Sunday, June 25, 2017

Summer Rules

Stay out until the street lights come on, and the skeeters start to bite. Catch a few lightning bugs in your back yard, as you drag yourself into the house. Put them in a mayonnaise jar with holes in the lid. Set them on the stand beside your bed. Sneak the flashlight under the covers and read for as long as you can.

Morning, listen to the birds chirping through your window. Hey, the lightning bugs escaped! At least they'll be more tonight. Eat a bowl of cereal while you sit on the floor and watch some boring TV. Help around the house, till it's time to walk to the pool. Stay there until supper time when they kick you out. Walk home or sometimes get a ride in the car of a friend, who lives outside of town. Play until the street lights come on: Baseball, tag, statute, or a game you made up with your friends. Catch more lightning bugs for your jar. Maybe Dad can put up your pup tent and you sleep outside with that friend tonight.

Listen to the night sounds, the wind in the leaves, the crickets, the train whistle downtown. Talk about everything and nothing as you lay watching for shooting stars. Maybe at midnight, a rain drives you to your porch. Mom's there waiting and Dad pulls down the tent. The jar remains under your arm, as you trod up the stairs, disappointed the night goes inside. But your pillow feels good and then the day dawns bright. You do it again, but this time with a friend. Cross legged on the floor with cereal in a bowl and the TV show is more fun shared. Dad takes you on errands around town, until it's time to swim. The suit’s ready with your tag and off to the pool with a few extra quarters today for an ice cream sandwich. Swim all day again, with no thought of your skin.

Ah, Mom wants you to practice the piano and your damp legs make dull marks on the bench. You stare more than play, till she shouts OK. Then hop on a bike and ride around town.

Hair doesn’t get washed till Saturday night. No overnights on Saturday, because church is the next day. Everyone goes to their own church and no one argues, we just believe in God. You don’t care if your friend crosses herself before meals and she doesn’t care that you don’t.

A rainy day, you play in a friend’s basement and watch lightning streak through the house and you say, “Oh, gosh.” You tell each other tales of lightning strikes and they must be true. TV is unplugged and maybe you read that book you fell asleep reading the night before.

Days of summer and never say you’re bored. Take a trip to the shore, but you miss your friends. Still it’s nice to have Mom and Dad always there. Soon, you’re back and then, one friend is gone, comes back, then another goes on her adventure. You tell of your vacations and enjoy their toys. As you get older, it’s camps and vacation Bible schools. You go to everyone’s in town with your friends. Arts and crafts, kool aid and cookies. Songs with motions and a story. You may get mixed up on the timelines, but you have a fun time. Play Red Rover because there are more kids than just your neighbors.

One day, you realize the nights come faster and chill creeps in at evening. A car ride to the mall to shop for clothes. You’re sad, but secretly glad to go back to school. You miss some of those friends you didn’t see all summer. The days grow shorter and shorter, the pool seems dull and cold. A last-minute trip to an amusement park or the fair and yes, you take along a friend. Summer winds down, but you will always remember summer rules.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Wordless Wednesday

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Today is the last day of our warm weather

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Monday, January 2, 2017

Write from the Gut with No Fear

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Because I Had To starts with a punch. No wimpy description here, the reader sees the young lady's pain from the first pages. I can't help it, I'm engaged in this story.
The author shows this story from points of view of different first person narratives. The story of adoption, rejection and finding peace comes to life in present and flashback tales of the two characters. I see a daughter's pain; and middle age search for relevance and return to the joy of a career. As with many stories sometimes, I feel I have walked down these streets on my journey, too, and maybe feel them a little too deeply. This novel has that sign of good fiction, when truth is told.
As with life's journeys, no cozy tidying up at the end. If this novel starts with a punch, it ends with an upward kick into my sternum. I was glad to get a hug from my husband when I closed the book and turned out the light.
I recommend this novel to anyone with children, anyone doubting their choice of careers, anyone with parents as well as close older friends like an aunt or uncle, or anyone with a heart. This novel helped me process some memories, putting to words feelings I suppressed. I felt David Bulitt wrote from his gut with no fear. We often made choices because we had to.

