#SoCS – 08/19/2017

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What is on my mind as I write this post? The ocean. The way I feel when I look at the ocean, when I’m near the ocean, when I breathe the salt air. I’ve never understood how someone from a landlocked state like me, who didn’t even see the ocean until I was 21 years old, could feel so connected to it. I felt like this the first time I ever saw the ocean, that time the Atlantic. After a time, I had occasion to spend significant time in South Carolina, off and on. Looking out at the great Atlantic was as much of a thrill as it was the very first time.

Later in life, I saw the beautiful Gulf, both from the Florida peninsula, the port of New Orleans, and the port of Galveston. I then spent a very special day, once upon a time as if in a fairy tale, on gorgeous Catalina Island in the Pacific, a visit I will never forget with someone I will always remember.

In 2009, I was fortunate enough to happen upon, totally by chance, an island in the Gulf of Mexico and I fell in love with it. It’s not the type of island most people might find appealing. It sits below the frost line and is tropical in most ways. But, it doesn’t have the requisite sandy beaches. It has beautiful sunsets, incredible birds, an array of wildlife,  rampantly growing tropical vegetation, and incredibly temperate winters. I feel more myself when I’m there than anywhere else in the world. The Gulf waters surrounding my island are usually calm and full of fish that I’m just learning about.

This year, I will have guests visit me when I’m at my island. Family, friends, and a several friends live nearby. Fun!

What draws me to my island is the feeling in my soul when I’m there. I seldom find myself at peace. I have a restless soul, a restless heart. I’m at peace when I stand and look out at the ocean from the shores of this magical island.

I can’t wait to return.

 

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Travel Florida: Anticipating My Return

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Even though it’s still hot where I live in Kentucky, there are signs everywhere of fall coming. The summer flowers are finished and even some of the fall flowers are looking faded. I live in the forest and a few leaves are starting to fall and they are already colorful. Fall coming at my home in Kentucky means that I’m starting to look forward to going to my home in Florida, on my magical island, for the winter.

I’ve been very busy during this summer in Kentucky. I’ve done a lot of writing and research and very little else. Writing and researching at least twelve hours a day keeps me busy. By the time that twelve hours is over, any writer reading this knows you are ready to drop and fall into your bed. I take breaks. I take my new puppy outdoors and we play. She’s in training so we work on her training exercises. I also take breaks to talk to my friends who have kept me company and great company they are. The summer has passed very fast for me.

Even though I’m still writing and researching and will be until right before we leave here for the winter, I find my mind drifting to my island and my little home there. Even though I love my home in Kentucky, I also love my island. I will be ready to leave here two months from now. The winter months are so wonderful there. The island is still very much “old Florida.” I think part of the reason for that is because it does not have much sandy beach. Any little bits of beach you find, however, are nice, smooth sand and not particularly grainy .

Even though there are a lot of snowbirds on my island, and I am one of them, that certainly doesn’t ruin it for me. Yes, the traffic is bad. Yes, there are waiting lines in the restaurants. But, some of the same snowbirds come back every year and have become my friends. Some of the locals have become my friends and I value all of their friendships.

I miss the ocean! I miss the pier. I miss the wonderful seafood. There is so much about that magical island that I miss. Mostly I miss the way that I feel there. My soul feels like it has found its home.

 

#weeklysmile 85

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It’s an easy #weeklysmile this week, my friends! I’m writing my first novel. Writing a debut novel is rather like having a baby, I think. It’s wonderful and painful all at the same time. I had a lot written, but then I consulted with a good friend and former colleague, who is also a writer. He did not like the style. It’s a psychological thriller and he had an excellent suggestion for a change in style. So, what did I do? I started over! That was painful, but necessary, because I completely agreed with him.

That was weeks ago. This past week, I finished the first part of my novel and gave it to my friend for editing and his comments on style. He liked it very much and did some editing. I asked another friend to read it as well. She also approved of the style. So I am very gratified and it’s on to Part 2 of the novel and I am already well into it.

This is a big #weeklysmile for me!

On Her Own

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“Charles, I hate for Adelaine to be stuck in that boarding house.”

“She needs to test her wings, Esther. That’s how young women do it in this day and time. They get a room and a job.”

“But that secretarial position, darling. It seems so demeaning for our daughter,” Esther said.

“Now, now, Esther. Adelaine thinks she can live on her own. Let her try.”

“She needs to be meeting respectable young men in our home.”

Adelaine already had a respectable young man very much in love with her who called on her nightly at the boarding house.

Historical Fiction

98 words

Right Place, Right Time

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“Janice, you did it again,” Stan cried.

“I’m sorry, Stan,” Janice said. “I didn’t mean to overfill the cup.”

Stan, the cook, was thinking that he was going to have to fire Janice. She just was not a good waitress.

The diner was full for lunch. Many professional people grabbed lunch at Stan’s Diner and he liked for his service to be impeccable. Janice was sloppy with her work, but she was not an experienced waitress. He was just giving her a chance because she couldn’t find any other job.

Meanwhile, Janice was embarrassed. She really needed this job. She was serving a woman in a booth alone. She was so nervous, afraid she would do something wrong. Suddenly, the woman she was serving spoke to her.

“Young woman, could I speak with you?”

“Yes,” Janice replied.

“Is this your chosen career?”

“No. I was an English major in college and can’t find a job.”

“I’m a writer,” the woman said. “Why don’t we talk about you working for me?”

Janice started to smile.

 

174 words

Jiffy

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Jiffy How funny. When I went to the Daily Post to see what the “word of the day” was, this was a word I never expected to see. The word “jiffy” means a moment, even a second. Like “just give me a moment.”

