A Note on Ordering My Works

I just received a note from a reader on where to order my books. Well, the short answer is from me. My publisher went out of business leaving many, many authors without a publisher. Until I get myself in gear and get them back out there, they can be ordered from me!

Just jot a note to grm55@yahoo.com and I will get them to you post haste! And thank you for asking!

 

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On Death and Dying

Twenty years ago, I wouldn’t have thought I’d be sitting in a hotel in Huntsville, Alabama thinking about my final exit from this earth. Yet, while my grandson is enjoying his first experience at Space Camp, I am pounding out a proposal for a new work of non-fiction that has to do with dying. Those that know me, really know me, understand I have no fear of dying. And I am just crazy enough to be able to say it! My peace about dying is assured.

Why am I blogging about it? Because I am beginning to find humor in all that remains to be done! I swear since I have been born, I have been on one big run. From a child, I remember being told to “slow down.” But when you are “wired” for speed, you can’t slow down, just like if you are “wired” to laugh when you are afraid or are being yelled at. (Yes, I do that, as well.) You can imagine as I approach a BIG birthday, why the thought of dying and death crosses my mind a little more often than it used to. It seems I am racing toward a finish line with no ability to slow time down. I’m feeling out of control. (Which I am.)

Every ache and pain that arises out of nowhere is a constant reminder of how much I need to get done before I go. I know my days are numbered but do I really want to leave my closets and cupboards in such disarray for my son and his wife to clean out?  I can hear my daughter-in-law’s voice when she arrives at my stuffed closet and pulls out that Little House on the Prairie dress I have saved for forty-seven years. She’ll probably say “Really? Bless her heart.” Those words will reverberate in my ears until I clean that closet.  She won’t get that was the dress I wore on the day I told my beloved father-in-law I was pregnant. She won’t understand that he’d laughed with delight, but told me he’d figured as much because the dress made me look like I was already nine months pregnant. I was briefly crushed as I thought that calico dress made me look really pretty. When he died of a heart attack a few days later, I could never let that ugly dress go. I have it still, a reminder of a father who loved me.

So I think. Will the toilet be clean should an EMT have to use it when they come get me? Should I shave my legs should one of them pat my skin while we ride to the hospital or morgue? Maybe it’s time to cut my hair really short as someone could run their fingers through it to help me look more presentable as I waste away in a hospital bed.

Then there is the eyebrow situation. Maybe I should take my good friend’s advice and just get them tattooed on. With my luck, I’d have a beautician who paid more attention to her cell phone than my face and I’d end up with brows that looked like I was always asking a question.

I don’t want anyone fighting over my fur coats. Or jewelry. My daughter-in-law will take anyone out when it comes to diamonds. We are bling girls, her and I. But she hates fur so they will be distributed as promised….maybe. She loves animals and without my unwritten will they might get tossed.

How will my son find the passwords to all my social media sites? If he can’t find them will his friends forever remember me by that one photo posting mistake where I’m on top of a table, and my dress is pulled up over my head?

Have I made my wished known about burial or will I be relegated to the burn barrel and Bic lighter my son has threatened for years?

Will anyone have anything good to say about me or will they only remember I talked too much?  Did I make a difference in anyone’s life? Is being prepared on the inside enough to eliminate the chaos I may leave for others on the outside? Will my clutter be forgiven?

Just thinking……and laughing inside! Got to run now.  After all, it’s what I do!

 

Moving past me…

Every day for a writer consists of writing something. Anything. It’s showing up and pounding words onto a paper and hoping they convey a story that is in the writer’s mind. How joyful it is when the words come together!

Yet, sometimes, it is not my words that give me joy, Instead, the words may come from friends who post their souls and stories on blogs or in emails. Recently, I have been reading short stories from a dear friend, Gale Martin, who has been sharing rich and vibrant tales from past writings. Her writing encourages me and makes me understand that there is always something to look forward to in my writing.

So, for today, I am forgetting about myself and my writing and enjoying the beautiful words of those around me. It is a breath of fresh air and a reminder that my life is not always about me.

 

When a Journey Becomes an Inspiration

I just returned from a weeklong motorcycle journey from Panama City to Key West. The weather was cold….colder than expected. Then again, being a Yankee transplanted to the south, even I should have known that January can be cold. I was just hoping against hope!

