Exactly what do you do?

One of my most important activities is brushing the cats, especially Marzipan (or so she says). Apart from that I mostly putter with my laptop and look out of the window a lot. Sometimes someone looks back.

Outside there are trees and hummingbirds and other wild things. Limited food is put out for the critters, with more made available when it snows or when babies are arriving. There are very many trees. In fact there may be more trees than anything but fungi. There is a great deal of fungus, lichen and mycelium, both under and over the ground, even though, in this part of Washington State, it doesn't rain as much as you might think. I live in the rainshadow of the Olympic Mountains, so I can reasonably say that I live in the lap of the gods.

Inside the house (and on the porch), I work on writing and photography projects, mostly in the laptop. The laptop's name may be Harry Potter — those are the initials on top — or it may be something else and I'm too dim to get it yet. "Harry Potter" seems an unlikely name for a computer but when you mix "logical" machines and magic anything might happen.

Current projects are:

a) an illustrated series of books about faery cats and their friends,
b) an oracle (working title: Gran'ma's Faery Wisdom & Gnomic Utterances), and
c) a complete reshuffle of all of my scattered web pages, blogs, and loose ends.
Another thing I do is take classes and learn stuff. I used to teach, but learning is more fun.

How old are you anyway? And why are you still taking so many classes?

I'm 81, and I take classes because I've always hoped to know everything a person needs to know by the age of 80 (if not sooner), but didn't make it. Although that hasn't happened, it seems silly to give up just yet. Perhaps I'll live to be 90 and learn it all before then. Or 100?

At the moment, given the last project above, one thing I'm learning (or trying to) is WordPress from Renne Emiko Brock . As part of the class, she is teaching us marketing skills such as how search engines work, about developing our brand, and helping us to birth our Inner Superheroes. These are useful things to know.

Another thing I'm learning more about is writing. It's my trade, and so I have to keep trying to do better. (If you stop learning, things just get boring.) Every once in a while, I trot along to The Writers' Workshoppe and take another class or two and come away all charged up and with ideas for more books and blogs to write. But I'd need to be a Superhero with a magic pen to get them all done.

What's all this about Superheroes?

Renne gets credit for this. She keeps mentioning things things about superheroes and seems to think everyone can become one. It's largely a matter of knowing who you really are and who you truly want to become. She is helping us understand this in various ways, including finding our special powers. It seems like a good idea, so I've been considering my powers and all the rest of superheroing. (Spellcheck doesn't think that is a word, but it must be. Spellcheck is just not keeping up.)

At first glance, it is easy to tell that my Superhero name is.... Wrinkle Woman. See?

Superpowers — I'm still working on understanding my superpowers. One power is listening — deep listening. I listen to the cats, I listen to the squirrels, I even listen to the news as long as I can bear it. Sometimes I can hear what people say so well that they can actually hear it too (that's a good therapist's trick, that is). Another power is compassion, which is erratic but I'm working on developing it. It works in surprising ways and does astonishing things. There should be three superpowers, of course, and I'll come to the third in a bit.

Superweapons — often superheroes have superweapons. I don't need weapons since hurting people is not part of the plan. However, my weapon of choice is a blackthorn walking stick that is really a sword stick. Second, I do need a Magic Pen of course, which is traditionally mightier than the sword. Just having what appears to be superweapons is a weapon in itself — people watch the weapons while you sneak up on them in clever, tricksy ways that they don't expect. So my third superpower must be a usable brain and a willingness (sometimes) to use it. The main objective here is peacefully getting things to go the way they need to go.

Superclothes — superheroes apparently must each have their own special clothes. Well, there is a problem here. I'd like to have a cloak to flutter around me when I fly, but I've got invisible wings and surely the cloak and wings would get entangled with each other. The cloak would be raven black, as dark as space, with tiny, twinkling stars that are really giant true stars scattered in the folds. Yes, I do understand that they only look tiny because they are a very long way away.

Leaving that problem unsolved because I have no solution, for the most part I look like a slightly upgraded version of a bean bochd, a beggar woman, wrapped in enough layers of whatever to keep warm. Silk should always be worn next to the skin, but need not be visible to the world.

Of course, when I go somewhere Faery, clothes are different. Rich, soft, royal blue velvet with crisp white lace. Or floaty sage green gossamer with feathers around the hems. Long and sweeping. Glitter — bags, bottles, and buckets of sparkle! Subtle pastel streaks in my white hair! Maybe once a year, maybe not at all. But still — that's me as well.

You said you used to teach — what and when and where? Do you still have classes or do you do something else for a day job?

I used to teach healing and psychic and spiritual development and readings and counseling and all of that stuff. Mostly I taught in California and Great Britain. I also worked with private clients as well. As far as the teaching is concerned, nowadays I rarely teach in person, but I have some classes on these pages at Jessica's Woo Woo Classes. I have retired from doing readings, counseling, and healing in person. If I have a day job (besides feeding the cats) it's writing — here on the web and in books. I also drop seeds of various kinds and they grow as they will.

What are your ambitions and goals?

a) To be 40 years younger physically so that I have time to write (within reason) all the things I really want to write, like Marzipan's Adventures (at least five volumes), Gran'ma's Faery Wisdom & Gnomic Utterances: the Oracle, and quite a few other things still undone,

b) To upgrade to a digital magician with PhotoShop, WordPress, and web pages instead of remaining a digital duffer,

c) To be four inches taller — like I was 50 years ago,

d) To understand the languages of critters, trees, and winds much better than I do and keep up my end of the conversations with them in a way more satisfying to them and to me, and

e) I have wanted since I was a tree-climber nine years old to be a healing presence in the world. Very likely that will continue for as long as I'm rollicking around in this world. Notice, I didn't say "heal the world" but merely "to be a healing presence in the world." I'm fairly realistic about this.

O! I just realized, "e)" must be my mission as a superhero. I never thought of it like that before. Like many other writers before me, one of the primary reasons I write is to find out what I didn't know I knew.

Thank you for listening!

Back to Biography

What's New?

Jessica Macbeth