Friday, November 01, 2013

I've moved my life to my new website, which includes a new Comptonplations blog. You can visit me here!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Moving Soon

I sold my book. Well, one of them. So I'm revamping my website and will soon be moving everything -- including this Comptonplations blog -- to the new site.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I Didn't Get the Memo

It was a beautiful late summer/early autumn afternoon in upstate New York, the kind of day that invites a body to linger. Unfortunately, this body works during the day, and today it seemed like I was the only one.

It started when I was leaving Day Job to run some lunch hour errands. I have an hour for lunch, which is usually more than enough time to do what I needed to do today. However, there were temp day workers coming back from lunch, ambling through the parking lot. They saw me. We made eye contact. Did they stop so I could pass? Nope. Did they quicken their pace? Nope. They just took their sweet old time walking in such a way that I couldn't get around them.

Moments later, I was behind someone driving 20 mph in a 30 mph zone. Seriously? Finally, after a bit of this, I turned onto a side street. Things were going well -- until I got behind someone else doing 25 mph in a 30 mph zone. Was there a memo I missed? Slow-down Tuesday?

I finally reached my destination (public library), and there was a school-aged girl -- clearly not in school -- ambling up the driveway. She turned, looked at me, and kept on ambling, right up the middle of the driveway so I couldn't get by her. After I parked my car, I headed into the library. Except a group of young men were coming out of the library, and they took up the entire sidewalk. I had to wait to let them pass.

Once inside the library, I went to the desk to pick up the books I had on hold. Except the person checking out the books wasn't behind the desk. He was standing by the door having a chat fest with someone. For about five minutes. Not business, just personal stuff. He finally meandered over to his post, took his time to straighten up some stuff and finally took my card.

By the time I reached the "fast" food drive thru, I quit hoping to accomplish anything on my lunch hour. What should have taken no more than ten minutes had taken nearly thirty.

I would have taken a vacation day had I received the memo.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Recurring Dreams: 1911

Last night I dreamed that I moved back into the apartment with the turquoise fridge and the old Norge stove (I've lived in several apartments with old Norge stoves).

Nothing had changed in the apartment except the kitchen closet (located between the fridge and the stove), which had been converted into a pantry. The closet was huge in reality, but the landlord made it even bigger by expanding the back into the entry way to the front apartment (my apartment was the first floor rear apartment). And the pantry was packed with canned goods, baking supplies, etc. Each shelf was individually lit, so the space was bright and cheery. There was also some kind of appliance in there, but I'm not sure what. In reality, that's where I stored my avocado green portable washing machine. In the dream, the appliance was white.

Maybe this dream came from a recent discussion with my husband about buying a new stove. We've replaced every appliance in our house at least once--except the stove. And when I reminisce about past Norge stoves, it's not the one from 1911 that comes to mind, but rather the one in my very first apartment.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Taken to the Cleaners?

There was some kind of smeary film on the windshield of my car, so on Friday, I took the car to the car wash for an interior cleaning, emphasis on the windows. Things looked okay when I left.

A couple of hours later, I picked up X-Chromo from work -- and the smears on the windshield combined with the angle of the sun didn't make me happy. Later that night, while driving home from an event, on-coming headlights revealed just what a lousy job the car wash had done. A dangerously lousy job.

On Saturday, I drove back to the car wash and very nicely explained my situation. They very nicely said they would redo the windows. And yeah, the girl did swipe at the windshield a few times. But most of her time was spent leaning on the car chatting it up with another employee who was on break (judging by the large drink in her hand). I was tempted to take a photo of all this hard work. I still tipped the girl. Things looked okay, but it was around the same time of day, so the light wasn't too revealing.

I just drove Y-Chromo to work. OMG, the windshield is worse than when I took the car in on Friday. So now I have to waste my time and my gas driving back to DELTA SONIC after work tonight.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Cooperstown 2013

I seem to have the most interesting times in Cooperstown. This year was no exception.

