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

Sunday, April 24, 2011


        I've said this before but I think it bears repeating. Somehow,I missed the riches and worldly goods que altogether (British for line. I like to throw in a little foreign culture now and then.) Apparently I also missed the tall slender and drop dead gorgeous line and went through the short and reasonably pretty,get chubby as you age, line instead.
      Then I was in a hurry and rushed through the vivid imagination line instead of the hi-tech line located across the hall.After passing through that line I hurried over and went through the" Be a writer and suffer poverty,stress and multiple rejection letters in a profession you have to do all by yourself line.
      I was informed I only had three lines left to pick and I wished( not for the first time) for an adviser,a program of topics,a road map,anything to help me actually pick the best two lines.You guessed it, I misread the fine print above the entrance and excitedly strode through the door and emerged confident of a bright future.Little did I know I had picked awful husbands instead of awesome husband.I don't even want to discuss that.
      My last chance to turn my life from probably dismal to decidedly happy was within my grasp. I knew I had to be very careful.I saw the heading HAPPINESS over one door,over another FORTUNE and HEALTH over another.The wheels in my head turned and they sounded good to me.I emerged and was immediately sent downstairs for the gestation and birthing process.
      In no time at all I was born and grew.Eventually I realized it could have been worse ,but it certainly could have been better,if the Angel hall monitors had been more interactive with us newbies. Maybe clearer signs posted at our eye level instead of winged being eye levels and door monitors, who would ask what line you had chosen and redirected you if you were in the wrong line.I'm just saying it could have been better planned.
     All in all I don't regret most of what I ended up with. Out of my three husbands only one had no redeeming qualities. I have been healthy except for all the surgeries from work related injuries. I have been happy at times and really love and like my four children. I have been fortunate to always have a job,even if I didn't always like it. I was actually thinking along the lines of a real fortune,you know like being a multibillionaire. Not  sure I liked my 50+ year career as  a hospice RN, ranchers daughter,housewife,horsewoman,mother of four and now writer(unpublished).And I know I am totally fed up with being a technology challenged person who writes best on a laptop that she has no idea how to use the majority of the time.I asked for a do over,but I guess the memo,e-mail,repeated letters, got lost somehow or shoved in the wrong line.
     Maybe they'll let me run the sign up procedure when I get up there and have my wings.I really think I could organize the whole thing a lot better. Hey, I could keep you from making the same mistakes I did.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


         Yes I admit it,I believe in the Fey! Faeries,unicorns,leprechauns,goblin,evil spirits and ghosts! Although I have never seen a Unicorn,goblin or leprechaun,I believe they do exist. First, I will explain how and where I saw a faery being. Late one evening, just at twilight, I stood gazing out of the window at the field behind my home.I purposely left the far back acreage un-mowed. I had scattered wild flower seeds over the area and planned to make it a natural garden area with mowed trails leading to circular mowed areas,each with a bench and decorative items. one area would have benches surrounding a small raised fish pond and trellises with flowering vines. Another,fruit trees and benches. Another, benches,trellises with flowering vines and a serenity area.
       At the moment,I merely hoped to see Firefly's lighting the entire area. I was very disappointed to see not one tiny blink. I sighed my disappointment and remembered the farm in the northeast section of Louisiana where I grew up seeing millions of Fireflies(AKA Lightning Bugs) every summer evening. The tiny intensely indigo  Bluebirds and the haunting calls of Whippoorwills at twilight were abundant. I had seen or heard few, if anyof these delightful creatures in this area of southeast Texas.
        I  continued to stand in the window,gazing out at the gathering darkness,sans Fireflys.Dusk turned to ink black night and I sighed and stated to head to the kitchen to fix something to eat,when a tiny light caught my eye. I pressed closer to the window,hope in my pounding heart and was startled to see a pale gold glowing light just outside the window.I watched as it flew up and down, then sideways before hovering at my eye level just outside the window as though it was perfectly aware of my presence.
      I realized,then it was much to big to be a firefly, being approximately four to six inches in length.I stood rooted to the spot my eyes never leaving the astounding glowing being.I thought about rushing out the backdoor but as I started to turn away,the creature few away from the window,darted back and  hovered for a moment. I placed my hand against the window,because it seemed like the right thing to do.The glowing shape moved closer for a moment longer then darted away.
        I gazed out of the window into the black night,a minute,maybe longer before I decide it wasn't coming back.I'm not sure why,but I spoke out loud to the dark."I just saw a faery. A real faery. Thank you for showing me magic still exits in this world." Supper forgotten for the moment, I called my youngest daughter and told her what I had seen.She agreed it was indeed a gift to me from the fey world.
                           In a later post I will discuss  my true experiences with ghosts!

