Wednesday, August 29, 2007


I’m not big on birthdays. When I was much younger I always reminded everyone of mine. As I got older and began experiencing the distance between my family and me, I stopped the reminders as an experiment to see what would happen. You know what happened? Nothing!

There were several years when no one remembered my birthday, or if they did I’d get a call a week or two afterwards explaining how busy they were. My mother remembered most often – not always just most often. When my dad married my second stepmother, I always got cards – often late, but she was very organized so they always arrived.

My little sister and I were both struggling financially for quite a while, so we never got in the habit of cards. Phone calls were more likely for us, but we always lived so far apart it wasn’t easy to communicate. My older sister lived about 45 minutes away from me for the 11 years I lived in Chicago. She never remembered my birthday unless I reminded her.

I always remembered their birthdays and being a dutiful middle child I called – always within a day of the actual date. And they always forgot.

Tuesday was my mother’s 87th birthday. I called her today - Wednesday. I pretended to be cheerful and happy to talk to her. I wasn’t. But I did my duty.

Today would have been my dad’s 90th birthday. I would have called. I would have done my duty.

I wish I liked birthdays.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Update on Internet Matchmaking

So, it’s been close to a month since I signed up at the internet matchmaking site. Time for a report.

First of all, I totally revised my profile and added some up to date pictures. I actually sound pretty nice and like a good catch now. I’ll spring the total bitch on them later! JUST KIDDING! A couple of my friends made me rewrite it because they said no decent man would ever respond to the other one.

I’ve been viewed anywhere from a low of 5 times per day to a high of 43 times in one day. I reset the counter everyday (because I’m a trained researcher – that’s why!).

I’ve had about 30 winks – you know the guys too cheap to sign up for the full service unless someone actually responds to their wink. At least 25 of the winkers are from out of state. Hmmmmmm! Winkers get rejected just on principle. If they’re that damned tight, I’m not interested!

I’ve also had several e-mails – about 10 so far. Now perhaps some of them just got totally distracted by my incredibly beautiful face smiling back at them and forgot to read my profile. It clearly states I am spiritual but not religious, politically liberal, intelligent, and looking for someone who is fit and likes to be up and doing things.

So far I’ve had 2 ultraconservatives and one conservative, 4 religious ones who have mentioned Jesus and 1 who mentioned all his church activities, 2 who had spelling and grammatical errors in the e-mails (I hear you all cringing out there!), and the last one said he is a little overweight and enjoys watching TV – his pictures looked like he is a lot overweight. All of them have received the “No Thanks” e-mail.

I actually found a few guys who looked okay and sounded interesting and sent 3 e-mails so far. Now, 2 of those e-mails were sent before my friends made me change my profile and the e-mails were a little snarky. I haven’t received any replies yet and my friends say I have to re-send e-mails to the first 2 guys. They’ve even volunteered to write them for me.

“For God’s sake, I’m a writer,” I say.

“And how many responses have you received to your e-mails?” they say.



I agreed they could read them before I sent them.

I’ll keep you posted.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Rosie's 14 Today!

See Rosie celebrating?

No hat for her. She adamantly refused!

Happy Birthday, Sweet Rosebud!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Life First!

At times I get a little irritated reading some writer’s blogs. I don’t write everyday – at least not on a manuscript or story because occasionally I lose the passion for a project or I just have so many other things going on in my life that need my attention I don’t have time to write. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this.

I don’t write to pay my bills. I write because I want too – because I have things I want to say that lend themselves to paper rather than words. But not writing every day or pushing myself when I’m not motivated doesn’t mean I’m not a writer. It means I have a life.

My life is not an interruption to my writing. It’s what fuels my writing, provides me with a perspective and keeps everything flowing and fresh. I need to take breaks to tend to the rest of my life so it doesn’t overwhelm me and stifle my writing.

For those who can write everyday, I say great! More power to you but don’t judge me because I can’t. We’re all different. That’s what makes the world interesting, fascinating, frustrating and mundane.

For me, life first!

Friday, August 24, 2007

A Little Friday Levity

A man and his wife were celebrating 50 years together. Their three kids, all very successful, agreed to a Sunday dinner in their honor.

'Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad,' gushed son number one ... 'Sorry I'm running late. I had an emergency at the hospital with a patient, you know how it is, and didn't have time to get you a gift.'

'Not to worry,' said the father. 'The important thing is that we're all together today.'

Son number two arrived and announced, 'You and Mom look great, Dad. I just flew in from Los Angeles between depositions and didn't have time to shop for you.'

'It's nothing,' said the father, 'We're glad you were able to come.'

Just then the daughter arrived, 'Hello and happy anniversary! I'm sorry, but my boss is sending me out of town and I was really busy packing so I didn't have time to get you anything.'

After they had finished dessert, the father said, ...'There's something your mother and I have wanted to tell you for a long time. You see, we were very poor. Despite this, we were able to send each ofyou to college. Throughout the years your mother and I knew that we loved each other very much, but we just never found the time to get married.'

The three children gasped and all said, 'You mean we're bastards?' '

Yep,' said the father. 'And cheap ones too.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Power of Four

Wordtryst has tagged me for this meme. It involves answering questions then adding your own question at the end. I deleted one question because I couldn’t think of 4 answers. You’ll have to read her blog to see which one. I won’t tag anyone, but I will ask for 4 volunteers to continue the madness.

Four jobs I've had or currently have in my life:
1. Waitress
2. Sales Analyst
3. Marketing Research Director
4. Executive Assistant

Four countries I've been to:
1. Germany
2. Austria
3. Mexico
4. Haiti

Four places I'd rather be right now:
1. England
2. Scotland
3. Italy
4. France

Four foods I like to eat:
1. Chocolate
2. Hamburgers
3. Pineapple
4. Corn chips

Four books you've just read or are currently reading:
1. The Audacity of Hope
2. Lottery
3. The Penny Tree
4. The Fred Factor

Four words or phrases you would like to see used more often:
1. Holy crap!
2. Can I help you?
3. I’m sorry
4. Thanks

Four reasons for ending a friendship:
1. Deceit
2. Betrayal
3. Abuse
4. Disinterest

My question: Four people you’d like to have dinner with (no family or friends allowed):
1. Oprah
2. George Clooney
3. Bill Gates
4. Hillary Clinton

So, are you up for the challenge?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


I went to a funeral yesterday. It wasn’t someone I was close to – just a long-time acquaintance. I attended more out of respect for his wife and family. I dislike funerals and usually try to avoid them if at all possible. I don’t view bodies because it creeps me out. Irrational, I know, but that’s me. However, this was only a memorial service. He was cremated a couple of weeks ago so the major mourning was done.

It was a wonderful opportunity to observe people. He was a good person and hard worker and there were probably 200 people at the service. He had been ill for quite a while before he died, so there was plenty of time to prepare and therefore no weeping.

At the last few memorial services I attended they asked for people to share their memories of the deceased. Thankfully, they didn’t do that. A man spoke about his life, a couple of groups performed funeral services and then it was over. Simple and short.

Everyone stood around talking for a while, although none of the people I observed talked about him. It was just another social event. Ho hum and we’re done. Now on to the next thing.

When I die, I will be cremated (got that Kid). I have ashes from my past dogs and want my dogs and I to be thrown into some beautiful spot. I want a memorial service with a ritual funeral service from my cult, then I want everyone to tell only funny stories about me – and there are plenty of those because I’ve done some pretty silly things. I may even prepare a PowerPoint presentation of some of my crazier moments complete with pictures before I die. No seriousness, no crying, and no testimonials – just happiness and laughter. That’s how I want to go out. Then everyone can socialize and head home. Ho hum and I’m done. Back to the living.

How do you want to go out?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Experimenting with the mundane

My posts the last couple of days probably seemed rather obscure and pointless to you, but they are part of a larger experiment I’ve been conducting recently. Bernita, Jaye, Seeley, Jason, and several others have talked about using rich, sensory descriptions to enhance your manuscript. I consider Bernita the queen of fabulous descriptions. Because I’m fairly analytical and was mostly closed off emotionally for a long time, writing vivid descriptions has been far more difficult for me than I anticipated. So, being a researcher at heart, I decided to treat this as an experiment.

