Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Sometimes it's right to be wrong

The orthopedist said the X-ray indicates my ankle is healing faster than expected and looks good. He told me to leave the boot off if I get up in the middle of the night and see how I maneuvre without it.

I told him I can't wait. I also explained that they issued me a defective othropedic boot. It had only one soft pad velcroed on that hard piece of plastic. (See the plastic form there with the holes in it?)

He said it required only one pad for comfort on top the ankle. I complained that my leg was sore from the velcro scartching it and I had to put a soft fabric inside to ease my bruising and skin irritation.

He looked at me and asked, "Where have you been wearing that molded peice of plastic?"

"Next to my skin, to stabilize my leg and ankle."

I couldn't see his smile behind his mask, but I know he was smiling by the twinkle in his eye when he said, "Bet that's been uncomfortable. It's to be worn on the outside."

Well now you know why my great improvement. Instead of four more weeks, he says he'll see me in two. What do you know! I did something wrong that turned out right.

Bill says I should get a boot for my other foot so I can stomp all around town.

I'll tell you though, I'm getting spoiled by using the electric ride on shopping carts.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Bringing the sea to me

My ankle pain is easing, and I am physically UP now, but emotionally I am DOWN more than I am up. Yep, life is a roller coaster ride. Try dragging a heavy boot along on the ride, while keeping your balance using a cane, and ripping open heavy duty Velcro strips to encase the boot. It's annoying. But, this too shall pass. I have much for which to be thankful.

                                                               I'm really not that wide.

I've come to the conclusion 2020 will rob us of a beach vacation this year. So I'll relive my happiness by looking at old photos. This one was taken in Mexico, I think.

The sea calls to me in my day dreams AND night dreams. My heart and head are filled with wonderful memories. One of my fondest is a tour we took from our resort to the town banker's property. The tour bus drove through the banker's banana plantation that opened onto wide open land with a mansion that abutted a pristine, calm, turquoise lagoon. It stretched out to the breakers and opened to the sea. We swam and floated in that lagoon one afternoon. I left a little piece of my heart there.

I had a longing to float in the sea. I prefer showers to baths, but I filled the bathtub and soaked until the water cooled. Sometimes you just have to settle for the next best thing, and if 2020 so far is any indication of what's to come...

a monster heat wave is predicted for the Midwest by next weekend bringing temperatures as high as 110 and above.

Happy 4th of July, friends.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Don't tell me... But let me tell you.

Did you ever go through old computer files or writing folders and uncover a nugget you'd written? Amaze yourself that your writing was not half bad? Realize rejection was not about you personally, and maybe not even about your writing, but maybe not suitable at the time for the publication to which you submitted?

I went to the Dollar Tree today and bought a few packs of Post-It Notes in bright colors. Just a little something to make me happy and inspire me to jot an idea, copy a quote, or write a reminder to take an Ibuprofen for my achy ankle. Sixteen days in a boot has been no fun. Ripping the Velcro closures open during the night scares the poor cat, when I have to get up and back into bed. We will both be relieved when this is over. I can't wait to get back into my flip flops, but it will be a long time before I ever get to a beach with this virus spiking. Stay safe, friends.

I found an essay I had written based on a true story a non-writer friend told me. I changed the names, added imagined dialogue, and submitted it to my critique group, Wild Women Wielding Pens. They are familiar with my writing style, mainly personal essay/creative non fiction.

They commented that my "fiction" was pretty good.

I never considered myself a fiction writer, but this might be a stepping stone to discovering a new writing genre. Sometimes we get locked into one way of thinking. Maybe it's time to broaden horizons.

Have you ever imagined writing one thing and ended up with something all together different?

One of our writing prompts for our next Zoom meeting is to write a story with this opening: Don't tell me... 

There will be many different takes on this. Want to add your two cents, just a sentence or two? Allow your imagination to carry you away. Will one sentence evolve into a paragraph, a short story? A rant? Horror? A thriller? A sob story? A fear? Give it a try.

Give me a sentence? 

If you are a writer here's an added bonus: Erica Verillo has some great news for those of you who have files filled with material. There are many places seeking submissions. This is a goldmine. Enjoy the hunt!


