Author Interview

Hi everyone. Hope you’re having a great day. Sort of dreary and wet here in Southern Indiana. but, I do want to share with you my author questionnaire on Jen Selensky’s blog. It was fun to be asked questions that I don’t often think about. Anything to get the cobwebs out of my head, right? Here goes.

Author Questionnaire

How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Tough question. I was always an avid reader, wrote some poems, loved English class and enjoyed writing reports. My first official thought was when, as a senior in high school, I won a writing contest about the personal and political life of Thomas Jefferson. We had a brief time to study his life after signing up. Then I, with others, sat in a room in the library and wrote non-stop for several hours. To my surprise – I had pretty much forgotten about the essay contest – I heard my name called and went on stage during awards day to collect a certificate and…drum roll please…a check.

I wrote many poems of angst as a teen and poems and stories as an adult. I just never imagined that I could do anything with them. Now I want to write all the time, but life gets in the way a bit.

Who are your favorite authors?

Eudora Welty – I love her voice

Mark Twain – amazing

Shakespear, of course

Leo Buscaglia

Henry D. Thoreau – I wrote a major paper based on Walden’s Pond in college.

Jodi Picoult…and many more

 

What are your greatest sources of inspiration?

Everything, really. Pictures, nature, an interesting word, or something sad often inspire poems.

Real life with a twist or a twisted real life – the twist is usually what makes the story inspiring.

Historical figures and chaotic eras that make me want to read more. Just yesterday, a print about two people, hanging in a college gallery, has inspired a future book. No one and no thing is safe from becoming part of a story.

 What genre(s) do you write?

I don’t want to be stuck in a particular genre. I love humor, and cultures that elicit both humor and tragedy. But, I am currently working on an historical novel. And, I want to experiment without feeling held back in a slot.

 Do you have any current or future projects?

I am currently working on my first historical novel and have another in mind. My goal, someday, is to write a non-fiction on mental health/healthy living. I have starts on many stories, so the possibilities are endless if I can type fast enough.

Do you have an author website?

I guess I need to put up an official author website, but I hate technology, so that’s a bump in the road.I have a blog, Brendawriting.Wordpress.com where I write about anything that inspires me from crab poop to a favorite teacher, and I have an Author Page at amazon.com where you can find out more about me and my books. Please check it out.

 Where can people find your work? (to purchase or just to read)

My work can be found on Amazon. See my author page there. Also, I’m at many book fairs and author events around Southern Indiana and Louisville area selling books to all takers.

 If you could feature just one title, what would it be?

Gracie and Marge: Kicking the Bucket Together. My first novel.

I love these characters and the messes they get into. You’ll find lots of humor, but also a statement about older people who still have a lot of life to live and inspiration to share with others.

I’m also proud of my collection of short stories, Life in Its Own Frame of Reference, based on some truth, a lot of fiction and just some dark stuff floating around in the deep recesses of my mind.

Do you have any pseudonyms?

I am who I am…whoops, I might have one pseudonym…nuff said about that.

Do you have any other hobbies besides writing?

There is so much to enjoy in life. I think everyone should have one or more things they enjoy, aside from work or their main passion (writing). I love to dance, play pickle ball, make wine, work with glass, easy hiking, walking, biking (the kind with pedals), reading, karaoke, zip lining, time with friends and family and more.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.

I am not technologically inclined, but I do my best. I love to laugh at good humor, not usually associated with anything techie. I am a grandmother, mother and wife. I enjoy all those parts that have added to who I was before. I feel blessed every day in spite of some occasional stormy clouds.

 Is there anything else you would like to share?

Hmm. I retired as a psychotherapist but continue to teach in the field at a local community college.

I enjoy traveling and anything that has to do with the beach.

And, my words of advice for anyone interested in starting or improving their writing is to join a good writing group. Other writers will encourage you and help you grow as a writer.

Thanks. This has been fun.