Of course, nothing can ever top my 2010 Cooperstown adventure. I mean, casual conversations with all those Hall of Famers is pretty high on any baseball fan's list of most exciting moments. How many women get to have their attire insulted by Jim Palmer? At least I had the presence of mind to take photos with my cell phone that year. This year, I forgot until after the fact.

Not that 2013's adventure can even compare to 2010.

This year's Herwood Cooperstown weekend coincided with a Furthur concert (Phil Lesh and Bob Weir of Grateful Dead fame), which brought in Dead Heads from around the world. As per our custom, TV Stevie checked out the baseball memorabilia shops while I sat on a bench and read.

"Excuse me," a tie-dyed, braided-haired man said. "Do you like poetry?"

I nodded.

"May I recite an original poem -- sixty seconds or less -- to you?"

I just stared at him.

He went on to explain. He is one of the new Beat poets from San Francisco, who came to "this god-forsaken town off the beaten track" for the concert, but he didn't have the money for the price of admission. Therefore he was selling his book. He handed me a photocopied sheaf of papers, filled with his own original poetry and artwork.

I returned the book and explained I had no cash. He recited a poem to me anyway, something about sleeping on a beach with sand as his pillow. It was full of lovely imagery. I thanked him, he bowed, and wandered off down the sidewalk, looking for a sale. I waited quite a while, hoping to see him again so I could take his photograph, but I never did see him again.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Walk A Mile In My Shoes

As a writer, I've learned that if a scene isn't working, try changing the point of view (POV) in which it is written. That means to write the action from another character's perspective; see what a character sees, hear what he hears, smell what she smells, and do what the character would do; use the character's motivations and background to filter what is happening on the page. It's amazing how much situations can change.

I watched exactly one episode of the 1980's TV show, thirtysomething, but that episode has stayed with me. One incident was shown over and over, but each time from a different character's perspective. The various interpretations were very diverse. And eye-opening.

Law enforcement knows the same event may not be reported in the same way by eyewitnesses.

In 2011, I reached the startling conclusion that the only difference between a patriot and a terrorist is POV.

Seeing the Broadway hit, Wicked, reinforced my belief that POV is one of the most powerful tools in a writer's toolkit. L. Frank Baum's Wicked Witch of the West presented as a sympathetic character? Oh, yeah. Completely.

A recent, random social media comment has me re-examining something I believed true. For decades. Fortunately, I'm open-minded, and am willing to revisit the past to either learn something new or validate my memory. Because point of view is powerful.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Time to Move?

TV Stevie and I love living in our city. Yeah, we had concerns about the Chromos' schooling, but they both ended up just fine. But the neighborhood is changing, and not for the better.

A couple of weeks ago, someone paintballed my house, 
Porch window with paintball

my garage,
Lower left corner, upper right corner
and two spots in the right door.
TV Stevie tried to clean these
but they left stains
Close up of paint ball damage to garage door
the stop signs, and a couple of neighbors' houses. 

Last night, someone stole our gas grill. Off our patio. It was nestled in an ell of our house, where the laundry room meets the kitchen. 
The grill was wedged in this corner, between the table and the two walls.
You can see the missing "foot" in the lower right hand corner of photo.

And some . . .  person . . . walked off with it. Except the loose foot. I'm tempted to fill that with the dog doo another . . . person . . . left on my lawn and see if the criminal comes back for the missing piece.

I realize the police must deal with more "important" crimes, and they're doing the best they can given budget cuts and the current climate. A few paintball marks pale in the face of the violence, drugs, gangs, etc. I absolutely do not expect them to patrol my little side street on an hourly or even daily basis. 