Friday, April 15, 2011


     For me there is no greater pain in life than watching a loved one;whether,spouse,life partner,child,parents,best friend, experiencing emotional pain,physical pain, or both. Especially if all you can do is to stand by and offer a shoulder to cry on and words of comfort. Those are better than nothing but they can't remedy the situation and for some they don't always help.
  I would walk through the fires of hell for my family if I thought it would help and there have been times I have.
    My rational mind tells me that we all have to face unpleasant things in this life. Sometimes we have company and sometimes we are alone. That is part of living and dying. I have heard the words that state, "Ultimately we all face death alone",but that doesn't mean we have to be physically be alone.
    No one should have to face tragedy,heartbreak,loneliness,despair alone unless they choose to and sometimes we do just that. We crawl off into our cave of choice to lick our proverbial wounds. There is nothing wrong with this and can often clear the path to better understanding of how and why we got there. However;there is the chance that some people can get caught in a whirlpool of depressive thoughts and blame which can pull them so far down they can no longer see the sunshine and blue clouds in the sky above.
         They can't see any way out,think there is no help, and maybe life is just not worth living. Hopefully they feel that way only in the moment and realize there is always a helping hand as long as they have family and friends. all of us can get caught up from time to time in moments of self pity. Feeling life is just not fair. no one every said it was going to be easy or always fair,but we do have to learn to reach out and ask for help. 

     Maybe compromise and be willing to put some of the things we wanted or needed on hold for a while.I don't mean give up on a dream,but take a really close look at the dream.See if it is still as desirable as it was in the beginning or if it is time to revise that dream.Sometimes the dream needs to change.

    I  learned some of these lessons the hard way and is heartbreaking to see someone I love experiencing the same thing. All any of us can do is to be there for the people we love and catch them when they fall.
                                                         Life is all about lessons.

Guilty Pleasures!

       Okay,I'll admit it,I have more than one guilty pleasure. First,I buy way too many "What if Pride and Prejudice books on Amazon. I fell in love with Matthew MacFadyen and his portrayal of Mr.Darcy in the movie Pride &Prejudice.I buy any DVD with him in it.
       He is the consconsummateMr.Darcy.Gorgeous,haughty,aloof,misunderstood and painfully shy
 My second guilty pleasure is Nestles Symphony bars with toffee and almond chips. I buy the big ones. I lie in bed reading one of the Darcy books and  munch on a bar until the wee hours of the morning.
     My next guilty pleasure,I said I was going to admit I had more than one,so hear me out. Pretend you are my therapist,not that I have a therapist,well not anymore.that's a long story,you see....well I digress. back to my guilty pleasures.I love Popeye's spicy fried chicken.I know it isn't any healthier than the candy but,I don't indulge often and I do eat a green salad with apple slices and a biscuit with honey and butter along with it.Hey that's all the major food groups.
    The next guilty pleasure is Spam and Miracle Whip sandwiches. Hey, don't knock it until you try it. Spam is merely chopped pork compressed into a can.There is even a song by Monty Python about Spam.
      Now don't  get get offended about my next guilty pleasure.I call them Crack Cookies,because they are absolutely addictive. They are large soft vanilla cookies iced with butter creme frosting and candy sprinkles.The color of the icing various holiday seasons.Green for St. Patrick's Day,pink blue ,yellow for Easter and so on.These cookies taste like birthday cake.They can be found year round at many grocery stores,HEB,Kroger and Wal-Mart.
     The last guilty pleasure I will admit to,not that I don't harbor several more,is diet Pepsi. I know sodas aren't healthy or good for you but I do so love the taste and slight burn of the ice cold drink sliding down my throat.I will say,I'm not so fond of the occasional hiccups or the unavoidable burps that follow.
As I stated above,I have other guilty pleasures that I won't go into,not that they are too risque or illegal.I just don't care to ....well enough about me.
   What,dear reader are some of your guilty pleasures?Leave a comment. Sometimes admitting indulgences can relieve one of any guilt,if they harbored any guilt at all. See you next time when I intend to write about,well come back and see.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