I know how I feel about my life and the people around me. I also know what I like, what feels good, bad, indifferent, etc. However, I have difficulty finding the words to describe these things in a non-analytical bottom line kind of way. So for the last few days I’ve been trying to look at things differently.

For instance – the bathroom scale. Normally I step on it, it gives me a number, I either nod or groan, get off and go about my business. Yesterday I stepped on for my weekly weigh in and just stood there for a while thinking about what effect that scale has on my life.

I bought it just over 3 years ago at the peak of my frustration with myself for being overweight and out of shape. It was supposed to be my reality check. The first time I stepped on, I cried. As a kid and in my 20’s and 30’s I was always fairly skinny and could lose weight easily. When I reached my 40’s that cycle came to a screeching halt and the pounds began to pile on. I gradually went from a size 8 to a size 16. This was personally a very difficult time in my life and I ate to compensate for my pain and disappointment.

I knew I was overweight because of the scale at the doctor’s office, but I rationalized that away by saying I was always fully clothed and my appointments were late in the day and I was bloated from all the water I drank, etc. I was the empress of excuses, but that damned scale refused to listen. It would not lie to me no matter how many times I adjusted it or where I put it – on tile, concrete, wood, carpet. Every time I looked at those numbers they said, “You’re fat.”

During this time I had some fairly significant health problems and had to have some tests that required fasting for a couple of days at a time. This in turn helped to shrink my stomach and lessen my appetite. The scale reported this as progress by showing me smaller numbers. In the beginning, the progress was quickly wiped out by a return to my old unhealthy habits. However, I found myself enjoying that feeling those little weight drops brought so I decided to be more serious.

I was in physical therapy for my back and was exercising on purpose for the first time in years and it felt good. I decided to keep walking and to try to cut down my portions because I knew dieting doesn’t work for me – portion control does. Oprah’s experts said to lose the weight gradually so it would stay off. The first 5 pounds came off pretty quickly and then the slow process of permanent weight loss – about ½ to 1 pound per month – started.

At first I got on my scale everyday hoping for good news, but it was too frustrating so I started a weekly check in. There were times I wanted to kick the scale and I did yell at it several times. The day I went below 180 I stood there for several minutes just staring at it with a huge grin on my face. When I went below 170 I threw my arms up in the air and shouted, “Thank you God!” When I went below 160 I did a happy dance all over the house much to the alarm of my dogs. I’m well on my way to 150 now – 34 pounds lighter and only 9 pounds from my goal weight.

That scale is my friend and the reporter of good news on our weekly encounters. What started out as just a device to provide numbers has elicited many emotions from me over the past 3 years. It’s an important part of my weekly ritual and in its simplicity has enriched my life greatly.

It’s not just a simple bathroom scale.

Tell me

How does this make you feel?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Thursday Challenge For You!

Look at this picture and in your favorite genre tell me in 50 words or less what's happening!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Enriching my experiences

I loved the discussion from my post yesterday. Thanks Erica for planting the seed. Today’s post follows on information I’ve gleaned from reading other blogs about developing rich descriptions of experiences, places and people.
Yesterday afternoon I had the opportunity to sail from Shilshole bay through the Ballard locks and into Lake Union on a replica of a tall 2-masted sailing ship. Along with its sister ship, they make an annual pilgrimage here for tours and to put on mock pirate battles on the lake (viewable from my office window).
The trip was a gift from my boss and his wife. (Yes, I’m very lucky!) Since this was my first trip through the locks on a boat, I thought this would be a perfect occasion to use all my senses to experience the trip. I tried to let go of any preconceived notions and just see, hear, smell, feel and - well, there wasn’t anything to taste – but I wanted to really be aware of the whole event.
I don’t normally do something with this in mind, so it was very interesting and I loved it. It actually made the whole thing better. Every time I was aware of something new, I took a picture to remind myself of it. Looking at those pictures now, I can still remember. Thought you might enjoy seeing a few of them.
What do you do to enrich your experiences and therefore your writing?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Erica has asked about my outline and I thought this might be a good topic for a post. Logically, an outline begins at the beginning and follows through meticulously until the end with each step delineated along the way. A typical outline for a research paper would be:

