Still Working…

I have finished my latest effort and it is now in the hands of my very capable editor. I am anxiously awaiting word from her as to whether or not I should trash the whole thing and start over or just make corrections. Ha! That was not meant to be a pun and I’m sure you didn’t take it as one unless you knew that my latest work was about the time I spent working in the Texas Correctional System (Prison System).

It’s weird about the way they call doing time in prison as serving a sentence in the correctional system or in a correctional institution. What does that mean anyway?

Lately, we have been hearing a lot about word and the meanings of words and how using certain phrases and/or terms to describe certain political leanings can make a difference.

If you adhere to the age-old thinking of the Bard, a rose by any name is still a rose. Hence, it doesn’t matter if we call it a rose or a skadeekindockin, it’s still the same thing. Still looks the same. Still smells the same and still has thorns.

But maybe Shakespeare’s way of looking at roses is not exactly the best way to think of how we use words and phrases. In today’s world, evil is still evil. In America, we have the freedom and luxury of arguing about semantics while people are dying ‘over there’.

We may call a war a police action, but people are still killing each other. Ask any Vietnam Veteran. We may call a short person ‘vertically challenged’, but he/she still can’t reach the top shelf.

Does it matter to a blind person if we call them visually challenged instead of blind? Does that make the handicap any less debilitating? No. No it doesn’t. It makes US feel better. It’s like sending flowers to a funeral. The flowers are not going to raise the dead. They’re not going to comfort the grieving. They will be admired by the less involved persons attending the viewing or the services. Some of them will check the cards and make mental notes of who did or did not send flowers or whose flowers were more or less expensive in order to have a little gossip to carry back to co-workers and family members.

These are petty things. What the politically correct movement really does is turn us into petty fools, believing that calling a rattlesnake a legally challenged lizard will make it somehow less inclined to bite us.

Who was it who said call a spade a spade? Somerset Maugham, Oscar Wilde? No and yes. Those two did use the phrase as did Charles Dickens. Oddly enough it seems that some ancient Greek fellow actually, supposedly mistranslated the words ‘fig’ and ‘trough’ as used by Plutarch into the word ‘shovel’, which by extension became ‘spade’. I grew up thinking that ‘spade’ used in the phrase ‘call a spade a spade’ referred to the black suit in cards called spades. And I was partially correct, since the spades on the cards were stylistic depictions of spades or shovels, the common earth-moving tool.

As the United States grew more politically correct and less concerned with the true intent behind words and the use thereof, I was scolded roundly for using the phrase ‘call a spade a spade’ because it was considered racist.

Racist? How so, I ask.

Because we (meaning civilized people of good taste and breeding) do not refer to African-Americans as spades anymore. It is a racial slur.

How so, I ask. I have never in my life referred to an African-American as a spade or a card!

Well, came the response, some people have.

Good Lord! If I can no longer call cards hearts, clubs, diamonds and spades… what shall I call them? Hearts, clubs, diamonds and African-Americans? Or should I call them cardiac musculature, discos, trapezoids and shovels? What if I called them loves, clovers, home-bases and tools? Or would that make me a sentimental Irish baseball-loving idiot?

Well, now I’m totally confused. I hope you get my meaning. (And I have absolutely nothing against sentimentality, Ireland, baseball fans or idiots.)thGHUG3T6A


chewbacca-mom-600When I first saw this lady on Facebook, I thought for a moment my daughter had made this video. Then I quickly realized; it was someone else.

I laughed right along with her and thought how cute she was so tickled and almost unable to function for laughing so hard. If ever there was an infectious laugh, this girl has it. It was made even funnier I think by her hair sticking out on both sides.

Then the phenomenon took off and the next thing I knew everyone was talking about her all over the place. On the national news, the cable news and the local news. She was a hit and it paid off with celebrity and a panoply of interesting perks. I wish it could have been my daughter. She would have been just as funny.

The viral quality of the Chewbaca mom’s short video is astonishing. I am truly happy for this young woman. I know she is as flabbergasted as one could possibly get by all the attention. I applaud her candid performance and her sincere emotion. It is totally refreshing in the face of all the other stuff on the news right now.

