Stranger Skies cover reveal and giveaway

My daughter, Katje van Loon, is releasing a new book in October: Stranger Skies, book 1 of The Borderlands Saga. Today is the cover reveal, so I’m helping out. A goddess’ fall from grace leaves her on an alien world, devoid of her followers, trapped in a mortal body. Should she strive to regain her godhood or accept her mortality and find love? Silva, Queen of Wolves, Lady of the True Woods, seeks her only friend Etan, who, along with other deities of the Council of Divinity, has gone missing for reasons unknown. Her search traps her on a world… Continue reading

A Day Late–excerpt from novel I’m currently writing

Personally, I prefer to spend as few of my days as possible in Waikiki—or anywhere on Oahu, for that matter—but it was Spence’s wish to revisit the Arizona memorial and old Honolulu, if any of it was still recognisable from World War II. In those far off days, he trod these streets as a scared and very young navigator with the U.S. Navy. Of course, the place is no more familiar to him now than his grizzled muzzle would be to one of his shipmates from the Lexington, had we run into any of the old geezers at the ritualised… Continue reading

Fireworks

Today’s Natural News newsletter reported the recovery of the Gerson Tapes, which apparently had been missing. These recorded interviews with cancer patients by Charlotte Gerson, director of an alternative-care cancer institute safely located out of the US, reminded me of a long-ago contact with cancer in a child. It was a heart-breaking case. The kid had been sick for years and doctors had prescribed a transplant. The issue that seemed central was the child’s right, at 16, to decide on her medical care. Socially, it looked like a battle between well-meaning parents bent on natural treatments and doctors bent on… Continue reading

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly-wugly Worthday

Tomorrow’s another birthday, likely to be spent in a state of moderate terror triggered by a single expression caught on the face of an ultrasound technician yesterday. Normally, I like my birthday. It was always the last or second-last day of school, which meant it came with a built-in sense of joy and release for all participants but not quite too late in the year to secure an adequate number of guests for a party. As the possibility of partying became occluded with adult issues, like sick elders, kids’ graduations, or transitions like moving and traveling, I salvaged that day… Continue reading

A serious EOY note

David Parkinson posted another or his thoughtful pieces on slowcoast.ca, and suddenly some of my thoughts over this past week, traveling to and being in Nicaragua, coalesced. David’s article is way out in front of what the vast majority of people, certainly in cities, are thinking. Nevertheless, we must think even further ahead, starting right now. The signs of imminent monetary collapse in the US are here. It will happen shortly, hopefully not before I get out of Nicaragua (which is highly dollarised and would be a disastrous place to be stuck unless one wants to be here permanently). The… Continue reading

The Orgasmic Lightness of Being

A natural-health newsletter alerts me to the rise of cancer among pharmacists, nurses, and doctors who handle chimotherapy chemicals. Rick the Health Ranger says, "Treating cancer with chemotherapy is like treating alcoholism with vodka. It’s like treating heart disease with cheese, or like treating diabetes with high-fructose corn syrup. Cancer cannot be cured by the very thing that causes it. "And to those who deal in poison, watch out for the cause-and-effect laws of biology. If you deal in chemotherapy chemicals, don’t be surprised if you get cancer one day. If you deal in chemical pesticides, don’t be surprised if… Continue reading

Ironic, the loss of my iron man

Thirty-two years ago, I lost the love of my life, and my love lost his life, and all his loves. It never stops aching. Not entirely. Every June 18, unless my living dear ones have crises that obtrude, I remember. Most years, I cry, again. Some years, I write another June 18 poem. I don’t talk about the date, lest it be thought an occasion. Let the stupid world think June 18 is just a boring day–I want it to myself, to remember the best man in my life. He was a brave man, our Spence. He didn’t go to… Continue reading

Maddening

A full month after the surgery, the lab results arrived. They were said to be due within two weeks. Good. That way, I thought, I can plan my summer. If the cancer is gone, maybe I can attend my friend’s wedding. If the cancer lurks and various docs think I need more treatment, well…at the least, it means a lot of self-education and some big lifestyle changes. Once the results arrive, the patient doesn’t get them, of course. Oh, no. One must attend the doctor in his office. In my case, two doctors on two separate days. That is, after… Continue reading

Wisdom Nugget

The acquisition of wisdom is seldom much fun. The happiness part comes later, once the pain subsides. Take me, the woman stepping around town now with a smile wrapped twice around my face, ending with a knot behind my ear. I’m idiotically happy. Why? Because I’m still alive. Because surgery saved me for another day. Because I’m Canadian, which means I partake in what Americans call, in dread and loathing, “socialised medicine”. Because, if I still lived in the US, I’d be slowly dying now, too poor to save my life even if I knew how sick I was. In… Continue reading

Is A Life So Small?

"Is a life so small?" Lately, I hear that cry of anguish again, every day. The heart-shaped face of my Hawaiian poet-friend, Susan Starr, arises from memory. Eleven years ago, kay and I were struggling to fit in a visit every week or two to Susan’s little ohana perched on a hillock a third of the way up the sunny slopes of Maui’s dormant volcano, Haleakala, the "house of the sun". The rent was cheap, by Maui standards–a mere $500 per month, if memory serves. For the privilege of privacy, Susan, who could no longer hold down one of the… Continue reading