Where were we? Where was I? Remember a whole year? Not likely. Okay, it was the year Steve Pulley felt the strain of his friendship with Esther, where she, if her night or day vision worked correctly, should have seen about 26 small snakes, think vipers, arise above his intellectual forehead, as he sat before her computer, while she moaned and wailed, “Lulu.”

Valiant, courage under fire. This year You Carry the Heavy Stuff, with a wonderfully spunky cover, showing, oh my, get ready…. Showing, the back, oh the precious, curved back, of a Fawn Pug Dog, along with a tall, thin lady, wearing red high top sneakers, both canine and old girl staring out into the sky, the dawn, the sun, the moon, with road signs beside them, like “Grist for the Mill,” “Been There,” “Done That,” as Esther doubled her book writing and publishing capacity.

Somehow, we all survived it, and now I, the writer, am at the merciful or nonmerciful stage of “marketing and selling the book.” Do you think this is why God invented garages? Storage of books. Books, book, and more books.

I give a lot of writing workshops, on The Courage to Write, the idea to show up, suit up, forget the dust balls under your bed, and write about them or anything that snakes or cavorts through your brain’s passageways. Most of them were free, because there are a lot of people out there with precious little, said phrase, “Precious Little,” being a comment by a corrugated with anger Literary Criticism Professor wrote on my friend Kate’s barely 3 pages of a blue book-designed for essays on the whys and wherefores, of Plato, and his mimesis, and Aristotle who advocated fear and pity for a tragedy, but which I, for some stuttering randomness kept saying peer and fity.

But because of that school, that man who ranted directly to me, because of carrying around heavy green or blue backed Norton Readers, because of taking Oakley Hall, incredible writing teacher, because of Jack Grapes and some workshops ranging over the years, and because, because, of CHPercolator, here I sit today, like an intent hedgehog. Have to leave here in 15 minutes. I produced a book. I teach writing to homeless women, and everyone else in transition. Sometimes I make money; sometimes I don’t, but I have a forum within which to write.

It’s been a year of a lot of new friendships and keeping the older ones; a year of finally being able to walk around the block and to be told, “Your heart muscle is strong,” and a year of modulated eating, so now a chocolate camel can circumambulate my block and not fear my gnawing teeth and needy ways.

It’s been a year of soul talk and authenticity, and joy in the realness of life and inner richness, coupled with getting up in the middle of the night, wondering will Bill be okay, will this, will that… but those are the blah blah’s of dark nights, and mostly I’m hoofing, and I’m thriving; this from someone who has an aortic plastic valve, lung stuff, heart stuff, long illness. As an old gal, that seems to be receding, and I tell you I’m hoof’ in out.

How’s by you?