Got her voice in my head, that ole’ Wicked Witch of the West, aka Elphaba. (I only now just learned that Elphaba is a pun on the name of her original author-creator, Frank L. Baum. Loved the Oz books when I was a kid—the whole dang series, complete with vivid illustrations. Loved that Tik-Tok. What would Baum make of Trump, I wonder? I’d love to know. How would he create a story around the Snake Oil Salesman of today?)
This political season has been one big bad old bucket of dirty water cast upon all of us. We’re melting . . . we’re melting . . . Guess I should speak for myself. Whelp, I’ve found myself fluctuating between fury and despair. I also feel odd surges of hope. These moments surprise me in the best way—as my daughter come into a deeper understanding about the importance of her vote and her role as a citizen, for instance, or when Michelle Obama speaks and people listen. Maybe good will come from all this bad juju, this warped rhetoric and insidious misogyny. Skeletons out of the closet, poison drawn from the system. Let’s hope. “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” Preach it, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Preach it again and again.
I was watching the nightmare that was the second debate when I got a message on Facebook from Joyously Essential, a built-from-love-company out of Bloomington, IN, which features “hand-crafted essential oil accessories for everyday life.” I had read about the company a few days before the debate, entered a contest, and lo and behold, I won! I never win things, neither at school carnivals or county fairs. It was a breath of healing fresh air to learn, even as I watched predatory stalking unfold on the screen before me, that the little beaded bracelet would be mine. It came in the mail this week, along with a vial of Lemon, Lavender, and Rosemary oils combined. Now when I feel I ‘m melting . . . I’m melting . . . I lift the scented bracelet to my nose and try to breathe.
I’ve been working on a new book, doing research, starting to write. Breathing my way through that too. Hard work—the craft and the content both. More on this soon, I hope.
In terms of Broken Ground . . . the fall has held good surprises, too. The Wheaton Public Library was kind enough to host me for an author event. A number of fantastic book groups invited me for a visit, and we shared in great food and conversation. I was a guest on Nancy’s Bookshelf, a program out of North State Public Radio, the NPR station based in Chico, CA. I shared the time with Ann Sittig, co-author along with Martha Florida Gonzalez of The Mayans Among Us—Migrant Women and Meatpacking on the Great Plains. Nancy’s interview with Martha occurs over the course of two broadcasts, and illuminates both Guatemalan culture and history. Given today’s cold bucket of dirty political rhetoric, their conversation is profoundly important, particularly regarding the the Mayan people in Guatemala and as immigrants to the United States. But it speaks to the immigrant experience in general, too, I believe. And of course it’s an important topic to me as the mom of two children who are Guatemalan-born.
I was also part of a great lineup of writers at the opening event for Waterline Writers, which is based in Batavia, IL. Such a fun evening! Waterline Writers is one of the best supporters of authors in the Western ‘burbs, and their Sunday night reading series is an event well worth attending. They videotape the events as well, so you can watch them after the fact. Here’s the video of me reading at Waterline if you fancy a gander.
Until next time . . . a time of Thanksgiving. That’s what I’m counting on.