Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Burn.

I confess: I’m having a bad day and I could really use a kind word right now. Even before I realized it was a Monday, I knew it was a bad day. The loud crash, the lid to the toilet tank broken in a bazillion pieces, the bleeding 12-year-old, the glass and dirt all over the floor…and it was barely daylight.

Flying By Night novel

Yes, I remind myself, I’m half-way through the twoweek trial known as “Transiting Saturn Opposes Natal Moon.” This  Monday  morning  alarm  was  the  last  thing  I  needed.  I looked at the bathroom floor and my weepy, huggy little girl and wanted to go back to bed and cry myself to sleep but I didn’t. No time to feel sorry for myself. I was already late for a meeting, and there would be no kind words if I didn’t make it on time.

I’m also a few days into a Mercury retrograde. I hate

Mercury retrogrades. Hate ’em.

A Mercury retrograde means rework, redo, and revisit for 21 days. Three to four times a year, Mercury stations retrograde, blocking its  energy and influences on communications, transportation,  contracts,  computers,  automobiles,  and  everything mechanical. My pal Maggie Shayne disagrees with my assessment of Mercury retrogrades as hell to be contended with— she advocates pulling inward and concentrating on book  revisions or projects that need to be revisited—but it’s always a bothersome time for me. And if you don’t believe in astrology, think of it as a pattern that reasserts itself to make you stop and think when you’d rather not.

My most troublesome contracts, signed in previous Mercury retrogrades, have come back to haunt me now. My car’s in the shop. Every  mechanical item in the house is on the blink, not to mention my now lidless toilet.

I have three Spilled Candy books out to the printers— Terri Paajanen’sDrawing the Three of Coins (non-fiction guide to opening  and  running  your  own  metaphysical  store),  Selene Silverwind’sField of  Jonquils (novel), and Kristin Madden’s Shamanic Guide to Death and Dying—and another two books almost ready to go

Unfortunately, Vila Spiderhawk’s wonderful anthology of tales to honor the Crones, Hidden Passages, and Gail Wood’s The Wild God (non-fiction guide to the “Sacred Masculine”) are suffering corrupted files, and I’m having to do some unexpected rework.

I’d hoped to spend this week in Reno at the Romance Writers of America National Conference with Vicki Hinze, but earlier illnesses this year have left me with very little time to mix business with fun. That’s what conferences with Vicki are, too. Business and fun. Though the last time  we  road-tripped to a conference during a Mercury retrograde, we arrived at a fancysmancy resort hotel after about an 8-hour drive and as I, ever the barefoot driver, handed my keys to the valet, I realized I’d left my shoes at home.

I’d love to spend time with some of my other friends right now  but they’re either out of town on vacation or their husbands are bitching  about them hanging with me instead of being home while hubby-dear is off golfing.

So I confess: it’s a bad day and I need a kind word.

But confessing does help. When my counselor suggested I keep a journal to help me work through my post-divorce recovery, I was way ahead of him. Writing has always been cathartic for me, so it’s nothing  new for me to purge my poisons through poetry or hide it away in my  fiction, and then afterwards, it’s gone and done and I never have to pick at those scars again.

But blogging—openly to the public, raw and honest and risky—has  been a surprise. My rite of confession, I was told, needed to be public. I understand now how my Catholic friend felt when he told me years ago that he found the act of submission through confession to be incredibly freeing. He could express himself with utter candor to his  priest and give over his worries to God just by expressing them. For me, a public confession of my doubts, my fears and, most of all, my hopes helps me to let go. Frees me. I am what I am and anyone who doesn’t like what they see can hike it and we’ll both be better off.

Yet, there’s a surprise in the following my blog has developed  and in the private reports from people who’ve found understanding and hope in the universality of the experience of starting over and in scrubbing the slate clean so the same mistakes are not written twice.

So I’ll continue to write out my bad days. I’ll banish my fears. I’ll call forth my rite of confession and give over my sins to the public as my High Priest, giving it over to the Goddess to kiss away for me.

And as for the kind word I need so badly right now, I’ll do like every other strong woman alone and self-sufficient: I’ll give myself my own kind word.


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