Something’s Gotta Give

•September 25, 2014 • 43 Comments
Hey, that's not all it?

Hey, that’s not all me in your inbox…is it?

For those of you who don’t appreciate seeing my blog pop up in your inbox every day, have I got good news for you!

I have to quit the 20 day daily prompt Writing 101 challenge, even though I’ve really enjoyed it. I kind of hope you did, too.

Uh huh. I'm just walkin' away.

Uh huh. I’m just walkin’ away.

But I took on the challenge at, like, the worse possible time.

Well, I suppose there could be worse times, like if I was struck by lightning (again) or had to have brain surgery (again) or was getting divorced (again), but none of that is happening.



But I am moving way the heck across the country–from the east coast to the west coast. And it’s going to happen soon. Sooner than I thought.

I still have a book to get published and, like, a whole household to cull through, and, oh yeah, find a new place to call home.

Blogging just dropped down on my “to do” list to somewhere between “try new recipes with kale” and “pull weeds from garden I won’t own next summer.”

Good luck with that landscaping thing I never quite got the hang of.

Good luck with that landscaping thing I never quite got the hang of.

I’ll try to keep up with your blogs as best I can.

I’ll post when I need a mental health distraction.

But you won’t be flooded by my posts until I’m settled and my book is up on Amazon.

I have this strange feeling that many of you are elated. I’ll believe it’s because you’re happy that I’m making wise life choices. Yup. That’s why.

Yup. You're happy because good things are happening to me, not because you don't have to feel guilty deleting all my posts you don't want to read.

Lorna’s moving! Blog blackout! Yeah!


Writing 101: Remote Wars

•September 23, 2014 • 24 Comments


You screwed up and you know it. Don't blame it on the star.

You screwed up and you know it. Don’t blame it on the star.

Today’s Writing 101 Challenge is: Write a post based on the contrast between two things — whether people, objects, emotions, places, or something else. Write it in dialog form.

“Oh no. What is this? Another documentary? Let me guess…it’s about some war or a dead president.”


“Give me the remote.”


“I’m not watching this.”

“You don’t even know what it’s about.”

“It’s a documentary. That’s all I need to know. Last night it was about one of the Roosevelts. The night before it was about another one of the Roosevelts. Need I go on?”

“Okay. But if there isn’t anything better on, we’re watching this. It’s about Mark Twain. For your information he’s not a dead president!”

“I know. Oh look! Dancing with the Stars!”

“You’ve got to be kidding me. Do you even care about how many brain cells you’re losing per minute when you watch crap like this?”

“What? It’s interesting to see all the dance moves and how each star improves from week to week. Plus a lot of them lose weight and get healthier. Dancing is great exercise for your body and mind.”

“Watching dancing isn’t such great exercise.”

“Shut up.”

“What happened to Drew Carey? He looks like an old man who needs Geritol to get through the day.”

“He lost a ton of weight dancing on this show. He looks healthy, not old.”

“I liked him better when he was fat. He doesn’t look as happy or as funny. Give me the remote. I can’t stand seeing these people flopping around.”

“No. I want to watch this.”

“Look it’s a commercial. I can’t stand all the commercials. At least PBS doesn’t have all these stupid commercials.”

“Well, I have to agree with you there.”

“You agree with me?”

“Yeah, I guess I did.”

“How about we take this agreement into the bedroom?”


Click (sound of TV turning off)

Writing 101: Her Name Is Lorna

•September 22, 2014 • 18 Comments
Impossible. You cannot be who you say you are. I will not permit it.

Impossible. You cannot be who you say you are. I will not permit it.

Today’s Writing Challenge is: Who’s the most interesting person (or people) you’ve met this year? Turn this into a character study.

As we sit in our tranquil circle, Luis–the meditation leader of our Buddhist sanga (group)–asks us to introduce ourselves (first names only). He only does this when there are new people who have joined the meditation group for the evening. This evening there are two new people. I know the other eleven very well.

Luis suggests with the mere nod of his head that the person to his left start. Since I’m sitting closer to his right, I’ll be one of the last names announced to the group.

One of the new people is Paul. The other is Lorna.

Immediately, my mind starts shouting: “What? Another Lorna in such a small group? How is this possible? I’m the only Lorna in this group! Heck, I’m the only Lorna in this rinky dink town!”

I stare at her until I realize it’s time for me to say my name. Almost apologetically, I say, “Lorna.”

Luis chimes in, “Yes, the other Lorna.” General chuckling ensues.

Can you believe two people dress up like this to go to meditation?

Can you believe two people dress up like this to go to meditation?

Again, my mind is furious and I possibly cursed. I know it said, “The other Lorna? Wait a minute, Buster! I’ve been coming to this sanga for five years. She shows up once and all of a sudden I’m the ‘other Lorna?’ What’s up with that?” Clearly five years of Buddhist meditation is not enough for a calm and equanamous mind.

My entire half-hour of silent meditation was occupied by Lorna–not me, but her. Well, both.

Bong. Bong. Bong.

Meditation begins.

She looks older than me, but I look pretty young for my age. She probably doesn’t take very good care of herself. Clearly she’s fatter than I am and covers it up with baggy clothing. Cheap trick, Lorna. I used to do it, too, before I started eating healthy.

