Uncle Mark #wemissyou

You were involved in some many firsts, although not *that* one lol. You were the first grown up friend we made, one outside of family, school or church. 

You called us the Katzenjammer Kids.

We called you Uncle Mark.

Which is utterly ridiculous because you were only 5 years older than us.

But you had a house. We were in our early twenties, and that seemed so far away. That’s the only thing I can think of, because you were wholly and unapologetically there for us. 

We met at Danny’s, of all places. In Milpitas, off Calaveras. It was our non bar hangout, and your dinner stop on your commute home from work. I still order the Super Bird, with a side of ranch. Dipping it makes all the difference,

You weren’t one of my college buddies, but we talked about everything. From motorcycles to midevil knights, books and bars. Your interests were so wide ranging, I think you could talk to anyone about everything. 

You found love, and lost love. Always painfully, and sadly, once, tragically. And yet you still believed, still put yourself out there. And found it again, with Lyn. I could tell when I met her that she was going to be good for you. That twinkle was back in your eye. You, Sir Knight, had found a Lady worthy of your wooing and you enjoyed it.

I didn’t make it to your funeral. Damp, winding roads scared me too much. Instead, I did something I know you’ll approve of. I went and spoiled my great nephew, visiting from afar and sicker than a dog. He napped while I dropped the stuff off, but spoiling doesn’t happen because you need approval. It happens because they need to be spoiled. 

Regina and I will miss you terribly, Uncle Markypoo.But we know that when you see you again, you’ll share all the best spots with us and have some amazing stories for us.

Thank you Terrible Minds

Had a great date night with the boy child, and I owe it to Chuck Wendig.
I get notifications in my email on blog posts by the author, Chuck Wendig. I love his blog, it’s funny, real and NSFW. Yesterday, he posted a flash fiction challenge ( which he does most Fridays) and you can find it here

 When we went in to Strings (one of our favorites…. yummy pasta), I brought in a tablet of paper. We sat down, and for the past month or so, the princeling has been playing on his phone while we eat. This is not ok.

The boy child loves many things, and storytelling is one of them. In the flash fiction challenge mentioned above, you have to create your own monster. Not a rehash of a goblin, orc  or nessie. Your own monster. 

Thursday night, the princeling asked me why I never write his story ideas. I don’t have the heart to tell him that mommy’s writing is not built that way. I’m not a Tolkien, Martin or Hobbs that can weave large complex stories with ease. I’m light and fluffy with a sometimes dark turn, and I’m OK with that.

We sat down, and I handed the book to him. “There’s a writing challenge and we’re going to do it together.”

His little eyes lit up. When I told him about the challenge, he looked at me and said in a very soft voice… “Goblins?”  

“No, it can’t be anything ever written about before. Not in movies, in books or video games. Completely new.”

He grinned at me and said “oh, that’s easy”. 

As he drew and told me about his monster… I got chills. No lie. Some of his descriptions were chillingly beautiful. We discussed the monster over pasta, then went into what’s in the closet that scares him. It’s doll and stuffed animal eyes.

I was thinking we would do a light, kid friendly minster under the bed kind of story. Instead, my son took my hand and led me into the shadows. I can do dark and twisty with beauty intermixed. I can’t live there for a novel, but I can visit.

I’ll have our story posted here before Fridays deadline.

And thank you, Chuck Wendig, for a great night out with the boy child.

Bye Facebook

It started with me limiting my time on Facebook. Then, 2 days ago, it quit working on my phone. Which is what I used to browse Facebook.

At first it was hard. Still is to some degree. Most of my friends and family are on it, so I like to pop in and see what’s going on with them.


That’s not what Facebook is anymore, is it? There are a few people who will update with something more personal than Night FB FAMILY! Who still show pictures and snippets of their lives. But for the most part, we’ve become obsessed with memes and shares of new stories that aren’t knews. And really, in a lot of them they aren’t written well either…

So I’ve been taking a bigger break than intended. But I’ve had some nice suprises. I’ve been on WordPress more, catching up with my favorites, passing along links to those who I think need them. Discovering new bloggers. Reading on my breaks. Feeling more connected.

Writing more.

Facebook isn’t evil, but I think it helps to take a step back from it. Otherwise, we might be so busy sharing and tagging that sunset picture someone else took… Instead of seeing the gorgeous one in front of you.
Live well, my lovelies. Obviously I’m writing more too. Hope to see more of you!


When did I forget that I love to travel?

Something so simple. And yet it took a phone call with my Auntie for me to realize that… hey. Philly is far away, but… there are airplanes. I can save for a trip out there.

I have flown before. I have flown many a time. I love the leashed energy right before take off. It’s amazing when you burst up into the air. Yet my son doesn’t know that about me. He doesn’t know that while I am afraid of driving in the mountains, there are so many other places I’ve traveled and had fun.

When did traveling become scary? Or is it scary?  Why is it scary, if it is?

When? Why? How?

The change has to start now.

So let it begin.


I Didn’t March

I didn’t March last weekend. Before you get all excited one way or the other, there were a few mitigating circumstances.  1. I’m a chicken, and there has been much violence lately at protests. 2. I also had my son last weekend, and with his SPD, I did not want to take a chance. It could have been fine, or worst case see above. Instead, we went and saw Hidden Figures. More on that later.

