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

Thursday, March 31, 2011


       When I was younger, happiness for me was living on a 600 +acre farm and having  my own horse to ride whenever I wanted.I was happiest riding over the land,searching for lost cows hiding and giving birth to their calves,finding our bulls that crossed the river to mate with the neighbor's heifers and herding our cattle to new pastures. I loved my stepfather with all the passion and possessiveness a twelve year old girl could generate.Let me tell you,I could and did generate a lot.
      He loved me back with the possessive pride of a proud father watching his daughter master the skills needed to ride a cutting horse that was running,dodging and herding a large herd of cattle who did not want to be separated from another herd or leave the pasture they were in.
       I was so proud of the bragging he did to our hands,his friends and other farmers and ranchers in the surrounding farms and ranches. He called me  a natural at working with horses and cattle.My heart swelled with love and pride.My mother liked horses,but was afraid of them and was terrified of getting too close to  the cattle.
       She watched my stepfather and me work the cattle at first, later she refused to watch when my stepfather and I worked the cattle on foot and horseback. She closed her eyes at my riding at breakneck speeds to herd errant cattle. She finally stopped coming with us after she watched me ride my horse in front of a thundering herd to stop them from going across the river.
       I was fearless. If the men could do it so could I,and for the most part I did. The only thing two things  pertaining to the farm I wasn't allowed to do or help with was help with castrating the young bull calves and driving our huge road grade, Daddy(I started calling him Daddy,as soon as he and Momma were married). I was furious when our foreman told me I couldn't watch or help with the calves or learn to grade the roads on the monstrous machine. I learned later, momma was the traitor. She had firmly put her foot down on those two jobs.I was not happy, and I stayed mad at her for weeks.
 as they say(whoever they are)all good things must come to an end.
    During my junior year in high school,I met a gorgeous twenty year old guy.He was a dead ringer for a young Elvis Presley and he drove a brand new,red,Chevy Impala.He was a freshman in college and a member of Kappa Alpha Fraternity. My stepfather(Daddy) hated him the moment they met and did everything he could to break us up.
   But, I was sixteen and  thunderstruck and at the time I thought it was love at first sight.Now I realize,it was lust at first sight. He was my first  real boyfriend. We dated for two years and he proposed and gave me an engagement ring  the night of my senior prom. I was eighteen.
      My stepfather ranted and raved and tried to change my mind about getting married and refusing to go to L.S.U. School of Veterinary Medicine,on an all expenses paid Governor's Scholarship, because I didn't want to be separated from the love of my life for a measly two years until he could join me in Baton Rouge,La.
     He walked me down the aisle,but refused to speak to my new husband or congratulate us.
I went to college one semester,quitting after I found out I was pregnant. My new husband refused to work for my stepfather or accept his offer to build us a house on the farm.
     I didn't realize at the time .how jealous they were over me and how much they hated each other and competed with each other or how heartbroken my stepfather was that I chose to leave him and the farm behind and follow my husband. he sold the farm at momma's insistence and they built a new home in town.

    Six years later I had two children, a lying cheating husband who told me he no longer loved me and wanted a divorce to marry his latest girlfriend. I was stuck in a tiny apartment in a horrible little town in Alabama.

     Devastated and heartbroken,I called my mother, my stepfather took the phone and told me to come home. To pack up what we needed and go to the airport, our tickets would be waiting for us.
I arrived the next day with a dollar in my pocket from my generous husband, a four year old son,a six month old baby, three suitcases,a broken heart, and all of my dreams and plans a pile of ashes.

    The place where I had spent the happiest years of my life was gone,but the people who loved me the most and made me the happiest,were right here with me. My sister,my mother,my two babies and my stepfather, the man who loved me the most years ago and still did. I
   It took time,a divorce and a good hard look at who I had become< vs> who I really was. The farm wasn't the same,but there were a small herd of cattle and I had two horse and two ponies  within a year. Daddy and I talked a lot about  my failed marriage and the mistakes I had made. We rode together occasionally to look over the cattle,but nothing was the same. Those days were gone,I had missed  my chance to have a life on the old farm. We couldn't go back,no matter how much we both wanted to.

     Life was good. We were all together again. I had my own house (Daddy built it for me and the babies)on  two acres of his new farm. Momma had her new fancy house closer to town.Daddy's business was prosperous and he was even richer now. I was home again,had horses and land to ride over. But ,oh how I missed the other farm, the wild rides, herding cattle with my Daddy, and his pride in a young wild step-daughter.

