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Reading this morning's news, and how homes are sinking due to groundwater shifting down around San Francisco, I am reminded that in Selkies' Skins we do not see a great deal of the Lady of the Well's dark side. We see more of Mara's darker side as a result of filters of the time period through built up experiences. Part of it is due to Kirsty's relationship with her being closer than it is with Mara (Etain's the one that's close with Mara).

I was able to work ahead more in the story last night, and I'm a bit surprised at how long chapter 25 is getting (even with a novel outline, as I go through the writing phase I find places to fill in). I am pleased with how it's going though.

My thoughts are also partly with Sam, Liz, and my mom. Sam didn't get the chance to show me her sketches on the cover for Selkies' before she had to leave for her big move to Texas. Mom and her sister are heading out with her, and will be coming back. Sam's big plan is to take some community college courses out there to establish residency (and get cheaper tuition) before transferring back to the Art Institute's branch out there. Meanwhile, she'll be able to get back to my cover for the print edition once she's settled into an apartment.

It's a bit strange to think of mom going so far after what happened last year to her on a long trip. I'm praying that all goes well with this trip though, that there are no break downs... and especially no accidents. My biggest memory of Texas (other than seeing the Alamo-it is indeed haunted like they say, lonely souls that appreciated the recognition they were there) was nearly getting into a wreck on the big hiway. I was 12, and we were in the grey van at the time, the sort with those red stripes and the captian's chairs in the mid section, and sliding doors... think it was an 89 but I forget the make. It was very late, or very early depending on your view point, so bro and I were sleeping in our seats, and I was clutching my silver Celtic cross necklace and trying to project my consciousness to visit my cat because it had been such a long trip and I wanted him to know I missed him and would be back soon.

Mother was pouring dad a cup of coffee (now dad comes with the smell of coffee when any of us in the family is driving late and night and needs to be awake) so the van was filled with that dark scent of really strong thermos coffee from truckstops and diners. I remember waking up and slamming into my body because the van was stopping abruptly. Through the windshield I saw the underside of a vehicle, and thought I was dreaming, as one just doesn't see flying cars in reality unless its something bad.

Then the vehicle landed in our lane. I hadn't realized at the time it had jumped the divider to come over. Not long after were the red and blue strobes from the cops. I didn't pay much attention to those, time stretched and the van was still sliding to a stop. I could see several vehicles all crunched together, and knew we'd be part of it. Mom was still pouring coffee, but looking ahead, and I knew she was thinking the same.

I remember praying, and as at the time I had been undergoing practices of my own trying to develop some psychic muscle (I was very intrigued after learning of certain military experiments... dad's warnings about getting pulled into them notwithstanding) and my sheer instinct was to try stopping the car... I tried stopping the car. I tried throwing up shields and cushions in front of us, and imagery of the car sticking to the ground so it would slow further...

And I prayed.

My hand was still around the necklace, and I remember asking my ancestors for help, and my guardian, and that great force-in all its aspects-that watches over us. I remember asking not to be allowed to die yet. Not in so many words of course, there wasn't that sort of time. All of this intent was a simple pulse that went out with everything else.

I can remember the phantom appendages (I've had these since I was little) clamping tight around myself- my tail, wings, those weird little wing-plumage things on my head near my horns and bracing myself for impact. I didn't have time to be scared.

Then there was another force, as if a great hand had seized the car. Or perhaps more accurate would have been a great big five toed dragon claw, since that was the image that came. I could see the van from outside for just a moment, was looking down at it from the top.

Then I was inside and looking out the windshield again. We were stopped. Mom hadn't spilled any of the coffee. Dad was getting out, running to the vehicle in front of us, and ripping the door off to get at the people inside. I remember that this time is when I noticed the police strobes. And I knew that for some of those in front of us, it was too late, that they were gone.

Papa was grey when he came back to us. The only other time that I saw his skin go that color was the time that, years later, I went to meet him after his colon surgery. I remember him being dead-grey while we waited for him to wake, and having that night run through my head again, and having the bad feeling that this time he was on the other side of that dividing veil. I remember the painful shock when I touched him, and he was pulled back through and into his body, and his eyes opened... blue, not brown. Blue like my own, a shade that brown eyes should never physically be able to achieve. He was grey like that back then, when he got into the van, and trying not to cry. His eyes had that weird wet shine and confirmed for me what I already knew.

That is my major memory of Texas, more vivid for me than the visit to the Alamo (which we did twice), and all I can do is pray that-while Sam and everyone is over there-nothing similar will occur. I know Sam's guardian is up to the task, but honestly I'd rather not have anything remotely similar to that (or the time that some weird thing in the ocean grabbed my ankle and tried to drag me off) ever happen to my family.

Such happenings also are partly responsible for what I write about. Some psychologists would discount the involvement of the spirit world and guardians being able to influence the physical realm. I am fully aware that those would consider it a method of coping with disturbing situations. I myself once took psychology courses with the intent to become a psychologist, with special interest in parapsychology. I left that path because it was too much for me, I wouldn't be able to mentally take continuing in those studies because of the exposure to people. Too many too often wear me down, though my interest and personal studies in that arena continue. Fiction, however, gives me an ample opportunity to write about how the worlds of spirit, magic, and the physical realm mesh. Perhaps it's in my blood, considering my heritage and how it traces through people with an interest in the same, and how The Sight and other such gifts are accepted as real in my family and extended family, under different names according to each belief system.

I just know that there are too many unexplained things in the world to not maintain a sense of wonder and possibility.

September 2017

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