Friday, November 15, 2019

Lost and Found

"Tell us a story!" the children pleaded. "Pweeeeese Dogdancing!"

"I can't." She painfully sighed, slumping to the ground next to a fallen tree. "My stories have gone."

"Gone where?" asked Skipping stone.

"I've lost them...or maybe put them down, and forgot to pick them up again. Either way they're gone." She laid her head into her arms and closed her eyes.

Disappointed the children slink away.

How do writers get separated from their stories? What is the past tense of writer? What do you call an empty library?  Has my muse died/abandoned me? Have I gone deaf? I can no longer hear the internal sound stack I write to. Someone spun the dial on my radio and now it's just static. Has my writers pail rusted? has all the magical fluid seeped out?

They say writers are born and can't be made...does this mean I have died?

Everyone in a while something zaps my writers brain like a defibrillator, it sends a jolt of creativity into my flatlined writers brain. I feel a rush of the writers pail suddenly welling over and flooding my parched soul.

I take a breath and feel the words rush forwards, but as I reach for them, it peaks and recedes and I am left with nothing in my fingers but droplets of magic.

I softly try to lick the jewels from my fingers with the tip of my tongue...the taste is gone like a bolting horse...kicking dirt in my face...knocking me to the ground.


I often refer to my writing like its a horse. I'm always having to lasso it over an over and get the bucks out of it.

...but now.... it no longer feels like a horse...has it evolved into something else?

A rogue presence slinking through the recesses of my mind. Coming out in the silvery moonlihgt to drink from my writers pail. Quickly dissolving into a mist when I go to touch it.

I feel a slight breeze disturb the air. hair bristles.
quickly I lay out traps, climb into the bushes...

and wait.

Sunday, November 3, 2019


Yes I am inventing new word. Ventogging. Its the fine art of venting while Vlogging.

I have found that stress is easier for me to deal with if I run it to it's extreme end and laugh at it.

Here is an example.

Well three examples.

It's really hard to look at my face in these. I have the typical steroid Moonface. So much fat in my cheeks. It's like wearing  mask! EEK!

Any way, I'm still trying to get my lazy old brain to cough up a good idea to blog about. Hell at this point I'll take a bad idea.

I'm going to donate plasma and will be trapped for a few hours so hopefully tomorrow I can force the issue. Its either write something of give up my status as a writer.

What is the label for unwriters?

great, now I need to invent yet another word.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Tang eats it (1992)

Tired of listening to us squabble over who got to hold the cats, Mama pulled into a turn out and locked both Ting and Tang in the sky-blue fifteen foot Shasta trailer attached to our yellow station wagon.

“I’m soooo sorry I let you kids talk me into bringing those D-A-M-N cats,” she growled while adjusting herself behind the steering wheel. “Next camping trip we’ll bring the dog.”

“We don’t have a dog,” my older brother reminds her from the depths of the way-back seat.

“We’ll get one!” she answered through clenched teeth. She glared at him in the rear view mirror as she pulls out.

The trailer lags for a second like a balky colt and then lunches forward with a lurch.  Instantly the back window starts to chirp and dribble rain water down on older brothers head.

“Quit touchin’ me.” I whine at younger brother one.

He puts his hand in front of my face. “You’re not using this space.”

“Qwitit! I warn him, and then whap him with my piece of driftwood.

My older and self-proclaimed wiser sister began belting out fake hand farts to the tune of Happy Birthday.

Our combined noise awakens baby brotherfour, who joins in by getting car sick.

I’m busy giving brother two an Indian burn when I feel the car sway violently. Brother three, who is sleeping next to me, tumbles to the floor. Mama’s hands slap the steering wheel as she tries to keep us on the road.

Outside the window I watch images flick past as we twist about the road. For a second the trailer is alongside of us and I catch sight of the widest cat eyes I have ever seen peering out from under the polka dotted pink curtains. Just as like in crack-the-whip, the trailer careens back on one wheel to where it belongs, only to fall over on its side. Sounding like a giant raspy metal skate wheel, the trailer skids along behind until the heavy safety chains pop. The car jerks forward an stops.

We pour out like ants after a jelly donut.

“Stay on the edge of the highway!” Mama warns us, “Oncoming traffic won’t be able to see around the trailer!”

We line up and stare at the twisted metal and broken glass not knowing what to say. The trailer lays on its right side with one wheel spinning. I looks like a giant over turned beetle.

“Do you reckon the cats are okay?” brotherthree asks while chewing on his shirt collar.

“Flat as pancakes.” Says older sister

I sit down and start bawling.