I. Main topic
A. Important subtopic
B. Important subtopic
1. Detail
a. Sub-detail
b. Sub-detail
c. Sub-detail
2. Detail
3. Detail
a. Sub-detail
b. Sub-detail
II. Main topic
A. Important subtopic
B. Important subtopic
1. Detail
2. Detail

The main topic (chapter) in a novel could be the introduction of a primary character or plot line. Sub-plots or transitory situations and secondary or tertiary characters could be the important subtopics, details and sub-details. All of this would be interwoven to lead to the conclusion or final chapter. It’s like climbing a ladder one rung at a time.

While I have an extremely logical mind, it doesn’t always progress naturally from point A to point B to point C. It likes to jump around so I use the expanding outline (popcorn bag) method. I started with the beginning and the ending then filled in the middle.

I knew who my main character would be and what she was like – even her name – so I wrote her profile first. Then I developed family, friends, co-workers and incidental characters that would logically interact with her and did a profile for each. The level of detail depended on the importance of the person to the story.

For places, I created pictures (sometimes cut out of magazines) of what it would look and feel like; i.e. how big/small, clean/dirty, green/brown, light/dark, shabby/ritzy, friendly/snobby or calming/tense.

I woke up one morning and knew the beginning and ending. From there I started developing ways to move from one to the other. I kept coming up with scenarios that could possibly happen along the way. I just wrote them all down in no particular order without censorship. I figured if it came to mind it was fair game. I put each idea on a different page.

When I had all these components and the ideas slowed to a trickle, I opened my dining room table to its full 92” length, spread out all the papers and started trying to put them into an order that flowed well from the beginning to the ending including where to introduce certain people and places. That really helped point out some holes. I’m still working on filling some of them, but I feel more comfortable with everything now.

There are some people who say they just sit down and the ideas flow from beginning to end. They don’t need outlines. I admire and envy them. Maybe someday I’ll be in that category but right now my massive paper pile/outline really helps. Now I just have to sit down and start filling in all the details and adding all those rich descriptions I’ve been learning about from my fellow bloggers.

How do you work?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Writing what I know

I’m almost finished outlining my next manuscript. I have the beginning and ending firmly in mind and most of the characters fleshed out. I have several scenarios and ways to segue between them. I don’t know if I’m writing a novel or a novella or a short story. It depends on how long it takes to tell the story without drifting off into fluff and filler.

This will be a great exercise for me in description. Just putting together the outline has taken me out of my bottom line comfort zone and allowed me to try using some of the techniques my fellow bloggers have been discussing to enrich my characters, situations and places – trying to paint pictures with words.

I need the outline for the same reason I need my lists. I have a short attention span and am easily distracted. Having the outline helps me focus. Originally it consisted of brief descriptions of the beginning and ending scenes. Now it’s several pages of notes and ideas that seem to be popping into my brain faster than fireworks on the 4th of July. It’s self-expanding like a bag of microwave popcorn.

I really wasn’t concerned about it until I mentioned to a friend that the main character was a woman in her 50’s. Her comment was, “Who wants to read about a woman in her 50’s?” Uh, Me? I’m trying to write what I know best. If I can draw a rich portrait of her and her situation and populate the book with interesting situations and characters, what’s wrong with having an older main character? Do they all have to be in their 20’s to 40’s to be interesting?

What do you think?

Sunday, August 12, 2007


The Kid (aka my 50 year old baby sister) called me to ask if I was okay because of my post about the crisis of confidence. Isn’t she a great sister! Anyway, yes I am but somehow during the discussion we started talking about our mother.

Our mother is a perfectly nice person, very smart, independent and well liked. She appeared to be a good mother to our older sister but somehow Kid and I weren’t privy to that. Maybe she and dad were already having problems by the time we came around but the mom who greeted us seemed rather cold and distant. The warmth of a mother’s love was missing. All the physical trappings were there and outward appearances were maintained until she discovered dad with his secretary. Then all hell broke loose.