Brenda Drexler

#ThursdayDoors Cervantes’ Home in Madrid

What beautiful doors and their history. When I visited churches and museums in Italy and Germany, and walked the brick streets and alleys that are all about history, I felt the presence of those that came long before. It’s eerie and humbling.

Rereading Jane Eyre

Thursday Doorsis a weekly feature, hosted byNorm 2.0allowing door lovers to come together to admire and sharetheir favorite door photos from around the world. Everyone is invited to join in on the fun by creating their own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing it,between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time), byusing the blue link-up button onNorm’s blog.

Today I’m going to show you another door or two which I walked through several times a week for five years, The Faculty Of Philosophy and Arts in Cordoba, Spain.

This is the main door of the Faculty of Philosophy and Arts, in Cordoba, where I read my doctoral thesis on language learning strategies, over ten years ago. It’s also the place where I worked as Associate Professor of English for five years.

I taught English language and linguistics as well as Medieval, Renaissance…

View original post 1,027 more words

Polly wanted my cracker

I love the beach- the ocean, the sand, sights, sounds, and those adorable birds who run back and forth with the waves to catch little nibbles of the ocean’s offerings for lunch.

You know the fowl of which I speak – Johnathan Livingston Seagull…cute little buggers.

They get real excited when people throw bread and other people-junk to them.

I’ve always  been interested in their sense of community. You’ve seen them, if you’ve ever been to the beach. They stand in a formation, all of them facing the same direction. and they communicate so well, you can practically hear them, but you really just see the results.

But…I have seen the dark side of those seemingly adorable creatures. They watch us. They watch our movements, especially if we indicate in any way that we have…FOOD.

So, I’m lounging on the beach, my toes in the sand, the sun warming my legs, the breeze …well anyway, I wanted a snack. I pull out my store-bought cheese and cracker package and apparently I made the magic noise. Seagulls know a Keebler wrapper by its sound.

One second I’m holding a cracker between my thumb and forefinger, and the next it is gone. I’m stunned. My fingers are still in position, as if they are holding a cracker, but it’s not there.

So let me give you the slo-mo version of what happened. I unwrapped the peanut butter and cheese cracker package and extracted one cracker. The cracker was slowly moving toward my mouth via my two fingers. Little did I know that my movements were being eyeballed by a sneaky seagull with a plan.

He suddenly whisked around the back of my friend, then took a slight left toward my face, whacked his hard wing against my cheek, thereby viciously distracting and stunning me. I truly didn’t know what happened for a few seconds. I was staring at my two fingers, still together as if they were safely holding a cracker. “Where’d it go?”

Wouldn’t you ask the same?

If I hadn’t closed my eyes, as we often tend to do when something flies toward our face – except for baseball players, and other ball related sports – I would have been looking that thief in his sneaky little eye.

Think about that…his right eye would have been ready to stare me down. He was a bold little fowl in more than one way. He is the same feathery fiend who returned to the scene of the crime to hover around for a long while, waiting for another cracker opportunity.

So, take my advice. When you are relaxing on the beach and those adorable seagulls are hanging around, remember  – “If Polly wants a darn cracker, and you have one, cup that thing in your hands and eat it whole.”

Have a great day

Brenda

amazon.com/author/brendadrexlerwriting

 

 

 

 

 

What’s in a name?

So, I was wondering

how about you?

Have you ever wondered about biblical names? Some parents proudly name their children Joseph, Mary, or David, Stephen, Anthony, etc. And, if you are a little Catholic boy or girl, you get an extra saint name when you go through your confirmation. So, if you parents were having a bad day when you were born and forgot to give you a saintly name, you get another chance to choose to be Theresa, or Angela, or Patrick, or whatever, as long as the church has made that person a saint. Gotta have some standards. Can’t just name a kid with religious potential just any old name, willy-nilly.

When I went through the Confirmation process, I chose the beautiful name of Saint Theresa. I knew why at the time, but I would have to do some research to tell you, so you’ll have to do it yourself. By the way, it was a long time before I realized that Theresa wasn’t part of my legal name. Very disappointing.

