Monday, February 21, 2011


     It is great to awake once more with new direction to my days. I often find myself grinding sluggishly through a day-to-day existence through the winter months, wondering if  the time will ever come when I really desire to be productive again?
     Then one day the temperature rises moderately, a soft breeze replaces the freezing wind I've become so accustomed to feeling and the sunshine again has a welcoming brightness to the rays it sends down. There is a stirring deep within that tells me there is still a bit of creative life somewhere inside and it is about ready to hatch. I know it must be nurtured, kept warm and turned lovingly to keep it alive. So I go through files, read past compositions, arrange book signings, contact colleagues neglected through the winter months and gradually begin to write once again.
     Through my office window I see a lone clump of crocus, golden on the cold dead lawn, stretching toward the thin sunlight and I feel the words deep inside my being also reaching, reaching for the clean surface of the page before me.
     I've often said that it is a shame I had a built-in excuse to not write and make a living. I've always had a wonderful husband who has financed my lazy lifestyle. I've never been forced to sit myself down in front of the desk and produce in order to eat. True, I did work in the newspaper business for awhile and added to the family income in that manner and I did free-lance work also. But anyone who has ever written articles or books knows that one had better have a second income if he or she wants to eat anything other than beans nightly. My better half has always cheerfully allowed me to write when I wanted and never pressured me to "make money". Thank goodness. We would have starved.
     However, I might have lived up to my potential had I been forced to write constantly instead of whenever and whatever I chose. As it is, now and then I sit back and produce something we all crow over and most readers enjoy and I bask in the glow of their approval. But at night, in the dark, I hide my head under the pillow in shame.
     Well . . . 'nough said. A new anthology will be out in April and another of my stories will be in it and then a second one again in the fall plus  I have a juvenile mystery in the works so maybe I'm not entirely useless. Let's hope so.
     Now. I did think to tell you all about my trip but I got off track. So I believe I'll save some of it until the next post. There was so much and it was all so wonderful. First Paris and then Prague!  Ooooooo.lala.
     So. Until next revoir!

Thursday, February 3, 2011


     At least I thought so. Well, not really. I've actually been sicker in the past but I don't think for much more extended length of time. And I admit I've been up and around for the last three weeks but I was so far behind and there was so much to catch up with (and still is) that blogs and extra writing was the last thing on my mind. (That isn't 100% true. My conscience has poked holes in me all along but it didn't do any good. There have just been too many other things going on!)
     Then day before yesterday I got an anxious e-mail from a dear friend in Atlanta: (Are you sick????) and a phone call from my sister in Ohio: (Are you sick???) so I figured I'd better get off my duff before people had me dead and buried and say "No, I'm alive and finally well again, thank you for caring."
     I suppose if I hadn't had a flu shot (and prior to this year) a pneumonia shot, I would have called it the flu. I felt like hell warmed over and dug holes in my bed for most of the time since Thanksgiving. I don't think I've had many holidays that I've had so much trouble getting through as this one. For the first few weeks I slept a lot but then I just felt terrible. It was one of those things with no fever so not many options concerning treatment . . . just suffer through it. (Bad enough for me but pity those who live in the same house, believe me!)
     Anyway, it is over now and I'm back to my regular aches and pains. I'm gradually getting the housework caught up (according to my own un-exact demands) if you don't count this set-back with a foot of snow and ice piled up around the house and drive. Naturally now I trip over two brooms, six throw rugs and a bent-up shovel as I walk through the front hall and I try to ignore the dripping muddy spots on the floor. But, shoot, I never worried much about a spotless house in the first place. I'll just ignore it all and continue down the hall to the dining area where I can look out through my floor to ceiling windows at the snow-covered vista and watch the scarlet cardinals and the bluejays tease Bagheera, the fat black cat, who is impatiently waiting at the backdoor for more- more- more food.
     In my bedroom stands a packed suitcase and a loaded backpack, ready and waiting for Saturday morning, when Number Two Granddaughter and I take off for a week in Paris and Prague. (Yes, I know . . . I've heard about marvelous April in Paris . . . but what about February in Paris??? Who knows what we've been missing?)
     To catch you up, this is my next-to-eldest granddaughter. She will be 21 the end of February and is going to the Czech Republic to study for a semester. So . . .(nice for me) she and I are going a week early and stopping in Paris for three days to explore and then on to Prague for another three days. Her university is about two and a half hours by bus away from there in Brno and  I will fly home after.
     We really are lucky that the storm came when it did. By Saturday all the airports should have their problems fixed (only Springfield and Dallas/Fort Worth would affect our plans) so we haven't really worried at all. I'll call Friday to make sure flight times haven't changed but I don't anticipate anything different.
     Of course, from what the weather is predicting, there may be more local storms next week so there's no telling what I'll encounter when I return but I will have left my girl for several months of intellectual enrichment such as every kid deserves.
     Next up is her brother (Number Two Boy and two more after that!) but I don't anticipate travel in his plans. Oh no. He wants to PLAY FOOTBALL! Then the next two boys and I doubt there is anything like that to interest them.
     Guess I'll have to wait for Number Three Granddaugher. She's only thirteen but I can wait.
     I never knew the rewards that came with having grandkids!