After that she stayed on the cross and was a very unpleasant person to live with most of the time. Because of that I never really got to know her and that’s rather sad. She had a fairly interesting life as one of the first WAC’s in WWII, Captain in the Army, college professor, etc. She won awards and was honored several times. Articles have been written about her. She did a TV commercial and wrote a textbook.

But Kid and I really don’t know her. She chased us away. I was wondering if I should make more of an effort and Kid told me she actually did make an effort to get to know mom better a couple of years ago. She spent some time at mom’s house helping her with some projects and talking to her. From our conversations, it sounds like it helped her understand more of why mom is the way she is, but it didn’t ease the pain, anger and frustration.

So I question what I hope to achieve. I know so many people who adore their mothers and love being around them and in my fantasy we would finally bond and develop this idealistic relationship. But the truth is spending time with her is painful for me. Perhaps knowing her background would allow me to understand her motivations, but I’m not sure it would make anything better. She’s 2,500 miles and 3 time zones away. She’ll be 87 soon.

I’m comfortable with the way things are now. I have a happy and peaceful life here. Somehow my reasons for going don’t outweigh my reasons for staying yet.

What would you do?

Friday, August 10, 2007

I Met Pat Wood!!!!!!!!

Went to the book signing at Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle tonight with some friends. Pat gave a wonderful talk and read a couple of passages from the book. She's a dynamo! Now I have a personally signed copy! Woohoo!

Reprisal - revised

There was no yelling and screaming here. No one belittled or demeaned her or reminded her of her failures. No one compared her to her perfect sibling or blamed her for the other’s problems. This was her refuge. She escaped the emotional brutality of her youth here and on rare visits home, she always returned.

Her mother’s letter surprised her. The instructions were specific. The casket should be wood – not just any wood – mahogany. The pillow should be silk. There should be two days of viewing before the funeral. Burial should be in the old cemetery in the family area. Her perfect sibling would oversee the actual services and more important details. Commands not requests – as always.

The woods were tranquil and quiet – a sharp contrast to memories of her nearby home. Her old path was overgrown with dead leaves and branches upon which the tiniest forest creatures dined, but she knew the way to her special spot. Sunlight filtered through the green canopy and the scent of pine, earth and wildflowers combined to remind her why she always loved coming to this cool, crisp haven as a child.

She noticed the small creature staring at her in the distance as she opened the cardboard box and pulled out the plastic bag. “Lunch,” she said as she scattered the ashes across the decaying tree stump.

As she walked away she thought, “Screw you.”

Is this better? Honestly!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Sensory underload

Bernita, Jaye, Seeley and a few others have blogged recently on the advantages of using the senses to enrich your stories and characters. These posts have really made me think about the way I describe things. Basic writing is easy for me and I do mean BASIC. I’m a bottom line person, you know the one who always says, “get to the point,” when people are describing things. And yet I love to read well written books that are visually and sensually descriptive.

The delicious smell of garlic and onion sautéing in a pan with some butter and olive oil. The lovely aroma of new mown grass. Aunt Alice’s sweetly fragrant roses. Hot apple pie with a hint of cinnamon fresh from the oven. The strong odor of a pine or cedar tree. Morning breath.

The feel of a silk blouse against your skin. The softness of a down pillow. The sharp edges of a holly leaf. The soothing warmth of soft sand on a beach. The icy blast of a cold winter wind. The smoothness of suede or fleece. A loved one’s hand on your face.

The taste of a sweet, ripe peach. Or a chocolate chip cookie fresh from the oven, dipped in milk. Hot chocolate with marshmallows on a cold day. Or pasta with a white clam sauce and lots of garlic. A fresh, crisp apple from the tree.

Birds singing in the trees. A baby crying. A lonely train whistle in the distance. A fog horn on the sound. A boombox car rolling down the street. Crickets at night. Screeching tires. The hum of electricity through the wires.

The sight of a field of happy, yellow daffodils. The gold, orange and red hues of a glorious sunset. Blood on a pavement. A sign advertising shoes on sale. Lipstick on a collar. Dirty hair and unclean clothes.