I think I digress…

Back to my thoughts on biblical names…I thought this idea started this morning while I still rested in bed, trying to comply with my own mandate that I sleep in today. As soon as I wake each morning, I start thinking some weird stuff, one thing after another, and then I wonder where it all started. You know what I mean, right? Right?

I realize, now, that this all started on Christmas day, during Mass. Honest, I was really listening to the sermon. That’s why I’m here, now, writing this.

So, the priest was up there reading from Matthew 1, about who begat who in the 14x14x14 line of begetting, up to the point where Jesus was born in the house of David. After that, it didn’t matter who begat who. The Savior was born, and that’s why we have Christmas day and Mass and the tree, etc.

Now, I want to give some credit to the other disciples who mentioned all the major characters in the Bible, but it seems that Matthew was more thorough in his genealogy research, and they all don’t agree on who begat who, anyway, so who’s to say, right?

Well, there I sat in church, trying to keep up with all the begetting when what I really wanted was to hear some joyful news as that is the day we celebrate the birth of our Lord. I expected to hear the priest say loudly at the beginning of the service, “Merry Christmas.” Wouldn’t you expect to hear that, really? Noooooooooo….

Then the Christmas service was over, and we had sang and prayed and the organist was sweating, and still no mention of Christmas from the priest. I began to wonder…were we being punished for even expecting him to say Merry Christmas? Was he depressed? Bad mood? Coal in his stocking?

All this left me with was to think about those almost unpronounceable names in Matthew 1. Have you heard them? Read them? Then, it dawned on me that the names we relate to, that we can pronounce are the boring names, like, David, Joseph, Anthony, Ann, John, etc.

Aha! I thought. These are all pivotal names. Names that signify big change. Was that all part of the big plan, or has someone been inking their own version of names in these holy writings. Now, I understand that mere humans wrote the Bible, so we know how we tend to favor certain names, and we writers know how one name works better than another, so I understand how they might have wanted to change some names around for the sake of understanding.

One funny thing about all this, some parts of what I am writing comes to me in the voice of George Carlin, crazy, weird comedian…just imagine him going through the list and stopping to pronounce DAVID in only the deep way he could…

 

Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah and his brothers, Perez and Zerah, Tamar, Hezron, Amminadab, Nahshon, Salmon, Boaz, Rahab, Obed, Jesse,

and Jesse the father of King David.

David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,

Solomon the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Jehoram,

Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, Josiah,Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.

 After the exile to Babylon: Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel, Zerubbabel, Abihud, Eliakim,

Azor, Zadok, Akim, Elihud, Eleazar, Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob,

and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.

So why don’t we hear of any little Christian children named Zadok, Elihud, Zerubbabel,  Uzziah, Shealtiel, Jehoshaphat ( is that jumping Jehoshaphat?).

Yep. I’d feel mighty sorry for the teacher and children in the kindergarten class when roll is called.

So, now I think I have my answer. We can’t pronounce or spell it, we don’t give it to our kids.

And, of course, we aren’t going to name our children, usually, for the bad guys in the old or new testament. Not too many Lucifers around these days. Cain isn’t a good choice, as his only fame is killing his brother, and helping to screw up the early years even more. However, Adam and Eve are well liked names; in spite of their mistake they are still seen as good folks.

I tell you, I am not trying to be sacrilegious or in any way defame anything biblical. It’s just that when my mind is not otherwise entertained or busy at work, it goes in strange directions. And, I notice the weirdest things and have to write or talk about them.

If this makes any impression on you, let it be to say, Merry Christmas when it is, and please don’t name your child Zerubbabel.

 

Have a great day

Brendawriting

Things Truly Successful People Never Do

Found this on a cool blog. Words to make you think about who you are. Am I being the person I really want to be? Are you?

Things Truly Successful People Never Do

This morning I found this article from Inc. about success.  The information is so good I have to share!

the universe will remove

“1. Successful people refuse to fit in a box.

“Thinking outside the box” is a business cliché writ large. But truly successful people do more than that–they live outside the box.

