#weeklysmile #81


Some weeks it’s easy to find something to smile about and this is one of those weeks. I’m smiling about my awesome friends! You know who you are! Not so long ago, I wrote a post on friendship, although I talked mostly about the different types of friends most of us have. This week, I’m talking about my closest friends and other friends who step up to the plate and befriend you when you least expect it – and all of you know who you are!

For a couple of reasons, I’ve had to call on these friends this week and, of course, they have come through for me. I feel very lucky to have these extraordinary people in my life. I hope each and every one of them know it.

There is a point I want to address that I didn’t address in my previous post on friendship. I will only mention it here and may use the topic as material for a later post. Men and women, dear readers, can indeed be friends. Friends and nothing more. Possibly because of my career choice in the past, I have always tended to have more male friends than female friends. Both are very special to me. One of my male friends has been my friend, and a close friend, for more than 35 years. I suppose we’re a little like siblings. There are many people in the world that dispute the fact that men and women can be “only” friends. They would be wrong.

So that big smile you see on my face? That smile is because I have awesome friends. Male and female.


#weekendcoffeeshare 7/15/2017


Good morning, my friends! Thanks for meeting Jenn and I in our favorite coffee shop again this morning. The owner agreed to supply us with his raspberry scones again, but offered to add bread pudding with caramel sauce for us. I don’t know about you, but bread pudding may be my favorite thing in the world! There is also a selection of hot teas, chai latte, expresso, cappuccino, and just about any kind of coffee you desire. Grab something and join me!

If we were having coffee this morning, I guess I would tell you that this is a good news/bad news day for me. Some of you may recall that my precious pup, Betsy, was ill with a genetic illness the last time we talked. We tried and tried, but Betsy passed away from that illness, breaking our hearts in the process. I don’t want to relive it, so I won’t get into the details but I miss her so much.

Since I’ve always needed a dog in my life and I knew my precious Betsy was going to leave me, I had been researching dog breeds. I happened on a breeder of Havanese and Lowchen dogs. Small dogs with big hearts, playful, affectionate, just what I needed. There had been an accidental breeding between a Havanese male and a Lowchen female and two female puppies had resulted. Turns out, they were beautiful.  I bought Hanna (pronounced Hannah) and she has been home with me for two days now. I’ve posted her picture at the bottom of this weekend coffee share. She’s beautiful, four months old, and we’re trying to deal with her severe separation anxiety. If anyone has any tips, I’m surely open for suggestions!

Also, last time we talked, I told you I would be taking a short trip to Tennessee to be with my friend, Marty, as she underwent a surgical procedure. She had surgery and is doing very well. She is feeling much like her old self and the effects of her illness seem to be subsiding. I’m so glad about that.

All of this has put a hold on my writing. I’ve written some for this blog, but my other writing goals have not been met. I have to rectify that this week.

I’d love to hear what’s up in your world! Please stay and enjoy coffee, tea, and these wonderful pastries. Good to see you all!

This is Hanna at four months old!



#SoCS – 7/15/2017


The Art of Letter Writing

I have many books on my desk, most of them have to do with writing and novels. I do have one novel by Annie Proulx called Postcards. When I saw that novel’s title, I was reminded of a conversation a friend and I had some time ago. We discussed the lost art of letter writing. Baby boomers, like my friend and I, have written a lot of letters, on paper with a real pen, in our time, though perhaps not for a number of years. If you are a millennial, for example, you may have never written a letter except electronically. Maybe I’m doing you a disservice? Maybe you have written traditional letters? I would love for you to comment if you have!

Back to the subject. One of my first experiences with letter writing was when I was under ten years of age and had a pen pal. Francois lived in France and we wrote each other as soon as one received a letter from the other through high school. I often wonder what happened to her. As I grew up and went through undergraduate school, I wrote various cousins, boyfriends, and friends. By the time of graduate school, it was the early days of the Internet and everyone was fascinated by email. Letter writing for me was gone. It’s been gone ever since.

Life got busy. Electronic communication was quick and easy. In its defense, I would not have had time to keep up with many of the people I have without it.

I do, in some ways, miss letter writing. It’s a very personal way of communicating. You have to choose your stationery. Some people prefer to use a fountain pen, which you have to fill with ink. The person on the other end of the letter gets to see the person’s handwriting and feel their emotions more distinctly. New forms of electronic communication – email, messaging, texting, social media, chat rooms – aren’t nearly as personal. That, in fact, is why emoticons and stickers were developed. They try to convey the emotions that letter writing used to convey.