     Nothing could bring back those days or bring back the old farm he and I loved so much and I felt the weight of responsibility squarely on my shoulders for the loss of a dream and the life we once had.

    I knew without a shadow of doubt,Daddy would have never sold the farm and we would still be there,working side by side as we had planned if love for an undeserving ass hadn't blinded me to everything I did have for something I only thought I would have.

      Here I am forty-two years later,retired and working at becoming a published,successful author.

I am happiest when I see my granddaughter and when I know I have written a really good scene in one of  the  three novels I am working on.
     Sadly I no longer live on a farm,work with cattle, or own and ride horses. Essentially I am no longer the me I was.I have had to invent a new me. I am still coming to terms with her.
     My stepfather died two years after my mother,my only sister a few years later. Daddy never talked about all the good times we had working the cattle, riding horses and the work we did together.He never once mentioned the farm or why he sold it. I never talked to him about those times or mentioned the farm either.
    He never told me and I knew I didn't have to ask why he sold it? Neither of us mentioned our life there,it was too painful. Up until the day he died, I wanted to ask him why he sold it and why he didn't try harder to convince my husband to accept a house on the farm and a job in his company.
   I knew he was dying and I wanted with all my heart to ask him why he sold it and why he didn't keep it for me. I didn't because I knew what his answer would be and why. Mother knew,my stepfather knew and deep in my heart I knew.But, it was a shadow and never a reality,that we never looked at or acknowledged.
Even today,I still regret my decisions. I don't regret my children,but I wish I had known how things would turn out.I would have never agreed to leave the only place ,where I was completely myself. The only place I was really happy. Hindsight is truly a BITCH!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Giving up vs Giving in.

       I started to rant and rave about the Social Security system,the Federal Governments so called aide programs and the Texas Health and Human Services Department and the nearly impossible task to get anything done in a timely manner and the forms one must fill out to ascertain whether you qualify for certain benefits or not.Apparently being homeless,retired, and medically disabled doesn't necessarily qualify one for many of the benefits. Then I realized, how silly of  me, as a reasonably intelligent human being, to expect things to proceed in a logical order. Forms that asks questions that can be answered  accurately,telephone numbers to reach the place in order to make an appointment to see the person you are assigned to and to  have a way to communicate with the agency who is determining what one qualifies for and what one does not.
     Expecting anything having to do with any government or state agency to  make sense was my first mistake.the second was to expect the courtesy of someone returning repeated phone calls,messages left on answering machines,etc. was my second mistake.
    Being a nurse for thirty years, I wonder how the powers that be would have felt if I had not delivered their pain medication on time or ignored the flashing of their emergency call light.Would the government and state agencies have anymore compassion for those in need if they had to walk a mile in our shoes,better yet live a year in our shoes and experience the frustration and embarrassment of needing to ask for help to begin with.
  Well,that being said,I suppose,things will go on the same way as they have without any significant improvements or changes in the system. Oh but what an outcry there would be if the public actually banded together and demanded changes in the laws,reforms in the systems,etc.
   What if we reduced the salaries of the politicians and elected officials and put that money into the Social Security coffers and the state and government agencies that were originally formed to help people get on their feet, find jobs, be able to find good housing,etc.
   If the people stuck together,oh what a roar we would make and what changes for the betterment of every American we could establish. Ahhh well,I can dream can't I.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Differences in How Men and Women Communicate?

         I will be the first to confess I often fail at communication.My computer,cell phone....well let's just say I am technology challenged. I am the first to admit,technology is wonderful and just a mishmash of psychobabble to me. I read the instructions or play the little videos to no avail. I get lost about the third word in. Oh I can perform certain functions on my laptop unless they deviate by an nth degree,then I am lost again.
        My friend Mark,(whom I call Markster the Computer God and Master of weirdly strange but interesting movies and bits of knowledge), and I were talking about woodcarving( which I am really good at when I have a place to set up my carving tools,Dremel, Foredom Pro model and my dustbox today and we just weren't communicating well at all.
        We changed the subject to E-Bay purchases,then ordering items on Amazon and continued to have a bit of a problem.I decided it was best to agree to disagree and change the  subject.
Then I really thought about what we had each said and realized what was actually happening.
Mark with all his masculine,well intended help was trying to solve any problems I was having re ordering and setting up a place to carve without really knowing what the problems were.
        This is far from a fault.It is what MEN do! They are genetically programmed to fix problems. Especially if it involves a female having a problem.
       Now women fix problems too and we communicate our needs and desires really well to men and other women. What we do much of the time is tell the man we don't want them to fix a particular problem, we just need to awfulize,bitch,complain and maybe shed a few tears of frustration.
       WE WANT OUR MAN or even our male friend to LISTEN and nod agreement or shake their head at the frustration we are venting at the appropriate moments.

