AND I'm going to eat some chocolate!


Rant over!