Friday, October 28, 2011

The Call of the Sea


What is it about a high tide that draws us to it?  That spell of the water, inching higher along the coastline, rubbing with the salt flats or licking at the pilings of a weathered dock.  Is it that we have no control over the pull and release of the tides?  Or is it that captivating mystery of what lies underneath the surface?

I have a recurring dream since childhood that I can breathe underwater.  I've heard others dream of flying, but I have never tasted that freedom of soaring high above the earth.  I only dream of water, of being surrounded by it.  Its quiet pulse a dull echo in my ears as I swim deeper, chasing the slices of sunlight that illuminate the kingdom of green. 

I love those dreams.  I'm never afraid when I realize I've gone too deep to kick my way back up to the surface, or when the first swallows of salty seawater flow into my lungs and I find that I can breathe.  There's just this incredible sense of freedom, and weightlessness. 

Maybe that's why I chose to write about underwater creatures, particularly selkies--seals that can transform into beautiful women on land.  In Ireland, they say that on the seventh consecutive day of high tides the selkies will come ashore and take on their human form.  But it is in this human form where they are most vulnerable.  For if a man captures their seal-skin and claims it for his own, he severs their link to the sea forever. 

Outside my house on this October day, the river has swallowed half the yard.  White caps etch the usually calm surface of our quiet cove, splashing up onto the dock.  On this seventh day of high tides, I pick my way across the wiry crabgrass that has spread across the browning lawn.  An autumn wind blows the low-hanging branch of an old oak tree back and forth across the swift moving river like a broom, its golden tinged leaves just teasing the surface.

I nudge out of my boots and peel off my socks, sinking to the wooden beams and dipping my feet into the cool water. What would it be like to realize everything that was taken from you was right here, in plain sight, just beyond your reach?  My midnight-blue nail polish winks in the dappled sunlight and I move my toes underneath the surface, marveling at the feel of the water rushing over the tops of my feet. 

But what if I was trapped here on land, forever?  What would I do to get back to my home?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cover Artist

Searching for a cover artist for my debut novel, The Selkie Spell.  I'd love something like this...

(A fantastic book, by the way, in case you haven't read it.)

Or something like this...

(Just discovered this one the other day and can't wait to read.)

If anyone knows a good cover artist, let me know!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Fairy Tree


Wish I could spend the next few weeks swinging from the branches of a Gingko tree, watching the pretty gold leaves fall. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sunflower Dust

I cut the sunflowers down today.  I chopped them in half, toppling the dry hollow stalks with a pair of yellow hand-clippers.  They gave off a white powder as they fell, spackles of white dancing with the dust motes floating in an Indian summer haze. 

Oh, seven-foot sunflowers, I remember when you were so strong.  Your stems so thick and vibrant green.  How you grew so tall I had to bind you to the garden gate with twine.  Then a pink bungee cord.  Then a purple one.  Then strips of a flannel shirt I ripped apart one night when I drank too much wine.   

Your blooms are brittle and dried-out now, sagging toward the earth and tangling with the rotting squash vine.  I unwound your supports today, one by one.  I dropped them in a bucket, to be stored in a forgotten corner of the garage, until next year when new seeds are planted and you rise and stretch to the sun again.