I don’t write to be famous, I don’t write to be known, I write because I am and I want to be read. How sad to fill a room with paintings no one sees or play music no one hears. Writing is talking without sound, singing without score and dancing without movement and yet, it is all of them. It is a solitary art conjured from thought and expressed by the need to communicate.

HEAD SLAPS, SPEED BUMPS and LIGHTBULBS, one woman's WTF, oops and ah-ha moments of life.

They were published once, and as every writer knows, once is not enough.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

I wrote this for FB and just had to 2N it too

For those who remember a time when rolling stones, beetles and the four seasons meant rocks, bugs and times of the year, this is for you.  

You know you’re getting old when “youth” is that thing you realize you wasted, when you saw your kids doing the exact same thing, just before they had kids.

If you walk into a room, and can’t remember why you walked in, it’s not an age thing, unless the room you enter is the bathroom.

Old means, never having to say you’re sorry you forgot, because you never heard what was said anyway.

You’re getting old if each year you have to recalculate your age when it’s your birthday.

If you are old, sell-by dates don’t matter because beginning and end dates don’t mean much when you can’t remember today’s date.

You are old if the new high school you attended was torn down and replaced, and your grandchildren graduated from the new one, years ago.

If your teachers teach your grandchildren, have retired, or died you’re old.

If your teenage hangout is the new senior center, you’re old.

If to you, Dwight means Ike, not Gooden, you’re old.

And, you know you’re getting up in years if you remember when mammogram was a telegram to your mother and PSA meant Public Service Announcement.

And especially for women:

If you call Spanx a girdle, you’re old.

If a thong line reminds you of a sanitary belt line, you are most definitely old.

If you remember when undergarments were called underwear, boots were called rubbers and rubbers were erasers, you’re old.

If you were told using a tampon meant you’d lose your virginity, and you believed it, you’re not only old, you’re clueless.

You’re getting old if you sneeze, cough and laugh and for the rest of the day you feel like you’re wearing a wet bathing suit during the long ride home after a day at the beach.

You know you’re getting old when you think aches and pains are as inevitable as menopause.

At the risk of embarrassing my daughters, alienating my son-in-law’s, mortifying my current and future grandchildren and estranging my husband let me conclude that sex for old folks is lot like getting a good night’s sleep. It’s something you talk about a lot, seldom get and can’t remember the last time you had a good one anyway

Sunday, March 13, 2016

It takes a million

So, I asked myself, have I written a million words?

Well, actually, I have written a hell of a lot more than a million.

Considering my first published piece ran twenty-eight years ago, and what it took to get to that first byline, I was probably up to million way back then.

I did the math.
All I’d have to have done, since then, is average a little less than a hundred words a day. Piece of cake my friends, piece of store baked or homemade for sure.

I remember the moment someone told me I was a writer.

Up to that point I wanted to be a writer, thought about it, read about it, learned, learned, learned and dreamt every day and every night of being a writer.  

Over thirty-five years ago I started a very daunting project, a fictionalized real life portrait of Father George Rapp, head of the Harmony Society, a utopian community in Pennsylvania. Good old George is my uncle (10 or 11 generations back), with a direct descendant connection to my father and grandfather as a pathway to unimaginable riches. (Long but very interesting story).

The scope of the story was so vast that this writer’s burgeoning ability was a bit frail for the scope of the project. I wasn’t sure where to start so I just wrote from my research based on family records, library research and first account journal entries after visiting the actual village in western PA.

A few months into the project my mother’s brother, Chet, came to visit us from California. He was a big wig in a missile company. Selling war or protection, it was the same thing, and of little concern to me at the time. All I know is that I respected his intellect and thought of him as brilliant.

At the table one night my father brought up the news that I was writing a book about George Rapp. Chet wanted to read some pages so before he headed to bed I gave him my first thirty. I didn’t sleep that night. It felt like Christmas Eve.

Next morning, alone at the kitchen table, full coffee cups in front of us, he placed the thin stack of pages in front of him upside down. He removed the last three and set them on the table in front of me, right side up. Pointing to an underlined paragraph at the bottom of the page he spoke the magical words which patterned my life from then on.

“This is where you became a writer.”

It was a gruesome scene, and there is some doubt as to the historical circumstances but now, all these years later, the actual writing doesn’t matter as much as Chet’s comments solidifying my decision to write.

The mission to chronicle Rapp, and our family’s personal connection to the mind and power of a brilliant utopian madman, fell away as ideas and dreams often do. But Chet’s words still byline my writer’s self-definition.

I became a writer a couple of million words ago.

When did you become a writer?

Sunday, March 6, 2016

From baby to baby, a senior representitive

After over thirty years of writing articles, op-eds and newspaper columns I began to wonder what kind of non-fiction writer I really am. Who am I writing for, who do I represent?

My latest ENOUGH SAID rant column had me defending my job, my fellow workers and just about everybody in service industries so I wondered how else have I defined myself over the years.

Early on I wrote about being a stay at home mother of two daughters. I touted the advantages of being home with my children as opposed to rushed mornings and late evenings of family time. Was it better for them? Doesn’t matter, because as a mother in her mid and late thirties, who longed for children like loneliness longs for love, it was better for me. Daycare or in home care, kids do just fine as long as they are wanted and loved for who they are.

Once our girls entered school fulltime, and I started punching a time clock again, I began to write about the wonderful chaos that adolescence, working parents and a four foot pile of laundry on the basement floor brings.

On one particular January day I was so tired of looking at the mound of cloths on the basement floor that I attacked it like a hungry crow on roadkill. After a full day of washing and folding I made it to the summer season’s bathing suits at the bottom. Under that heap lay a paper-thin dead frog flattened like flower petals pressed between the pages in a book.

As my girls got older my writing took a turn to teenager angst and how fast their childhood sped by. From trikes to cars and college, life picked up a kind of warp-speed momentum that can only be described as blur. It seemed as if one day I was standing at the end of our driveway waiting for the school bus for our oldest’s first day of kindergarten, and the next we were driving her three and half hours north to college in Vermont.  

And then, our youngest was off to a University in Rhode Island and there we were, two birds rearranging our nest for the next season. Sure the kids boomeranged back, moved out, got married, moved back again, bought houses, one had a baby, and the other is due in May. And, here I am today, a senior representative, writing about life from baby to baby.

When I think about all the years, and how our family has changed, I am so thankful I have chronicled it. Being able to share it, per publication, is a privildge. I’ve written about the new members who marry-in, those who opt out by choice, and the heartbreaking circumstances of those removed by fate, old age and senseless tragedy. I’ve written about being a daughter, a mother, granddaughter and grandmother, a wife and a friend. Stupid, smart, addlebrained and lame brained I’ve written it all. I’ve thought about, researched, considered and started projects so varied that only the confines of white space and word count could sort and confine them.

So what’s next?

New baby, retirement, old age? Damned if I know. Have to turn tomorrow’s page, tomorrow.

What’s new with you?