Mask vs Bank

After nearly sixty days of isolation, we traveled out of the house, without a mask. To the post office. We slid a letter carefully into the mouth of the outside large metal drive-up  box without touching it and then…we left town! Without a mask.

We drove ten miles to the county seat, an actual city, well, sort of. In my books I refer to it as Plainville. This trip was exciting. It was an eye opener.

Perspectives change with attitude.

Every bit of scenery seemed new. We drove past the county hospital and their Covid-19 tents, recieving souls who question their health. No masks in sight.

I won’t leave home again without a mask.

We circled the old county court house because we like to and often count the number of times we circumnavigate it. Also, because one has to. Remember that infamous chicken who wanted to get to the other side?

Once near the bank, we wished we had our masks. We drove to the back where they keep their drive-through. This one had a sliding drawer and real people were seen inside the main building. I told you it was exciting. A new-to-me person came to the window and said through her speaker, “How are you folks doing today.” She was pretty and young and reminded me of myself when was too was a bank teller; not necessarily pretty. Yes, a long time ago. That’s another blog-post.

She spoke like she knew us! It was kind of her to ask. She didn’t have a mask either.

By the way…isolation is not could for my reasoning abilities.




Texting is , or should be, similar to thinking before you speak. No intended references to an infamous texter. Maybe.

The key is proofreading, editing, revising, reviewing…sound familiar, writers?

I enjoy texting better than talking, calling, or face-timing. When I see myself on a screen, I am often too busy self-analyzing rather than thinking what I’m saying. “This Mess” has played havoc with availability to hair coloring and wrinkle creams. Forget the make up!

Mr. Word and Mr. Press have cheered me during “This Mess”, however.  They renewed my yearly contract. Nice of them. Mr. Master and Mr. Card assisted. Why are they all men? I have no idea, other than I’m so old school. They could be sloths or llamas.

Now, according to Word Press’s love letter , I now have an Happiness Engineer. His name is Herman. Really. I think I am thrilled by this news. Maybe Herman will increase my book sales as soon as I finish my current WIP.  By finish, I mean (see above) editing, proofreading, revising, reviewing, and praying over.

A bit more about “This Mess”. This is day #53 in my Swamp of Seclusion. Mother Nature continues to assume I’m sane by displaying her beauty: sunsets, wildlife, wind-whipped lake waters, occasional otters and my favorite, Douglas the Alligator. Mr. (or Miss) Amazon and Miss Ups-Woman and Mrs. Fed and Mrs. Ex keep me fed. Sometimes I tip them because basically they are keeping me alive.

I would text them, but Herman, my Happiness Engineer, has yet to connect.






In my swamp, once a year, in April, (blame global warming) our Mayflies descend. Keeping us inside. Yet another reason. This is day #36 for the hubs and myself. Today’s canned tuna was delicious, thank you. We don’t get out to shop. Mr. Amazon spoils us. He’s great with canned goods and dry milk.

Another reason to worry about my sanity is the new craze to virtually visit as a crowd…zooming…which supposedly caries yet another virus.  So, covid-19, you are not the only star of the show.

What else do I miss besides my sanity? Here’s my list: daily mail. We go to the post office once a week. Writing old-fashioned cards in cursive. Discussing books and gossip and a tad of politics with my book club. Eggs. Going out to lunch. This list is so extensive That Mr. Word and Mr. Press might put a restraining order on my account.

Writing! I am getting more done. The Mayflies are watching me through the windows of my creation station. They’ll hang there until a strong rain or my garden hose changes their dead minds. My WIP is now in edit mode. This might take a while. I hate being watched while I edit my creations. Also, I have drafted a synopsis for this newest historical adventure. Perhaps I’ll post that before our country is “released”.

When I was an elementary school teacher with the Sanhedrin and Malcontents, the administration would give the children “Early Release Days”, in order to allow the teachers to learn something…chuckle. I would often sing to the kids the only country song I know, “Please Release Me, Let Me Go”.


Day #21 of Iso.


Yes, we started later than a few folks; earlier than most. My father often said (a great deal), “It is better to be two hours early than one minute late.”

The journey to good health is not always smooth. So, here are a few suggestions: Yes, take a deep breath and stockpile the liquor. No, I mean liquid…water, silly. And, you’ve heard this one: count your blessings!