I wish I’d have taken a photo of how I looked, as I had on five layers of tops and jackets, three pairs of pants, two pairs of socks, plus knee highs, gloves, and a hat under my helmet. As the day wore on and the miles passed, my legs began to cramp. Before long, I shot my legs out to the side as a way to stretch them only to find I couldn’t bend them back. For the next thirty miles, I sat hunched on the back of that bike looking like the Michelin Tire man. Had I not been wedged in between the driver’s backrest and the luggage rack, I’d have made a funny-looking road kill!

This experience gave rise to a funny short story (yet to be written.)

Arriving shedding two layers of clothes, I traveled southward from Islamorada to Key West where the once beautiful towns of the Keys were still showing signs of devastation from the last hurricane. With tourism being the main source of income for the chain of islands, hotels, restaurants, and services were in full repair and rebuild mode. I saw signs of hope everywhere. American flags hung over signs that said, “Key Strong!” Children flashed banners that read, “We have hope!”

In fact, everyone I came into contact with showed signs of courage and resiliency. Trucks and supplies were thick on the small highway as they scurried to remove the piles of debris alongside the road. It was as though the force of the wind could not destroy or overrun the hopes of the people.

On the return home, I stayed on the Homestead Air Force Base and woke up to the Golden Knights Parachuting teams dropping from the sky. What wonder to witness first hand the hard work and training that goes into the safety of our nation!

With what I witnessed along the short journey from the back of a motorcycle, several ideas for stories, funny, heartwarming & heartbreaking, formed in my mind. It made me wonder what experiences you might be harboring that will end up being a great story!

Share a moment that became or will become a special tale.

 

 

What’s Stopping You????

I am sitting at my small desk, quite a departure from my previous “office” of my last house. I now live on the second floor of a three story condo. Two bedrooms, two and a half baths. Small in comparison to the four bedroom, two car garage home I left behind. This past year, life has changed once more and it gave me an excuse to put down my pen for awhile. Too busy with the move and the changes that have come hurling at me as fast as a wayward hockey puck. have two big windows in front of me that face the road to the community garage. Cars come and go quite routinely. Being hyper-sensitive to distractions, my head bobs as though on a spring every time a car drives by or a neighbor decides to go for a stroll.

Before, in my large office, my windows faced a sprawling, peaceful field of gold. Rarely did I notice anything more than a fleeting butterfly or bird. Now, I have two big windows in front of me that face the road to the community garage. Cars come and go quite routinely. Being hyper-sensitive to distractions, my head bobs as though on a tightly coiled spring every time a car drives by or a neighbor decides to go for a stroll. To say I am distracted would be an understatement. Another excuse.

I close my eyes and say a little prayer for the wisdom and guidance I need to push myself   into the world I love. Suddenly, the words and thoughts start to flow! My fingers rattle over my keyboard and my words begin to come to life!

So it goes as a writer. One moment we are empty and giving ourselves a thousand reasons why we “can’t” write today. Then the next moment our minds are so full of stories, characters, and endings that we cannot be dragged from our desk for hours.

It is then I realize that the biggest enemy to my writing is ME! I am the one making excuses! I am the one putting my work out there! I am the one scared of rejection!

And so I pull down the shades on my windows and plod on. How about

How about you? What’s stopping you?

 

Six Word Essays Exercise

I have always been entranced by the written word and the power every word can convey. I’d like to see the ingenuity of writers who, when given a limited word count, can come up with a story that sends the mind pitching to and fro. So, how about it? Let’s play a Hemingway game and use six words to tell a story. Here are a few to start with. Let’s see what you can do!

 

  1. Chose the wrong day for honesty.
  2. Unfortunately, the last shot hit its mark.
  3. Iowa cornfields swallowed more than fugitives.
  4. And I thought I was happy.

Have fun!

One Good Thing…

It has been awhile since I have posted. Life got away with me. A move. Health. Time. Family. Growth. Lack of commitment to writing. Lots of excuses. But, I’m back! Fully refreshed and ready to rededicate myself to the craft I love.

For all of the excuses I gave myself, I found I received a benefit that was unexpected. As a writer, I vacillate between writing what I feel I should be writing and writing what others around me expect me to write. My inner voice is silenced by the roar of outside expectations. It squashed my ability to see what I needed to write, so I just sort of stopped writing altogether.

Today, because of my “time off” I sat at my desk and pounded out a story, something lost to me over the past several months. Thanks to the people who gently nudged and encouraged me to “just write.”

I am happy I have found my way to paper again and know that whatever direction I head from here in my writing, it will be where I need to be. The lesson of stepping back for a short time is the one good thing I needed!