Thursday, November 24
We went to our friends' house in the country for Thanksgiving dinner tonight; a big, rambling old wooden house with porches and gables stuck on here and there, painted white, surrounded by woods. The only lights were from inside the house as we drove up; no lamp lights on that humble road. We were late and they had already started eating dinner, probably thirty or forty people, all seated at a long thin table stretching across the narrow living/dining room. We could see them through the windows as we walked up to the house... Wood everywhere: the floors, the staircase, the moldings. An old-fashioned kitchen with cedar cabinets. The guests were mainly people we did not know, nor did they seem to know each other: Chinese Cornell students, a young Cornell professor and his wife and sister; artists from Ithaca; a fellow from Trinidad; a German fellow and his wife; I barely met half of them, but more enjoyed watching and listening to the din of happy voices in many accents and intonations and inflections settling around me. It was a feast, dishes piled high with all sorts of foods and desserts, homemade pies, wines, nuts, homemade bread. At the end the fellow from Trinidad stood up and announced it was the best Thanksgiving he had ever experienced, and asked us all to applaud our hosts - which we did.
When I returned home, an e-mail from Diana: She has begun work on the book covers.
Tuesday, November 29
Over sixty degrees again today - which is very unusual for Ithaca in late November. Jf and I went to the post office and then to Stewart Park. The ducks were milling around in the water near the shore, and calling to each other - here and there a duck flew in from a great distance to join them. My feeling was that they would be leaving Ithaca today. Generally when the birds all clump together and call each other in that way, it means they are ready to change locales for the winter. About a hundred geese were collected together on one of the lawns near the shore.
Some e-mails from Diana when I arrived home - She has been working steadily on the front cover of We Meet in Dreams. She is not entirely happy with the idea I gave her to work with for the cover: A farmhouse under a starry sky, with a few trees. For one, the trees are taking forever for her to outline in Photoshop; for another she feels the cover design does not contain any archetype related to dreaming. In response, I took some photos of doors and windows tonight; my thought being that she could superimpose one of the images on the night sky, on an angle possibly, fading into the sky - and the starry sky seen through the superimposed window. Sent them off to Diana. She wrote back that she was almost finished with the cover and asked me not to send anymore photographs. Possibly she can use one of the images for the back cover. The idea of this book is that these special dreams that I discuss in the book are windows or doorways into other realms...
Wednesday, November 30
Diana e-mailed me some experimental front covers today: We had started with the idea of a house, a tree or two - and the night sky. Diana took photographs of houses and trees while she was here in Ithaca, and her first cover attempt was of two farmhouses and a few trees under a night sky. In her second version she had added nearly transparent faces of two people turned towards each other, superimposed on the night sky, above the farm houses - which I very much like. One person is speaking, the other listening; looking at the cover again, the angles of the faces and the angles of the houses mirror each other, creating an invisible x that connects them all... I am not sure she thought this through consciously, I think I will ask her if she planned it. The addition of the superimposed faces truly brings meaning to the cover, reflects the message of the book... Wrote her back and told her how pleased I was with her ideas for the cover.
Diana wants to subtract some of the meadow and add more sky, but I am encouraging her to leave the visual proportions the way they are. The wildflowers in the meadow look somewhat like stars, something she had not consciously been aware of or planned - I, of course, was delighted. Interestingly enough, the colors and tints she chose for the cover were the same as those I had inwardly imagined, pictured. The same happened with the cover of Visits With Angels. Either Diana is reading my mind, or my clairvoyance is showing me the covers before she creates them.
Fortunately for me, Diana is at peace with the cover design now that she has added the two dreamers.
Thursday, December 1
A beautiful, sunny day; leaves scurrying everywhere. JF and I did some errands, and when I returned home there was an e-mail from Diana: "Very interesting about the houses and faces mirroring their houses, making an "x" directional line as you said. I was operating on instinct. When I first placed the faces, they were flipped - in other words, the face on the left was on the right - but it didn't look balanced to me so I changed their positions. My feeling was that the full face (on the left) needed to face in the direction that the book cover opens. As soon as I shifted the position, it looked balanced."
I was not surprised that her arrangement of the houses and faces was instinctual - true creativity most often is spontaneous, unthought. What was curious to me is that when I first studied the cover, I knew she had reversed the images...
Diana is now giving some thought to the design for the back cover; she also mentioned possibly making subtle changes and improvements to the front cover. I am immensely pleased with what she has accomplished. As far as I am concerned - the front cover is finished.
