So you can read my books

Thursday, November 29, 2012


{Image of Alice asking for Victor's hand in marriage by the fantastic Leonora Roy}

In life, you can't swing a cat without hitting a Catch Phrase (and really angering the cat).

"Reserve not met" is one of them. If you do business on eBay, you know it.

But there are all kinds of RESERVES NOT MET:

1.) Lung cancer:

How many cigarettes will trigger the reserve number for easy access to cancer in your life? 

 Often you smoke to calm your nerves.  Stress weakens your immune system. Add the two together, and you may hit that lethal reserve faster than you think.

2.) The JACK IN THE BOX beside you:

As a child, I was told by Mother that each person we passed was actually a JACK IN THE BOX.  She cautioned me that we did not know how many "cranks" each person had wound up in them. 

We were walking down a grocery aisle as she hummed the JACK IN THE BOX tune and prodded my chest with her forefingers to the beat.

She pointed out a woman, picking up a can of peaches, and murmured as if the woman were speaking, "$2.50 a can?  WHERE'S MY GUN. I'M GONNA SHOOT EVERYONE HERE!"

Mother jabbed me in my most sensitive ticklish spot, "POP GOES THE WEASEL!"

Everyone you meet has those cranks.  When will they meet that reserve number of cranks before they pop?  It is best to ask that question of yourself before you add any more cranks to that number.


When we think "reserve not met," we think in terms of highest dollar amounts.

Yet, the reserve to meet the needs of a lonely, bruised soul may be heartbreakingly low.

Perhaps only one heartfelt smile in a day of unrelieved gloom for that soul. Perhaps only one small greeting card sent out of the blue to a person lost in the crush of life.

Sometimes ONE means all the world to someone lost in the dark.

Take Alice talking to the Olympian, Apollo, of the meaning to the life of the now dead Victor Standish from THREE SPIRIT KNIGHT:

           “When the one you love is gone and you are alone, you begin to see that it was not just shared laughter, not just dancing in one another’s arms, not just battling enemies together or worrying over tomorrow or even if there would be a tomorrow. It was everything: it was the why of your life, every smile and precious moment of it. The answer to your long years of lonely prayers to God is the love you shared, and when the loss awakens you to the utter beauty of it, to the sacredness of it, you cannot get the fingers of your mind around it for a long time.”

She sighed in that odd British accent of hers.  “You are staggered not by the weight of the loss but by the gratitude for what preceded the loss. And the ache is always there, but one day the emptiness is not, because to nurture the emptiness, to take solace in it, is to cheapen the gift of love.”


  1. Your mother's outlook is very insightful. I love that comparison, so very true.

  2. Thanks, Heather:
    She would have liked you. After writing this post, I can't get the POP GOES THE WEASEL tune out of my head! Aaargh! :-)

  3. From chapter 4 of WIP Jack in the box:
    Through the darkness and inside the shadows lingered a half human shape of what must have been a man. Slowly with claw like fingers it cranked up one of her old toys, and his yellow eyes glowed with evil as he laughed again before singing along in an odd inhuman voice.
    “Round and round the cobbler's bench
    The monkey chased the weasel,
    The monkey thought 'twas all in fun
    Pop, goes the weasel!

    Roland--We seem to often think alike and now this song is going to be stuck in my head again as well :)

  4. Siv:
    I've always said that we are kindred spirits. Another item of proof that we do think alike! :-)

  5. I'm going to be watching all of the Jack-in-the-Boxes around me with care now.

  6. Alex:
    The headlines are filled with those Jacks-in-the-Boxes who walked into post offices, school rooms, and movie theaters with loaded weapons. Sigh.