10 Favorite Comments From My Readers

•November 9, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Hi all.  It’s been a while since I’ve been to my poor, neglected site but the NaNoWriMo business has got me going, not that I’m actually participating.  The last time I had to write an ungodly number of words under a time constraint was in college.  I won’t be putting myself through that again unless there’s monetary compensation involved. Those of you who know me, know what a true crime junkie I am so you won’t be surprised that I have switched genres.  My current project is a crime thriller inspired in part by the positive feedback my Summer of the I-40 Killer series elicited.  You can read it here in my archives. Thanks to that, some dreadful poetry, sappy romance and grisly horror attempts, and in honor of all of you brave and motivated souls engaged in NaNoWriMo, here are some of my favorite comments made by my well meaning and otherwise readers. 

1. “Somewhat artfully arranged rhetoric.  B-“

2. “Wow that’s really good! Did you write that?  It doesn’t sound like you at all.”

3. “At this rate, you’ll be famous when you’re dead.”  

4. “If you want to make some money, write explicit sex.  There’s a market for that.” 

5. “One word exclamations are no substitute for emotion.”  

6. “I can’t finish reading this manuscript.  It’s too disturbing.”

7. “If you did it right the first time you wouldn’t have to rewrite it.”

8. “You Americans are unbelieveable.”

9. “Terrifyingly slippery.”

10. “That was great!  Loved reading that!  What are you wearing?” 

Idiot Number One

•November 30, 2012 • 1 Comment

I believe that whenever I’m about to act on a bad idea, there will be sign, a small but clear sign, and usually I will ignore it.

I had errands to run for work today, and 45 minutes left before lunch.  I figured that would be plenty of time, but I failed to remember that this is Friday, the day that all the worst drivers in town turn out for The Freestyle Idiot Driving Competition. Then as I walked home from my office to get my car, I realized I’d have to get my wallet, which I left in the house.  My house keys are in my wallet.  See?  That was my sign.  What did I do?  Ignore it.

I had my car keys, I considered just going without the wallet. The voice in my head that tries to save me from myself told me I’d better not, so to save time, I hopped in the car and VROOM, I was back at the office where I leave an extra set of keys because I frequently lock myself out.  VROOM, I’m back home to retrieve my wallet. I live a whopping half block from my office.

So I’m off to the bank, plotting my route from there to the US Cellular office where a co-worker has left her phone case when Freestyle Idiot #2 backs out in front of me at the courthouse, in an overloaded pickup with two flat tires, emergency blinkers flashing.  Unable to stand the five mile an hour pace, I change my route, only to be cut off by Idiots #3 and #4, then I’m nearly sideswiped by Idiot #5 who cuts in front of me at the next light. Fed up, I make a turn putting me back on my original route across town.  I make up the lost time by speeding, right past Police Cruiser A.  Oh horrors!  Thank God I went home for my wallet, but as luck would have it, the A apparently stands for Apathy.  He never even hits his brakes.

Undaunted, I make it to the bank and then head out to the mall, still making good time.  Then I realize that what I thought was the US Cell office is actually the ATT office, but now I’m on the access road and it’s too late.  Cussing myself, I circle back to the main road and at a stop light I do something that I bitch incessantly about when I see others do it.  I pull out my phone and make a call.  My co-worker informs me that US Cell is on the other side of the mall from ATT, so back around to the access road I go, past the mall to US Cell.  I am no longer making good time and have begun to sweat.

I wait behind the previous customer, pick up the phone case, dash back out to the car and am promptly cut off by Idiot #6, who then sits at the stop sign rummaging through something in the seat beside her.  Rummaging, rummaging, rummaging.  *sigh*

I do something else I bitch about. I honk my horn.

She ignores me.

OMG, it’s been at least a minute! I’m getting mad now and I can’t reverse because there’s someone behind me.  I honk again, fantasize about beating the crap out of her and then finally she goes.  I hit the access road like a maniac and head past the highway to the other side of town.  I now have less than five minutes to get home and make my husband lunch before he gets home. The traffic is psycho. There’s no way in hell I’m going to make it on time.