They don’t let other people define them, whether those other people are malicious or well-meaning. They don’t listen to the jealous boss who tells them that they’ll never be a leader. Perhaps more important, they don’t hedge their ambitions because a parent or a teacher told them that–for example–they’re “good with numbers” but not creative, or an excellent team player but not a leader. They don’t just develop their strengths. They define their strengths.

Challenge: What external expectation do you need to let go of?

2. Successful people don’t bear grudges.

It takes a lot of effort to win a battle. But when you bear grudges, it’s like you’re fighting a war that only one side even knows about.

Sure, if we bothered, most of us could probably dig deep into our pasts and find a time when we were wronged–almost unforgivably wronged. Even thinking about it, however, hands another victory to whoever wronged you. Direct your energy at something else–the things you truly care about.

Challenge: We all hold on to some things too long. What transgression do you need to forgive?

3. Successful people refuse to argue over “nothings.”

Again: wasted energy.

You’re not going to convince that diehard Trump/Hillary/Bernie supporter on Facebook to change his or her mind. Truly successful people spend their energy on things they can truly affect.

Challenge: What deeply held conviction holds you back? Are you prepared to let it go?

4. Successful people refuse to quit.

Successful people are often more successful simply because they work harder. And they work harder in part because the work they do doesn’t feel like work–at least, it doesn’t feel like drudgery. Their work is the kind of thing they’d do even if they weren’t paid for it (and sometimes, they aren’t!).

However, whether it’s rewarding or not, they don’t ignore the important work that needs to be done.

Challenge: You don’t have to say it aloud, but when was the last time you blew off something important and covered it with excuses? Are you planning to do it again anytime soon?

5. Successful people never betray their values.

At the end of everything, what else do you have besides your deeply held values?

Maybe you have a deep religious faith. Maybe you think it’s wrong to eat meat. Maybe you’d never root for an American League baseball team because you think the designated hitter ruined the sport. These are your values, not mine, my friend–and I’m sure they’re tested all the time. Truly successful people don’t have a lot of non-negotiables, but the ones they do have are sacrosanct.

Challenge: Can you articulate your core values? Even more important, are they obvious to others?

6. Successful people never betray friends or family.

Of course, this doesn’t mean letting yourself be rolled over. You have to stick up for yourself. However, truly successful people know that if your close family and true friends can’t trust you, why would anyone else?

Challenge: Um, when was the last time you called your folks?

7. Successful people never lose sight of their goals.

Identifying and pursuing your goals means the difference between spinning your wheels and actually getting somewhere. You’ll put in the same effort regardless of how well you focus on objectives, but if your aim is deficient, chances are that you’ll just be helping someone else achieve his or her goals.

Challenge: Can you articulate your three most important goals? What have you done today to make them come true?

8. Successful people combat self-doubt in all its forms.

Fear is normal, even healthy–but defeatism is a disease. I’m not sure where it comes from, but we all face it. Successful people refuse to give in, but what’s more, they make it part of their mission to help other people overcome self-doubt, too.

The easiest way to do that? Demonstrate respect for others in all that you do.

Challenge: Have you built up someone else’s ego today? If not, is it because you’re afraid that doing so will tear down your own self-worth? (Overcome that!)

9. Successful people refuse to betray their health.

Another non-negotiable. None of us lives forever, yet the temptation is always there to trade fitness, or sleep, or well-being for a pauper’s price–a few extra bucks, a little bit of esteem in a boss’s eyes. Truly successful people have no room for that in their lives. Their health is one of their top priorities.

Challenge: What’s the one thing you should do differently to ensure you have a better chance at living a long time–and well?

10. Successful people refuse to be dominated by others.

We all face bullies in our lives. Truly successful people don’t put up with them. They find ways to prevail. They don’t necessarily fight the other guy on his turf, but they find a way to win.

Beware that you don’t contradict the rule about not holding grudges with this one, but successful people find that standing up for themselves often means standing up to someone else.

