Monthly Archives: May 2016


It lingers, this strange little event from yesterday, and leaves my brain buzzing, my heart lighter. Channeling Raven’s message, and its magic, I’m not dismissing this as a strange but nevertheless insignificant event. I need to share the happiness, as well as the despair. There is both, in grief, absolutely.

I have the dearest friends, friends who know the upcoming anniversary of Christofer’s death looms, awaits me on the other side of my trip to France. They’ve worried about me all year, but especially now. And so, after lunch yesterday, they presented to me a beautiful gift, a marble turtle, a loving card, and a garden stone to put out by Christofer’s tree.


Honestly, I was so moved by joy and love, I didn’t cry the way they’d feared I would. I was simply happy to know I had these amazing women who love me so much. My friend and I talked on the way home, about Chris, the upcoming anniversary, how I feel about the boys who are paying their own prices now, a year later. There is so much “I don’t know” concerning all those things. I don’t know how I’m going to be on that day of days. I don’t know how I feel about the boys, and the penalties they face. I don’t know many things. Only time will give those answers.

Months ago, when this was all still a fresh hell, another beloved friend (gads, I have so many of those, and how grateful I am) sent me a token of love and sisterhood. She’s a dollbaby, and our mascot has always been the turtle. It’s because of a shirt I brought home from one of my dollbaby trips that Chris started calling me Turtle to begin with. Turtle has lots of space and meaning in my life. She sent me a turtle nightlight, to remind me that the smallest light can dispel any darkness.

And what did I find, upon returning home from lunch yesterday?


Yes, lit. The little turtle sitting on my beside table was lit up. I hadn’t turned it on. The cats certainly didn’t. I laughed, and then I cried, but the happy kind. My boy. He has a sense of humor. And he loves me so much.


Filed under Life's honest moments


I think my heart is broken

It hurts me all the time

It stutters when it should thump

Crackles like safety glass

My right knee is numb

along the right side down

from owl to beanstalk inked in black

And green, and yellow.

Is it possible to have psychosomatic symptoms

if you’re aware of them?


I sat in my Comet (Mercury Caliente, 1965. Sublime)

for hours, for days listening to a’ha

Take on me

He surprised me with the cassette tape only

days before his death. I wore out two copies

but only kept the one.

I always cry when I hear it.

Pavlovian response, or grief?


I’m several days without crying

And can’t figure out why. Days at the beach

Love, and love and love.

A raven whispering messages, and

quorking on the deck.

Superheroes viewed from recliners,

in the dark. Dinner out. Sangria. Cake.

Happiness is as strong as grief.


I see a picture. Tears come

buckets. A whole sea of them

My heart is broken.

My knee is numb.

I am happy, still, sometimes, in any event.



Filed under poetry

Time to decompress

     The probation officer assigned to one of the guys who sold Chris the drugs that killed him just left. Nice guy. He wanted to know if I had anything to say. I said I didn’t think jail time was going to do anything good for (the kid) or the world. He’s been through a lot. He has mental issues he can’t seem to get help for. He can feel guilt, remorse, sorrow, but he has no real concept of the world beyond himself. He’s devastated about what happened. Of course he is. “For what it’s worth, this is killing him,” the officer said. It breaks my heart.
      I had a lot to say about the mental health issue in this country, and that there’s something really wrong when a whole generation feels the need to turn the world off badly enough to create the epidemic we’re facing now. Honestly, I don’t see any answers. Well, I do, but changing attitudes about such things isn’t going to happen. It’s societal. And it’s biological.  There are too many who believe it’s all about self-control. That “crazy” people are somehow lesser, and not simply different from the norm that doesn’t actually exist. Teddy Roosevelt would have been diagnosed ADHD and given drugs to calm him the hell down. Most of history’s genius would have been medicated away. There is no room in society for those existing outside of boxes someone, somewhere (many someones, many somewheres,) have decided are what’s best for everyone. We don’t celebrate difference. Not yet, anyway. I think we’re getting there. I hope.
     There are those who truly need to be medicated simply to function without hurting themselves or others. I’m not a fool. But there is a fine line between medical science helping and hurting, and I believe we’ve crossed it. Society wants it that way. It helps keep “difficult” people in line.
     Just make me Queen of the world, Empress. I’ll take any title, as long as it comes with a sparkly crown.
     Whew. Time to decompress. I’m halfway through second round revisions on the novel formerly known as Traegar’s Lunatics, now titled, in my heart, The Pen. I love this story beyond words.


