Communication Breakdown
What does it mean? Words fly around me like bees. Messages rattle in the weeds. Words are living things, funky little buggers, precocious and flirtatious and some of them have stingers. I feel like a bee-keeper, like Tomas Urrea of Albuquerque whom you might have met in one of the "Wastelander's Notebooks" sections of this blog. Mostly, I enjoy their honey. Sometimes I get zapped. Is it the same for you?

I finished Into the Beautiful North. Sent the revisions to my editor in NYC yesterday and today. Nowadays we do it all electronically. No more stamps for me. But, you know, I have to let Cinderella do that bee-keeping because I don't know how to smoke down the hive and get out the panels.

Some things fly at me that are weird. Not as weird as the whistling maniac in the elevator I told you about. But weird like, I get fan mail here at my house, but my number and address are unlitsted. So how are you guys finding me? How paranoid should I be that high school kids can track me down? It's a compliment, right? Good thing we keep our trash cans inside the garage!

Or the email I got last week from somebody in Baja asking me if I knew anybody who did windows. WTF, as Eric would say. I think I should follow this line--if I could turn my books into employment opportunities for undocumented workers and the poor in Tijuana, I'd get some kind of UN award.

One of the healers who helped teach me stuff for Hummingbird's Daughter has cancer. WTF again.

Some are bumble bees, some are honey bees, and some are killer bees. Last week, a historical writer and researcher wrote to me to tell me that my work about Teresita was "disappointing" and revealed nothing new. Today, I got word from the Apache medicine man who was the model for Manuelito in the novel that the book is a ritual of initiation, and each section is carefully designed to reveal deeper and deeper medicine-truths to readers. Which do you listen to? Well, my training in self-doubt and self-loathing dictates that my writing is, in fact, disappointing. My research sucks. But then, there's that little taste of Chiricahua Apache honey. There's the realization that I was intending to write THAT book, the book "Manny" is talking about. Not the erudite historical tome. The book that wants to enter dreams.

So many bees flying around, you get confused.

If Buechner is right, that life itself is grace, then I accept words--even stinging little bastards--as grace. What's the option? Silence.

By the way, I traded some funny e-mails with Sheriff Ogden in Yuma today. And I started writing Hummingbird II. Are you ready? It's a love story.


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