Reach out and touch someone by writing a letter. They will appreciate it!


Blogging and Appropriateness

Do you ever have a qualm about a blog post you want to make? Is there ever anything you really want to write but you are unsure if it is appropriate for your audience here or if it will possibly be offensive to some or most of them? That certainly happens to me.

If I write about subjects considered controversial – politics, erotica – to name just two, it always worries me about offending people. It even worries me about whether this is the appropriate forum. These days, I write mostly fiction, but I do throw in some non-fiction essays. I’m interested in a wide range of topics. I could offend any number of people.

Then again, this is my blog. People can read it or not. Within reason, I should be able to write what I want. Isn’t this all about creativity? However, if I am writing for a particular challenge and the administrator of the challenge asks that the stories be, for example, PG rated or below, I should respect that or not write for that challenge.

Having a qualm about particular blog posts happens to me often. Am I being too sensitive or is this a legitimate concern. What say you?

With No Memory: A Story of PTSD

It was so frustrating. Liz got up every morning, sometimes at 4-5 a.m. Sometimes at 7 a.m. It didn’t matter the time. She never slept more than three or four hours a night. Still, she managed to function normally. This had been going on since she had been a graduate student. She blamed graduate school. Liz and her fellow students had stayed up late night after night studying, often at her dining room table. Then, she woke up only a few hours later to go to work. She thought she had developed this bad sleeping habit then. Thirty years ago.

There were brief periods during the thirty years when she did sleep somewhat normally, but thinking back, she couldn’t isolate them. She only knew of one. After her divorce, but that was short-lived.

The problem? Liz talked to her doctor. She talked to more than one doctor but that was before the days when sleep studies were popular. Before the days when doctors got specialties in sleep disorders. Liza knew this could not be a healthy lifestyle but she didn’t know what to do without a doctor’s help. She tried to sleep. Her brain just wouldn’t shut off.

There was something else. Liz had recurring nightmares. They were worse than nightmares. She had heard them called night terrors. Her nightmares were so terribly severe she imagined she must be having night terrors instead of nightmares. She had the same night terror every night and it woke her every morning. She could make no sense of it. She always remembered it. Recently, a second night terror had been added to Liz’s repertoire. It was more horrifying than the first. Still, Liz went on with her life. Reasonably normally.

As Liz got older, the sleep deprivation and night terrors started affecting her more and more. It became harder to concentrate during the day. She seemed to be able to nap, although briefly, during the day, but her sleeping problem was just as bad at night. She started having other physical problems. One was a problem with her shoulders. A painful orthopedic problem. Her orthopedist gave her a mild painkiller. Not a narcotic. Just something mild. It helped with the pain.

Liz began to notice she was sleeping even worse than usual. She could trace the decline in her sleep back to when she started taking the painkiller. She had to go off the drug. Apparently, she was having the opposite reaction to it that it was supposed to cause.

Liz was starting to feel desperation. She was showing increased symptoms of sleep deprivation. She was falling asleep at inappropriate times. She was increasing irritable and was showing poor judgment. Her performance was not what it used to be. At about this time, Liz heard of a doctor who had joined the neurologists in the practice in which her own neurologist practiced. This new neurologist had three specialties. He specialized in neurology, psychiatry, and sleep disorders. Liz made an appointment to see him.

This new neurologist had her file from thirty years past. He walked into the examining room the day of her appointment. He said he had spent hours examining the plethora of information contained in her file. He knew, without further ado, what her problem was. Liz practically jumped for joy. If he knew the problem, they could fix it. Couldn’t they?

He diagnosed her with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He was absolutely sure of his diagnosis based on her medical records. Liz sat back in her chair. Of course, she knew about PTSD. So many of the veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan were coming home with it. But, wasn’t PTSD an ailment of war veterans? What would have caused it in her?

The doctor asked her if she had any trauma in her life. Of course she had. Hadn’t everyone? He explained that some people reacted to it differently than others. He also explained that there may have been trauma that she could not remember on a conscious level which would explain the nightmares. Often, only one traumatic event, if it is bad enough can trigger PTSD. Often, people have more than one event in their lives. Liz could remember perhaps two events that met what she thought were traumatic enough to cause PTSD. She could remember one of them distinctly. The other was back in her childhood and she had only vague memories.