But my city needs to deal with quality of life issues. Without quality of life, the people the city want to attract aren't going to come, and if they do come, they won't stay. Quality of life isn't just about getting drugs off the street, stopping the random shootings, gangs, etc. It's about being able to unload your groceries at the side of your house and not stepping in dog doo; it's about sitting out on your patio on a summer evening without trepidation; it's about not finding smashed bottles on your sidewalk. Again, insignificant in face of other issues. The Chromos call these First World Issues. I'm a spoiled American woman. 

If we invest in another grill, I'm going to spray paint the following message on it:

STOLEN FROM insert my street address.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Musical Icon of My Youth: Melanie

TV Stevie and I went to see Melanie last night.


Well, most people I've talked to recently know her by her hit, "Brand New Key." Yet TV Stevie and I immediately think of "Lay Down Candles in the Rain" when we think of Melanie. A lot of folks remember her as a one-hit wonder, and those folks are dead wrong.

The thing that struck me about the concert was her joy. She performed with her son, Beau Jarred Schekeryk, and their joy at working together filled the theatre.

Melanie Safka and Beau Jarred Schekeryk at the
Catherine Cummings Theatre in Cazenovia, NY
Between songs, Melanie told stories about her music. There was no set playlist -- in fact, she took requests from the audience. As TV Stevie said, "You didn't mind that you weren't familiar with all the songs -- she was just that good." Her voice has withstood time. She told us that she never had a pretty voice, but rather, an expressive voice. Which is probably why I've always liked her music.

Her son is an amazing guitarist. Incredible guitarist. He mixes flamenco with other styles and . . . the result is indescribable. At one point, Melanie cajoled him into playing a solo as a Mother's Day gift to her. Oh. My.
He even played with the guitar on his head. I'm not talking strumming. I'm talking the flamenco plus method.

Beau Jarred Schekeryk playing guitar on his head.

Beautiful People (dedicated to Richie Havens)
Already Gone
I Tried to Die Young
Jamming Alone
Fantasia Melody (Beau, see above photo)
Baby Day
Look What They Done to My Song
Brand New Key
Love Doesn't Have to Hurt
Angel Watching
Lay Down

After the concert, she signed CDs and photos. I bought her newest release, "Ever Since You Never Heard of Me." She told me I would really enjoy it, and that it was the last album produced by her late husband.  I thanked her for her music.

Sunday, April 28, 2013


Maybe spring is finally here--at least in Central New York. There are buds on the trees, daffodils, grape hyacinths, Greek wind flowers, and violets sprouting around my house. The neighborhood children (the ones not shooting up my garage and porch windows with orange paintballs) are out on their scooters.

I could go to a baseball game, I could walk in the park, or take a ride to the Creek Walk and stroll there. But I probably won't. What I probably will do is clean off the patio table and bask in the sunshine this afternoon.

I have pages to write and more pages to edit. The sunshine just revs up my internal solar batteries.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Reading Lists

Last week, the Romance Writers of America announced the finalists for their annual award, the Rita, which is like Oscars for romance fiction. Not only do I love learning which of my friends are in the running (go Maggie Shayne!), but I now have lists of books to study. These stories have been judged, by authors, to be the best in their sub-genres.

There are several categories that interest me, so the first thing I do (after sending out congrats, of course) is see how many of the titles are carried by my local library. Then I put them on hold. I now have a kitchen table piled with books I want to not only read, but pick apart to learn why other writers believe these are the best stories of the year. I not only learn from the books themselves, but have found new authors whose work  I enjoy.

Now I just need to make the time to do the reading.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Third Time's a Charm

The Syracuse Orange made it to the Final Four again (YAY!). That means two Big East teams are half of the best college basketball teams in the country. Boy, do I hate that football is destroying the best basketball league in the country (even with imposter teams such as Louisville and Notre Dame).

And this isn't the first time Jim Boheim and Rick Pitino have been in the Final Four together. It is actually the third. In 1987, Pitino coached Providence College to the Final Four (where Syracuse took them out). In 1996, Syracuse and a Pitino-led Kentucky team met in the Championship game. (Kentucky won).

