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Kingston, NY, Friday, Nov. 27, 2009

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Gratitude and Credits

Dear Friend and Reader:

A lot of people ask me how I do it -- how I am able to do the work I do, and get so much written; so much done. The answer is I am at my desk at 7 am most mornings, and I have help.

Planet Waves
Wild stream on the Grandmother Land in High Falls, New York. Photo by Eric Francis / Planet Waves.
A lot of help.

On a note of thanks, I want to introduce you to some of the people who help create Planet Waves -- its community and its many services. There are many of us, and some, such as Jenny Singer, Jeanne Treadway, Christine Farber or (closer to home) Beth Bagner may not have their names or their work show up often, though their love and protection are present every minute, like those lions who guard the doors to the library.

Chelsea Bottinelli runs the business end of things from Palm Coast, Florida (subscription capitol of the United States), collaborating with our accountant, Valentina Serra (in Milwaukee). Chelsea is the alert, cheerful person you talk to when you call our phone numbers; she's the one who makes sure everyone gets what they are promised, who keeps my consulting schedule, and who has been my constant companion in this work for many years. If you need a $10 subscription, she's the one who sends you the sign-up link. She's the one who gets assignments like: argue with the trademark office for a year. The kid shrieking in the background would be Eli and the husband playing the guitar as they serenade me on a long drive would be TJ.

Anatoly Ryzhenko (in the Ukraine) works with me very nearly around the clock: he handles the technical end of Planet Waves, keeps the websites running, and is our de facto chief of security; and the guy who keeps me company all the time. He not only helps me but is devoted to my friends, basically doing all of their websites as well. He used to work on a submarine. Chris Clark in Virginia is the author of our sales and product database, and one of my closest brothers in conscience.

Planet Waves
Patric Walker.
Sarah Bissonnette-Adler is my assistant here in Kingston. You might find her corresponding with writers, removing the air conditioner from the window, hanging a gallery exhibition, making headshots for Jordan, the chef at Maxwell's Pizza when he's vying for Hell's Kitchen, sorting out my travel receipts, editing photos, deleting spam, talking to Applecare: basically, whatever needs to be done: persistently and with devotion.

We have an incredible editorial team, as you are seeing many times a week. I want to state out loud how, as a writer and artist, it is vital to me that I not only not be here alone, but provide a place for others to develop their talents. Our writers include Len Wallick, Fe Bongolan, Judith Gayle, Priya Kale, "the other Eric Francis" of Little Rock, Arkansas, Steve Bergstein, who has been writing for my various projects for 20 years, Carol van Strum (my friend and dioxin mentor) and her kid Jordan Merrell (who writes sci-fi for us, from jail) and her other kid Nikko Merrell (who helps me with weird things like math equations). These folks, along with many, many blog commenters, who offer intelligent viewpoints and reporting, bring to life what you read on these pages and in Planet Waves Astrology News.

Jessica Keet in Los Angeles is our copy editor, who reads things backwards and forwards.

Amanda Jane Painter of Portland, Maine, my friend, lover and traveling partner, is contributing her excellent writing, keeping me company and is helping with client relations (she may call you personally); and her off-the-cuff quips and insights provide plenty of material for me to slip into my writing.

Danielle Voirin in Paris is contributing her photos to our daily page and doing the excellent graphic artwork for Cosmic Confidential. This is Dani's third annual edition as the graphic designer. She has also taught me a LOT about photography.

Planet Waves
The Grandmother Land in autumn, High Falls, New York. Photo by Eric Francis taken during Leo research for Cosmic Confidential.
I share existence with a cosmic twin sister/mystical lover/co-astrology-brain/dolphin/green witch named Tracy Delaney in Wales who understands astrology much better than I do and keeps explaining it to me. Working at her kitchen table on a pink laptop with her daughter Alys running around, she writes programs that tell us the exact moment when 1992 QB1 was conjunct Eris. I know why she writes these programs, and then she lets everyone else use them too.

Jen Wolter has recently joined our team as my editorial assistant on Cosmic Confidential, and on a special business assignment. Savas Abadsidis is my publicist (and sometimes contributor) who is constantly reminding the New York City world of publishing and media that I exist.

I have two awesome landlords: Mick Zackery and Stefan Stanzi (the guy who owns the pizzeria). My friend Dominick Vanacore and his family give me a place to write, feed me, give me after-hours kitchen privileges in the cafe, and invite me into their family like a cousin (everyone is a cousin in the Vanacore family). Dominick was the guy who, after knowing me for about five minutes, found me the office that is now Blue Studio.

Then there are our readers and clients, who are helping co-create Planet Waves because we are a subscriber-supported service. Not all these people work as volunteers; and your subscription fees pay them. The Internet is going this way now; we were seven years ahead of the curve. Or rather, you were. I have absolutely no corporate sponsors to thank today.

And a special word of thanks to The Yes Men. To Joe Trusso. To Betty Dodson. To Kelly Cowan. To Flo Higgins. To Alan Oken. To Rick Tarnas.

To Karen Pardini, Mike Fink, the Grandmother Land and the Great Spirit who lives there.

Aunt Josie Forever!

Niso'kawaiksi. All my relations.

Love and lovingly,
Eric Francis

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