Challenge: Who are the bullies you know? What have you done to offset their impact on others?

11. Successful people never give in to competition.

This is a multifaceted element. Successful people never run from competition–but they don’t let themselves be suckered into being measured by somebody else’s rules. They understand the wisdom of the reverse of that old lottery slogan: “You can’t lose if you refuse to play.”

At the same time, when they win, they can take a compliment. Truly successful people don’t gloat, but they also don’t minimize their contributions when other people are eager to offer them praise.

Challenge: What competitions are you engaging in that aren’t truly worthwhile?”

Riding the Big Woody

You know those things you get to do when you are entertaining kids, like take them to goofy movies, make flubber, put together giant farm puzzles, watch ants be so busy? I was recently thinking about some of those things – missing my grandchildren, I think. I said to myself, “I don’t have to have kids with me to be silly.” I’ve gone to the park to swing without little people. I’ve done lots of silly things as an adult. I’m lucky enough to have silly friends.

On a hike with adult friends at Clifty Falls we came across a playground with a swing-set. What did we do? Well, we did some swinging, of course. Anytime I get on a swing, I have the most vivid memories from my childhood of one of my favorite things to do-swing. I loved the sense of flying, the breeze in my long blonde hair as it nearly touched the ground when I would lean back and point my toes toward the sky.

I think the thing I enjoyed most was the wind in my face and hair. A sense of freedom, weightlessness, unconnected to the world around me. Many activities that I have enjoyed have been just like that – maybe challenging and adventurous, but the wind in my face and a sense of freedom – or even total control.

Well, today I am happy to say that the wind was in my face, and I felt free and in control, just for the fun of it. What did I do, you ask? I, and my husband – he just goes along with a lot of my ideas, bless his heart – went to The Track, in Gulf Shores, AL., and road the three story wood go-cart track. We were the only two people on the track, riding recklessly, as fast as we could get our carts to go. The attendants let us go extra rounds as they had nothing else to do. We raced each other, we cut close corners. We laughed and the wind blew in our faces. What a cool day.

If there is a moral to this, it is probably – don’t wait on anybody. Enjoy today! Follow your passion. Accept a challenge. Relive your childhood now and then. And keep making memories for tomorrow.

 

And Then There Was Crab POOP

A few thoughts that began as I pondered my feet in the sand.

And Then There Was Crab Poop

The waves crash against the shore one day and gently roll in and out the next. I watch the diamonds sparkling across the water, alive, moving, almost blinding in their brilliance as I stare at their beauty, their luster, created by the vibrant sun sparkling in the moving water.

I am enchanted, mesmerized, awe-struck by water in nature, especially the ocean. I people watch. People interacting with and drawn to the ocean, its sounds, power, salty smell and taste. There is something intrinsically biological in the way we are drawn toward the water. I’ve watched in the early hours of the morning as vacationers drift from their hotels or condos, still sleepy-eyed, to welcome the ocean as it awakes into the morning light.

I like to walk the pier, usually early evening, along with many others. We go to watch fishermen with their heavy-duty equipment, meant to make their wishes come true, to lure and catch the biggest and best the ocean has to offer. Sometimes it happens. But really, I think the others are there for the same reason I am there. We look over the rails into the inky blackness below, hoping to see something magical or exotic, maybe something that would scare us if we were in the water rather than safely leaning against railing that hold the last breath and smell of fish that were gutted and cleaned nearby.

 

Why? What is the lure (chuckle)? Why do some return to the beach year after year to spend their hard earned money to become one with the beauty, splendor and power of the waters? Others yearn to retire by a beach so that they can experience it daily, so they plan and save and hope.

I sit lazily in my beach chair today and watch children, and adults who play like children, and teenagers who are being a bit of both. The water is crystal clear today and gentle, as opposed to yesterday’s rough waves as the result of a hurricane that ravaged Florida’s east coast. Boogie boards and buckets and shovels and nets amuse me as I observe how we humans interact with something so powerful and dynamic, without thinking of it as anything more than a giant swimming hole.

