Wednesday, September 28, 2016


This lady had a story to tell. A story of being a single mother with children in the grocery store on a hard day. Every mother has been there, at one time or another. This story reminded me of one of my own.

I am not a single mother. I have a wonderful supportive husband, but he does work long hours so I can stay home with the kids. I adore him for it. It does mean I do much of the shopping and errands without him and with the kids so when he is off, we can have fun together. 

One day when our oldest, mini-engineer, was three and his sister, pretty girl, was two he got sick. He didn't seem so very sick, so I put off calling the doctor but something was nagging at me. I finally gave in but because I didn't call first thing in the morning we had a very late appointment. We went. Mini-engineer had pneumonia among other things. We went to the pharmacy. Their computers were down, we waiting in line for over an hour. It was dinner time, the kids were tired and hungry and just not feeling well. We finally got our medicine and were walking out of the store when my son decided he had enough. He stopped and laid face down right in the middle of the sliding glass doors. No one could go in or out without stepping over him, the doors couldn't close. I was juggling our daughter the medicine and the food I'd picked up for dinner (because there was no way I was cooking). I tried to adjust everything to free up one arm to pick up my tired sick boy (who even as worn out as he was wasn't throwing a tantrum, he just wanted to lie down).

In the middle of all this, an elderly lady stopped me to tell me about a book that would help me train my son so there would be no more behavior problems. She said it would change my life. I could see she thought I didn't know how to manage kids, that I was too permissive, or maybe I rewarded tantrums. I was tired and cranky and didn't want to tell this stranger my problems so I listened, thanked her then tried to take care of my kids.

She thought she was changing my life. For the better. In reality, all I needed was a smile. A comment that while I was frustrated now, it would all be okay, hang in there. I needed someone to hold my bag while I picked up my two toddlers, then someone who would hang that bag on whatever part of me extended enough so that it wouldn't fall off. I needed to take my sick child home. I did not need a lecture on child rearing. And in the old lady's defense, she didn't lecture, just offered some advice on a book to help me raise my 'difficult' child.

But we don't always know what other people need. When in doubt, a smile might be best. 

What does this have to do with writing? Nothing. Except this is my life. The non-writing part of it. The part that dominates. A part I love. My children have grown since that event, rarely are we treated to a grocery store melt down anymore. And while those times were difficult, I do miss the toddler years.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Story to Tell

I was reminded recently that everyone has a story to tell.

Tell your story.

Doesn't matter how: memoir, fiction, movie, play, blog post, journal, recipe book, painting, quilt, cross stitch, audio recording, whatever. 

Tell your story. In your way.

Because everyone has a story.

And everyone deserves to be heard.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Get To Work

I've been dithering around, trying to decide how to set up the beginning of my WIP. Unable to come to any sort of conclusion as to what would work I posted a question to my friends at Compuserve. Of course I got lots of great advice back. Most of it was along the lines of "Well, you won't know until you write it." 

Diana Gabaldon said: "I need to see what it looks like in print before I know how it'll work.

    (And as I told my son--then aged 15, and an aspiring writer--"First you work. Then the magic happens.")   There's only so much you can plan or decide or work out ahead of time; most of what happens lies in the work. 

Not an hour later I saw this: "Inspiration generally comes during work, not before it"--Madeleine L’Engle

I think the universe is trying to tell me to Get To Work. 

I had been trying to get the magic before rolling up my sleeves and working. Before proving I was worthy of the magic, but it just doesn't happen like that. We all get those flashes of inspiration that drive us to the computer unaware of our surroundings.  But that's usually all it is, a flash, a glimpse, the rest of it comes as we furiously type. So now I'm back at work. Trying and rearranging and rewriting my beginning.

What do you think? Have you found that magic is mostly in the writing? 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Labor Day

On Monday those of us in the US will celebrate Labor Day. That is a day set apart to celebrate, you guessed it, those who labor. 

Originally Labor Day was set up by the Central Labor Union to celebrate the achievements of American workers and their contributions to the strength and prosperity of our country. It was first celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882. In 1884 the first Monday of September was set apart for the annual holiday.

In recent years it has changed a little to more specifically remember the sacrifices of those in the armed services, those who protect our country and make our lives possible. While it is wonderful to celebrate those great men and women, it’s fine to celebrate the other workers in our country also. 

Some people celebrate by taking the day off and having a party. Others celebrate by doing a project on their house or yard. However you choose to celebrate, I hope you have a good day and remember how it takes all of us working together to make our country what it is.