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Old 12-21-2012, 03:11 PM   #1
KellyAssauer
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Happy Solstice!! Merry Yule!!

The shortest day of the year
for many of us,
So let's celebrate the return of sunlight!

=)
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Old 12-21-2012, 05:49 PM   #2
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:12 PM   #3
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Old 12-22-2012, 12:29 AM   #4
Siri Kirpal
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Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

In honor of the occasion, I'm posting our holiday newsletter...minus the contact info.

Dear Ones,
Sat Nam! Blessings to all of you this holiday season.
Our main excitement in the first part of the year was a snowfall in March, so late and so heavy it snapped the flowering plums all over Eugene and bent our butterfly bush, which now grows parallel to the ground.
Other than that, Jim spent his time on a committee working to obtain non-profit status and develop bylaws for the local chapter of the Dances of Universal Peace. I spent the time writing.
Jim’s sister Kathleen visited in June, during which we all trekked to Portland to visit Jim’s youngest niece and meet her infant son. A day or two later, Jim and Kathleen set out on a trip through the Columbia Gorge, up into the Hell’s Canyon area of Idaho, and around back home through Eastern Oregon. Jim’s favorite parts of the trip included the Pendleton Underground, the subterranean hangout of Victorian era lowlife, and the Kam Wah Chung Heritage Site in John Day, a preserved Chinese apothecary shop. While Jim and Kathleen traveled, I stayed home on a most productive writing retreat.
Around the time we put a new roof on our house in July, I completed my memoir and sent it off to my mother (a retired English teacher) for editing.
And then life got interesting...a little too interesting.
I attended a writers conference in Portland the first weekend of August, came home and told Jim about the agent who asked to see the proposal for the memoir (which I didn’t have). Then Jim told me about the shooting at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin that same day.
Life after challenging events like these is a scramble. I was in a state of elation about the request for the proposal and shock and horror about the shooting. My inbox was overflowing. (Nearly the first thing Sikhs wanted to know, by the way, was what they could do for the officer injured in their defense.) We had more events to attend than we could possibly cram in, though we did attend a vigil and an interfaith service. I appeared on TV locally as one of several Sikhs who stepped up to the spokesperson plate. Book sales for Sikh Spiritual Practice by yours truly soared. I had no time to work on the requested proposal. Oh, and our local Gurdwara was filled with some twenty floral bouquets left by our neighbors, including a group of schoolchildren. My tearful gratitude to them and to all those of you who wrote or prayed.
A week later we drove to California to visit family: notably Jim’s nephew, who recently became an Ananda monk, and my mother, who went over the first round of book edits with me. We saw other family members (both sides) and a few long-time friends as well. A wonderful trip and very productive. I lugged along my laptop and nearly completed the proposal.
Back home, I sent off the memoir to a couple of beta readers (critique readers who aren’t kin to the writer), finished the proposal and began tracking down permissions. During this process, I learned that my voice is archived in the Library of Congress. I did some traditional ballad singing back in the mid-1970s, and one of those concerts was recorded by the folklorist who organized the concert.
I completed the edits on the memoir and the proposal and had the most important permissions in hand by early October, so sent the proposal off to the agent who requested it. On October 16, I received a lovely rejection. (Yep, sometimes writers brag about the great rejections they’ve received.)
Continuing the see-saw, that same day, I gave a teleconference class on spiritual tools for prosperity, based on Yoga for Prosperity by yours truly. The first such class I’ve taught.
And then life settled back down. I continue the query hunt for an agent for the memoir and am mulling over the options for my next writing project. I continue to be grateful to live here in Eugene. I also enjoy Absolute Write, an online writing community.
Jim is now the president of the board of the local Dances of Universal Peace chapter, leads two walk and talk groups a week, and attends adult enrichment classes, concerts and interfaith services. He attends Gurdwara with me, and I sometimes attend interfaith services and other events with him.
We wish you the best now and always. Have a wonderful 2013!
Love & Blessings,
Siri Kirpal & Jim
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:41 AM   #5
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I managed to get home before sunset and the lighting of the Mother's Night candle. We're expecting to get 4-10 inches of snow tonight, which seems fitting. I'm very glad I don't have to go to work tomorrow, though.

Gud Yule, everyone!
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