That is, until it isn’t. The amount of water that covers our earth is breathtaking if you take the time to ponder the dimensions. The fact that it is almost alive, palpable, as it moves, ebbing and waning, not just today or yesterday but for all time, as we know it.

 

“I don’t want to go in. There are fish in there,” cried a young child in an adorable, pink-ruffled swimsuit.

 

Really? Fish? The ocean is their home. Whales and sharks, sting ray, jellyfish, blue marlin, tuna, ugly things and creatures of such majesty in their beauty they take your and my breath away, and I don’t want to forget, crabs of all kinds, they all live naturally in those great waters, living, surviving, procreating and – sorry about this delicate news – even pooping.

I have been lucky enough to experience some of the wonders the ocean has to offer. From various piers at different locations, I have seen giant sea turtles, beautiful, yet huge and scary jellyfish, and dolphins gracefully arching into the air, completing a dance long enjoyed by their species.

Last year I was just as excited as all the little children who gathered around a helmet crab that literally looked like an old army helmet with a large upside-down crab inside. The helmet crab was spotted close to shore by a young man who was swimming. He carefully caught the interesting creature in his shirt and brought it to shore to share its wonder with the children. My grandsons and others, including me, were mesmerized, seeing this strange creature of the sea that we will, most likely, never see again. I felt huge admiration for the young fellow who walked the helmet crab back into the ocean, and set it free, again.

This summer, I saw a sting ray swimming close to shore, and followed it down the beach a while (on a cruise I chose an excursion to swim with sting ray, and have never regretted the amazing experience as they glided around me, circled my legs and body, gentle, as curious as I was)– a nest of baby turtles – jellyfish – and crabs. I saw a lot of fish on my plate at a favorite eatery by the beach, but that’s another story.

Today, I saw something that created a memory that will never go away, that filled me with sadness. I walked with my wonderful husband down the beach, after too much lazing in the shade of our umbrella. A mid-size stingray washed up on the beach and no one seemed to notice. Or maybe they had and didn’t know what to do. I was shocked. I took advantage of a wave rushing in and splashed the poor thing to determine if it was alive. It didn’t move. Then I saw his ugly injury. His had no tail. It looked as if it had been ripped away from him. This doesn’t happen naturally. A propeller? I feel shame that this could be the result of a human action. If the sting ray had been alive, I would have helped him back into the water. Like others, I waited for the tide to take it home.

The ocean is vibrant and wondrous and doesn’t need us to be so. We are lucky to be able to enjoy it for all the reasons important to us. But, it is more than a place to swim and boat and ski. We will do well to respect it and the life it supports.

~.~

Back to the meaning of the title of this essay. I must say, I love experiencing and learning about the large and small wonders of the ocean blue. Have you ever walked along the beach enjoying the waves as they sweep over your feet? Do you enjoy seeing those tiny critters that get washed up by the waves, then stick their little bottoms up and swiftly dig into the sand? They are amusing, and I have to wonder how many times a day they have to repeat this action.

A couple years ago, while walking along the beach, I watched the drama repeated as the little critters were washed up by the waves, stuck their backsides in the air and, as usual, dug themselves into the sand. Now, if you’ve ever seen an ant hill, you will get this picture I’m about to describe.

As I walked along I realized they had added a new element to their process of digging in. Around the little holes they also left mounds of dirt, just like ants do.

“Wow,” I said. “Never seen this before.”

Later, I sat near the water, letting the waves wash up on my feet. I became suspicious. I watched the waves stir up what I thought was sand, but I didn’t like the looks of it. I moved back to the umbrella and pondered the situation.

Then an older couple were stepping into the water that had increased in its brownness. The woman was hesitant. She didn’t know what was discoloring the water, but her husband assured her it was sand stirred up by the waves.

I was skeptical. I had to know the truth. I walked down the beach to where a young lifeguard enjoyed the sun’s rays.