Thursday, June 18, 2020


As if self-quarantine wasn't bad enough, I broke my ankle (twisted it and fell taking a walk last Friday.) I'm out of commission wearing a heavy plastic boot for 6-8 MORE weeks. My mobility is compromised which gives me a deep appreciation for anyone who is physically handicapped or challenged.

On Sunday, I was outside on the patio with my leg elevated, when I heard a car pull in behind
ours. I saw this bouquet of flowers coming toward me, and then I saw my great grandson Liam.
He had been shopping with his mama. When they passed the floral display he mentioned,
"Blue is Nana's favorite color."

You can bet I grabbed my face shield, and then I grabbed my little buddy. He said with SO much emotion, "This is the first time we've MET... (long pause as he calculated the months) in three months!" That was the longest sweetest hug ever! I took off my boot and showed him my boo-boo. He said, "Yeah, Nana! Yeah it IS broken. Look how black and blue and big it is."

                                                                      Yep, it is broken.

I feel like a failed contortionist. It takes me forever to maneuver on a cane or walker. I decide to sit on the couch and elevate my ankle with an ice pack. I tie three throw pillows to the walker, tie my ice pack around my ankle, lift my leg to the pillow... and my ice pack slides. Straighten that... and my pillows slip. Finally get organized, scoot too far back or forward... and have to lift my body weight with one leg elevated. Exhausted, I lie back ready to relax... and realize I have to pee.

                                                               The birthday boy!
Yesterday I decided to  break quarantine. It was Liam's sixth birthday and so we had a picnic  outdoors for him and his family. He played with water balloons, bubbles, squirt guns, and toys in the wading pool.

Liam looks like a meany in the next photo, but he was trying desperately to shoot a bubble at the camera. He is actually very kind, caring, and sweet.

I usually make sheet cakes for all family birthdays. He saw a plate-size muffin decorated with sprinkles and candles and said, "Nana! Why did you make me a small birthday cake? I mean, Nana, THANK YOU for making me that small birthday cake."

I had to squeeze him... and Alex and Charlie, my great grandsons. We've certainly missed one another.

If you are a writer, remember to show not tell.
A dozen writers would describe what is going on in this photo in a dozen ways. 

Truth be told, Liam was merely frustrated and the other two, who look happy-go-lucky, each had big surprises in their diapers. I might look like I'm smiling, but I was holding my breath. 

If a picture tells a story... tell yours with flair, surprise, intrigue. 

Now for MY surprise. I received an acceptance from Guideposts. I've finally broken in.
Do you have any news to share with me?

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Graduation then, graduation now

Commencement means a new beginning. 

When I graduated high school 53 years ago I thought of graduation as an end, but it actually was the beginning of my journey into adulthood.

My mom used to say, "If only I knew then what I know now." Made no sense!

Soren Kierkegaard stated: Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forward.

Makes sense now. Looking back I can see how my decisions and choices affected my life.
                                         This is a photo of my mom, stepdad, and me at 18.

 I had so many hopes and dreams for my future. Six months after graduation I married the boy I went steady with for three years.  I know!

We could not wait to get away from home. Back then, girls did not strike out on their own.

On our one year anniversary he received his draft notice, and half a year later we were in Alaska where he was stationed with the US Army. About a year after that we had a baby daughter.

I never dreamed I'd be in Alaska, but I always wanted babies. Three years later, back home, we had a son. I loved being a mommy. That was my dream come true!

This is my daughter Tracey on her high school graduation day, a couple weeks before her 18th birthday. She was Grandma Ginny's girl, and we were both so proud of her. Now she's married has a girl and boy and grand kids! Where does time go?

Then it was Jason's turn. He graduated from Naval Junior ROTC Academy with his future bride. He looks like a baby at age 18. Now they have a teen son and daughter. I sure was skinny back then and wore the typical 80's big hair curly perm.

Nicholas, Jason's son, just completed high school and he's enrolled in college for fall.