I’m happy for you if you feel women’s rights are right where they need to be. Although I have had a fairly charmed life, I don’t see it that way. There are some major areas that we need to protect, and some we need to change.

Womens health needs to be protected. Planned Parenthood is important. Take abortion off the table, because I’m not getting in to that argument right now. I’m talking about women’s health. I’m talking about when I lost my health insurance while on maternity leave (after the birth), and Planned Parenthood provided my post natal exam. They also kept a tight monitor on my iron levels, which were extremely low, and got me the info to get on WIC. Later, right before the Affordable Care Act, they helped me through the diagnosis of Fibroid Tumors, kept a tight check on my cervix which had bad cells in it, and supported me through what was going on. As soon as ACA went through, and I had insurance, they got my info to my Doctor quickly and we’re happy that I was getting the treatment I needed that they couldn’t provide. I know this because they called to follow up with me. And because of federal and state funding, all that care, except for the ultrasound (I had to go to an outside provider for that) it was free. I even got my monogram through them.
There is a disconnect between how the law is written, and how it is implemented. I’m assuming we can all agree that rape is wrong. And yet, how often do we ask what she was doing out that late, or what was she wearing.. it should not matter where I am, what I’m wearing, the time or even how drunk I am or if I’ve ever had sex before. Rape is a crime of violence, and yet we often blame the woman. Even when the man is held accountable, he can get a slap on the wrist because of the bright future he had shown. Want to know why more women don’t report rape? See above. Believe me, I know how lucky I am in this regard. The statics are heart breaking.
The workplace can also be a minefield for women. Get past the not getting paid the same as men. Let’s talk about having a boss who belittled you, never allows you to succeed and blames you for loosing customers who left 5 years BEFORE you were hired. Or being cussed out for 10 minutes on the phone for saying “thank you for holding, this is Wyndie, how can i help you?”. I have had great male bosses, don’t get me wrong. My current boss is awesome. I don’t think he cares what I wear, he cares how I do my job. He also doesn’t have inappropriate content in his email. I have had bosses whose email I had to clean out that was such a smutt factory I finally refused and suffered the consequences. And there were consequences. 
I didnt march for those things. I believe in them, but didnt march. In the end, whether you marched or not, I hope you can be kind to the other side. We are all in this ride together, and if it breaks down we are all screwed. 
One last thought. I have a friend who is very conserative. She doesn’t understand the March. But if I called her and said I felt I needed to go but was scared or didn’t know how to get there, ornwhatever, she would have been there for me. She would have taken me, called people out for pushing and shoving and littering, but she would have been there for me. People over politics. Because we are on the same ride. Women especially need solidarity.
Oh, and Marching? Peacefully PROTESTING? It’s a right.and because of women protesting, we have the ability to vote. Back then, women were dismissed as being hysterical for their political views and could be put in an insane asylum. Those women marched, even though others didn’t understand or believe in them. Even though it was dangerous. We can’t understand what they went through but owe an incredible debt to them. At the time they were dismissed.
Please stop dismissing women who March. Who knows what they’ll say 100 years from now about the Womens March of 2017? I’d love to read that story…. 


The weather here in Northern California has been… complicated. Today was nice.

Last night it was not.

One major thing that this crazy weather has done for my writing: helped me with description. I’ve always been a little light on description, but the following have popped out of my mouth:

The wind is blowing so hard, I’m glad I’m *not* in Kansas.

There’s so much water on the ground, with the fog coming up around it… it looks like a Lady in the Lake scene— in the middle of a cow field. (It did! It was gorgeous!)

And so on and so forth.

“Oh Shit, there’s a tree in the parking lot” the phrase has a lot of heat behind it, and it was more a large limb than the whole tree. And while the parking lot is LINED with trees, these limb(s) were lying in the middle of the asphalt. My sister understood, especially when I clarified for her. But when we’re creating our scenes, we don’t have that give and take.

So. I am learning to describe my surroundings for my sister. Because it makes it so much nicer for her to have a visual when we’re talking. Just as we need to have visuals for our readers.

So. Take stock, figure out what you can practice your description on. I try to describe things for my siter, and also in my journal. As always, there’s a different flow when you’re talking as opposed to writing, but that just gives us fodder for dialog.



Keeping Honest with Writing

I didn’t promise that I would write every day in 2017. That was never one of my resolutions. Instead, I made a resolution that I would be honest about it.

So. Since I accidentally ended up with 2 day planner/calendar thingees from Christmas, I am using one of them to keep track of how many pages I write per day. This is handwritten pages, by the way. I still prefer starting out creatively with pen to paper.

Since that first night, I have only had 2 days with a zero word count.

I’ve tried Nano. I’ve tried getting other people to keep me honest.

Turns out, I only need to be honest with myself. All my writing for the day goes in there, so a day’s entries might be:

Wrote 1 page
Wrote to Aunt Mary
Blog Post.

Not much to it. Nothing fancy. No bells, no whistles. Just a writer, being honest about the time she puts into writing. There’s so much else that we are, in addition to writers. It’s easy to forget to take the time to breath in, take pen in hand and write.