I predict a Syracuse-Louisville Championship game: the perfect ending for the Big East conference.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Madness in March -- and Man am I Mad

I was not happy to learn that my college basketball team was being sent to the west coast to play in an East Regional game. No wonder students don't do well in school: the NCAA (a college group) doesn't know east from west. For anyone who might be confused, they are opposites. Antonyms, not synonyms.

Then I learned the game wouldn't start until nearly 10PM  (it was actually later than that). How is that "area of natural interest" friendly? Or does the NCAA no longer take that under consideration?

Then I learned the game would be on Tru TV. Which used to be part of our cable package, but when my "TV provider" last raised the rates, they turned Tru TV into something for which one needs an adapter. Which we do not have. TV Stevie tells me the adapter would be free for the time being, but next year, we would be charged a monthly fee for it.

Then I remembered all the ads about watching the games on the NCAA website. So on Thursday night, I logged on and lo and behold, there was basketball! I started watching the Louisville game.

At no point was I informed (and no where on the website where one watches is is stated) that streaming live games from the NCAA website is good for only 4 hours. For the entire tournament.

After about 3 hours, I started seeing something on my screen stating that my pass was going to expire in an hour, and I would need to connect to my "TV provider." I had no clue what this meant. Because no where on the website where one goes to view the games does it state one receives only a 4-hour pass. No where.

About 10 minutes into the Syracuse - Montana game, I was booted. I was directed to a FAQ's page, where I was then informed (after the fact) that I was able to stream only 4 hours before needing to log in through my "TV provider." And, if I didn't receive the service through my TV provider (such as Tru TV), then I would not be able to watch the game on-line, either.

So the NCAA is not only guilty of not understanding geography and area of natural interest, but also the concept of  truth in advertising. One doesn't watch the games through the NCAA website. One links to one's cable system's website from the NCAA website to stream the games.

Makes one wonder what else the NCAA is hiding.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


This week has been . . . difficult.

On Wednesday, a shooting spree in the nearby Mohawk Valley locked down schools and terrorized residents. I have friends whose children were in those schools, who teach in those schools. Another friend had planned to have her car washed at one of the locations where people were murdered, but a troublesome scene kept her writing at her desk instead driving to the car wash.

The shooter's final victim was an FBI dog.

Then on Thursday night, there was a carjacking/abduction at a local mall, during which a mom was stabbed to death and a 10-year-old girl was raped. Many of my friends knew and/or worked with the deceased woman and her daughter. Their children are students in the school where the woman worked.

Me, I know who the alleged perpetrator is. He worked at my local supermarket. When I think of the weekly shopping trips with my daughter in tow . . ..

You see, the alleged murderer/rapist was already charged with having child porn -- a lot of child porn -- on his computer, and was out of jail until his federal trial and wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet. Which he disabled and removed.

My former colleagues in the TV new business were busy. Upstate New York police/sheriff/troopers were busy. And the rest of us are raw.

Lots of primal reaction on social media.

  • The shooter was himself shot and killed. "Saves the taxpayers the cost of a trial."
  • The alleged murderer/rapist was beaten up in jail. "I hope he gets worse," and "Attica is stocking up on KY." 

Someone suggested implanting a chip in the private parts of sex offenders, like the chip implanted in a pet's ear. That would be a little more difficult to remove than a bracelet. I rather like that idea. Recidivism rates for sex offenders is supposed to be pretty high -- but even those numbers are hotly contested.

I buried myself in basketball. The final Big East Tournament. My team made it to the final game, beating our "arch rival" to get there. We lost the final game to a team that really doesn't even belong, and there's a lot of woo-ha about bad refs (consistent part of the Big East conference), bad guards, and the team falling apart in the second half. The tournament was a much needed distraction this week.

Now, I'm not comparing losing the Big East Tournament final game to the Herkimer shooting or the Great Northern murder/rape. Basketball merely offered a brief escape from a hideous week in Central New York.

