Archive for November, 2020

An Alert on Day 287


While enjoying some Face Time with my perfect grands and their nearly perfect mother, an obnoxious blaring alarm burst forth.

I thought my phone was preparing to explode.

Across my daughters lovely face popped a short white box announcing the precautionary steps to prevent COVID. It did not mention my 287 days of quarantine. It demanded that the reader Mask!, Distance!, and Wash!

In the background, under the box, I could see and hear my older Grand scream, “Grammy, are you OK?”

I’m fine. They’re fine. The alarm has died and the box has flitted away. So, is this another sign of the times? Are there really so many of us who do Not Mask, Distance, and Wash that our public health departments must blare out alarms that knock your socks off?

There must be! Look at our airports this holiday week. The self-centered flying home to make Grandma so sick she has to die alone.

I am angry. Can you tell?


Mask! Distance! Wash!

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Day 275 of NHG

Not Hugging Grands

If it wasn’t for Face Time, I would be loonier than “normal”. When my family gathers inside my phone I feel a slight bit calmer in my bones. Then the younger grand says, “Papa, Grammy, come see me.”

I crack…after I hang up.

“Hang Up”. There’s a phrase that’s met its demise, or soon will, when the WWII baby boomers pass on. My daughters probably remember using our yellow kitchen wall phone with the extra long cord. They’d drag that cord, close the laundry room door for parental privacy, and communicate and compare their lives with similar beings. They would “hang up” that phone eventually. Their generation grew into cell phones gracefully and appreciatively.

I did not. Yet, I survived and our land-line is now an antique.

Speaking of Antiques…if you read my last post…

Mathilde Eiker wrote, Growing Into Authorship”. I will have to “Google Her” ( as opposed to Hang Up) because the antique magazine claims she wrote a detective novel or two. I wonder if they are still in print. A mystery, if you don’t hang up.

Her main theme challenges the widely acknowledged fact that writers are readers. She lists several titles that should be read if someone is to be known as a reader: Euripides to a textbook on crop rotation. She claims writers should grow into their authorship by reading far more widely than most. I do agree with her premise, “the more a writer knows, the less likely he/she (the slash added 77 years later) is to make mistakes.”

I have recently been stung by this wicked truth. In my own novel set in the 1920’s, my character used a quill instead of a fountain pen.

Mathilde scares me from her grave (an assumption), “I am an editor. After I find one discrepancy in a writer’s manuscript , I never feel quite confident about his work again. Writers can get details right.”

Ouch! There are mistakes in all my novels. The most infamous is the serving of she-crap soup.


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Day 263 of NHGrands

I allow others to blog about viruses, elections, supreme courts and tree murders, at least today. My title covers my immediate pain. I have not hugged my grand daughters for 262 days.

A temporary pain reliver is to return to my review of articles written 77 years ago. On page three Olive Higgins Prouty argues that characters need delineation. She was a published author of two novels which were produced as films, so maybe she know of what she preaches. Now, Voyager and Stella Dallas

An author’s character has various characteristics (there’s a pun hidden in there) and Prouty writes that there should not be any psychoanalysis here. She appears to claim that the reader should understand how and why the character acts by actions of the hero. Well said. I do wish I could write so clearly that little needs to be described.

That’s where I went wrong. I have read far too many romance novels where the “she-ro” is tall, strong, and delightful. Her words are used to show the reader her psychological misgivings. Her actions afford escape for the reader.

I should try to be a creator, a novelist, not a copyist.


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