Liz’s doctor said he suspected there were memories she was repressing. He told her that those memories would be hard to tap into and he suggested, at first, they try to deal with the sleeping problem. He prescribed medication. After they conquered that, they would decide what to do about repressed memories. He based his opinion on the fact that Liz could not remember large parts of her childhood and teenage years. There were even blocks of years as an adult she had blocked out.

For a few months, the sleep medications worked wonderfully. As time went on, they worked less well, until now, they weren’t working at all. Back were the sleepless nights and the night terrors even when taking the medications. Liz was not young anymore and this was bothering her more than ever.


This is only part of the story of an unlikely woman who has Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD). It is prevalent among veterans, but not exclusive to veterans. Many people who have PTSD don’t know they have it and never know why. If you have some of the symptoms mentioned in this story, seek help from your doctor. Keep on seeking help until someone helps you. Stay tuned for the story of Liz.


#weekendcoffeeshare – 01/28/2017


Hello everyone! If we were having coffee today, it would be at a coffee shop since I am away from home. We can have fun in the coffee shop nearby!

I hope everyone has been well and that your writing muse is with you. I’ve been traveling, so my writing muse has been absent recently. I haven’t had ready access to Wifi which has also hurt me since I’m so used to writing while I’m online. I do that so I can readily do research when necessary.

If we were having coffee today, I would tell you how much I’m enjoying the weather here in Florida. I’m used to snow and cold at this time of year. Instead, it’s in the 70s and beautiful. We’re having a little cool spell right now, but nothing compared to what my friends in Kentucky are having. We love where we are staying. It’s a special place along the South Florida Gulf Coast.

Big news. We eventually want to buy a house here and move away from the cold. It will take awhile to find what we want. So, as a temporary measure, we have bought a little vacation home on this island we love so much. It’s tiny and temporary…..though we don’t know how long temporary will be. Could be a year or more as property here is so desirable. It will do until we can move permanently.

We haven’t been sightseeing as much as usual. I’m just enjoying being here. Living here for a few weeks. I’m trying to see some things I’ve never seen before. I’m also trying to spend time in the little village nearby.

I’ve been writing a blog series on our adventures driving an RV to South Florida. If you’re interested, you can find the series under Blog Series on my site. I’ve done a little writing besides that series but not as much as usual.

I’m happy to write another #weekendcoffee share. It’s been awhile since I’ve talked with all of you! I hope you are well and happy and prolific. More from here next week.

Wrapping Up My Blog for 2016 and Making Changes for 2017


Hello everyone! This week, I am dedicating my work on my blog to wrapping it up for 2016 and getting things going for 2017 with some changes.

Watch this space to see what I’m going to do with the blog to wrap it up for the year and get it ready for 2017.

I also need input from you, my readers. I want you to know that I have appreciated your support so much since I started this blog in April 2016. I can’t believe it hasn’t even been one year! It has been wonderful to write for you and to read your comments and have your support. I’ve also so enjoyed reading your blogs! For my readers and followers who don’t have blogs, I value you as well and would love feedback from you. What do you like? What don’t you like? What would you like for me to do differently?

If you have ideas for me, I would love to hear them. Ideas about how to structure the blog. Ideas about subjects I should tackle. Do you like fiction or non-fiction? Any idea at all. I would like to hear them all and I will be responsive to your needs since you are my readers and followers!

Please use the comment section to give me your ideas. If you prefer to give me your ideas privately, just use the Contact Form and no one will see it but me.

I look forward to reading your ideas. Thank you for your support in 2016 and I am excited when I think about blogging in 2017! #amblogging


The Cool and the Fool


See those boys standing on the street corner? There. Yes! Those are the ones. Leaning against the lamppost. Cigarettes hanging out of their mouths. Leather jackets. They think they’re too cool for school, don’t they? They’re probably only 16 years old. 17 at the most. It’s the middle of the day and they aren’t in school. What fools! Someday those boys will regret not going to school. Where can you get without a high school education? These days, you can’t even get anywhere without a Master’s degree and all they can think of is hanging out by the lamppost.


This Post is written for the International Blogging Marathon Challenge (IBMC).  The challenge has 10 tasks and this is the first one.

IBMC #01: Phrase a Paragraph Challenge is the first to write a paragraph of 100 words by choosing one out of given ten topics. (Rules can be checked out in link)

97 words

#amwriting #amblogging #writing #flashfiction #fiction #IBMC