The next time I am sitting in my car at Kohl’s trying on crazy masks, I will be sure to video myself and post it before I get cold feet. Maybe I’ll get to meet JJ Abrams. LOL See? Still laughing. Just looking at a still picture of her makes me laugh out loud.



flowersI was looking for a different image for my Facebook page and I just typed images of flowers in Bing and this is one of the images that popped up. It is really pretty, but it wouldn’t load for my Facebook profile page.

I’ve come to realize that color is a big part of my life. When someone asks me what my favorite color is, I usually can’t give a quick answer, or even a slow answer. I love all colors and I also like white and black as well. When it’s time to pick a color for paint, I’m lost. If I need to pick a color for a blouse or drapes or pillow cases, I’m in a conundrum. I like it all. I like dark and mysterious colors as well as bright, happy colors. I love yellow and blue and red and turquoise and green and… well, you get the picture.

I think one of the worst things that could happen to me would be the loss of sight. But then, I thought about it a little more and decided that I would at least have had the opportunity to see for many years and would not be completely without an understanding of sight. I once watched a movie, speaking of sight, in which a woman (elderly) was given sight for the first time in her life and it moved me profoundly when I tried to imagine what it might be like to see for the first time as an adult. The sighted cannot possibly understand what it would be like.

The other day, I saw a baby, perhaps six or eight months old seeing his mother’s face for the first time after a surgical procedure. Again, I was amazed and very glad that someone recorded the moment for him. I hope they will save it and show it to him (or her) when he is older. So wonderful. So miraculous.

I wonder if it is something everyone thinks about on occasion or if it is just a few emotionally disturbed people like myself who dream up situations to wonder about. I know that we are unable to see very well when we are born, but by the time we become cognizant of our own existence, we take sight for granted.

I do know that self-sufficient visually impaired persons are at the very top of my list of admired people. I wonder if I would be so brave should I lose my sight at this late date? I am inspired and awed by the beauty I see around me every day, just as I am inspired and awed by those of us who function without the ability to see. Surely they are favored by God and his angels for their courageous hearts and will one day experience the glory of the Universe in living color. I know I will never take my sight for granted, knowing it can be taken away in an instant.

Just something to think about.

I can still remember when that music used to make me smile… Don McLean

I just realized how long ago I created this blog and published my first book. Seven years!!

Seven years. That’s a long time in the life of a child or a dog or a cat, but after you reach the ripe old age of fifty, time has a way of racing by that leaves me breathless. It seems only yesterday I was arguing with people (other authors) over on the Kindleboards.com about whether or not my book was too long. I had a good friend on the boards that I actually got to meet once at a Kindle Get-Together in Austin who advised me that my book was exactly what I wanted it to be, and to stop listening to  other people. He said ‘they didn’t write the book, you did’. I thought that was very good advice. I took it seriously and my life as a newly published author became much easier.

I’ve heard a lot of people asking this same question over the years. Wanting to know is 300 hundred pages enough? Is 500 too many? I say just write the story and when it’s time, say ‘The End’. I mean you stop telling the story when it’s over. Period. End of story. Pardon the pun.

Lots of people worry about what everyone else is doing. Is so and so’s book longer than mine? Shorter than mine? Is it full of cliches? Is it too stiff? What does so and so think of my style? My story? My opinion? Should I even have an opinion? Should I shorten the descriptions of my characters? Should I go into more detail? Should I leave it to the reader’s imagination? Should I even care?

Of course, you should care what others think of you work. You should not care what other writers think of your work. It is the reader you want to please. There are plenty of examples of writers with thousands and thousands of fans who love their work, yet other authors and so-called ‘critics’ or reviewers give their work the blues.

I don’t know how many times I’ve read the reviews or critiques of books or movies I loved to find them tanking in the one and two-star rating levels. And likewise, I have seen movies and books win awards and accolades from the critics that I personally found abysmal.

One thing we can honestly say without doubt, it takes all kinds, or as I like to say when talking to my Roman friends in Latin with grave pomp, de gustibus non est desputandem (there is no accounting for taste).

