To read an excerpt from the book, please click on the following link:

Monday, February 29, 2016


There is a very silly spell in one of my many books of rituals.  It involves tapping one's big toes together whilst invoking Morpheus, to cure insomnia.  I have never tried it, but it's tempting tonight.

Might as well blog...I can't catch up on email because notifications come through people's phones nowadays and I might wake them up.

I feel very far away from Asha's book right now.  I am still absorbing a lot from the conversation with a significant person related to Asha's story.. I am often the point of feeling not up to creating this kind of a book. This is a bad space for a writer like me to get into.  I get myself out of it quite fast, though. This is not a fun book to write, but it is a real one.

A friend recently found out I was planning to visit Auschwitz when/if I can go to Poland. He first said that, as he understood it, there was little to eat in terms of vegetarian food in Poland, and people smoked on trains (I am a vegetarian and cigarette smoke is one of my asthma triggers).  I detected a subtle note of concern.  Then, in a gesture I thought was very kind, he next sent me a link to a Facebook page for the Loire Valley in France and said , "Why visit concentration camps when you can go here?"  He knows what I am writing about, that Asha was from Poland, and I have told him that I feel the need to visit Auschwitz when I am there, as my book is also about the evils human beings visit upon each other.

But his statements, to me, said, "Why are you doing this? Why are you going back to the shadow lands,? I thought you were not going to do that anymore." Maybe even, "Can't you write your book in a nice, nurturing place instead of going to places that will only hurt you to see?"  I entertain his concerns more than almost anyone's in my life, because he was there to see my house of cards fall down once, and I hear some unspoken concerns in his link to a beautiful area in France.  "Wouldn't you like to visit somewhere really nice like this instead?" it seemed to say,  It is a sweet gesture and breaks my heart at the same time.  I do not want him to fear for me, to worry, but I hear it.  I have neglected to write and promise him that I will not go into the shadow lands and get lost there, and I will write that to him soon.  He will not believe me 100 percent and I think he will breathe a sigh of relief when my travels through this book are done and he finds that I did not get lost in the shadows after all. It is good to have a person like this in one's life who does not think I am just some superhuman.

But the truth is, in some ways, this book chose me, not the other way around, and when that extraordinary thing happens, such a gift can't be given away.  It is a good lesson in learning how to walk carefully in the places Asha's story will compel me to go.