Now we have to write the blurb for the back cover. Sent her a few ideas.
Wednesday, December 6
The blurb for the back of the book is coming along nicely. Diana sent me three paragraphs and I made some changes and sent it back to her. I still need to think about it further.
Earlier today I went to Buzzle's website, and the poll results for the Journal entry on the supernatural fragrances (November 8-16, 2011) was deeply touching. Actually, I do not really have words for what I am feeling. My awe and Gratitude to Our Lady and the other Divine Beings who sent the fragrances - are beyond words. As of today, over 2,000 people have read the Journal entry. Seventy-eight people took the poll. 36% of those who took the poll said they experienced the scent of roses as they read the article; 8% said they experienced the fragrance of roses after they read the article; 13% said they experienced the fragrance of roses and other supernatural scents after reading the article.
I still am without words.
Thursday, December 7
Diana and I are still working on the blurb for the back of the book, changing a word here, a word there.
Friday, December 8
Went to the Jango website to see new comments and reviews of my music; received one of my favorite music reviews of all time, from Istanbul Turkey, Wednesday November 23, 2011 02:04 AM:
"In a cold Istanbul morning, the warmth of the music gives great energy"
Here's a cool, clear night, in the high thirties. It has been so warm until now that the petunias and roses are still blooming at Windgarth.
One of my meditators helped me to restring the Christmas lights in the front windows here in town last week. Rearranged the little scenes on the sills and the top frames of the bottom windows: little Christmas trees, painted wooden nutcracker soldiers, a little bright red wagon, a small Santa seated at a table reading his Christmas list, carolers; other ornaments strung on bright strings and strands of holiday garlands; an angel by herself, holding a lit, slowly moving, candle in the westernmost window. The downstairs North-facing windows are right on the sidewalk, so many people look into them...
Diana sent me the back cover of We Meet in Dreams today, and I think it is perfect. The wording we ended up with for the description fits nicely and I think reads well. It starts with:
A book for anyone who wants to look more deeply into the true nature of their dreams.
I wrote that sentence, but as with the other books, Diana wrote the rest of the book description and then I changed a few words here and there; then we sent it back and forth, making changes, until we both agreed it was done. For whatever reason, the blurb for the back cover is just not a task I can easily do. Writing a book is easy. The description is not.
I gave a print out of the back cover for my aid Samantha to read; she said it was very good and left the reader wanting to know more. Samantha was sitting at the kitchen table in her usual chair, taking a break from cooking our Christmas dinner - my grandmother's recipe for Swiss steak, a sort of European stew, simmering in a very big heavy pot on the stove. The kitchen was warm from all the cooking, in spite of the colder weather, the aroma slowly and steadily filling the entire house, reminding me of Christmases past. Samantha is from the South, and calls me "Miss Laurie"...
Someone on the Buzzle.com website wrote in to say that the photo on our kitchen table was not Our Lady of Medjugorje, but rather Our Lady of Fatima. The reader who wrote in seemed very firm about it, so I assume she is correct. However, I cannot change my Buzzle entries in any way, it is not allowed. All I can do is put the correction here, in this Journal entry. (I will change it on other sites, however.)
As I sit here I can see the lights strung in the window at the bottom of the stairs, like stars...
Saturday, December 17
Today we had our annual Christmas party, from 3 to 7 pm. JF came early and set up her handmade jewelry on our transformed kitchen table; as in past years she covered it in black velvet, set up lights and hung or draped her beautiful jewelry over driftwood and various racks of all shapes and sizes. JD and I played four hand music on the piano: a transcription by Mme Rimsky-Korsakov of Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet, a transcription of Fingal's Cave by Felix Mendelssohn, Mozart, von Suppe... At times the house was happily crammed with people; some guests brought brightly wrapped presents, others brought pastries to add to what we had put out for everyone, seemingly endless platters full of pastries, cheeses and crackers of various sorts. To have so many friends all in one place, on a cold day with a sugaring of snow outside, with warmth and lights within - was just a joyous occasion all around. A friend dying of cancer came, looking very frail and transparent; the mother of a beautiful young man who had killed himself this past year also came, as did all the problems we all face in a lifetime, the suffering somehow dissolved in the Brightness of the music and food and warmth and love that filled the house, excited voices blending in with the music, sometimes soaring above it, sometimes quiet, listening... Altogether a lovely, memorable party...
And now I would like to take a moment to wish you all a Holy and Happy Christmas Season and 2012. May God Bless you all - and Merry Christmas!