I live in St. Louis, MO, but my heart and soul hang out at the beach. I am a multi-genre, award winning writer and member of St. Louis Writer's Guild. I am a seasoned pre-k teacher, wife, mother, Nana to nine. Hopefully, something I say will make you smile, further your writing career or inspire you to write from the heart too. Stop by often, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. or Google "Linda O'Connell Chicken Soup" to find my various works. Twitter, WriterLindaO.
This week we had torrential rains. Nine inches overnight caused flash flooding, washed out roads, swept away cars, and flooded homes in a rural town about half hour away where my daughter lives. My granddaughter who lives near there, found her neighbor's uprooted Bradford pear tree in her front yard. Sadly, people and pets lost their lives.
My daughter has an in-home day care now in her new home. She called to say the lower level, day care area, was taking on water. Luckily it was rainwater and not sewage or river water. She and her husband were up all night soaking it up and trying to salvage and prevent further damage. She was exhausted. So, I told her I would come help her with the four babies and a three year old yesterday.
We put baby Isabelle on Liam's lap because she was crying. He smiled at her. She wailed. He laughed out loud. She continued to cry. I said, "Love her." So he patted her.
When she wouldn't stop crying, he did what any big helper would do. He put HIS thumb in HER mouth to shush her.
Some of our best friends and family members are
truck drivers, big rig drivers, OTR drivers. Those trucks scare the daylights
out of me. I know for a fact that truck drivers get as flustered and frustrated
with car drivers as we do with them. I've heard their stories. Now it's time to share mine.
Many years ago, we were going on vacation. One of
the kids had given us a CB receiver. We could receive broadcasts but not respond.
That was fine with me, as we would have had to use a handle ( a call name). We
joked about what we'd call ourselves, but decided anonymity was best. It was
fun to listen in on the truckers' conversations. As we headed toward Florida it
became apparent that most of the drivers disliked other OTR drivers from
Arkansas. My goodness, some of the disparaging remarks were funny and filthy. The chatter increased when a trucker was thrilled with a
female driver. They talked about the "seat covers" like adolescent
We were coming up on a trucker who had his microphone
in hand. Our receiver cackled a wolf whistle.
"Lordy be! Wait till you boys see the two seat covers coming your way.
Sweeeet! Passenger's got a handful; driver, bigger hooters." We passed the truck and
approached a sedan with a family. Nope, it wasn't that car, obviously. We
passed a few more cars, still on the lookout for what this guy considered eye candy.
We noticed other big rig drivers craning their necks,
too. Then we heard a more detailed description: "Any of you boys get a good look at the foreigner wearing the pink shirt?
We looked at each other and laughed hysterically. I
grabbed a pillow and covered my chest. Bill slunk down in the seat of his Toyota, as I straightened the collar on his pink Polo shirt. Red necks didn't take kindly to foreign cars or guys in pink. I think we turned off at the next exit. Can't figure out why my honey put his jacket on.
We still laugh about that, but if you ever mention
it to him, he'll say I have an overactive imagination.
I have been generously blessed with the ability to write and touch others with my words. I received another acceptance from Sasee Magazine.
My Charming Friends will be published in the August issue. This particular essay holds special meaning to me. It is a salute to my writing pals.
Click here to learn more about freelance writing. This is Linda Formichelli's site. You will find lots of good information on The Renegade Writer. The above link is for beginning writers, but she offers so much more. Here's another link that you will find helpful. Click here to receive a free query packet from her. Sign up for her free newsletter. I promise you will not be disappointed. Share this information with your friends.
When I was a novice writer and not familiar with all the terms and conditions, I cringed when I saw a tri-folded envelope addressed to me in my own handwriting. Rejections hurt. I used to keep rejections in a file and move on to write the next piece. Then I got smarter. I would send that piece someplace else. I still spend a lot of time searching for markets, but that's part of the job.
The other day I received a rejection on a story I thought for sure would be accepted. The editor liked it and asked if they could hold it for their next book. If I chose not to, I was to let them know.
I chose to leave it with them for the time being.
Here's a tip if this happens to you, don't just sit and wait. Submit it elsewhere. If it gets picked up, then notify the first editor. That's what I did.