 

“Hello,” I called out. “Can you tell me what the brown stuff is in the water and on the sand?” I was afraid of the answer, but waited breathlessly.

 

He looked down at me and smiled, then said, like it’s something he says every day, “Crab poop.”

“Crab poop?”

“Yep. Crab poop.”

 

Well, I Googled this one. Had to. You would, too. Right? So, apparently those cute little critters are small crabs. An interesting phenomenon, according to my thinking, is that they save their poop until their shells are so full that they have explosive events. I can’t say they have bowel movements, but their poop just explodes out of their shells spontaneously. I thought this was very interesting, but could not find out why they all do it at once, on the same day, at the same beach. I mean, really? Thousands of them. I could not find the answer to this, but it just shows how amazing the creatures of the sea are and how in sync they are with their fellow crab.

 

The moral of the story is, if it looks like poop…

In Memory

I’ve missed you. I’ve been spending a lot of my time the last two weeks soaking up the sun at the beach or pool. The only downfall to being so relaxed is that my brain goes on pause. So-not much writing going on except what I do for the online classes I teach.

Today, I want to share a few words about the best teacher I ever had. Sister Lucy, who was an English professor at the University of Louisville, and a fantastic and vibrant woman and teacher. She died recently, after a long and productive life. She taught so that her students would be better in every way.

When she returned a graded paper in our professional writing class, she would have written almost as much as I had. In purple ink-I never used a red pin again. She was the kind of teacher who told me what I had done right, and how I could improve.

I learned to appreciate feedback. No matter how much I loved the work I had done, I knew I could always do better. And, I knew Sister Lucy would guide me in the right direction, if I wanted to go there.

Did I mention that she was the ‘hardest’ teacher I ever had? I know that if I am challenged, then I must be working hard at being successful.

I feel a need to thank her for being so intelligent, caring and creative, and for using these gifts and nurturing others.

Let’s never forget those special people in our lives who mentor us, especially in writing and the realities of life.

May she rest in the presence of God.

 

A story or poem lies all around us.

Hi Everyone. Hope you are having a great day or evening. I have been trying to stay ahead of the weeds in my yard, but to no avail. They are hardy, fast-growing, Olympic kind of weeds that never let me speed past them. They get the gold medal every time.

Take an extra long vacation, and the yard turns into a jungle. Throw in a vacation where half the people get sick – yes, me too. Came home with bronchitis and two rounds of antibiotics later, I am finally tackling the weeds of all weeds, gargantuan, and sneaky.

So, have you ever tried to write a story or poem about something as powerful, yet inconsequential as those freaking weeds in your yard that have overtaken what should be the beautiful garden you worked on in the spring.

I did write a short story titled, Who Killed the Sod. Wow, a story about dead grass. But what if you make that dead grass someone else’s fault and you end up in court with all kinds of interesting peoples. So there you are, when it comes to us writers, nothing is off limits. Try it. It could be fun. And, keep in mind…any bystanders may be written in my stories.

Keep Writing

Brenda D

 

Where do the ideas come from?

Someone recently asked me, after reading some of my short stories, where I get my ideas. She asked, “Don’t they say you should write about what you know”?

Well, I thought that was funny, because I’m sort of sure she was thinking about the gritty bar scene in The Bouncer. Where does it all come from, you might wonder. Life. People. Conversations. other people’s stories. Sometimes, I’m inspired by an unusual twist of a phrase or a news article that sparks an idea that grows into something larger. Stories are everywhere.

But, I must admit it does take some effort to put together a story, much less a novel, from a single thought. Sometimes that piece must be put away for a while or scrapped if it doesn’t seem to want to grow with me. At this very moment, I have a number of stories in the making, not sure which will survive the creative process. But, at least, I have given them a start, a possibility of coming to life.

I’m an observer. I learn a lot by watching and listening to people in a variety of situations. Sometimes those situations are my own. Don’t we all have a little crazy in our lives, now and again? Just living and connecting with the world around me invites ideas that may become something more.

Think about it – Everyone has at least one story to tell. More on that later.