Breathe. In. Out. In.

She’s blonde, but I definitely saw dark roots. Tsk. Tsk. Lorna. Who are you trying to impress? I’m a natural blonde. I impress people without peroxide or trying.

Breathe. Out. In.

Her nose is abnormally long and straight. It looks like it was meant to be on the face of some Roman male statue or something. Very unattractive. My nose is big, I’ll admit it, but it fits my face. Plus I have all this naturally blonde hair and big blue eyes to draw the eyes away from my nose. She’s got nothing but those baggy cloths and dark roots.

Breathe. In.

She’s sitting a chair, the meditation sissy! I’m doing it right, using a zafu, on the floor. What a rookie. I never used a chair. She probably has bad knees or sciatica. If she dropped a few pounds, she probably would feel better. I don’t know of a single case of bad knees that was cured by baggy clothes.


I hate her. She doesn’t even look like a “Lorna,” which would be a woman who looks exactly like me.

Bong. Bong. Bong.

Meditation is over.

She’s still here. Shizzle. Maybe I should meditate on why I hate a woman I don’t even know because of her name.

Gosh darn it. Buddhism is hard.

Gosh darn it. Buddhism is hard.


What’s The Hold Up? New Book Cover Revealed!

•September 20, 2014 • 22 Comments
Um. I was looking for the mouse and this pad was so comfortable....

Um. I was looking for the mouse and this pad was so comfortable….

Most of you know I’ve been working on a novel called Never Turn Back.

It’s based on my grandmother’s life, which, on the surface may sound really dull, but it’s not.

I guess you’ll have to trust me that it’s not about baking cookies, bingo, and early-bird dinner reservations at Denny’s.

Maybe your grandmother, Honey, but not mine!

Maybe your grandmother, Honey, but not mine!

My grandmother was an international woman of misery mystery.

Well, she was a woman. She came to America from Finland. And there was a lot of mystery (and, yes, misery) in her past.

If you read my memoir, How was I Supposed to Know?, the book is nothing like that. It’s fictional and it’s serious. There’s even some historically accurate facts in there. As I said, totally different from my memoir, which you should read if you haven’t and you like funny, poignant books about how to live with courage in the face of more challenges than you could wave a fly swatter at.

But this post is about my novel and what’s holding it up from you holding it up in front of you.

The answer is me.

Yup. I'm the Culprit Princess.

Yup. I’m the Culprit Princess.

I’m reading it through one last time to get it as clean and sleek as possible, given my dizzy blonde head. It’s been through 4 beta readers, a writing coach read-through, and a line editor. Plus I’ve spent more time reading it than I did writing it.

The going is slow, but that’s how the going is when you read for accuracy and perfection. Just ask any obsessive-compulsive.

I do have one little major thing to share, though. The cover!

It's like Peter knew the vision for the cover inside my head, only better, and made it real.

It’s like Peter knew the vision for the cover inside my head, only better, and made it real.

It was designed by Peter O’Conner of BespokeBookCovers. He’s a gem to work with and a genius. If I ever write another book, he’s the guy who will do my cover.

Anyway, my edits should be done in a week or so (except now I’m distracted by this Writing 101 Daily prompt Challenge, which is only 20 days of annoying daily posts from me). Then I just have to get the manuscript copyrighted and uploaded to Amazon for both Kindle and CreateSpace.

I’m thinking October sometime.

Easy-peasey with Phil helping me. Now that he’s my non-husband, he’ll do anything for me. Of course, he did anything for me before….

So, I’ll keep you posted on my progress and let you know firm dates of release when I have them. There will be Kindle free give-away days, too, so stay-tuned, okay?

What do you think of the cover? Would you pick this book up if you saw it in a book store?
Are there still book stores?

Writing 101: Dear Dad

•September 19, 2014 • 22 Comments


Today’s Writing 101 challenge is: You stumble upon a random letter on the path. You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. Write a story about this encounter. We are supposed to be as brief as possible in this post.

Oh dear, me? Brief? I guess that’s why these are challenges.

Here goes…

“What’s this?” I say aloud to Scrappy, my dog, as if I expect him to answer. He doesn’t. He trots right by the crumpled, damp envelop simply addressed, Dad.

I pick it up and the once-sealed envelop opens easily revealing a single sheet of lined paper with rather sloppy printing peeking through the moist parchment.

“Scrappy, wait!” I call to him. He stops. “Come here, boy.” He comes. I give him a treat so that he stays near me while I carefully unfold the damp letter and read it.

Any letter that starts with “I’m sorry” spells trouble. I read on, not knowing if a son or daughter is apologizing–or even how old the child is. Then I get to the part that says, “I’ve known for a long time that I’m gay. I’m still the same boy you’ve always loved, don’t ever forget that.” I stop reading and start wondering.

Is the letter on this path because the son lost his courage to give it to his dad or because he gave it to his dad and things went horribly wrong.

Either way, the soggy letter is testimony to unimaginable suffering.

I carefully put the letter back in the envelop and gently rest it on the dewy grass. I’ll let the wise earth decide what to do with it because this pain is more than I can bear.


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