About then mama and two fish and Game men, who stopped to help came over to where we are.

“Their dead!” I wail.

The taller man turns to me. “Is there someone in there?!”

“YES!” we all answer in unison.

Before Mama can open her mouth to explain WHO is in there, the men hoist the trailer back up onto its two wheels. The metal squeals in agony as the trailer bobs back and forth.

“CATS!” Mama shout grabbing the tall ones arm, “Our two cats are in there – no people.”

They shoot murderous glances at us while they catch their breath.

Older brother peels back the outer door like the lid to a sardine can. The screen door swings out on its bent hinges like a swooning lady. Spread eagle on the screen is Ting, looking very much like a squashed bug on a windshield. Some of his whiskers point North, others South and a few are bent in right angles. He lets loose a pitiful meow.

The man with the beard laughs as he peels Ting loose “I bet your glad that ride is over!”

We crowd around the door to look for Tang. I can see the cupboard door dangling like a guillotine ready to plunge. There are sleeping bags, pillows and cloths everywhere, but no Tang.

Older sister ventures in and moves an armful of debris off the floor. Half buried in the contents of the refrigerator is Tang. Shards of white fibrous tissue protrude from his mouth. His right ear is matted down with a thick coating of syrup that drips slowly down his whiskers.

We all start screaming at the same time.

“He’s eating all the crab!!!”

Older sister scoops him up. There is one tiny shrimp on each of his claws. That’s out Tang!

Mama struggles to stop laughing. “OH am I sorry I let you kids talk me into brining those damn C-A-T-S!”

This is mostly true. Just  little bit tweaked by adding Mama’s dialogue to frame the story.  It was a very frightening event that happened on the way from camping at the coast. The trailer was towed back to Bandon , where a shop punched holes in the metal and laced it up where it had split.  We drove behind it watching and laughing as one of the brothers stuffed animals, jiggled loose and fell 1/2 out the crack in the seam. It was a big blue shark and the sight of its tail wagging in the breeze lightened the serious mood.

The scary part? The part I still don’t like to think about. Where this happed ….on that stretch of road…that was the ONLY part of it with a turn out. Had it happened any other spot we would have plunged off the cliff.

Oh yes, thank you soooo much anxiety….and those who made both our roads to the coast on freaking cliff sides.

I was young when this happened, in 1972, I was six.. Young enough to still fall victim to magical thinking. I had a small witch doll. She has beautiful with purple skin and shiny lime green hair, if you put in a battery her eyes flickered!  I loved her so much. One of my religious friends had told me she was cursed and I shouldn’t have her…as in I needed to burn her or something, because she was so evil.  I spent the rest of that trip with her tightly in my hands, watching her, convinced the accident happened because I had brought her along. That all this was my fault. It ruined my love of this unique doll in the black mini skirt and go-go boots.

My gawd I love the internet. Googled "Witch doll with flickering eyes." and she came right up.  Emerald the enchanting witch doll 1972.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

The applesauce woman

When I was a young child my grandparents brought an old woman to thanksgiving dinner.

She was old, toothless, frail, thin and quiet.

I had never seen her before, or after.

She sat at the end of the table and only ate applesauce. Her hand shaking as she slowly ate.

I have never forgotten her...this applesauce woman.

Tonight I got out my sewing box and machine to hem my son's pants. It was frustrating on so many levels. My muscle refusing to obey and perform the fine motor skills needed to sew.

Took me MUCH longer then it should have.

Broke my heart to see all the unfinished projects in the box.

To realize that that door is closed now.

My children had better hang on to their floor blankets, to give to any future grandchildren...because I will not be able to sew them any.

I tossed most of the box in the trash.  Crying in my hubby's arms as I say goodbye to yet ANOTHER THING.

I remember vividly when I was first injured in my twenties, and I had to give up the very first thing.

Running was the first thing to go.

and it didn't go quietly.

As the pain gained hold and took over, pieces of me fell away. My identity began to change.

Things are going away much quicker now.

The prednisone is failing. My labs worse even after a increase in the meds.

Finally, the muscle biopsy is on the table and rolling.

The Polymyositis is in my hips now.

Crept in this summer.

I'm struggling to make my shifts at work.

which terrifies me, because come November, its my shoulders that will carry a burden meant for two.

I see her.

That old  woman.

I see her now, in me.

I place my resident's medication in applesauce and spoon it to them. Trying to ignore the weakness and shakiness of my arm.

This damn illness is close to robbing me of it all.  Soon I will be this ghostly shell that is nothing more then a quietness, where a wild beautiful woman once was.