I ache for the victims, pray for the survivors, and hope that the justice system has the wisdom and strength to do the right thing with the alleged murderer/rapist. The federal judge thought he'd done the right thing before; turns out he was wrong. I hope the system isn't wrong again.

The coming week can only get better.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Not That I'm Bitter

The final Big East Tournament (as we know it, so the claims go) starts tonight. Except I have never been able to figure out the current Big East. I'm just a cranky old fuddy-duddy. Who are these teams that helped kill my beloved basketball conference?

Here's what the real (classic?) Big East Conference looks like -- in no particular order:

  • Syracuse
  • St. John's
  • Georgetown
  • Seton Hall 
  • Pitt
  • UConn
  • Providence
  • Boston College
  • Villanova
The conference was started as a basketball conference. All the teams were in states along the East Coast. But then football had to rear its ugly head and the conference expanded, inviting teams that had no business calling themselves "East". Once the focus switched from basketball to football, the league was doomed. 

The worst, though, was the inclusion of Notre Dame basketball . . .  without Notre Dame football. Somebody explain that to me, please. "We're expanding the league to include football, except Notre Dame football remains independent."

Football destroyed a beautiful thing. 


Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Back-to-Daylight-Savings-Time Blues

My body has barely--almost--adjusted from Eastern Daylight Time to Eastern Standard Time. How else do I  explain the almost daily 4:00 AM awakenings? Now the government is asking me to revert.

I'm getting too old for this stuff. Seriously.

Okay, the theoretical "extra" hour of daylight at the end of the work day is nice, but I lose an hour of daylight at the start of my work day. And it's tough to enjoy that "extra" hour at night when the old eyelids won't stay open.

We could just leave time alone and use light bulbs at night. Noon would then be noon, when the sun is directly overhead, not at 11:00 AM.

Did you know Daylight Savings Times may increase the risks of a heart attack, a car accident, and suicide?

Springing ahead would work better if nap time was allotted during the work day the first week or so.

To think I used to resend forced naps in kindergarten. What a silly girl I was.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Movie Talk: The Master

TV Stevie and I watched The Master last night. He tries to see all the major nominees before the Academy Awards ceremony, but something happened so he couldn't get his hands on this particular motion picture before the awards. Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, and Philip Seymour Hoffman were all nominated. And Joaquin Phoenix was pretty awesome. He reminded me of a younger Sean Penn, while TV Stevie claimed to catch glimpses of Montgomery Clift. And maybe Joaquin should have won.

Now, I haven't seen most of the Best Picture nominees. I think Argo and Lincoln were about it. I saw Flight. I wish I'd seen Silver Linings Playbook. I have absolutely no desire to see most of the others. I'm not a fan of special effects for the sake of special effects, nor am I a fan of unremitting human misery. TV Stevie thought Life of Pi was very spiritual, but mostly I remember the book as being annoying.

But I digress. We watched The Master last night. And Joaquin was believable in his role. But I hate movies about unremitting human misery, and I really loathe movies I don't understand. Movies that make no sense. TV asked me if I needed a playbook to watch a movie. My response was that if I'm going to invest two and a half hours of my life in something, I want to know what the heck it is. He admitted he didn't get most of it, either. The story seemed full of contradictions to me.

At five this morning, I decided the movie was about seduction. Which still didn't make it a good movie, as far as I am concerned.

Maybe TV Stevie and all of his cinema-major friends can justify this sort of production, but I wish they'd keep it among themselves.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Musical Icons: The Judy Collins Chapter

Several weeks ago, while running into a local pizzeria for a slice one lunch hour, I saw a poster announcing Judy Collins would be in town on February 23 at an old movie theater a mile or so from my house. Neither TV Stevie nor I had ever seen her in concert, so we decided to go.