2020 has been a crazy year. He did not get to celebrate prom, senior days, or graduation ceremony due to Covid-19 pandemic. Is he disappointed? Absolutely, but he's able to accept what he can and let go of what he can't. He's resilient, ambitious and will be a success.  Life is what you make it.

He has a great attitude.

Liam entered kindergarten with a head start. He could read,write, and make up stories. Due to the pandemic, his first year of classroom school ended abruptly in March, but he continued with on line learning. His teacher spoke to her class, posted pictures, promoted him to first grade and announced Liam's name as one of the future class of 2032.

 He did not get to parade with his classmates, tell his teacher good-bye, or wear his little cap and gown, but he said he's okay with that. He received the most creative writing award in his class. 
I am so proud of my children and grandchildren and great grandchildren. Go forward with confidence. God bless you all.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Are you getting it done?

This little chunk chipmunk stuffs his jaws with spilled birdseed. He wants it all-all-all!
 If you are a writer it is normal to want an agent, a contract, a best seller.

 Liam is graduating kindergarten Monday. He will be a 1st grader. He will make so many new discoveries. Recently he lost his first tooth. He asked his mama why she was so excited. She said, "Buddy, your'e growing up so fast." He laid his head on her and said, "I gotta get a job, don't I?"

This isn't the first time he's been in the spotlight, and it won't be the last. If you are a writer, do you seek the limelight or avoid it? Take a chance and shine.

 Alex likes to observe first and then join in. Charlie wants to do everything his big brothers do. They were tossing rocks into the creek. Liam slam dunked this one and it splashed them.  
If you are a writer, you can get noticed with a little splash as well as a big splash. Sometimes you have to start small... consider publishing an excerpt from your larger work in progress. Literary magazines are always seeking, and if your work is accepted it shows your future agent your potential. 
 Charlie is curious and chatters loudly about EVERY thing. If you are a writer you have to attract attention and promote yourself. Talk up, attend open mics and writer's groups. Share generously and learn your craft.
 If you are a writer, are you attaining great heights? Reach as far as possible, and never doubt your abilities. Write on!

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Life is just field of oranges sometimes.

This morning I woke early and placed a chair at the front door. Sassy Boy is fascinated by the fat rabbit that lives under the shrubbery. He waits for a sighting, and when he gets a glimpse, he wags his tail like a dog, but doesn't make a peep. This morning he was disappointed. 
 He heard rustling under the bush and darted to see... a squirrel. He sees squirrels and birds outside our bedroom window all day. He loses interest. But when he sees a rabbit, oh how excited he gets.

 Life is sometimes disappointing. We expect one thing and get another. So we make do.
If you are a writer, be sure to offer your reader an alternative. Do the unexpected.

Louie-Bobba-Louie ( he doesn't answer to any of his names) wants to be near us all the time. Summer has arrived on the tail of spring rains. We brought out his soft sided cage and he sat contentedly on the patio table while we played Rummy Cube. He just wants to be close to us. Satisfied to watch the back yard critters and know we are near. This cage is three feet in length. Bobby Boo Boo is a big cat! But he's a kitten at heart. If you are a writer, give your toughest characters an endearing quality. 

 Sometimes it's satisfaction enough to just be close to your tribe. If you are a writer, are you keeping in touch with fellow writers? I have been "Zooming" with my critique group. I also participated in a poetry prompt challenge each weekday last month. I wrote twenty-three poems.

 I like to photograph interesting scenery. Bill and I are still adhering to social distancing and are pretty much self quarantined. We do go to the park a few times a week. We picnic in our car, just to get out and watch people. I like to take photos.
 There was something about the composition of these objects. If you are a writer, be sure to toss in something interesting and unexpected for your reader to focus on. 

There were so many ducks. I was surprised to see two goslings wandering. The flock of geese had taken wing and soared back in en mass. Toss your reader a surprise once in a while. Let them hear the whoosh of wings, the splash landing.

I was shocked and couldn't believe my eyes when I saw these oranges by the fence in the park. I wanted to know Why? Who? What? How? Your reader wants answers, too. Give them something shocking or incredible to visualize. And write on!
What do YOU think about these oranges? Who, what, why?