Filed under Life's honest moments, The Pen, Traegar's Lunatics

That Something Special Raven Mentioned

Last week I blogged about the Medicine card readings we did, and that I got Raven. It pertained a lot to Chris, and the fact that I explain away all things that might bring me comfort, but there was more I wasn’t at liberty to discuss at that time.

“…something special is about to happen…Can you accept it as a gift? Or will you limit the power of the Great Mystery by explaining it away?”

A few weeks before VAB, I came to the decision that I would attempt getting a literary agent. Traegar’s Lunatics was nearly finished, and it’s good. Really good. Way different from anything I’ve ever written. I wanted to query presses that don’t accept unagented work. I mentioned it to someone, who mentioned it to someone. This led to that and I was put in touch with an fabulous woman from The Knight Agency, a literary agency that happened to be on my “first ten queries” list. It was ridiculously serendipitous from first moment to last, and I spent a good deal of Dollbaby Week explaining it away. My manuscript wasn’t even finished! I wasn’t even looking yet! It all seemed way too easy.

But that was explaining it away–something I did all week, whenever I got an email that should have sent me over the moon. It couldn’t be real. It just couldn’t! My dolls–beloved women!–lovingly informed me it wasn’t easy getting here. I’ve spent years learning, making my way along this path, writing and writing and writing. Learning more. Treading further and farther. They were absolutely right. I’m here. Now. And I need to own the fact that I worked hard to get here. A little serendipity isn’t impossible, it was absolutely earned.*

I am now represented by Janna Bonikowski of The Knight Agency. I am over-the-moon happy. She loves my story, is excited about it, is already planning for it. And she’s given me feedback that, if we parted ways right this moment, I’m indebted to her for. I’m looking forward to this new part of my writing journey.

*Of course, I did promise her and the others at The Knight Agency access to the time portal in the woods behind my house. That could be problematic, but a deal is a deal.

time portal

The time portal. I know it looks like an old outhouse, but it’s the portal, I swear.


Filed under Writing is Life

Magical Raven

Raven…black as pitch, mystical as the moon. Speak to me of magic, I will fly with you soon.

As I was writing that just now, no lie, a raven was quorking out on the deck of the beach house. Raven has been with me all week, in fact. Long ago, I wrote about being a noticer. I notice things many will overlook. I see signs and symbols where others simply see a cloud, or hear an animal’s call. It doesn’t matter if there is anything magical to it or not. I notice, and it makes me think. That’s magic of its own kind.

This week is Terri-Christmas~Dollbaby Week. I’ve been taking this week for me, me, only me since 2002. It has become something sacred to me. To all of us dollbabies. The like of it you have to experience to actually get. More magic.

One of the things we have been doing the past few years is a Medicine Card evening. Medicine cards are kind of like Tarot, but with a Native American set of symbols and symbolism. This year was a powerful year. We drew Buffalo and Hawk, Coyote and Badger. Most every card drawn by each doll was a power animal. I drew Raven.

Raven magic is powerful medicine that can give one courage to enter the darkness of the Void, the home of all not yet in form. Raven is the bringer of magic, but it is also the messenger of the Void. The Great Mystery~that which was here before all, and will be here long after all is gone. Raven’s appearance signals a change in consciousness. It’s a call to being open to walking the Great Mystery on another path at the edge of time.

I tend to explain away dreams, and the strange, wonderful, comforting things that happen almost daily. As if I don’t deserve them. As if believing my son tries to visit me in dreams or speak to me through song is somehow stupid. Why? I don’t know. I believe in this kind of thing! For everyone but me. On my way down here to VAB, I heard a song I’ve heard a gazillion times before. The chorus goes, “I will wait, I will wait for you.” The rest of it doesn’t really pertain to him, but those two lines–I won’t say they were sung in his voice, but there was his energy, his presence with them. I said, “Don’t wait for me, son. You go on and next time around, I’ll wait for you.”