There was no assigned seating -- general admission only. We arrived about an hour before the show was schedule to begin. At first, TV Stevie wanted to sit three or four rows from the front, but the floor is flat there, and I am short. If someone sat in front of me, I'd be sightless. Then he spotted available seats in the front row to the left of the stage. Oh my gosh. The best seats I have ever had at any concert ever. We had a clear view of the piano keyboard -- of everything.

The show started on time. Ms. Collins's musical director was on the piano while she played a twelve-string guitar. The opening song was Chelsea Morning. She told the amusing story of how President and Mrs. Clinton told her they'd named their daughter after her rendition of the song, and how she suspected they told Joni Mitchell (who wrote it) the same thing.

Ms. Collins chatted with the audience between songs, one time mistakenly calling her locale Buffalo, but she turned it into an amusing anecdote. So many stories to share, with the names of musicians who peopled my teen years. Her play list was eclectic: an interesting meld of Leaving on a Jet Plane and Take Me Home, Country Roads; Purple Heather; Midway; several a capella songs; Ghostriders in the Sky; Helplessly Hoping; a new song, Veterans Day; Bird on a Wire. We heard the stories behind the music.

And her voice. Oh, dear Lord, her voice. The woman is 73 years old. and while there was cracking once in a great, great while, for the most part her voice was as sweet and pure as it ever was, and at times, downright ethereal.

There was a brief intermission, after which, Ms. Collins returned to the stage alone and sat at the piano. She sang two songs: Secret Gardens of the Heart and the Colorado Song. Neither TV Stevie nor I were familiar with either selection, and both were long, but to hear and see her play the piano while singing . . . breath taking. I admit I teared up during the first song, because it reminded me of my grandparents' farm.

Her pianist joined her on stage again for her finale: Send in the Clowns.

Her encore consisted of an a capella version of Buddy Can You Spare a Dime? and Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

No matter how hard and long we applauded, how loudly people begged, that was the end of the concert. No Both Sides Now, no Amazing Grace, no Someday Soon (which TV and I both would have liked to hear her sing).

We are not at all sorry we went. Thank you, Judy Collins, for an excellent evening of music.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Recurring Dreams Recurring

Someone on Facebook commented on my last post about recurring dreams, saying that she'd heard recurring dreams meant unresolved issues.


Well, I dreamed I was moving back to 1911 again this week. This time, it was just me and the cat--who's been dead for 22 years--returning to that apartment with the turquoise refrigerator. The wallpaper in the kitchen and living room was the same, faded only a bit. And the curtains I'd bought back in 1976 were still hanging at the windows, dusty and fragile, but still bright and cheery. Very odd, because I'd stumbled across the avocado-and-cream weave living room drapes in my attic a month or so ago. I'm sure the cream sheers were in the same box.

I'd gotten some disheartening news on Wednesday, dreamed about the apartment that evening. I'm going to start keeping track of those dreams here. Maybe I can trace the source.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Heritage vs. Bucket List

Last night TV Stevie and I watched the season finale of a popular television show. Many of the scenes were shot in Scotland and featured lovely landscapes. And the entire time I was watching, I was thinking, "I'm part Scottish, yet that looks cold, damp, and miserable." I have no desire to return to either my Scottish or my Irish (or English or Welsh) roots. My ancestors left for a reason. I'll bet climate played a part.

If I ever go abroad, I'm going someplace warm. Someplace dry. I dream of red wine, foods marinated in olive oil, and dusty herb gardens. There are no boots, mittens, or heavy coats. I'd rather hear Pan's pipe than bagpipes. This longing hasn't changed in decades.

Top spot in my bucket list of dream destinations is Greece. I blame author Mary Stewart for this. My Brother Michael, The Moonspinners, and This Rough Magic are three of my favorite novels of all time.

Second on my list is Spain. Again, the warm and dry climate prevails.

After that, in no particular order, are the south of France, northern Italy, and Australia. Not tropical Australia, but the warm, dry part.

