Wednesday, September 27, 2017


     Brand—a mark indicating identity or ownership burned on the hide of an animal with a hot iron. A trademark or distinctive name identifying a product or a manufacturer. These are two of the definitions of brand to be found in the dictionary. 

     I am a manufacturer because I produce words, form sentences, tell a story but I believe in reinvention of self and enjoy wearing different hats—I don’t have a distinctive brand.

     I feel fulfilled when I write non-fiction—engrossed in reality’s fascination and the revelations that research brings to a topic. The surprise of finding the unexpected, amusing, unknown. 

     I’ve read mysteries since childhood—beginning with Nancy Drew; growing up I began to write them. Sometimes my tales change when a character chooses to take his or her action. The cozy mystery I wrote with a little help from the characters was published by Carina Press and now I’m about to send another on its journey to seek a future in a world of readers.

     At times, I feel a play will reflect what I want to say. It calls for actors to step on-stage and bring the dialogue and the plot to life. My ideas come from everywhere. Eavesdropping, a storied past mentioned by an acquaintance, someone in the family—all tell me something I have to fictionalize. and write about while writing non-fiction brings the past to life. I can’t choose between them.

     Do you have a brand? 


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Wednesday, July 5, 2017


     When it’s time to write, I pack my mental suitcase and embark on a journey to another time, another place, another world—sometimes I think I was born in the wrong century. Characters introduce me to their friends, family, lovers, and enemies. The place sometimes reminds me of somewhere else—perhaps somewhere I lived in the past. A place I dreamed about or passed along the way to somewhere else. Perhaps a spot on a map I studied or a figment of my imagination.
     The way to discovery can be hard. Obstacles loom when and where you least expect them. I wonder if I will make it—if writing The End at the end of a story or novel is worth the struggle. A contrary protagonist often insists on going her own way—we argue a lot. The antagonist isn’t the mean character I intended; I find he’s managed to unearth my admiration for his cleverness, his charm. A lot needs to change and I have to change it.
     “I’ll help you,” he whispers in my ear.
     “Don’t listen,” she says.
     “Quiet. Both of you. I’m the writer, I’m in charge and I have to do some serious thinking.” Do I really believe I’m in charge?
     I begin again. Where are we? Where did the journey take me? Is the place rich or barren? The people complacent or miserable or reasonably content? What period of history are we in and how does it affect my characters, my people? Who are my characters? Rich, poor, somewhere in the middle? Are they in want or do they want more? What do they need? What do they seek? And why? Why? Why do they do the good, the bad, the unintended? What are they looking for and what am I looking for?
     I take a long walk and try to clear my head—no cobwebs allowed. I decide to read but all that thinking had tired me; the book drops from my hand. The table-lamp is still on when I wake the next morning. I reach for the pen and pad next to the bed and begin writing.


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Friday, August 26, 2016


     On National Dog Day I’d like to share a few memories of Jackie—the Pavlova of Toy Poodles. She weighed just under seven pounds and looked like an emaciated mouse when soaking wet but she was able to jump from the floor to the top of the Murphy bed in the theatrical hotel we were staying at when we brought her home from the kennel. My husband said a dog would never sleep with us but by the third jump he gave in and Jackie claimed the middle of the bed while we were pushed to the sides by her little paws. She could also jump to the top of the dining table when tempted by home-made rice pudding or baked beans and we had gone to answer a phone call. If she stayed with my mom, she turned up her nose at dog food and was fed lamb-chop, steaks and ice cream for dessert-had my mom well-trained.
     She was offered a job in a small production of “Wonderful Town,” but suffered from stage-fright although when a tenor sat down at the piano after dinner she howled right along and when on the road enjoyed the Christmas party we threw for all the dogs in the company. Jackie always knew when we were taking her to be groomed and would refuse to move when we were two blocks away. After she had received her beauty treatment she strutted all the way home though she hated the girlie ribbons placed on her ears. Her taste in males was interesting—she preferred big, muscular dogs. The type you might see featured in a kennel romance.
Jackie passed on when she was almost sixteen. We miss her.



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