...and it will be my turn to be the applesauce woman.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Dreamers (9-29-1991)


Crouching amidst a clump of saw grass, she waits patiently. Behind her the sleepy blue gray sky is just beginning to blush with the rays of the morning sun. Her orange checkered dress offers her slender legs little protection from the nippy wind darting about the sand dune; so she tucks them up into the womb of her ratty once yellow sweat shirt.

Perched on Shaa Dossa hill se has a panoramic view of the forest and nearby ocean with its waves rearing impatiently like frisky colts eager for breakfast. She excitedly smiles as the sun swells over the crest of the hill sending her shadow oozing like hot tar down the dune.  At the base of the dune it is absorbed by a pool of water. Like frozen glass he pond remains empty of reflections. 

The energy in the cool air rises and sets the saw grass bristling around her. Shedding her clothes she rises to stand naked in the sun.

The mule deer dance like fairies across the damp dunes. Their chiseled hooves bring up dry sand and sent it skittering across the darker surface. One by one they halt in a staggered rows at the edge of the still pond. Like a conductor signaling the start of a symphony, a buck lowers his velvety lips to the water and disturbs the enchanted surface. The pond quivers and comes to life.

The wind tickles her body with sand as the saw grass pokes accusingly at her tan legs. 

“Dreamers” she softly calls to the herd.

So musically is her young voice that only a few graceful scooped ears flick her way. They sense no threat in this naked child as she glides down the slope. A buck pulls up his head and watches her with water dribbling erratically from his swaying mouth.

Joining the deer she kneels next to them at the edge of the shimmering liquid. Reaching towards the magical pond she waits. The wind gusts and blows swiftly across the water sending it rippling to her outstretched hands. With her tongue she gently licks the water crystals from her sandy finger tips. Her eyes meet  a does eyes in the mirror of the pond. 

The suns light finally reaches the tiny lake and shatters like quicksilver across the surface. Her reflection dissipates with the fleeing deer as they bound through the pond. When the water stills, only her clothes and pool of murky rainwater  trapped between the sand dunes remain.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Rollercoaster (TRIGGER)


and endless rollercoaster of events

its climbs and drops

a random chaotic gut twisting adventure

some so slight we are unaware of the rise and fall.

giddy laughter at the ride.


oh others,

are stomach dropping plunges into a dark unforeseen abyss.

terrified screams.

Some times we see those drops ahead of time.

We brace for them

hunkering down in our seats

tighten our belts

white knuckle grip on the bar.

but other times...

when we see it coming,

we see our belt is broken and inoperable

the bar rickety and loose.


we just relax into our seat

place our hands on our laps

and wait



for the force of it to throw us from the car

into the pavements silencing embrace.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Recipe for a Sunday afternoon (4-10-1996)

This one really got me. Such a simple little poem, hiding such a long slow, difficult process.
I wrote this for a recipe contest in my works newsletter.  We forget now days with the invention of spell checker how slow and painstaking it used to be to edit things.  My spelling was BAD, like holy-crap-is-English-her-second-language?-BAD.  In order for me to type this out on paper to submit it, I first wrote it, then copied it onto a clean sheet, double spaced, and then looked up each and EVERY word in my little hand held dictionary and wrote the correct spellings above the words. Anther handwritten cleaner copy, then carefully typed the poem out.  It was soul draining. It was crushing as I found words I thought were correct that were wrong.

my spelling stopped me from being a writer. It stopped me from pursuing my dreams and cultivating my talent. It changed my vocabulary. I can recall countless times wanting to use a word, but not being able to spell it, had to settle for once I could spell. Looking those words up didn't help, sometimes my spelling was so butchered I couldn't find it in the dictionary.This crazy, incredibly slow process also stopped me from submitting stuff.  Ralph Gorin, sir you are my hero. I know you didn't have me specifically in mind when you invented spell checker, but you might as well have. You changed the world, and gave millions the way to communicate clearly with others.

Recipe for a Sunday afternoon

MIX six assorted grandchildren
(they don’t have to be yours)
Into one city park.

ROLL them in thick green grass
Until hand and knees are well

SPRINKLE with water from the
fountain and air dry on the

Be sure to SIFT the sandbox
For shoes and socks and remove.

FILL them all to the brim with 
Banana splits and root beer floats.

BLEND in six CUPS of kisses and 
four POUNDS of hugs, and ten TSP 
of giggles.

When the TEMPERATURE cools,
STUFF into the car and go
Out for pizza.