Sense a theme here?

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Recurring Dreams

Years ago, when I was single, I lived in a little 3-room apartment. I was there for about ten years. My major complaint about the place was how cold it was in the winter. I had a huge kitchen (with an ugly turquoise refrigerator and a marvelous antique Norge gas stove), a bathroom shaped like a bowling alley, a small bedroom, and a small living room. I also had a back porch, access to clotheslines, and more closet space than anyplace I've lived before or since. There was no shower, but there was one of those old, deep, claw-footed bathtubs.

For some reason, I frequently dream that I'm moving back into that apartment. Sometimes it's just me; other times it's with TV Stevie, and sometimes I dream that the Chromos are young again, and the four of us relocate into those four rooms. There is nothing in particular that triggers the dream. It simply happens.

Sometimes, the locale has changed slightly. In reality, the back lawn sloped down to the back lawns of people living on the parallel street, but occasionally I dream there is a river flowing at the base of the lawn.

I dreamed about 1911 (the address) again last week. The landlord was showing me all the remodeling changes he'd made, including enlarging the bedroom by taking out the back hall closet. He'd also painted over the pineapple wall paper in the living room and the yellow-and-orange flowered wall paper in the kitchen. (I really loved that kitchen, except for the turquoise refrigerator).

Maybe someday I'll figure out why that apartment figures so prominently in my sleeping hours.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


I love my sister.

We don't have a lot in common, but the interest we do share, we share with a passion: words. Whether book, song, movie, or television, we both adore a good story. We're trying to figure out how to play Scrabble on line with each other -- I won't pay for Pogo, and she loathes Facebook. We'll work it out.

But our e-mails consist of such topics as:

  • "Why didn't you tell me the new JD Robb was coming out next month?" 
  • "Sorry, have you ever read Lisa Gardner?" "Of course. I have all of her early stuff." 
  • "Did you see Downton Abbey this week?" 
  • "I have to lend you two versions of Pride and Prejudice, I can't believe you've never seen it!"
  • "Guess what I got from the library today? Neener, neener, nee-ner." 
  • "Have you ever heard Adele? You have to listen to her!"

She's also my original and most trusted beta reader. Because she is a reader. A lover of words.

And if that's all we have in common (besides family), I can't think of anything else I'd rather have.

Love you, Sissy!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Goal Check

One of my 2013 goals is to reclaim my music. To that end, I want to have my guitar restrung and start playing again, a minimum of 30 minutes per week. That may not sound like a lot, but I work full time, am editing part time, and I am still writing. Trying to squeeze in 30 minutes a week can be a challenge.

Last week, I looked up the telephone numbers of two music stores in the area. This week, I called them both.

Had I known paying someone else to restring my guitar was so affordable, I would have done it years ago!

Sunday, January 06, 2013


Ever notice how things seem to happen in clumps?

Example: my sister & husband say celebrity deaths come in threes.

Yesterday was a clump day for me. The topic: flashing lights.

My first errand was accomplished without incident. As I drove to my second stop of the morning, my initial reaction was that the road was closed, but my depth perception is fading with age. There was what appeared to be a water main break with several DPW trucks flashing amber lights.

I didn't think any more of it until four blocks later when I came across the clean-up of a car accident. Either state troopers or county sheriffs and lots of strobing blue and red lights.

When I reached my third destination, there were amber lights again, this time a postal truck being towed.

I arrived at my fourth stop a bit early, so sat in my car and read. Something in the rear-view mirror tagged my attention. More flashing red lights, this time at the head of a funeral procession.

That's when it struck me that the theme of my day seemed to be flashing lights.

The drive to my fifth destination was uneventful, and I forgot about the whole thing. But when I was driving home, there was another automobile accident. There were so many vehicles with lights going it was difficult to tell which lane of the highway I was supposed to be in.

So what kinds of themes have you noticed in your life lately?