First, if you’re a doctor, nurse, or other health care provider…Thank you!

Second, if you’re a provider of food…Thank you!

Third, if you’re a parent, taking on the challenge of home-schooling…Thank you!

Those of us NOT one or two of those: you are blessed.

My isolation from my WIP (drafts #1 and 2) is nearly over. This is my experiment, my theory. If I leave my finished work alone for awhile, I should be able to find more mistakes, smooth out the “plot-bumps”, put a shinier-shine on the polish when I do write my way out of WIP isolation. In other words, drafts #3 and 4 should be more productive, more attractive, before I start my agent search.

As mentioned earlier, I’ve been revising Gary Lace (Book #4) during my author-isolation. Next week, I’ll print out the first chapter of LILLIAN’S CHOICE.

There it is. The title! Of Book #7.  Lillian’s choices begin in an early 20th century English workhouse and end in a 1920 Nashville, Tennessee hotel while she waits for The Women’s Vote. Her decisions are determined by fear, courage, and compassion. Most of it hers.

Let me know what you think. Would you read it?





Screen Time

When Lent came upon us I had planned to give up ironing. However, someone I admire for his occasional wisdom told me our Lenten sacrifice should be a benefit to someone other than or selves.

I gave up Face Book and Twitter. Easier said than done.

I did not give them entirely. I kept my accounts and read or scrolled through often. The time I saved could have gone to the greater good; like dusting. The hubs is allergic to it.

Alas, that did not work out. Many things have not worked work. Our days are not the same. Mr. Corona and his 19 fuzzy spikes on-a-beach-ball decided that I should give up my friends, family, and fine dining. The experts now say that social media interactions are good. The world has indeed turned on its head. Is that possible for a sphere?

Today, I responded to someone on Face Book and my “friends” went crazy! “Oh, you are alive!”

Yes, our times have changed in many ways. I have to plan each day to exerecise, exercise patience too, and not to decrease my screen time.



My swamp is my refuge. Peaceful and safe at the moment. We turned off the news and listened to the wildlife; the purple martins are here, the crows are always angry, and strange, but true, there are seagulls enjoying my fresh water retreat. The ducks, turtles, and alligators are busy with their sex life. No further explanations forthcoming.

A refuge is great most of the time, but now we’ve been “encouraged” not to leave because we’re old.

Great! I didn’t want to leave anyway!!

Thankfully, we are still connected to the world through the internet and we’re shopping like crazy people. Although we didn’t have far to go to pass an insanity test. We’ve ordered mouth wash, potting soil, and more spam.

We’re good. Not the kind that appears in your email account. We have plenty of that.

We’ve cancelled everything that might be more people than us, although we will be kind, generous and polite to others with “elbow pumps”, smiles at two meters, and wishes for good health. This is odd. There’s no ending goal to reach for or mark the days on a calendar. And! I miss my family!

On the bright side…I have more time to write. A few days ago I reached a refreshing milestone. I wrote “The End” on my yellow pad and, yes, there was a rough draft of 60,00 words too. Draft #2 is typed into my beloved laptop. My WIP will soon be in a “Hunkered Down Mode” as well. I plan to work on a revision of a previous novel for a few weeks before tackling Draft#3 of ….no title yet. I’m not ready to expose her.

What am I afraid of? A Virus!


Brouhaha II

The Importance of Romantisicm

In reference to Brouhaha I, (see last week’s post), PBS’s Sanditon should have served a purpose. Jane Austen’s romantic writing allowed her readers to escape. They could escape drudgery, poor marriages, and mistakes made. Jane’s conclusions and climaxes offered a belief in the positive. (No pun intended, really.) Yes, historically some marriages were a business decision, hence, the term sweetheart deal. (I made that up. I do not know the origin of the phrase.) Therefore, Jane and her fan club has the right to be upset with Masterpiece Theater’s choice of writer.

The Importance of Writing

It’s theraputic. Today, I made a scene, as I enjoy telling my hubs. By the way, it’s raining again here in our swamp. Yours? Back to scene creation: I found it soothing, even though it was a fight scene. I am getting close to the end of this novel, ( first draft), the climax, (again no pun here). My “she-ro” handled herself beautifully as well as heroically. By the way, did you catch the news clip where Jill Biden defended her husband from a stage invader? Quite Impressive.