All of these things evoke different pictures in my mind and stir different senses. Depending on how they’re presented and the context in which they are used they can be happy, sad, or neutral. What I’ve learned from my fellow bloggers is that explicit descriptions can provide readers with sensory experiences that will enhance the reading experience – make it more personal. They’re able to relate to the story and characters better because they become part of it.

This is an area I really need to work on. Jason Evans’ short fiction contest provided a wonderful venue for me to practice. Here’s what I wrote:

As they danced on the branches the birds filled the air with a soothing melody. The path was covered with dead leaves and branches upon which the tiniest forest creatures dined. It created a soft carpet underfoot. Sunlight filtered through the green canopy illuminating cobwebs and providing interesting shadows. The scent of pine, earth and wildflowers combined to remind her why she always loved coming here as a child.

The woods were tranquil and quiet – a sharp contrast to her nearby home. There was no yelling and screaming here. No one belittled or demeaned her or reminded her of her failures. No one compared her to her perfect sibling or blamed her for the other’s problems.She escaped the emotional brutality of her youth here. She loved this cool, crisp haven. It was her refuge. On rare visits home, she always came here.

Her mother’s letter surprised her. The instructions were specific. The casket should be wood – not just any wood – mahogany. The pillow should be silk. There should be two days of viewing before the funeral. Burial should be in the old cemetery in the family area. Her perfect sibling would oversee the actual services and more important details.

She noticed the small creature staring at her in the distance as she opened the cardboard box and pulled out the plastic bag. “Lunch,” she said as she scattered the ashes across the decaying tree stump.

As she walked away she thought, “Screw you.”

It’s not ready for prime time yet, but I think it’s a pretty good start at sensory expression.

What do you think? Honestly!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Crisis of Confidence

Today’s horoscope:
Your close friends and family members will always be in your life, ready to make you smile -- but when push comes to shove (as it probably will today), you are the only person who can completely understand the battles you've fought, the lessons you've learned, and the skills you possess. So if you need to get some clarity on where you are and where you're going, consult the best expert possible -- yourself! Have an internal dialogue, and listen to your gut.

Occasionally I feel lost. I lose my focus and sense of direction and start drifting into the dingy alleyways of my life – dredging up old crap and beating myself up about it all over again. I’ve weathered some pretty intense storms but always felt I did it by creeping around the fringes with my life jacket on and chin tucked into my chest hoping to be invisible. I’m very non-confrontational so dealing with uncomfortable issues face to face has never been my forte.

Writing has allowed me to confront my problems - at least on paper. It helps me express my feelings and frustrations without fear of reprisal – even though my punishment is mostly self-inflicted. In Holly’s book, the youngest son believes his illness created the problems in his family and caused his parents’ divorce. That was me. I had nothing to do with their problems, but I took the burden on myself. Unlike Eric, no one ever told me I was wrong. I was quiet and shy and suffered in silence – never wanting to rock the boat. I was invisible.

I’ve worked hard to become visible and be not aggressive but assertive. I’ve made a lot of progress, but still have far to go. I’m struggling with an issue now that is testing my resolve. I know what I want to say and how best to say it – but I can’t. It’s stupid – I know! Things learned in childhood can stay with you forever – the good and the bad.

Are you REALLY listening to the people around you?

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Review of “The Penny Tree” by Holly Kennedy

At the center of “The Penny Tree” is a family going through a quiet crisis of miscommunication and unintentional neglect. Annie Hillman is a strong, independent woman who can be compulsive in some areas. When her youngest son Eric develops a life-threatening illness, she obsesses over him to the point of almost excluding her husband Jack and son Luke from her feelings. In the process her marriage disintegrates, Luke becomes alienated, and Eric feels the emotional pain his illness has produced.

Faced with huge medical bills and no money, Annie returns to her small hometown to live, work and attempt to find peace and a resolution to her mounting problems. She finds comfort in kayaking and in a magnificent Douglas fir tree upon which she and her father first nailed a penny when she was 12. Her penny tree is her refuge from the storm of her life.