         About twelve years ago, the shrill ringing of the telephone at 4am startled me awake.I knew before I answered, it was not going to be good news. No one ever calls at 4am to give good news.My estranged husband's voice was calm."I'm afraid we lost Jackie were his first words". I was confused. "What do you mean we lost Jackie?" He explained in a voice not quite so calm that our son was killed just outside Sierra Blanco,Texas when the car he was driving had a blowout on a back tire. He was going around a curve on the downside of a small hill and he lost control of the car and it went off the road and rolled. The authorities said he hit his head on the doorpost of the car,crushing the right side of his head and killing him instantly.
          His friend Mario,was alive but severely injured.  He told us later everything he could remember,but wasn't positive it was accurate due to his shock  from his own injuries. He thought he remembered going over to Jackie and seeing him breathing and moving. he left and walked until he found help. But he admits he was in a daze and may not have ever left the scene or the car.
        I hung up and sat on the side of the bed.I couldn't afford to breakdown. I still had to go and tell my youngest daughter her older brother,whom she loved fiercely,was dead.She had an older half-brother and sister from my first marriage,but she grew up with Jackie,Jackson  as we sometimes called him though he preferred Jack.
         I remember standing and heading to my daughter's room next to mine. She knew,whether she heard the conversation or instinctively knew,we will never know. she was backed into the far corner of her room,her face stricken with pain and repeating the word,No over and over while shaking her head no.
I think I moved toward her, wanting to envelope her in my arms and keep her safe and take the pain away. I  don't remember if she allowed me to do that or not.
       Lisa ,a friend who shared the rent and house with us,came out of her room and I told her what happened. I think she took over the task of comforting Molly while I called work and told them what happened and I wouldn't be in to work. I  remember the three of us sitting in the living room,but not what we did or talked about.
        The doorbell rang and I answered,needing something to keep my thoughts occupied.I could not breakdown and would wait until I was alone to cry.I had to support Molly and think about funeral arrangements,etc. Standing on my doorstep was the one person that would understand my stoic demeanor. Tracy,our chaplain for our Vitas Hospice office in Friendswood.
       She held me and whispered words of comfort while tears slid down my face and relieved  enough pressure to keep my emotions and the storm of grief from overwhelming me. I kept my composure through the funeral arrangements, the funeral, and the gathering at our home after the funeral. Our wonderful friends  organized a gathering  for us after the funeral for friends and family.
            I won't go into details about the funeral,but is was all a funeral should be to honor a loved one.We focused on the joy of having Jack in our lives for a short time. Mario was there ,even though he wasn't supposed to be out of bed.We were amazed at how many of Jack's young friends were there.
There was only two incidents I regret. One was being pushed by his grandparents to insist his sister Molly view Jackie in his casket. She told me later she had resisted because she did not want the last memory of him to be lying dead in a casket.
           I won't go into the other incident beyond saying I had a person who I despised confront me in the restroom to try and assuage her guilt. She chose the wrong things to say at an inappropriate time and I let her know how I felt about what she was apologizing for and how I felt about the entire affair.
A few days after the funeral I drove out to our property,It was still half mine at the time,and opened the Medicine Wheel. I have strong Native American Spiritual beliefs. I sat in the West, direction for strength and introspection and faced the East,direction for illumination and wisdom.
         I remember feeling the power and strength from the land and  medicine wheel flowing into me and wrapping me in love and protection. I knew it was time, I was surrounded by spirits of my ancestors, I could feel loving arms wrap around me and I let go. I rocked ,screamed my anger at God, Jackie, the angels for not keeping him safe and at Mario for living instead of my son. I asked why,anger making me physically ill until I couldn't sit upright.I collapsed still sobbing on the ground.
         Faces passed in front of my closed  eyes, faces of my ancestors or angels,maybe both. Warmth from the ground seeped into my body and I let go of the anger. I lay there crying softly,until I felt the worst of the sorry lift. I was still sad,but it wasn't so overwhelming and the anger was gone. I smiled and said goodbye once again to my son. I asked for forgiveness for being angry at him,for ignoring a request he'd made prior to his accident. I hadn't wanted to take the time and energy to drive into Houston to help him pick up some furniture for his new place.
     I am not sure I will ever forget that I didn't go.For a long time I felt maybe he wouldn't have left for California a few days later if I had just taken him.Intellectually I know it wouldn't have made any difference,but my heart kept telling me at least I would have seen him one last time.
        Allow me to backtrack for a moment. When we were told Jackie's body had arrived at the funeral home,his father,grandparents and I drove there. They told us they would call when he was prepared and ready for a private viewing. I shocked everyone, when I insisted on seeing him immediately.The funeral director did his best to change my mind. I knew I needed to see him alone as he was before they cleaned him up and dressed him in the clothes we would bring back with us later.
        Alone ,I went through that door. The room was really cold. I didn't notice it at the time,all I could see was my son covered with a sheet and  lying on the table or gurney,I really don't remember. I moved to his side and touched his skin.Cold. I caressed his face and noted his misshaped head and bruised face,noted the blood in his hair and left ear. I closed my eyes and gathered my courage. I checked his long lanky body for any other damage. There was none that I could see.
        Gathering my courage,I put my arms across his sheet covered body,held him for the last time and sang a Cherokee lullaby to him. Anger at him burned quick and bright for a moment,a lifetime. I kissed his forehead and his cheek and said my goodbyes and turned to leave,but found myself reluctant to leave him. He looked so vulnerable lying there as if he were asleep. I didn't want to leave him so alone. I wanted to be with him until as long as possible. How could I just walk away, knowing he would face everything all alone. I sighed,remembering I had other children who needed me. This son of mine was in the arms of the angels and he would never be alone again. I kissed his cheek and touched his face,turned and left the room.