      Woman tend to understand when to help fix a problem and when to just listen with great sympathy and understanding.Men want to offer ways to fix the problem and make us happy. Do they do this with other men or just us? I guess I'll have to do more research on this question and find out.Stay tuned for the next Blog about that very interesting question. Meanwhile you ladies might give a the poor men a clue which mode you are in.
    After all they mean well and we love them. Remember,they are just men and rarely have a clue what we want at any given time unless we give them a clue or spell it out to them.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


      Life can be tough, we all know that and strive to make our journey through this life a little smoother and more enjoyable.Without the bad times would we enjoy the good times as much? Personally I'd like to give it a shot for a while.I think I am smart enough to recognize the good without having to experience so much of  the bad. I never cared much for roller coaster rides anyway.
     Recently ,one of my writers groups had a challenge to write 50,000 in a specified time frame.There was no competition with anyone but yourself. I typed away and kept an eye on everyone's progress. I was determined to beat everyone else to the goal.I reached the 50,000 word mark before anyone else did and felt a sense of victory,satisfaction,pride and smugness.I did it! I won!
     Then it hit me.This wasn't a competition with anyone.It was a challenge to push me into writing without editing or rewriting. Just telling the story. I realized,that I am always competing with myself and others.Competition isn't really a bad thing.It can challenge us to be better,faster,more efficient,meet goals, and deadlines. One can become a better writer,plumber,teacher,doctor,parent or just a better person by facing life's challenges,and  heartbreaks and competing with yourself to be the best you can be and do the very best you can at whatever you choose to do.
     So I suppose the answer would be yes.We need a balance in everything we do. That being said,I would still rather have the scale tipped more toward the good stuff.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Why my blog story"Evolution of Monsters" has been deleted and Muses!

         Writers can be a naive, trusting bunch. When someone asks,what are you working on,most of us tend to enthusiastically describe our latest work in progress. Writing can be a lonely job. Most of the time we sit and write in our favorite secluded area.It's just the writer and the empty space in front of them waiting to be filled with wonderful,exciting,sad ,romantic,horror filled,mysterious,inspiring words. All too often everything we have written in the heat of  inspiration,when re-read during the cold light of day turns out to be crap and is deleted.
       Periodically we turn from our isolation long enough to consume some form of nourishment,go to the bathroom and occasionally doze off. We might even check the voice mail messages on our phone.Doesn't mean we will answer them though.
       Our family members, if we still have a family,will pop in now and then to make sure we are still alive. They have learned not to say much,even if our eyes are closed and drool has dripped down our chin and pooled on the desk,because we will invariably comment in a raspy voice,that we were thinking or allowing our muses to communicate with us. most have resorted to sticky notes on the outside of the door. The braver ones  actually open the door and stick the notes the inside surface.
       Many creative types,Artists, Writers,Actors,etc. believe very strongly in muses.That leads me to discuss  my firm belief in Muses. Most of my writer friends tell they have a muse. I confess that I have a trio,consisting of a dead ringer for Kathryn Hepburn, another female who strongly resembles Audrey Hepburn, and a drop dead gorgeous male( Think  a young Sean Connery,Harrison Ford,Elvis Presley,Tom Cruise,Matthew MacFadyen all combined in an athletic six foot four body. He can be very sarcastic, tender, flirtatious or a typical bad boy male depending on his mood at the time.I tend to forgive his frequent outrageous behavior when he turns those cobalt blue eyes on me and grins.Kathy and Audrey complain, then  disappear and sulk for days
       Muses can be helpful, soothing ,inspiring or just plain annoying.  At the moment, Fey creatures that they are, mine have departed for a three week vacation in Ireland.They know my dream is to go to Ireland,maybe even move there someday. I think they are being deliberately cruel,because they did not invite me to go with them. Maybe they needed a vacation from me.That being said I will  return to my current work in progress and attempt to write only brilliant, breathtaking,dramatic words that will catch a readers eyes and have them clamoring for my next book. Well at least,after I catch an agents attention and get the book published.
     Bye for now and I hope you continue to read my blog. Uh Oh,sounds like my muses are back and I think they are drunk. I hope they at least brought me a bottle of Guinness extra stout!