Not Sure How Much More of This We Can Take

112° on Tuesday? Seriously? We're moving into three solid months of triple digits. I'm really looking forward to winter.


Weekend Be Good

As one of my characters, Noel, would say, "Bollocks, it's been a fookin' week!" And no, that's not me in the picture. I considered taking one of myself in the same pose, but it's just too much work. I did take two Excedrin along with my usual Thyroidzilla repellent this morning. Hey, two of those caffeine-laden puppies and a cup of coffee get me feeling half-human...


Lost Post #3 - Adrenalin Rush

Post Title: Adrenalin Rush
Post Date: May 13, 2005

What an evening. This morning I moved all the plants back outside and set up the patio furniture again. Considering we have 6 chairs, a table with 2 chairs, 5 hanging plants, 7 floor plants, 9 pots of herbs, 1 long planter, perhaps 6 table plants and numerous candle jars, all this moving about is quite a job...


When the Worst that Can Happen Happens

I'm one of those people who, when things get really bleak, asks, "Well, what's the worst that can happen?" Usually, the final deductionwhen I go through the long "doom" list of possibilitiesisn't as scary as I'd imagined and, often, it turns out to be a good thing in disguise...


Lost Posts #2

Post Title: Nigeria Must be Loaded
Original Post Date: April 16, 2004

Seems the Nigerian people are the wealthiest on the face of the earth. They must be, judging from the amount of email I get from them wanting to give me literally millions of U.S. dollars. Most of the letters are run-of-the-mill, but yesterday I received an offer that was truly unique, at least in my experience with these shysters. Here is our correspondence thus far (I have not edited their emails to me)...


My Blogging Mojo

Something unexpected happened the other day when I found so many of my lost posts via the Wayback Machine. I got addicted to blogging again. I found my blog mojo. Who knows how long this will last, though? Guess I'd better indulge while I have the fevah.

Of course, I never really quit blogging, I just started paying more attention to my other blogs (which now number six) until, eventually, I gave myself blog burnout. But once I began reading my lost posts everything came back to me.

Of course, I have nothing else to occupy my time. I'm only writing four books, editing other people's work, marketing, and web designing, all of which only takes about 45 hours out of my day. I have plenty of time for six blogs!

Guess I'd better get back to being lazy today.


That Long Ago? Really?

Today marks the 42nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Who doesn't remember exactly where they were that day?

I'd just graduated from high school and was feeling a little cut adrift. My family and I were invited down to San Gabriel for a BBQ at the home of some friends. We watched the landing—sitting on pins and needles—and when it was over, we all went outside and just looked at the moon.

The day was so significant to so many people that I even included it in the first book of my trilogy. Where were you?


The Dogs of Summer

Look, I have no problem with dogs. I'm a "dog person" and I miss having a dog so much sometimes, it's actually painful. And I'm pretty patient where pets are concerned. I'll deal with your dog crapping in my yard, pissing on my tree, and even drinking my cat's water. No big deal, just everyday things in the life of a dog.

What I can't deal with is your barking dog keeping our family awake all night and then waking me up after I've finally managed to join them. When your dog wakes me up, although I'm wearing 33db earplugs, there's a problem. DO something...


Take a Ride in the Wayback

In 1996 the Internet Archive began archiving the web for a service called the Wayback Machine. They've now archived over 55 billion web pages. I looked up this blog and came up with only one, this one from August 5, 2008. That template didn't last too long, did it? I wish I could remember my other URLs. First, I posted to my own domain, building my blog in Frontpage. Then I moved over to Wordpress. I can't remember either of those addresses, however. Damn. I'd really like to get some early screenshots.

Anyway, to look up yours, just type your URL into the field and click the search button. At the top of the next page you will be told how many grabs they gotof your site. You can then search by year and click the dates that your site was grabbed. Have fun!


Holy Crap! 9 Years!

It's hard to believe that I've had this blog for 9 years today. I remember writing my first entry like it was only a year ago. Back then I had no intention of making this such a huge part of my life and I certainly didn't know the effect it would have on me as a writer. And need I mention all of the people I've met because of it? The web truly is an amazing world...


Master the Fundamentals

In my never ending quest to edumacate myself in what exactly makes a good writer, I found an article, What Is the Difference Between a Good Writer and a Bad Writer? by Richard Nordquist. I found it so useful, in fact, that I've decided to post his compilation of quotes, followed by my own thoughts. I don't claim to be "a good writer", but I strive to be. I hope these posts will help you, too...