My review on Goodreads and Amazon for David Bulitt's second novel.
I found this author on the Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes fan page. His first novel, Card Game, caught my attention. The story was about guys my same age and he loves Jukes music. Sounded like a great combination and it was. I enjoyed this first book. Sometimes, I thought, he didn't go there, but he did. But under the raucousness, a deep thread of human struggle wove the words. The main character, JB,  deals with the first of his buddies dying, the second novel takes up a year after the friend, Tom, dies, with JB and Jess, Tom's troubled adoptive daughter.
These books don't follow how I write in the faith department. Yet under all the drinking, swearing, and sex, the rawness of human nature pulses in these novels. I believe fiction that connects the writer and reader in some way moves the soul. This author and I have much in common I found through his writing, on the level of parenting, long marriage, dealing with depression in others, and writing; as well as love for some great music.
I push this year to write more from the gut. I protect sometimes, imaging people will think they see themselves in my characters. I want to write this year without fear. I want to explore areas I shied from before. Since the beginning I desire to touch people's souls, reaching an area where a writer and reader share in imagination.
The best way to do this is to continue to write. I pray for reviews. I see my words hanging in the air, wondering are they touching anyone? Even negative reviews help me sharpen thoughts. This past year especially has been the proverbial roller coaster year.
About this time of six o'clock in the evening, a year ago, I told my husband, he needs to take me to urgi care, the doctor promptly sent me to ER. By nine thirty that night, January Second, 2016, I peered at people in OR masks with a black mask covering my mouth and nose, as emergency surgery commenced. I vowed a week later, as I realized how close Death stalked me that night, 2016 would be a year of fun.
Tiredness and responsibilities kept me many times from that vow. As I filled in constantly for quitting staff, I never knew when a day off would be. Then the old school that housed my office had no air conditioning in a relentlessly hot summer. I struggled through this new role and never felt my footing. It wasn't a good fit and they told me good bye the week before Christmas. I was relieved and I still am.
The tiredness of recovery and work, also seemed to keep me from writing. In my search for a new job, I plan to write as much as I can, too. The rawness of this past year and the many twists in history we couldn't foresee seemed to write a novel. I have a few scenes written, but not sure, yet, how they will work together into something. Being a worker and not a quitter, though, I will finish Walking With Eternity, first.
I still toy with putting together my poems in a small book. I will use pictures I took where they seem to fit. This also takes time and planning. I dream for 2017 and the work awaits, writing from a deeper place.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2017 Word Picture Reveal

Every year since I started blogging, I have a picture for the year with word or thought to go with it. The first one was Jesus yoke. I needed to be yoked with Jesus, His yoke is easy and His burden is light. I had a problem finding the actual picture of an old yoke in the snow with the morning sun shining behind it, as I envisioned my picture. I finally found it, but with no snow. I photographed an antique yoke at the Munnel Run Farm Museum outside of Mercer in late August or early September. I knew I had to go there, but as with so many plans made the last week of December, it got lost in the calender of other obligations.
The next year as I prayed, the picture came easier. I hadn't published any novels, yet, but I had two completed. I forged ahead with saying “I am a writer,” instead of “I want to write.” In this new world of writing, I needed 'courage,' which I found in a stylistic new sculpture at Buhl Farm Park on an early winter walk, a lion, the symbol for courage. That lion often reminded me as I walked to keep my courage in this publishing world.
The next year, 'abundance' in a lush Pennsylvania summer, the picture came to me. I prayed for abundance in all my endeavors, but mostly for my writing. The next year 2015, the picture came again in warmer weather as I was down town Sharon. 'Rest,' at a green bistro set, welcoming me to sit down with Jesus.
Last year, two doors representing 'hope' were my pictures. The first door at the Hermitage Historical Society home was my wallpaper until I found the second one. The door at the When Words Count Writers Retreat in April gave me hope for my writing. This reminded me of my hope in Jesus and my writing as a vocation.
Which has lead me to my word picture for 2017. As I gazed at my books on the shelf at the Barnes and Noble last week, I remember when writing was a dream. I walked into this Barnes and Noble many years ago, struck with the dread of even if I published a book, how would it compete with all these books? I couldn't give up, but I didn't dream that day.
I snapped pictures with my phone of my books pointing out where they were in the store. I saw a nurse I had worked with before. I admire her. I fought with her image during The View controversy staged by Joy Behair's insult to Miss Colorado and all nurses last September. The nurse I know, works hard, has three children and continues her education. I may have inspired her in a small way, when I visited her grandmother for wound care many years ago.
My careers collided that day in Barnes and Noble. I inspired a girl to be a nurse, as I, now try to escape nursing. She congratulated me on my novels and took my picture with them. She wished me luck in both endeavors.
I found my word and my picture. 'Dream.' I keep up the dream of writing. In this case, dream is not passive. Work accompanies the dream. I can only see the dream when I work.
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As my daughter said at Christmas, “They told our generation, 'You can be anything.' They needed to add, 'If you work hard at it.'” I believe in my dream, but I know work is involved. 2017 will see an increase in the work as well advertizing. I will dream, but much work is also required. Dream on.