It seems the more I dread a thing, the better the outcome. I’ve always heard it said that we should not worry about things we cannot control, but what about dread? Worry is defined as feeling anxious about something that may happen that could be unpleasant and Dread is defined as something very similar. To me, dread seems the worse choice of the two. Of course, worrying can turn your hair white and give you premature frown lines, but dread can give you nightmares and heart attacks.


I’ve said all that to say this: I dreaded myself into nausea and a headache before I went to my dermatologist this morning.


You might wonder why someone would dread going to a dermatologist? Well, it’s kind of like going to the dentist after six years of NOT going. In this case, I haven’t seen a dermatologist in about twenty-five years. When I signed in, I glimpsed him behind the counter! OMG! I thought he was no older than fifteen. Had to be the assistant right? Decided maybe I should ask him if he thought old people should be euthanized, but decided against it. I sat in the waiting room in a sort of catatonic state after trying to shove a clipboard through a plate glass window. Oh, it was a clean window to be sure, but really! The waiting room was beautiful. The furnishings, fantastic taste, chandelier… lovely. Magazine? The best. Even his chairs were antique wingback, armchair replicas that were actually comfortable to sit in.


I went in for the examination. The equipment and room were state of the art. Spotless gleaming. The exam chair was comfortable. There were pillows if you needed them and a flat screen (probably about 26#) on the wall playing beautiful aerial videos of USA national parks and monuments with Debussy, Mozart, Chopin and Handel playing softly in the background. I expected to be served a Starbucks double mocha cappucino grande with extra whipped cream and chocolate syrup at any moment.


The doctor came in.


He was wonderful! He was personable! He laughed at my nervous, self-deprecating jokes! He smiled and seemed genuinely interested in my concerns! He looked at everything I pointed to and explained everything as he went! He told me that my PCP was a wonderful doctor! He said he looks forward to seeing me again! He didn’t put on a faceshield, body armor and gloves in order to hold my hand in his!


He did, however, burn off several suspicious items and take a biopsy, but you can’t have everything can you?


Here’s to Doctor Anthony Perri of the Woodlands, Texas!! Thank you, sir!

I cannot believe that it has been almost a month since I last had a chance to post anything here. I know that time passes fast when you’re having fun, but I wouldn’t have thought it could pass just as fast when you are not. Since I was last here, I did have a bit of fun. I met up with some of the Kindleboarders from the Dallas/Fort Worth area. If you are familiar with kindleboards, then you might recognize some of the names: Intinst, who keeps us laughing with his funny posts, Loonlover (Intinst’s lovely wife), SheltieMom (respected Kindle owner and poster), Cobbie (another wonderful person who loves her kindle), Vikingwarrior who also makes us laugh with his posts on the forums, Meredith whose opinions are always valuable and well appreciated by all. We met at a small bakery and had a long, long chat about all sorts of things, saw some interesting gadgets, covers and lights related to Kindles. It was a great time.

Here’s a picture of my new Oberon kindle2 cover, given to me by a dear new friend I made at Kindleboards.

If you are interested in reading some of the posts and have questions about Kindles and e-readers and authors, the Kindleboards Forums is a great place to find book bargains and all sorts of news and information. I’ve included a link below:


Happy Trails

Happy Trails to you!  That line really reminds me of my childhood when I used to watch Roy Rogers.  I don’t really remember much about the show except that I used to watch it at Grandpa’s house and I was always happy there with Grandpa and Grandma.  They’ve been gone a long, long time, but I still have dreams occasionally in which I actually go and visit with them.  The next day, I always feel renewed and refreshed as if I had actually got to visit with them.  I’m hoping that it may truly be so.

Anyhow, back to Trails.  I have been reading on the Kindleboards about Book Trailers and have wondered about the possibility of making one for Misguided Souls of Magnolia Springs.  I’m checking into the possibilities.  I watched several of the other authors’ trailers and some of them were very impressive and made me want to buy their books. 

Someone brought up the point that people don’t go looking for book trailers on YouTube, but if your book trailer is on YouTube, it might be seen, right?  I mean, it’s done by tags.  A few good tags… so, what’s the problem?  Most of the videos I’ve seen are those that pop up after I’ve watched one video of similar category.  It might be worth it.  Just another venue for getting the book out there.  So, I’ll have it here, if all goes well.