Writers aren't exactly people, they're a lot of people trying to be one person. F.Scott Fitzgerald

Saturday, October 23, 2010


      I am sixty-five years old.I have no idea how that happened,but there it is.I am not senile but I am forgetful.Now in all honesty,I have always been forgetful. I remember things that are important to me,who I am,who my family and friends are.Where I was born,my childhood,everywhere I have ever lived,my traumatic school years,disappointing marriages,birth of my children,trips,and an astounding amount of pleasant and unpleasant memories.So why would anyone think I am senile just because I don't always remember who said what,what was discussed in conversations and information I am given concerning future appointments and events.
     I do not remember dates of appointments,balance in the bank,anything to do with numbers just does not stick in my head.My memory cells seem to reject numbers.  I know why,but it doesn't make explaining to people any easier or make them less skeptic.
   I was in my thirties when I was injured on the job and sent for a evaluation at a rehabilitation center. they tested for memory recall,IQ test and various other tests. At the end of the interview the man administering the tests,asked me if I minded performing several additional tests. I said I didn't mind and we proceeded.When we were done,he asked me if I had ever been told I was dyslexic.I laughed and said I had no problems reading
   I was reading,knew my colors, alphabet, and numbers by the age of four. He chuckled and told me there were many different types of dyslexia. Mine concerned numbers.I was dyslexic with numbers. he told me I would be considered to have a learning disability in math.Now that didn't change anything in my life,except help me understand why I had so much trouble when it involved math.I can do simple math,add subtract,divide,multiply on paper Almost nothing involving numbers sticks in my head,except simple addition and multiplication,such as 2+2=four,2x10=20 and that is about it. Most things I have to see on paper.Algebra,reading problems,etc. hopeless.Don't compute and won't stick in my head.Might as well be looking at Russian or Greek.

Well,I least I knew the reason for my lack of math skills. didn't help me to be better at math,but at least I had a reason why.So I continue to write down anything that concerns numbers and function fairly well.Now if  someone could tell me why I can not figure out how to navigate around Windows 7,attach a document to my hotmail, put a document in RFT format or the majority of other computer related tasks, I would be most grateful.I read the manuals but obviously I have a learning disability in Geek.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Letting go.

      This is not a pleasant topic,but one I know quite a bit about.I have been a nurse since 1966. I worked in several  hospitals as a licensed practical nurse before going back to school to become a registered nurse. I re-married, graduated, and took my state boards  in July of 1977.I worked as an RN,in postpartum,labor and delivery,nursery,adult,child psychiatry,post- traumatic stress unit,general medicine,drug and alcohol unit,general medicine,Neonatal intensive care unit, research study coordinator and for the last twelve years as a hospice nurse.(My favorite job).
      I noticed early in my career, most doctors and nurses avoided spending much time with dying patients.I understand they were more comfortable with patients who were going to make it.Not with the patients who were terminal.I gravitated toward those patients. I was drawn to them as a moth to a flame.I could feel their loneliness,pain and fear of the unknown. These were people who needed attention as much as the critical patients.hence I found Hospice and knew I had found my niche.
    What a privilege to be trusted to be with a family or someone at the end of their life and to be able to help the patient and their family through a very difficult time. To answer questions and help the patient and the family to let go.
     No one wants a loved one to die.It is hard for the family or the patient to decide to stop treatment and stop medications,even when they are no longer working.it helps to talk to someone who has been through the same thing and has the knowledge to answer questions, tell them what to expect, or find the answers they ask.
     I retired a few years ago with work related injuries.I miss my patients and their families. Maybe when I have fewer financial problems I can visit hospice patients and bring them and their very stressed families some comfort.No it is never easy to let go or realize it is time to let go of your on needs and allow a loved one to die with dignity.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

October,memories and lost dreams.

I love the month of October. When I lived on our farm,it was my favorite time of the year.The hard work with the cattle was over,the crops were harvested,cotton picked and everything was ready for the winter.Northeast Louisiana winters can be cold and damp.There were still chores to be dine,cattle to be fed and looked after and hours of riding fences. It was hard work and I loved it all.My stepfather and I had my future planned.After high school I would attend,LSU   to become a large animal vet.I had a coveted scholarship already promised.
        Then I met  a gorgeous man.A freshman in college and a dead ringer for Elvis Presley. I was SMITTEN with a capitol S Of course being sixteen and in love for the first time,I only had thoughts of him. He hated the farm.he wanted a pretty girl for a wife.unfortunately I wasn't a social butterfly and he loved people and partying.I was too young and naive,knew nothing about scrimping and saving.Hell,my stepfather was a self made millionaire during a time when a million dollars was actually a fortune.
        I had the best of everything.     Clothes,money to spend,a gorgeous ranch house,shopping trips with what seemed at the time, unlimited spending and a devoted stepfather who doted on me.Twice a year we spent a weekend in New Orleans where he took me and my mother shopping at the best stores and dined at the best places. He was proud of me. I was the daughter he had always wanted.I was the wrong wife for Richard.He should have picked a society girl and I wish I had enough sense to realize I could not be what he wanted.In the end we were both miserable. In hind sight, I think I lost the most.I still mourn the loss of the farm and realize it was my own fault. It's a shame we can't have a do over.I'd be first in line.

Friday, October 15, 2010

more comments on writer's block and being a writer.