When I saw the word “jiffy” this morning, I had an immediate flashback of my mother. My mother has been gone for almost 17 years. But, when I saw the word “jiffy,” I could see her standing at her kitchen sink, her back to me, and saying something like, “Supper will be ready in just a jiffy.” My mom is the only person I can ever remember using the word “jiffy” and it’s a good memory for me of her. It was nice, on this Sunday morning, to have a good picture of my mom in my head. That doesn’t happen often enough.

Interesting to me is that this is the colloquial use of the word jiffy. It is an actual unit of measurement in physics, computing, and electronics. It is a measurement of a unit of time in all three disciplines, this word that is very much used in the vernacular in the English language. Who knew?

 

Song Lyric Sunday – Outer Space

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This week’s theme for Song Lyric Sunday is “outer space.” So in the spirit of the moment, I chose Elton John’s song, “Rocket Man,” as this week’s contribution to Song Lyric Sunday.

Rocket Man

Elton John

Lyrics
She packed my bags last night pre-flight
Zero hour nine AM
And I’m gonna be high as a kite by then
I miss the earth so much I miss my wife
It’s lonely out in space
On such a timeless flight
And I think it’s gonna be a long long time
‘Till touch down brings me round again to find
I’m not the man they think I am at home
Oh no no no I’m a rocket man
Rocket man burning out his fuse up here alone
And I think it’s gonna be a long long time
‘Till touch down brings me round again to find
I’m not the man they think I am at home
Oh no no no I’m a rocket man
Rocket man burning out his fuse up here alone
Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids
In fact it’s cold as hell
And there’s no one there to raise them if you did
And all this science I don’t understand
It’s…

 

 

 

 

#SoCS – 8/12/2017

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It’s always interesting for me to write a stream of consciousness post. My writing is always so planned that stream of consciousness is hard for me. But, I’m guess I’m going to give it a shot. Let’s see. What’s on my mind this Saturday morning?

I’m a political animal, so the first thing I’m thinking of is the neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, VA. I believe in freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. When the assembly is a bunch of neo-Fascists, then I think an exception should be made. Fascists were the downfall of most of Europe during World War II. We don’t dare give an inch when it comes to Fascism in the United States. I would call for the Fascists currently occupying the White House (Steve Bannon) to be fired immediately. If he is not fired, then I would call for the impeachment of our President, Donald J. Trump, who apparently condones Fascism. Steve Bannon is one of his closest advisors. Fascists would not feel free to congregate in our streets without a person like Steve Bannon in the White House. If you have read any of my articles on our current President, you know my feelings about this.

I’ve heard, just now, that the Governor of Virginia has called for a State of Emergency and the Fascist rally has been broken up. I am waiting to see if our President will make a statement. If he doesn’t, then I will know he does indeed condone Fascism.

The other thing on my mind is writing. I won’t be blogging as much as usual over the next few months. I’m working on the “meaty” part of my novel and I have about 60,000 words to write before I leave for Florida at the first of November. I have a lot of other things I have to do on a daily basis besides write. I can usually only grab two or three hours per day.

Have a good week!

#weekendcoffeeshare 8/12/2017

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Good morning to everyone! If we were having coffee this morning, I’d ask you to meet me at our local coffee shop. It has a wonderful patio area and the owner sets up a wonderful buffet for the #weekendcoffeeshare people. Today’s offerings are the best blueberry muffins I’ve ever tasted and banana bread that I’m going to taste. He is also going to offer us bread pudding! Yes, bread pudding for breakfast which is very decadent!

There is a nice selection of tea, including a wonderful raspberry tea, along with a selection of green tea and two black teas including one called “Paris.” Coffee this morning is a regular coffee along with expresso and a nice cafe latte.

Let’s all sit down and talk! I would love to hear how each and every one of you are doing. It’s been sort of an odd weather week where I live here in Kentucky, U.S.A. It’s still rather hot during the day, but one can tell that fall is coming. The summer flowers are definitely fading. The nights are getting cool. We’ve had so much rain this summer. We’re way above our average. There is a feeling of fall in the air. September and October really dry out if it is a usual weather year. There is nothing about 2017 that has been normal about the weather here. Have you experienced the same where you live?

How has your blogging and writing been going this week? I haven’t been blogging as much as usual. That’s because I’ve been trying to finish one part of the novel I’m writing. I did finish it, but it just means I’ve now started on the next part that is the actual “meat” of the book. I hope to finish this part before I go to Florida for the winter. I’ll leave here for Florida in early November. The part of the novel I’m working on now requires about 60,000 – 70,000 words. That’s what I’m facing between now and early November! I won’t be blogging as much as usual!

The other really important thing I’m doing between now and when I leave for Florida is training my little dog, Hanna. When she came to me, she was a blank slate. No one had done anything with her. Hanna is now five months old and doesn’t even know how to walk on a leash. I’ve trained dogs before, but when they were much younger and amenable to training than Hanna. So I’m employing professional help! Hanna starts private obedience training classes on Tuesday with a very good dog trainer in my area. She will learn the basics like how to walk on a leash and socialization skills. She is so very shy. She was clearly not around people at all until she came to me. She will have as many private lessons as she needs. Then, she and I will join a puppy obedience class for more socialization and to learn the basic obedience commands. After that, if there is time, she will join an adult obedience class.

Hanna and I have work to do!

As you can see, I’m going to be busy between now and when I leave for Florida in early November.

Tell me what’s going on with all of you in the comments. You’re my friends and colleagues!