Tea for Two

That’s the working title for the story I’m revising to submit to Boroughs Publishing Group’s Lunchbox Romance line.  It isn’t finished but as I’ve neared the end, I’ve realized stuff I need to add earlier in the story.  Things like location, more character description, the time of year, et cetera.  So I’ve printed it out and begun slashing and adding with my green pen.

As I’ve revised, I have discovered the heroine’s grandmother has two different first names.  I’ve also found loads of comma errors.

And speaking of commas and grandmothers, here’s a funny I saw on Facebook.

lets eat grandma

 

I love it!  I love writer-ly humor in general.

What’s your favorite writer humor?

Happy Earth Day

I’m trying to do my part by adding some green (and red and white) to the earth.  Apartment living doesn’t allow for much gardening, but with a flower box, some hanging Boston ferns and two ceramic pots of herbs I have enough to keep me busy.  Add in the bird feeder, which is frequented by some very greedy birdies, and there’s always something to water, fertilize or fill up.

Hope you’re doing your part too!

And now it’s back to the WIP.

I cry for Boston

Both my sons ran in races from the age of about 5 on. My younger son is a college track coach.   Many’s the time I put them at the starting line and then waited at the finish, trusting they would be okay.  Sadly , our trust was betrayed yesterday by some insidious evil.  I’ve spent the morning reading the sad story of Martin, the little 8 year old boy who was killed.  He was waiting at the finish line for his daddy.  His mother and sister were also there and are seriously injured.

When the blast occurred, many rushed to help.  As upsetting as the bombing is, it’s heartwarming to see such action when the call to help sounded.

After a tragedy like this, it is so easy to put your head in a hole and think the worst.  Sure, the worst is out there — that worst placed those bombs yesterday.  But I think this quote sums up how I should feel instead.

you must not lose faith in humanity

The ocean of humanity is still helping today in the way of monetary donations, blood donations and offers of places to stay since many people have been displaced from their hotels in the crime scene area.

All this has taken me back to a trip to New York City my freshman year in college.  The trip was sponsored by the Interfaith Council on campus and was to be a study of the relationship between religion and the arts.  We visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lincoln Center and had a representative of NBC meet with us.  Another excursion was a night at a Greenwich Village disco (this was 1970).

We’d been there maybe an hour, dancing and enjoying the music.  I remember a mime had begun to perform on one of the stages around the room and I’d gone over to watch him.  I was standing next to the stage and suddenly there was a loud boom.  I was pressed against the stage by some force.  I turned to look behind me and saw flames devouring the fabric, which hung over the wall.  Someone helped me up onto the stage and we all exited through a back door, hustled down a flight of metal steps and waited outside.  After a while our chaperones got us on the subway and back to our hotel.  We learned a couple of students in our group had been injured, one seriously.  He had been right beside the explosion, which turned out to be a pipe bomb planted by a member of an underground group.  He survived, but not without permanent injury to his leg.

We asked if we should call home about it, but were assured something like this wouldn’t be in the local North Carolina papers.  Oh how wrong they were.  A group of small town college students caught in a bombing in a NYC disco is great news fodder, and the next morning I had a call from my mother wanting to know the details.

I didn’t realize til later that I had caught a small piece of shrapnel in the back of my left thigh.  I didn’t tear my trousers but the small wound was there.  And I still have a sort of scar.  It looks more like a broken vein.  You can see for yourself.

scar

Can’t complain, especially when I read that many in Boston had to have limbs amputated.  So I have a little scar?  I still have my leg.

If you’re a praying person, say a prayer for Boston.  It will take a long time for all involved to get over this.  If you don’t pray, would you at least send up a caring thought?

And let’s all remember Gandhi’s reminder that the bulk of humanity is good and kind.  Perform some random act of kindness today.  Pay something forward.  Let the world know they, like Blanche duBois, can still count on the kindness of strangers.

Mark one off my bucket list

Actually, being in a tornado was never on my bucket list, but if it had been, I could mark it off now.  The National Weather Service has officially categorized Thursday’s storm as an EF1 tornado.

I didn’t get picked up and deposited in Oz, but it was quite an exciting afternoon.  I can live without that sort of excitement, though.  Just give me a good book or movie instead.

Today was sunny and I spent it with my RWA chaptermates and my fellow Playfriends from The Writing Playground (sans Kimberly Lang who was having a book signing in Pigeon Forge, TN).  We had a great meeting, a dress swap (I scored a great little black dress and someone else got two dresses of mine I couldn’t wear any more — can you say win-win?) and a productive writing session at a nearby deli.

I’m very close to finishing the short story revision. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe Monday. If it’s sunny tomorrow too, I might just commune with nature instead of writing.

Mother Nature — she can be a mean gal

Downed power line 1/2 a block from my church where I was hiding out from today’s storms.

It’s springtime in the Tennessee Valley, and unfortunately that usually brings us some bad storms. Today we had a system move through and the photo above is just a fraction of the damage it caused. Because I take the weather seriously, I didn’t head home when my boss let us go an hour early because I would have been driving right into the worst of the storm. Instead I headed to my church, where I usually go on Thursday nights for a study group and dinner. Tonight it was just the pastor and me. He’d already fixed the meal, but when we heard the civil defense siren signaling a tornado warning he called folks and told them to stay home.

Shortly after that the power went out. I’d taken my emergency radio to work so I could monitor things. We’d been warned bad weather was headed out way. We were warned last week. I told you I take it seriously. So the pastor and I got into an interior room with no windows and waited out the storm. We could tell it was raining very heavily but we had no idea the winds were so bad. Then we heard on the radio about a downed power pole causing a power outage and when they gave the location, we knew it was just at the edge of our church property. The Episcopal church next door had downed trees, one of which was driven through their church van.

The National Weather Service will investigate tomorrow to see if it was just wind or maybe a microburst or possibly a small tornado. Regardless, it was too close for comfort and I’m glad no one was hurt. A woman was trapped in her car by that falling pole, but she was able to get out safely. And a home had a large tree fall across it, but the owners were not injured. I feel for them. The same thing happened to a friend of mine two years ago and it took quite a while to get everything repaired.

So next time you think of Mother Nature and all the beautiful flowers she gives us, remember she has a mean streak too. If you live in an area prone to bad weather, be weather aware and take the watches and warnings seriously. Have an emergency radio, flashlights, candles, a helmet to protect your head (yes, my bike helmet was in my tote bag too) and most importantly, have a PLAN.

Photo from WHNT-TV, Huntsville, Alabama