Saturday, May 29, 2010

Almost, but not quite there.

Here's a poem I've always liked and I think it's pretty good. It's just not...right yet.

Any thoughts?

My grief breaks me, I will not bend.

Really, what’s wrong with breaking?
Maybe the mighty oak was destined to break,
instead of bending like that stupid willow
(or reeds or whatever it was)
in the irritating fable we get
nagged with when sorrow strikes.

Breaking, the oak is transformed
to warm and cheer a dark night,
provide rest for the weary or
a place to meet and nourish the lonely and hungry.
The willow (or reeds or whatever) just wavers
unchanged, unusable, useless.

The oak and I will break and we both will be created anew.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Emily Dickinson said
hope is a thing with feathers,
delicate, light, and small.

I think hope is giant beast with
fangs, claws, and fur.
It crashes into your life,
mauls and
remakes you in a form
unrecognizable, never before seen.
Then, with a final brutal, ravenous bite to your
mangled face,
sends you out stronger than you were.

c. Linda Mercury

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Oh, yeah - just to explain.

Mostly, I'm posting my old poetry because I'm too busy revising Dracula's Secret to come up with anything new for this blog.

Emergency Surgery's first line came to me about three years ago when I had to end nearly thirty-year (fairly loose) friendship. I didn't realize how much of me this person had become until it was over. I felt empty and hollow, and it surprised me how much I missed our interactions.

Oh, Please, Aeneas was a response to the most irritating section of the Aeneid. Can you believe that some old white guy scholars call the scene where he sails away from Carthage to be Aeneas' most heroic moment? Disgusting. I think that part ruins an otherwise fantastic read. I think Virgil must have had some bad dormice in honey that day.

(The Romans had a strange view of yummy food)

So, more poetry to come!

More poetry

I was reading the Aeneid and I got to my least favorite part - Dido's death. So I wrote this as a retort to the unnecessary death of a brilliant female character.

Oh, Please, Aeneas

Dido, Queen of Carthage
Threw herself off a wall
For you?

Yeah, right, Son of Venus.
You and I know the truth.

You’re dick-sizing with Odysseus about the
women you both left behind.
He claims Calypso, the unflagging nymph, begged him to stay, but he tired of her, even after she promised him immortality.

I hear your juvenile response across the centuries.
Oh, yeah? Well, a QUEEN killed herself for love of ME and our lands became mortal enemies until my descendents destroyed her city and sowed it with salt.

A queen is strong.
She keeps her wits.
Go ahead. Dump her, sail away like the
skulking coward you are.
She will rise, triumphant,
send her elephants trumpeting through your
And not until Quintus Fabius will she be defeated,
only after
years of struggle and a waste of power.
You had nothing to do with that victory.

You are so not worthy of a queen’s pain.

You lied, Aeneas.
There was no funeral pyre. You know she
put on her jeweled sandals,
strode through the city she owned.
She wouldn’t let a panderer ruin her proud name.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Occasional poetry.

Here's an original poem I call Emergency Surgery.

I miss you like a tumor I didn’t know I had.

I never noticed the weight of you, suppressing delicate nerves,
until you were gone.

I took you out, a surgery to save my life,
now an enormous aching hole in my skin where once there was a familiar mass.
I miss the pain I had grown to know and even,
to love just a little.
I destroyed something that made me beautiful.

There’s room now for something healthy to grow there,
room for vitality to breathe and stretch.
Whatever is planted in that deep abyss will bloom, thanks to you being gone, no longer taking
nutrients and energy away from my beauty.

Until then, though,
I miss your poison, simply because
I was used to it.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I'm visiting my family this week! The plan is to jot as many notes as I can, write when I can, and smile a lot.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Feminism for the day!

A new blog, Contestations: Dialogues on Women's Empowerment, has a fabulous first issue about feminism and Islam. Rock on!!

Also dealing with feminism and Islam -a Saudi woman literally strikes back against the Hai'a, the virtue police. Time to remind Saudi Arabia that their limitations against women are unjust and against the basic Islamic tenets of mercy and justice.

Note: I have to mention that I'm not Muslim - just someone with a background in Middle Eastern history.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Doing some research.

In Dracula's Secret, one of my heroes works as a system administrator at CERN. Yes, that CERN, home of the Hadron Collider, five Nobel Prize winners, and the World Wide Web.

Why a system administrator? Well, first, my beloved Charming Man is, himself, a system administrator at a very large facility, too. I find the way his mind thinks about information management absolutely fascinating (helps that I used to be a librarian, too).


Many years ago, The Charming Man listened to a sys admin at CERN speak at a conference. My honey brought home notes about how the information systems worked at such a unique facility.

And now, I hope to arrange the chance to tour CERN itself. I go to delve into the mysteries of arranging a tour!

Edited to add: I submitted my request form along with a little note about wanting to ask about information systems. I hope they are amenable.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Morbid thoughts.

Someday, I will write this dedication:

Thank you to all my ex's for all the excellent ideas.

And it would be in a story about all sorts of terrible mutilations and stabbings and particularly horrific deaths.

Wouldn't that scare the hell out of everyone??

Monday, May 10, 2010

Moving forward!

I had an amazing phone meeting with Kensington editor Audry LaFehr and her assistant, Martin Biro today.

They love my imagination, the relationship between Valerie and Lance, and how well the sex and violence work. They also said it was strong visual writing (woot!!).

They wanted to talk to me personally instead of through a letter in order to discuss what they thought needed work - basically, Dracula's Secret is very powerful, but also confusing. They suggested focusing more on the main romance, doing more with the secondary plots - ie what purpose do these characters have, etc.

So basically, I got the world's most awesome revise and resubmit phone call! Martin will be in town for Willamette Writer's conference, and he'd love to meet for dinner, too.

They made no promises, but said they loved my writing talent, wanted to give me lots of encouragement, and said that they very very rarely call an author to give her feedback.

I'm all verklempt!!

Monday, May 3, 2010


Authors are constantly being told to hold giveaways on their websites/blogs.

What in heavens name can an unpublished author give away???