“Don’t you even pull that turning yellow on me crap,” I tell a traffic light, “I am soo making you!”  VROOM!

Then a red HHR goes shooting past and cuts in front me.  With the next cussword still on the tip of my tongue, I realize it’s my husband. He’s waving at me.

Now it’s a race.  He makes the next light.

I don’t.  Then I put my foot in it and blow past Police Cruiser B hiding behind a telephone pole.  Thank God the B stands for Busy.  He appears to be texting and I luck out, get home and make lunch without killing anyone.

“So,”  you might say, “You completely skipped over Idiot #1.”

No, I didn’t. Idiot #1 is me and I won the contest.

Just Pretend

•August 20, 2012 • Leave a Comment

8/17/12

I have a lot of crazy dreams and those of you who know me are used to my sentences that begin, “Last night, I dreampt…”.  I write these things down just in case there might be a hidden message, something I’ve forgotten was there, a clue about who I am that I’m hiding from myself.  Sometimes, there is.

Last night, I dreampt I was in a movie with Molly Ringwald, Martha Plimpton, Meryl Streep, Robert Downy Jr.,  Johnny Depp, James Spader and John Malkovich.  Great cast, if I do say so myself.  I have no recollection of what it was about, but I had a small part in which I ran out into the street in my pajamas to dance in the rain.  It was ridiculous but it felt amazing.

I’m sure it happened because, last night, in my real life, I had to walk a part in play I’m stage managing.  It was the third time I’ve done that in the last 2 weeks. Normally, I hate it and just read the script without engaging, but last month that all changed.  While doing a timed contest play at OCTAFest, I experienced the absolute worst case of stage fright I’ve ever had.  It lasted 3 days, but somehow, I managed to leave it there.  Now, with the fear gone, I’m suddenly free to learn about the process of creating a character onstage.  I need that.  As a writer, characterization has always been the hardest part for me.  I’m full of stories, but I’m not so good with people.

On stage during the scene last night, I really tried to see the cast members as the characters they played.  I watched them from a place outside myself, reacting to me as the character I was playing as I struggled with how to say my lines, where to move when, who to look at and with what expression.  It was surreal, uncomfortable.  Hard.  They seemed so good at it, as of they’d never lost the child-like ability to pretend.

I did, and thanks to that dream I had last night, I was driven to remember the day it happened.

I was 12.  The neighborhood kids and I were in the Connecticut woods near our homes. It was early spring, in the afternoon.  I was wearing a yellow windbreaker, the one I always got in trouble for getting dirty. We’d built our own play town out of brush and fallen logs, rocks, whatever we could collect and whatever our moms wouldn’t miss from kitchens and garages, our rooms. We made up stories, we acted them out.  It was bliss. That day, I was right in the middle of mixing up some kind of “stew” from wood fungus, leaves and berries when it hit me.  The premise of our story evaporated right before my eyes, and suddenly it was all hollow, meaningless, even stupid.  I didn’t know what to do. I went home full of a strange new heaviness, as if I’d grown up all at once in a sudden whirlwind of consciousness.   The joy of playing pretend had always been there for me when I needed to escape.  I’d taken it for granted and in one afternoon it was gone.  I tried again and again, but nothing was the same after that day.

I realize I’ve been trying to make it be ever since.

I’ve had nights at the theater when I was tired, or had something upsetting on my mind, that I wondered what kind of madness had driven me to be there when I could be safely ensconced in my recliner with a drink in my hand, doing my best to ignore the world and the person I’d become in it.  Now I know it ‘s because that child I used to be is still alive and waiting in the wings for the day I finally remember how to play pretend.

10 Things I Learned At OCTAFest

•July 16, 2012 • Leave a Comment

1.  I take my crazy-talented friends for granted.  They really are amazing and I love them.

2.  I’m still wound way too tight and there’s not enough booze on Earth to fix that.

3.  Feeling like I’m going to hyperventilate doesn’t necessarily mean I will.

4.  I’m too emotionally invested in my projects to see them objectively.  (What I really mean is, I hate criticism.  I freaking hate it!)