Blog Versatility

I don't know why, but after nine years of blogging, I'm still tickled when someone presents me with an award. I haven't seen all that many in the past couple of years, though. I think they kind of came and went with the first flush of blogging infatuation. Sadly, now that we have places like Facebook and Twitter, blogging and reading blogs seems to be taking a bit of a nose dive as a popular daily activity. I blame this on the ever-decreasing attention span. But those of us who like to read and who are curious about how other people think will not give up either reading or writing blogs until the last blog host closes up shop. And I don't predict that happening anytime soon...


Hey, I Clean Up Pretty Well

I got the editorial! (Click to embigiate.) Here's the original in all its effin' glory.

Stillwater News Press, July 12, 2011


Stillwater News Press Hops To

Well, that was pretty cool. On Monday evening I cleaned up my blog entry (I mean I really cleaned it up!), Things I've Learned From Being Broke, and I submitted it to the Stillwater News Press via email. It wasn't two hours later that I received a reply from the editor, asking me for a head shot. I sent it and the thing was in yesterday's paper. Remember when life was like that? When people didn't drag ass about doing things? When procrastination was the exception rather than the rule? When your appointment was longer than the time you spent waiting for it? Thanks SNP. You're my kind of outfit!

(I'll post a scan of the article tomorrow.)


Things I've Learned From Being Broke

I should have these things down by now. I've been broke so long, I can't remember what financial security even feels like. I think the last time I experienced it was back in 1970 when I moved back in with my parents after my husband died. Sheesh. I was 18. You do the math. But you know, I have learned a few things. If you're having a bad time of it right now (as I know a lot of people are, including us), I hope these pointers help. Don't think for a moment that I live up to these every day that I have to wake up wondering what my family's going to eat. I'm still learning, and I'm writing these down for myself more than anyone else...


When Ghosts Come to Call

I met Gary Plyly on Sunday February 20th, 1972. Some friends of mine, Charity and her boyfriend Gary, came by my house, inviting me to go with them to a party in Thousand Oaks. They told me to bring my guitar because there would be musicians there. When we got there, a few people were hanging outnot too manymaybe five or six. It was Gary's house on Foothill Road, overlooking Westlake and the US 101/Ventura Freeway. It was little and yellow, with a front porch and a long flight of stairs leading up to it. A 1950s construction perched on the face of an oak tree strewn hill. He had a wooden electrical spool that served as a table in the kitchen. It was the first time I'd ever seen that done and I loved it. We all kind of sat around drinking beers and passing joints while music played on the stereo. That was the first day I ever heard A Horse With No Name by America and I remember the sound system in the house was awesome! It should have been because the guys who lived there were musicians...


Why I Love Ventura #9: Bart's Books in Ojai

Yeah, I know Bart's Books is in Ojai, a good 20-minute drive into the Topa Topas on Highway 33, but Bart's truly belongs to everyone in Ventura County.

Touted as the world's largest outdoor book store, Bart's Books was created in 1964 when owner Richard Bartinsdale's personal book collection grew too large for his bungalow on Matilaja Street. That's pronounced Muh-TILL-uh-haw.


Dropping the Sword

Throughout my life I have been given mountains of predictions from my elders. From my grandmother to Frank Salazar, many people have graced me with little pearls of wisdom about what it's like to get older. While I appreciated this for the most part, I always filed their insights away in a directory called, "The Distant Future", but more and more, I find myself referring back to them...


Not My Summer Vacation

Holy crap, I've been busy. Sorry I haven't been able to leave a post in a few days. Besides working over here, here, and here, my email correspondence has suddenly gone through the roof. And then there are the articles I was asked to write. All good stuff.

Being ill for two weeks really helped because I could sit here and work with minimum exertion or angst over a body that suddenly feels like it doesn't belong to me. I seriously thought I was going to die. I started cleaning up my personal messes and making amends with people because of how badly I felt. I even made a list of songs I want played at my funeral. How scary is that?...


You See, I Just Don't Care

That, of course does not apply to those of you whom I care about. What you think about me matters a great deal, but then you actually know me, so the opinion of anyone who's never met me won't matter to you. But seriously, where people in general are concerned, I just don't care.

Usually, when I hear someone say, "I don't care" I figure they actually care very much. In fact, I figure they care desperately, but don't wish to be vulnerable to the consequences of caring. I used to counteract that fear with stating that I care more than what is probably healthy. I owned up. I acknowledged my vulnerability...


Too Damned Hot

A solid month of triple digits. Of the lowest temp being around 90 at three in the morning. And I don't see it cooling off because we haven't even come into the hottest time of the year.

This is going to require beer.

On the Way to Summer

Like many Americans, my happiest memories of summer are of family camping trips. But while Dad loved fishing from a shady riverbank and Mom enjoyed reading in a folding chaise, my favorite part was just getting to wherever they'd planned for us to spend those lovely two weeks each year...