where i am right now

by "where i am right now" i don't mean geographically, although at this moment, in a micro-geographic sense, i'm typing on the bed with maisie curled up at my feet.  a cat and a keyboard: who could need anything more?  (except another cat; mae-mae is in the other room.) where i am right now might be summed up by the fact i'm collecting quotes about light.  here are two:

"in order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present." ~sir francis bacon, philosopher, 1561-1626

"though my soul may be set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light, i have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night."  ~ from "the old astronomer to his pupil" by sarah williams, poet, 1837-1868

aren't they beautiful?  and isn't light beautiful?  i'm living in a place that's sunnier than what i've been used to for most of my life, and nearly every day i look out to see white light bouncing off the pacific, illuminating lemons in the trees, casting shadows on the mountain and canyon.  but still i'm in touch with darkness, most of it inner--maybe all writers are?  maybe all human beings are...

i'm thankful for that darkness.  it's helped me understand the things people go through, the really painful stuff we all wish would just disappear, go away, or even better, never have existed at all.  i'm writing about this now, because during the next few months i'm going to ask you to come on a journey with me.

the picture above shows me with two brilliant young filmmakers: rubie andersson and tamara edwards.  when i'm not writing my new novel, i've been working with these young women to create a series of videos connected to little night.

the novel deals with a dark aspect of family life: domestic violence and how it affects everyone.  i've experienced it myself, and know that healing is possible, that the dark night ends and daylight returns.  little night is very much about how a woman wakes up from a nightmare--with the help of friends, family, and the right kind of love.

along the way, i've interviewed three women who've been affected--either themselves, or in one case, her daughter--by abuse.  tamara and rubie have done such beautiful, sensitive filming; they're in the process of editing, and i can't wait to show you the results.


This is an extract of a story that appeared in WOWoWOW. You can read the full story here. Torn

by Luanne Rice

This year — the year my cosmic sweater began to unravel — I began to write The Deep Blue Sea For Beginners. I wrote it because I felt I had to knit life back together with words. Among other things, I’m D-3, which means I’ve been divorced three times. My third was so spectacular that it made Liz Smith’s column not once but twice, and involved the following dialogue with an FBI Agent:

Me: "But he doesn’t seem like a con man!"

FBI agent: "Do you think con men announce they’re con men? Did you meet him at church? A self-help meeting?"

Me: "He said he could help me believe in myself again."

FBI agent: (chuckle) "He’s got it down. He’s a predator. You were vulnerable. Did he ask what you did for a living?"

Me: "I told him I was a writer. He wanted to see my work … we walked to a Barnes & Noble."

FBI agent: "Guaranteed, he was calculating your assets before you showed him half your shelf."

That conversation took place five years into a brutal, dishonest, abusive marriage. By that time I’d dropped or been dropped by all my friends. One friend said he felt I was "disappearing." I figured it was because I wore long, flowing things and straw hats. "I don’t mean your clothes," he said. "You. Where are you in there? What happened to Luanne?"

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