Archive for May 2009

Women at Lunch

May 31, 2009

I want to lunch, too.

I want to lunch, too!

We’ve all heard and, maybe sometimes used, the stereotype, “ladies who lunch.”

The phrase conjures up a certain type of person.  However, I’ve lunched with many different groups of women and, believe me, the ONLY commonality is eating lunch.  Such fodder for thought and for story lines… I should do it more often!  🙂 

This past week I had lunch with a group of women I taught with for many years.  Most of us were in different departments but we shared enough values we became more than colleagues but also friends.  I haven’t seen these women for a few months, some even longer but the group was large that day. 

The conversation around the table was so interesting because each of them have been exploring new areas of their creativity and personhood.  The seeds of that exploration may have been planted much earlier for some.  For others, their interests were sublimated to the rigor of work and raising families.  A few discovered their interest and talent in an area has just emerged. 

Within our group that day we had swimmers, golfers, a painter, a singer, a writer, a photographer, a jewelry maker.  All use their experience and their free time to make the world around them more interesting and lovely. They do so much more than lunch. Imported Pictures 425

They are traveling far and wide and reading just as extensively.  Some garden.  Most exercise to keep their bodies as fit as possible.  They are an invigorating, dynamic group.  These women slaughter that opening stereotype with a smile. 

And a bonus?  Well, the three sitting around me offered several suggestions for plots for future books.  Brainstorming at lunch anyone?

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Memorial Day

May 24, 2009

Memorial Day weekend.  

The time to remember and give thanks to all those in our Armed Forces who gave their lives for the best our country stands for.  They did that we might maintain our freedom. To keep us safe. To allow us to agree or not with government policies.

CB018184One of the most stirring, haunting memories I have of Washington D. C. was the beautiful spring day I walked the walk in front of the Viet Nam Memorial.  Cherry blossoms were abundant everywhere and their scent and the quiet, peaceful, reverent scene in no way reflected the horrors of the time and place those soldiers died. 

That was the war my generation fought.

World War II and Korea were the wars of my parents’ generation.

World War I my grandparents.

A younger generation fights yet another war in far distant battles.

As we remember those who’ve died in wars past, as we pray for those dying now and the grieving families they leave behind, remember always, this weekend isn’t about the beginning of summer, picnics and parades.  

We might not have any of this if we didn’t have those willing to serve and those families who wait for them to return.CB011166

I hold them all in my thoughts and prayers.

May 17, 2009

A long and winding path

A long and winding path

Thursday was a red-letter day for me.

 Why?

 I don’t have to return to the spine surgeon who did two major surgeries on my spine 19 months ago.  Recovery has been very slow and often frustrating.  When the bone grafts were not filling in to make my spine whole again and keep me stable, I was told to limit my physical activities even more than I was already.

 Early on the pain of recovery was awful but not as teeth grinding as prior to surgery.  Since pain meds make me violently ill, I refused them and kept busy.  I found having goals each day and each week and some significant projects kept me focused on issues that brought me satisfaction and helped me to ignore the pain and worry that all the surgery might have been in vain.

 Thursday was a day of many tests and that visit with the surgeon.  After reviewing all the tests, he grinned, something I had never seen him do. I was another success story for him, one he hadn’t been sure would happen.  Needless to say I was even happier. 🙂

 I can draw lessons from this event.  Persistence, determination, focusing on what I can change to deal with setbacks, and being patient with what I can’t exemplify these past two years.  Actually, I’ve used these skills in many areas of my life and have seen positive results.  However, it never hurts to have good lessons reinforced with current situations.

 My mother often told me when I was growing up that I had to learn patience. I hated the advice, but took her caution to heart. I certainly needed patience since my healing went so slowly and the simplest activities took longer than I thought they should. But I dug deep for patience during those months and focused on tasks I could get done. I accomplished them and I healed without worry or frustration.  And that damn need for patience gets reinforced, along with my mother’s long ago advice.

 So how does all this reflect on writing? 

Slow but determined finishes first

Slow but determined finishes first

 Those of you who write know those answers.  Persistence, perseverance, determination, focusing on the next project, being patient with what you can’t control.  Waiting…So much of writing is waiting…

 Driving home on Thursday I thought about the journey I’ve made as a writer from queries, submissions, finally a contract, edits, researching PR options, putting together bookmarks and ads, and waiting for that all important release date. I’m focusing on other projects, being patient, and striving for another book contract.  That’s what writers do.  They work hard, remain persistent in spite of great odds, stay patient, and KEEP ON WRITING.

 Here’s to success for all of us who practice persistence, patience and clear focus. In writing and in our daily lives.

May 11, 2009

Last week dropped something unexpected into my usual hectic routine.  On Tuesday morning I threw in a load of laundry, got myself ready and headed off to the doctor’s office for part of the usual annual physical. 

 He sent me immediately to the hospital.  

 I didn’t get “sprung” till Saturday late afternoon.  I won’t bore you with the gory details, nor any of the usual hospital tales, though the memory of bare behind must surely be scaring/scarring more hospital personnel than I care to think about.  L Think shudders here…

 Anyway, the great part about getting home, besides of course being home, was finding a large, heavy package waiting for me.

 My dear hubby slit the tape open and I found…

 BRA bookmark

MY FIRST BOOKMARKS!

 Holding them, I examined them like a new mother examines her baby’s toes and fingers.  My hands shaking I thought of all the hard labor I’ve endured and my hubby, too, (he puts up with me when I’m in writing mode, and well, to be honest, all the time), but we got this baby into the world.

 With lots of help.

 But the job isn’t done to truly launch this babe.  I can’t wait until I hold the actual book in my hands.  I imagine I’ll fall apart with joy.  My hands will shake even more.  I’ve waited a very long time for this to happen and each day brings the EVENT closer.

Meanwhile, care for bookmarks, anyone?  🙂

Brenda Novak’s Auction Item

May 3, 2009

wi-trout-streamMay 1st was the start of Brenda Novak’s Charity Auction for Diabetes Research.  The bidding ends on May 31st.

 A group of Wild Rose Press authors–including me :-), under the direction of Jeannie Ruesch, donated a KINDLE 2.  Another Wild Rose Press author, Hanna Rhys Barnes donated a gift certificate to Wild Rose Press to purchase e-books.  Such a deal!

This disease takes its toll on so many families.  For my extended family, my husband’s only sibling, a sister, died of this disease when she was 18.  So many of his relatives battle its ravages.  He’s fortunate that controlling his diet keeps his insulin levels in check.quiet-water

 As some of you know, my youngest son is a vent-dependent quadriplegic who lives with us.  One of our steadiest nurses in helping us care for our son has struggled against this disease since childhood.  Now in his early 40’s he’s seeing some major issues.  Another nurse has family members with the disease.  I have two friends who have struggled with adult-onset diabetes and a brother also would fit in that category.  Even beloved family pets can struggle with this disease as my sister-in-law knows when twice a day she inject insulin into her Schnauzer.

Many strides have been made in fighting this disease and in helping those afflicted with it to cope with it. These strategies help them to live longer and healthier lives.  Charity auctions, such as Brenda Novak’s, aid in that battle.

 imported-pictures-372Please stop by the auction site.  Check out all the items up for bid.  I’m glad I put some of my PR funds into this cause.  When you click to check on the bidding site, be sure to scroll down to see all the Wild Rose Press authors who have so generously given to this cause.

Thanks.