But later, after telling this to my beloved friend (Diana Dollbaby,) she said, “Maybe he wasn’t saying he’ll wait for you to meet him in the hereafter, maybe he’s waiting for you to stop blocking his attempts to reach you.” Not a direct quote. I was too flattened by her words to remember them verbatim. She’s right–Chris doesn’t speak in dreams because I won’t let him. He tries to reach me and I explain it away. He tries and tries and tries. How long before he gives up?

And then I choose Raven here in VAB. Such a great card. I think I need a raven tattoo now. It’s about creativity and deeper consciousness, obtaining the willingness to accept unexplainable things as a means to further a more spiritual, intellectual growth. But it also said this, as if speaking directly to me:

‘If you have chosen Raven, magic is in the air. Do not try to figure it out; you can’t. It is the power of the unknown at work, and something special is about to happen. The deeper mystery, however, is how you will respond to the sparkling synchronicity of the alchemical moment. Will you recognize it and use it to further enhance your growth? Can you accept it as a gift? Or will you limit the power of the Great Mystery by explaining it away?’

Other things are happening in my life that don’t involve Christofer. Great, amazing things that I was stupidly explaining away. I don’t understand why, since his death, I’ve become so skeptical. I can wiggle the edges of it, but the root is strangely deep for something that hasn’t been around too long. Or maybe the old root I thought pulled out long ago was still deep in there, growing unnoticed and has now taken the opportunity to sprout. I can’t let it. Especially not now. I’ve said it before–I’m a lioness. I will do anything for my kids, and if that means excising that root all over again, I will.


Filed under Family, Life's honest moments

More frequently

I dreamed, Sunday morning, in those dosing moments waiting. Frank and I had planned on going to go out for breakfast, and he got to the bathroom first. I stayed in bed, warm and lazy with my kitty-boy attacking my feet, and dreamed.

In the dream, we were still anticipating breakfast, but Frank and I were outside by the fire-pit. He had a huge black eye, and wouldn’t tell me how he got it. I was so angry with him. The man is ever hurting himself in my absence, because he never knows when enough is enough. It’s like having a little kid who just wants to do and do and do and doesn’t quite know his limits.

And again, in this dreaming, Chris was there. Only I could see him. Silent. I’ve yet to get a word out of him in all the dreams I’ve had. At first, he was the exuberant Chris he’d been shortly before he died, smiling and showing me his leg made whole. He’s gotten less and less exuberant, now only nodding and showing me, with his eyes, the words that won’t work. He did it again, looking at me with those blue, blue eyes, and then his dad, shaking his head and smiling that almost-smile.

He was many people, my son. Goofy and talkative, silent and contemplative, sweet and somewhere in between. I think he was someone different, depending upon who he was with. I’ll never know all his facets. I don’t have to in order to love them all.

I saw a ghost-whisperer guy on TV who said the newly departed have to learn how to communicate all over again. Maybe that’s why he’s silent in my dreams. Or maybe words, between us, were never really necessary. I always knew what was going on in him. Always. Those weeks leading up to his death, I knew no matter what he said, something was wrong, very wrong. I knew, when he was happy and living on his own, there was something he was not saying. I wrestled with the over-protective mother desperate to bring him home, make the world go away. I told her she had to let him be, had to let him figure it out, had to let him grow up. Putting those fears into words felt too much like anticipating doom, so I didn’t. I encouraged him, reasoned with him when things weren’t working out the way he thought. I knew, and even told him, many of the things happening were self-fulfilling prophecy. I wanted it to be a string of bad luck. He did too.

I woke up angry with Frank for not telling me how he got a black eye. It couldn’t be helped. Reason and logic hold little sway in the morning hours when I’m still slightly groggy and haven’t had my breakfast. The Chris in my dream lingered. I swear I felt him there. His quiet presence. His gentle strength. The Chris I remember best and most often. Silence wasn’t always a bad thing, between us. He was one of the few people in the world I could simply be with and feel no compulsion to speak, to entertain. I miss that most of all, I think. Maybe he does too. Maybe that’s why, in dreams, he never speaks.


Filed under Family