The Impoortance of Blog Writing

If I need a political release I could write my thoughts, (see above), subtlety and carefully. There’s no use in upsetting folks unnecessarily, at least not close to an election. Maybe I’ll warm up in late October.

The Importance of Creating Yet Another Scene

(see above)  I need to write a scene that explains the previous one. That’s sad. Perhaps I really need to rewrite the previous one so I can inform my readers of new adventures.

I love the importance of a good brouhaha.







A Brouhaha

If money was not a problem, silly if, I would be a sustaining member of PBS and Masterpiece Theater. I especially enjoy their period dramas. Although, recently there has been brouhaha. Yes, it took me twenty-seven minutes in an old college (1966) dictionary to find that spelling. Therefore, it is correct.

Return to subject: you might have heard or even felt the anger and disgust generated from many viewers. Evidently, Jane Austen started a novel entitled Sanditon. Masterpiece Trust hired someone to finish it. The writer appeared in an interview dressed quite informally, short sleeved shirt, shabby, no tie or jacket-good grief. PBS allowed the world to see who had the audacity to write an ending which was so unlike Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility that many viewers (source: social media) jumped off their couches and screamed, “No, Jane wouldn’t write the ending that way!”

I did as well.

To those who have no idea whatsoever of what I write, but might have an ounce of romanticism in their blood, here’s the deal…a real hotty dumps a cutie for a wealthy witch. Please note the letter w.

To those who have no idea whatsoever of what I write, but might possess an ounce of romanticism, here’s the deal…a hotty dumps a cutie for a wealthy witch.

Not Jane

So, we have options! Aside from not contributing to The Masterpiece Trust, as many have threatened, we could write our own endings. The hotty could come to his senses. The witch could say, “No thanks”, or the cutie could slide over to the handsome town architect and they could start their own business designing the new seaside resort of Sanditon. The exotic Miss Lamb of One Hundred Thousand Pounds could donate her worldly goods to save the hotty’s brother, whom he sacrificed himself for on the flaming pyre of the matrimonial bed.






Like a small child, I’m excited. It might snow in my swamp! We bought a new white automobile to honor the occasion.  Do you understand how fake news is born? Yes, we bought a new white car and yes there are fourteen snow flakes forecasted.

My WIP (work-in-progress) has my “she-ro” in a 1920’s hospital with a broken arm and ankle. How long should she stay? She’s normally healthy, but in her late fifties. Research is such that as I read, I found out that in the early twentieth century patients stayed a great deal longer than we do today.

In fact, (caution: an approaching anecdote!) when I was seven I had an emergency appendectomy and that entire week of hospitalization was an adventure. I should have been sent home earlier because I was rambunctious enough to throw lima beans over a balcony, attacking a few construction workers.

Now-a-days, no wonder folks are sent home earlier from most hospitals. Yes, I am that important, It’s my fault. More Fake News…sometimes it’s obvious: it was those Lima Beans.





Stuff and Nuttiness

Where do I begin? Perhaps something non-political: I am sorry. How’s that?

I apologize for not posting jots and jungles (jingles?) from my mind as often as I had planned. Now, I do plan to punish myself. I had promised to post once a month. Now, I will try once a week. How’s that for stuff and nuttiness?

Don’t answer that.

My novel does progress. Heavens, I started with an entirely different title than I have now. I started in a totally different part of England than I have now. My main character has changed from a young lady to a middle aged hurricane ready to take on not just one battle, but there are three in her world. And…her world “progresses” from the UK to Nashville, Tennessee. This journey has been fun. Indeed.

Writers are often advised to keep their “butt” in the chair; to keep writing, obviously.  (Although I’m not a fan of the word, butt, I prefer bottom.) “I yield my time back to the chair.” Now, that quote should sound familiar to citizens who are trying to stay involved and informed. It is stolen from our House of Representatives’ Impeachment hearings. It has become my incentive to return to my creative station.

More about My Nuttiness: I do try to draft a chapter by hand on a yellow legal pad. Later, I draft again onto my Christmas present, this gem of a laptop. Of course, I save my work, but I also follow the excellent advice from my editor in chief, The Hubs, to send a copy to my email.

Don’t tell him. Sometimes he’s quite brilliant.

Enough!  for seven days?