              First,let me say right up front.I don't think writer's choose their profession,the profession chooses them. Writers can't not write!I can't remember a time in my life when I didn't make up stories and direct my friends in acting act the story stuck in my young head. I was a bit of a tyrant.I loved to write,poems,stories,songs everything but term papers where the subject was chosen for me.I was such a rebel. I received an A on my senior term paper. However, my teacher had marked it down to a big red C- because I had chosen to write the paper with a twist. Including my interpretation of the story of the Scarlet Letter as a Poe/ Derleth like horror story.My stepbrother had introduced me to these wonderful authors when I was eleven,E.A.Poe,August Derleth,R.Heinlin, and others were writing Gods to me,still are.
             I've added many more since then:Nora Roberts,Anne Bishop,Stephen King,Jean Auel, ThomasHarris,J.D.Robb,Tolkien,Fitzgerald,Hemingway,Michael McDowell,Jane Austin,etc.I retired as a hospice nurse after thirty years and began to write. Oh how I loved writing my first novel,HOME AGAIN. based loosely on my life and how I wish it had turned out. I loved writing that book and the words and characters sprang to life under my two finger typing. I was and still am,very computer challenged.I can do basic things,but RTF format,attaching files,etc.baffle me.I struggle daily with my computer handicap.But I digress.Then I joined RWA(Romance Writers of America)
            A fantasic,supportive organization of writers,published and unpublished.Then the reality hit me of the Craft Of Writing. I had no idea there were rules in writing that transcended mere grammar and sentence structure.I began to read how to books.Plot points,sentence structure,acts 1,2 3. Character arcs,on and on. I was so overwhelmed I stopped writing for a weeks. I received wonderful feedback from members but it didn't help. For the first time in my sixty plus years,I could not face writing a word.Nothing would form in my head and the stories and words stopped.Then a wonderful member of RWA emailed me this message. Toss out the how to books and trust your instincts! How often did Austen,Poe,King,Fitzgerald,Tolkien,King or Shakespeare let a book tell them how to write.Find the place in your story that excites you and write! I did and still do.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Strange day!

      The day started off much as it does everyday.I woke up to sunshine and voices of my daughter getting my grandaughter ready for school.Happy voices, as Azalynn loves to go to school.However, October the thirteenth turned out to be a very strange day indeed! Mali, my medically retired Marine( there is no such thing as an ex-marine,I'm told,is also going to school.I'm not quite sure if she loves it or not.
      My son-in-law works a week on and week off schedule as a helicopter mechanic in Louisiana,where we are presently residing.Until the next move.i just go with the flow.That happens when one retires early for medical reasons and moves in with their adult children.But,I digress.
For reasons known only to the goblins living in my laptop,they have decided to play mind games with me. I cannot access my hotmail account. I received a phone call from a local pharmacy(one that I don't use to refill my medications)and when I tried to call them back I got a fax machine.
     I ate a bit of breakfast and tried my hotmail again.logged on and read a few of my 54 emails. then answered a few. left my desk to tell my son-in-law  goodbye and returned to my desk.Switched over to my gmail and got rid of a slew of ads for purchases for Viagra. Now my name is Pam,does that sound even remotely like a guys's name.well,maybe they think I have a husband in need of a boost.I wish!
    Now,I realize all of these things are just part of life's little aggravations,or at least I am telling myself this as I wander through the house after I cannot access my hotmail account again.Site says try again later.Won't even let me sign in again.I tried to send my entry into a writing contest and can't attach the first ten pages.I've been doing this successfully for a while now,but not today.I need my hotmail,which I can't access to send it.
   I need to drive to Walmart to pick up my medication;however,I'm not sure I want to drive a car or leave the house at this point.Maybe I'll wait until tomorrow.Could I have awakened the gremlin and goblins when I clicked on Halloween  for my computer theme? Perhaps. I may never know,since I'm not sure I want to go near my laptop at this point.I'll wait and let my son-in-law,Josh, check it out first. He's a computer whiz. Besides, he's bigger and stronger.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Once again I lament at my lack of computer skills.

      I decide to enter the Wallflower contest to get feedback on one of my completed manuscripts. I can attach a file,make a new document and have a shortcut on my desktop, and I can copy and paste, use spell check and double space a document. I've learned (with help from my computer savvy son-in-law Josh and my daughter Mali) how to do theses things. I cannot figure out how to make my manuscript in RTF format. What the hell is an RTF format anyway and why does my entry need to be in that format?
     While I am ranting I have a bone,actually an entire skeleton, to pick at the tutorials. I don't speak GEEK! I even bought a manual for dummies. Obviously I don't even qualify for dummy status.Oh well,I think I'll just stop here and change the look of my desktop again.
      I miss my old Apple computer. We understood each other,and I could navigate around it's programs fairly easily. My new Dell laptop is a muscle computer and obviously too macho for me.Oh,he's friendly enough,but on more than one occasion,I have heard him laughing at me.Maybe,I'll hire someone to come in and write down everything I need to know and  do in easy to read instructions customized just for me. A sort of personalized computer handbook.
     My four year old granddaughter will be up from her nap soon.She can show me how to get my mouse to work again.

Friday, October 1, 2010

We are mostly moved in!

        All of the unpacked boxes are sitting under the back porch,except for the ones scattered around the house waiting for someone to gather enough energy to unpack them. For the most part,they are not labeled with their contents,due to the mad rush to pack and leave Anchorage within a few days.
       Hopefully, we will find the energy to tackle those boxes in a few days.I sincerely hope,we are done with moving for a very long time. Twenty-five moves in my 65 yrs, is quite enough thank you.
       I certainly never consciously,planned to move so much. I don't think of myself as a nomad. I am more like a large tortoise,carrying my home around with me. Maybe I need to be living in an RV parked in the backyard. I could stay here and there,and move with everything intact when I needed or wanted to.
      I could still live with the kids,sort of, and be available to watch my granddaughter,babysit the house and animals when they go out of town,and give them more privacy.It just might work!
Well,for now I am just happy to be living with them,but the RV idea is certainly something to think about.