25 years ago: I was THIS MANY *holds up three fingers and a little bit of pinky* I believe, if maternal memory serves, I was a bat for Halloween that year, living with my dad and not-yet-stepmother on, I would guess, Aloha Street in Seattle, an apartment I mainly remember for being bright yellow. Attending Hilltop Day Care, and, also according to the memory of others, instructing all "my" kids on how to conduct a teddy bear funeral on a semi-regular basis. "Cat is a very bossy child," sayeth the beleaguered day care employees. Indeed.
20 years ago: I was eight, which means third grade, which means Mrs. Kapovich's split 3/4 grade class in Woodinville, WA. I adored Mrs. Kapovich, even though I spent most of my time reading D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths under my desk. That book is frigging huge. I was not sneaky. My mother moved to California that year and I started flying back and forth for visitation during the summers. I think my stepmother must have been just pregnant with my youngest brother. Life in Woodinville was not exactly idyllic at that point, though. I was afraid most of the time. I spent most of the afternoons playing by myself in the forest and swamp behind my house. Most of these games had to do with finding a tunnel/hole/door to anywhere Not This Place. Go figure.
15 years ago: I was thirteen. I had just moved to California to live with my mother, and met a boy who was to become the best friend I ever had, and miraculously turned out to live on my street. In fact, I may have gotten my first kiss from him sometime close to now -15 years. I miss him. I really miss him. He lives in New York now and we haven't talked for about three years. I believe I was Aldonza form Man of La Mancha that Halloween. Yes, I sang for my trick. I was very happy, had just dyed my hair red for the first time ("Halloween is next week, loser!") a shade which was to stick until I was 18. I met my first long-term boyfriend that year, too, though he wasn't my boyfriend till much later, and most of my very close friends of the next few years. No one who knew me then knows me now. For the first time, that fall, things were looking up, and I thought the world wasn't such a terrible place. I was writing a lot of very silly poetry and I loved Byron. I listened to a lot of Cat Stevens and Simon and Garfunkel and ran around Davis, CA barefoot.
10 Years ago: I was 18. I had been with S for two years, living on my own in Sacramento. I dyed my hair black for the first time, a shade which was to stick for a good while, too. God, I remember 13 more vividly than 18. I was driving a green 1985 Honda Civic and I had a red husky named Star. A couple of roommates that changed with the semester. S was my life, then. He broke up with me that year and I would have joined the Peace Corps to get away but they required a degree. So I planned to move to Colorado, because it was far and Boulder sounded nice. Or back to Seattle. But he convinced me to stay and generously took me back. *sarcasm drips* I was a year away from transferring from American River College to UCSD. I thought I'd be a history professor, maybe a high school teacher. Military history. I was writing poetry, sometimes. Not much. My writing professor told me I was really and truly a terrible, sentimental writer who didn't know anything about anything. I was devastated, and wouldn't start writing again for four years. Oh! But I had a great costume for Halloween! I was Liberty Leading the People from the Delacroix painting, with a nude body suit and a huge tricolor toga. It was fabulous. I had never had an email address or used a computer for anything but school papers.
5 years ago: I was living in Rhode Island with S, having just moved back to the States from Edinburgh. I had just finished a novel called "The Labyrinth." I think, I'm reasonably sure, that I was just starting the first few pages of a little story about a girl with funny tattoos on her eyes, which I thought would make a nice Christmas present for my niece, Sarah, if I laminated the pages so she could get jam on them, as she was four. Wow, it really was, it really was right about now that I was starting that, in a little apartment in Newport, reading Tarot cards downtown, watching my first real autumn in New England. Lonely as anything, just accepted to a master's program, about to marry S in a mere two months, but no one knew it yet--he wouldn't tell anyone. I was on Diaryland a lot in those days--couldn't score an LJ code. Life was on hold, and I just wanted to go back to Scotland.
1 year ago: Those four years are a hell of a lot to skip, but I suppose they are the content of this LJ. A year ago I was leaving my husband, moving to Cleveland, swallowing the rather horrible idea of a divorce. I was in love with some one else, I was done with that life. I was waiting for In the Night Garden to come out, planning the launch party with s00j, packing my things in the Virginia house and having gut-wrenching tearful fights about what my life with S had turned into. I got into a van full of bookshelves and suitcases and drove north, out of that dreadful story.
So far this year: I have written two novels, caught up with my short fiction queue, and settled into the Cleveland house, which was not without rather a lot of tears and drama and upheaval of its own. I have sailed up the St. Lawrence river in Ontario, I have read two books that changed my soul, I have visited ten states and Canada, been stuck in the snow for three days, gotten in a car accident, learned to snorkel, learned to play Magic: the Gathering and Planescape like a proper geek, won two literary awards and been nominated for two others, become rather completely entwined with justbeast in most possible ways, and gotten a new kitten.
Yesterday: I sailed back from Pelee Island with justbeast, having shared an accidental Canadian Thanksgiving with the tomato-farming Mastronardi family of Leamington, ON, (they offered us a ride to the only open bar on the deserted island and ended up buying us a huge dinner with local wine and amazing conversation), swum in the suddenly very cold lake, walked through the Pelee Winery and been stuck in Put-In-Bay (who, collectively, as an island, RAN OUT OF BEER AND GAS this weekend) for an hour eating lobster bisque and waiting for fuel.
Tomorrow: I will be working on a new and sekrit projekt, will with the help of heaven have finished the poetry collection, and will make my first attempt at apple jam, and possibly paint the bedroom red. Life is full of autumn and arcing towards better.