Scene One: Enter 2019, with Incense

aAh, 2019. You are finally here. You came on a night with fireworks, a bit of arguing, and a sense of relief and hope that this year will go better for the world than 2018. And I honestly hope you are better.

Actually, I hope that everyone I like has a better year. We deserve better after the nonsense that occurred last year and is still going on behind closed doors.  The kids need to be out of the cages, the troops need to be away from the border, and we need to bear the weight of the dead from Hurricane Maria due to unkind neglect, and the travel ban. This is not a world that we wanted, and anyone who does, regarding the egregious stuff needs to have their moral compass sent to a blacksmith.

 So here is the thing I was working on last spring and summer; the Powered Series, about a preteen named Kelli who can talk to inanimate objects.  These powers get her into trouble, but they also get her out of it. The four books are Epiphany, Stolen, Noviceand SabotageI will say that this cover art is gorgeous. My mom does as well. She put it in our glass display case. Hope that you can all check it out if given the opportunity..

I have many goals and plans for this year. One of them involves lighting incense at night before bed.  It’s a ritual I hope to maintain to calm the night. I also hope to meditate more, and learn the proper art of relaxing. Also hoping to paint more watercolors, and draw. I’ve been drawing less.

When we were younger, my dad had a room of the house for pujas, or religious rituals. He would light incense and oil lamps in it, around a bunch of idols from Hinduism. I couldn’t recall the details now, since that room became a home library after my dad died in 2001, but he and my mom would use thick incense sticks. They had a thick, woody smell that reminds me of India, when we would go visit my grandparents.

When I was buying incense last week, I thought a change from my usual jasmine would be a good idea. Amazon recommended “Black Magic,” and people praised the reviews. They were selling at a good price. I decided to click on the order button, overlooking that they were from India. About several hundred of them came.  The scent is still filling the air.

They are incense sticks that smell like the ones my dad used. I lit one, and found that they take a bit longer to light.  But when they burn, an earthy, pitchy smell fills the air.  When I inhale, i think of the puja room, and what my dad believed. My mom says he would get up at early to pray, and he would keep sugar cubes for worship. I often saw the oil lamps with fascination.

It’s a new year, eighteen years later. My dad would want me to keep going forward. He’d appreciate that I am making an effort to improve, and that I got my degree. I hope he would like my books.

Let’s a make a better world that he wanted, with more compassion. I’m going to light more of that incense.


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