In the midst of all this, mysterious ads seeking information about her begin appearing in the local paper. The ads have a 15 year old picture and claim Annie is the first woman the advertiser ever loved. While trying to discover the identity of the person placing the ads, she learns a lot about herself and her family and she becomes a minor celebrity. She is ably assisted in this process by her family, friends and some outsiders – characters richly drawn by Holly.

“The Penny Tree” is a warm, satisfying read with a surprise twist near the end that will require some tissues.

Great job, Holly!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Potential train wreck ahead!

So I signed up for that internet dating site again - this time only for 3 months. I did it in a moment of weakness. I read this book and it was really romantic and I got all carried away and stupid. Hey, it’s summer and it would be nice to have someone to play with. I definitely softened my profile from last time. Here’s what I wrote:

Happy and content woman living a good life.

Overall, I'm a nice looking person in pretty good shape. Way too intelligent for my own good and extremely intuitive. Also extremely honest and totally uninterested in playing games. Looking for someone who's willing to take the time to get to know me and just have fun without rushing into a relationship.

No strings, no nutcases, no needy men should respond. I don't need or want to be supported and am totally unwilling to support you financially. Been there and done that!

Want someone emotionally and spiritually well adjusted and basically middle of the road - willing to see all sides and not firmly rooted in any religious or political dogma. Also intelligent with a great sense of humor. I can be silly, sarcastic and ornery and love people who love to laugh.

I walk my dog often and you have to be able to keep up with me. Physical fitness is important, but you don't have to be Superman. I like people who are nice looking and take care of themselves because I believe that says a lot about how they feel about themselves. If you are a Dr., it would be a plus because I seem to be falling apart piece by piece.

PS. With heels on, I'm 5'10".

I’ve had a few winks and some e-mails – all of which I have rejected. (I sense a pattern here.)

Anyway, I really wonder if some of these people even read the profile or if they just click on the profile, look at the pictures to make sure you’re not a dog, then respond. Case in point: Look at the last line of my profile. It CLEARLY states I’m tall – especially in heels and I do wear heels. Also, I put in my caveat about religious dogma again cause I’m “spiritual, but not religious”.

So the first person who responded was 5’5” tall and a devout Catholic. WTF?

This could be a long three months! I’ll keep you posted.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Review of “Lottery” by Patricia Wood

My mind works very quickly – it always has – so the first thing I had to do when I started reading “Lottery” was slow down. Perry L. Crandall is not retarded, but he is slow and you need to take your foot off the accelerator to appreciate his view of the world. Life doesn’t rush at or by him at breakneck speed. He has a routine and he sticks with it. He knows himself and is comfortable with his regular schedule. And he is surrounded by people who love and care for him.

His Gram is his rock. She raised him and instilled in him structure and common sense most people lack. She teaches him who to trust, to love words and to believe in himself. When she dies, his friends Keith and Gary step in to watch out for him and Cherry, the clerk at the Handy Mart, treats him kindly and respectfully even though her life is no picnic.

When he wins the lottery the vultures – especially his family – come buzzing overhead. Perry, who was previously invisible, is suddenly the target of some really heinous people. The fight between the good and evil people in Perry’s life, the fight to protect him and his assets versus stealing them becomes center stage for everyone – except Perry. Perry has a routine and he is a good person and he is NOT retarded.

Pat creates portraits of these people and situations that draw you in and make you feel part of the story. When Perry is surrounded by his family, you want to shout for Keith and Gary to come rescue him. You want to call the police and report his horrible relatives for the schemes they are hatching. When Perry is with his friends, you feel the sweetness and kindness. You realize this is his TRUE family – his family by choice.

The book is easy to read and the story is powerful. While the resolution is not what you would expect, it is perfect for Perry. My favorite lines are on page 302 when Perry says, “I have always had what I wanted. Love. I have always had love.” Perry L. Crandall is a very lucky man and I feel privileged to share a part of his story.

Great job, Pat!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Proud owner of "Lottery" by Patricia Wood and "The Penny Tree" by Holly Kennedy

WooHoo! Some serious reading's going to be happening at my house for a while!