5.  I need to spend more time wanting what I’ve got.

6.  I’m insanely competitive, I hate to lose and it brings out the worst in me.

7.  It still helps to sleep with the judges.  (Refer to #6)

8.  I kinda maybe want to be a star a little bit.  (Okay, I do.)

9.  The middle-aged single people at events are creepy. 

10. You can’t expect everyone to share your creative vision and it’s okay if they don’t.  (Refer to #7)

Adventures in Waiting Rooms

•April 18, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I am a patient advocate.  I don’t know how that happened, but at some point I crawled into bed as a party animal and rolled out as a responsible adult. Clearly lapses in judgement occurred and a mistake was made, but no matter how I protest, nobody listens. And so I’m hanging out in waiting rooms.

Mostly nothing happens in the waiting room.  My butt goes to sleep in the uncomfortable chair I’m sitting in.  My brain goes to sleep in the uncomfortable material I’m reading and I’m usually freezing by the time the nurse comes to say I can take my charge home. Then there are my efforts to avoid saying and doing all the inappropriate things that come to mind, simply because I know I shouldn’t do or say them. Like tearing the recipes out of the magazines, balling them up and throwing them at the snoring guy giving himself whiplash as he clutches his car keys in one hand and his cell in the other. 

Some people don’t carry that burden of impulse control.

Last week a tiny Hobbit in a wheel chair suddenly barfed explosively all over the Travertine tile in an expensive looking waiting room with leather chairs with nail head trim, a flat screen TV and Berber carpets. In the ER, yeah I get that, not a surprise, but there? I didn’t see that coming.  I won’t be fooled again.

On Tuesday, there was the fart and run guy in the radiology department who stayed just long enough to ask a question of the nurse on the other side of the sliding glass window and cut a silent deadly one.  I know it was him, because it wasn’t me.  I always wondered what the deal was with the window, why they keep it closed unless they absolutely can’t avoid speaking to you.  Now I know.

And there’s something else I never had to deal with before.  I’m starting to feel like a second class citizen reading a novel that doesn’t require recharging. Today everyone seemed to have a burning desire to know what it’s called and what it’s about. What they really want to know is if I can’t afford a Kindle.  I’ve decided I’ll never have a Kindle.

If you have any questions, I’ll be in the waiting room.

Gotta Love Your Family

•April 11, 2012 • Leave a Comment

There’s nothing quite like that feeling you get when you tell a family member you love them and they answer “and I appreciate you.”. It feels just like the day my grandmother gave me a diamond ring and said, “I want you to have this. It means absolutely nothing to me.”. 😀

Church Ladies With Typewriters….

•April 10, 2012 • Leave a Comment

It’s not often that I post a forwarded e-mail, but every now and then,  I get one that good:


They’re Back! Those wonderful Church Bulletins! These sentences (with all the BLOOPERS) actually appeared in church bulletins or were announced in church services:


The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals.
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The sermon this morning: ‘Jesus Walks on the Water.’ The sermon tonight: ‘Searching for Jesus.’
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Ladies, don’t forget the rummage sale. It’s a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.
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Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community. Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say ‘Hell’ to someone who doesn’t care much about you.
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Don’t let worry kill you off – let the Church help.
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Miss Charlene Mason sang ‘I will not pass this way again,’ giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.
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For those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs.
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Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.
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Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.
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A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.
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At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be ‘What Is Hell?’ Come early and listen to our choir practice.
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Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.
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Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.
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Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered..
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The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility.
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Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM – prayer and medication to follow.
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The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.
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This evening at 7 PM there will be a hymn singing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.
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Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10 AM. All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B.S. Is done.
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The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the Congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday.
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Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM. Please use the back door.
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The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare’s Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 PM. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.
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Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.
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The Associate Minister unveiled the church’s new campaign slogan last Sunday: ‘I Upped My Pledge – Up Yours.