FAQ about Jessica Macbeth

1. 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.

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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.

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

I’m 79, and I take classes because I’ve always wanted to know everything by the time I become 80. Although I do know now that I’m not going to achieve that, it seems silly to give up just yet. Maybe 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 about how search engines work, developing our brand, and helping us to birth our inner Superheroes. These are useful things to know.

Another thing I’m learning is about writing. It’s my trade, and so I have to keep trying to do better. 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’ll need to be a Superhero with a magic pen to get them all done.

3. What’s all this stuff 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 do 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?

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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 people 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 because I don’t want to hurt anyone. However, my weapon of choice is a blackthorn walking stick that is really a swordstick. 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 I want them 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 something to keep warm. 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.

4. You said you used to teach — what and when and where? Do you still have classes or 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 the web 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 let them grow as they will.

5. 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,
b) I want to upgrade to a digital magician with PhotoShop and WordPress instead of remaining a digital duffer,
c) I want to be three inches taller — like I was 50 years ago,
d) I want 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 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 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!

One thought on “FAQ about Jessica Macbeth

  1. Jessica-that is a fine interview and snapshot of yourself and life and expectations. Much of your words echo what Linda my wife has said. She’s 70 and I’m 68. She volunteers at Elder Wisdom Circle for advice givers and folks that write in with questions. She will never stop writing or learning. Living here near Fresno isn’t quite the gorgeous place you live-but have a large bird feeder outside my window as I write this. Dozens and dozens of Mourning Doves and sundry smaller birds fill our backyard. Sam the cat sleeps in an unplanted pot waiting for Catnip seedlings. He’s curled up and lazily watches all the bird action. You have experienced much and been many places. Can you describe what single thing has given you the most pleasure? You clearly still have much to tell the world! Thank you. Ron

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