       I realize this post may not be comfortable or pleasant to read. It was not my intent to make anyone sad,but merely to tell the story and remind anyone grieving the loss of a loved one, that they aren't alone in their anger,grief and pain.  I suppose I wanted to say, that you do what you have to do in the moment, accept comfort and give comfort to others who need it.I wanted to tell this story to show that they should not be  too quick in judging a person who doesn't seem to be grieving in the expected manner.
    One cannot always ascertain the level of grief and emotional turmoil and level of despair someone else is experiencing, by their actions or tell how a person feels in their heart by their outward appearance.

Friday, April 8, 2011


       Have you ever cheated? Have you ever lied about your age, calling into work claiming to be sick, told someone you had other plans because you didn't want to go out with them,given false answers on a form or written answers to test questions on your arm? A yes to any of those questions is means you cheated,no matter what the reason was. Did you feel guilty afterwards and find a way to  justify your cheating? Afterall you tell youself,it was just a little white lie,and no one was hurt.

      I wish I could say that I have told a lie of any color,never cheated,etc. However, if I said that, I would be telling a whopper and therefore cheating.

      What, you ask, precipitated this topic? I must confess,fifty years ago I cheated on a test in school because  I needed an A and I didn't study before the test.I have called in sick because I couldn't face work that day and have told many little white lies because a little white lie aren't really so terrible are they.Recently I wanted to amaze people with my expertise and I lied. I will not expound on who,when or where. Suffice it to say once you tell a lie,you start a ripple effect. Now you have to remember when you lied,what you said and to whom you lied.
    I think the more you lie the easier it gets. I will at least try and stop telling even a little white lie.  A lie is a lie,no matter what any of us tell ourselves.   Big lies,little lies,half truths,prevarications,prefabrication's,tall tales, little white lies are all LIES and a lie is a form of cheating.
   I hereby apologize to everyone,I have ever lied to. I apologize to my teachers if I cheated on a test or lied about why I didn't hand in my homework. Except for that one time in sixth grade when I am owed an apology from my teacher for being accused of lying.My dog really did eat my homework along with half of my history textbook.
    So next time you think about telling a lie or cheating,ask yourself why not just tell the truth. A lecture fro you teacher isn't really so bad. A traffic ticket for speeding is better than all the things that could happen when the cop finds out you aren't really in labor or if you are a guy,having a heart attack. if an ambulance is sent out it will cost you plenty and your insurance company probably won't pay and might go as far as cancelling your policy because they can't be sure what else you have lied about.
      I won't promise I will never be tempted to tell a lie and that I won't slip and tell a lie before I can stop myself,but I will try my very best not to.(bad form to end a sentence with a preposition).
     Maybe someone should start a Liars and Cheaters Anonymous. I wonder how many people would be willing to admit to being addicted to lying daily are even just an occasional lying binge?
 Of course this entire, tongue in cheek post is just for grins. I have never cheated or told a little white lie in my entire life.  Damn,maybe I better seriously think about forming, Liars and Cheaters Anonymous.