Thank you for checking in. I have been remiss lately in posting for my writer friends. I am wrapping up 39 years of teaching and have been tossing materials for two days. Tomorrow I should be finished. I will turn in my key, close the door behind me, and head into a new direction, where I am certain new doors will open for me. I believe in helping others.
I am waiting impatiently for Amazon to ship my copy of Love Built to Lastby Lisa Ricard Claro who blogs at Writing in the Buff http://www.lisaricardclaro.com/ Drop by her page to see the cover and read all about it.
I have made cakes for all the birthdays and special occasions in our family. I am self-taught, never had a lesson. Liam's birthday theme was trains, so I made Thomas the Tank Engine. He got so excited when he saw it.
Here's my little conductor waiting for guests to arrive.
His mom, my granddaughter, gave me this hat, sandals, blouse and earrings, and a beach bag for my birthday, so of course I had to model my hat.
Liam toyed with the icing, licked it, thought about digging in, and then he did.
He ate almost an entire piece of cake and was so messy he had to have a bath.
Then his mama put him in his Thomas outfit, and it was present opening time. He liked the tissue paper best, but when he saw his last gift from his mommy and daddy, a little battery-operated four wheeler, he was so happy and couldn't wait to ride it. He knew exactly which button to press to make it go. But he still wants to use his feet to propel himself forward like he does with his ride on toys.
He received so many gifts, a swimming pool, a wagon filled with goodies, Thomas the train toys and so many balls. He loves balls and says, "ball". This little guy is so loved. Both sides of the family, grandparents and great grandparents and cousins, aunts, uncles and friends came. What a party!
God bless my little sweetie with many more birthdays.
I try not to be judgmental. I am liberal-minded about what others do, as long as they don't offend me or my family. I know I am going to sound like an old fuddy-duddy, but here goes.
We went to the pool this weekend, and I was flabbergasted at the flabby young and old bodies in bikinis. Nobody is body conscious or modest anymore. Two young women were nine months pregnant wearing barley-there bikinis, and many others merely looked nine months pregnant.
I am not prejudiced against overweight people; I am one. I am amazed that so many people want to expose as much skin as possible. I felt a little embarrassed in my suit with blousy top and little skirt.
There were women over fifty with blue hair, and I'm not talking sweet little blue haired ladies. These gals had Kool-Aid dyed hair like the kids wear. Then I swore Ariel the mermaid was surfacing when an old granny with bright red Kool-aid hair came up for air. My head was swiveling this way and that, taking in the unbelievable sights.
Ninety percent of the swimmers (preteen to senior citizen) had tattoos. I'm used to seeing an anchor or the word MOM inked onto an old sailor's arm. I don't object to artful expressions of color on other people's bodies. It's their choice to use it as a billboard, to wear a sleeve or mark it up as a means of self-expression.
Personally, I don't need permanent ink to announce my affiliations, beliefs or In Memoriams. But obviously I am behind the times. Some people had quotes, Bible verses, or inspirational messages scripted on their arms, legs, chests, backs, behinds. Some appeared to have tombstone names and dates. Birth/death? I don't know.
One guy had an entire PARAGRAPH on his chest. A young woman had her thigh covered in her philosophy. I read this on a young man with a group of rabble rousers: "I'd rather live everyday like a man than die one day like a coward." I can't attribute the quote because he didn't, so I can only assume those were his thoughts.
When he started using foul language, MFing this and that, I wanted to remind him that a man has respect for young children at a public pool. But I became so fascinated with the twining vine with turquoise blue morning glories spreading ALL over every exposed inch of skin on an older woman's body I forgot about the bad boy.
There were ink logos of US military branches of service spread across male backs, and also foreign service insignias on chests. Maybe this is the new form of bumper stickers...and yes, some people had remarks on their bumpers too.
I wonder, do you think police officers have to draw reproductions of these tats on incident reports? I imagine there are far less reports these day with this comment: No Identifying permanent marks on body.
I might as well accept the fact that future professionals, politicians, private and public figures will be walking around as a sandwich board. Don't know what that is? Look it up.
Now don't get me started on the girl with quarter sized holes in her ear lobes and purple discs inserted. I know there is term for them, but I just call it nuts!