Monday, April 4, 2011

My Review of The Graybar Hotel,and A Path Best Not Taken

       I have written 124,438 words in a little over three days in my latest novel,Evolution of Monsters and I needed a break My friend,Mark suggested I write a review of my stay a few years back, in the Graybar Hotel.I decide it might be helpful to others who are undecided about taking a vacation and contemplating staying at this five star hotel,so here goes.
      At first site was an imposing austere structure with an almost a Gothic like feel to it. I hadn't consciously intended to take the path that led me there,but there I was. It was dark,almost ten at night and I was exhausted,hungry and unable to go anywhere else at the moment.
    The concierge dressed in an impeccable blue uniform,signed me in and asked another man dressed in an equally impeccable blue uniform escorted me to my room,where I showered and dressed in the orange colored pajamas the hotel provide,even though orange was not one of my favorite colors. The food served in my room was not a gourmet meal ,but it was reasonably tasty and I was hungry. Hunger appeased,I stretched out on the firm mattress,drew the blankets over me and tried to sleep.I discovered that,though the walls seemed to be made of grey stone,sounds carried through the door.
    I awoke the next morning and was surprised to discover there was no phone,no television,radio or stationary in the room. Obviously they were just open for business or redecorating I was escorted to the dining room where I met an array of other guests.All were pleasant and welcomed me.The next few hours were spent listening to their amazing stories.Apparently none of us had intended to stay here,but a variety of  circumstances had led each of us to the door and here we were, until we could make alternate arrangements to leave.
   We were served lunch promptly at noon,and I discovered the food was filling,but it was not what I would expect a five star hotel to serve. Returning to my room,unescorted, I used the facilities and lay down to catch up on my sleep.
    An hour or so later I was awakened by another impeccably attired man and told I had a phone call  and was escorted to a room where I discussed arrangements to have someone pick me up in a few days,as I had no vehicle here.
   Those arrangements made,I joined my fellow guests in a large common area,where we watched television,played board games or read.I found the books available to be to rather juvenile in subject matter and the magazines to be grossly outdated.
 Thankfully supper was a hot dog with chili and cheese, french fries and a very welcome ice cold soft drink. I laughed and commented to the other guests that it was hard to ruin a hot dog ,fries and coke. it was a very satisfying meal and I slept better that night that the previous night.
     The next morning ,I was awakened just as the sun peeked through the window and escorted to a room where I signed a stack of papers, checked out and was escorted outside to a waiting car.
 I arrived home,undressed,took a hot bath and collapsed on my king size luxury mattress and slept twelve straight hours.I awoke and ordered pizza delivery. within the hour I was curled on the sofa,savoring my favorite pizza,sipping a glass of red wine and watching a classic movie. It was good to be home.
   So here I am,sitting at my desk and writing this review on my laptop. I am giving the Graybar Hotel,does deliver the amenities of a five star hotel. That being established,it is not a pleasing place to stay. It lacks any of the lavish accouterments of other five star hotels,such as luxurious beds,linens,large screen television with cable and phones in each room.
    The food is filling but lacks a gourmets taste or appearance. Actually, the Graybar Hotel,is the worst five star hotel I have every had the misfortune to stay in and I vowed to never be forced to stay there again .I would certainly not recommend it to anyone. The path I took to arrive there was unfortunate and will never be repeated. It is definitely a path,best not taken. I suppose you know by now what the Graybar Hotel is.

Thanks Mark*